Danielle and Jodie Snyder, Dannijo
Female entrepreneurs, storytellers, beauty creators. Danielle and Jodie Snyder, are the powerhouses behind cult jewelry label, Dannijo. From concept to creation to their most sought after beauty products and beauty routines, we caught up with the girls to learn a few of their secrets and what its really like to work and run a business with your best friend (and sister).
Can you tell us about your journey from the conception of Dannijo to this moment in time right now?
It was all really organic. Jodie and I used to make jewelry for fun and it was always something we did together to exercise our creative juices. We started selling locally as kids in Jacksonville, FL. After college we both moved to NY and designed a collection to help fundraise for a non-profit I co-founded. The jewelry was really well received. We both got fired from our jobs in 2008, during the heart of the recession, I worked for a fine jewelry label in sales and Jodie ran a private label for a footwear designer. After that, we sort of hit the ground running with the jewelry. We landed Bergdorfs as our first account. Beyonce bought a DANNIJO necklace there and wore it on tour all over the world. It was a strong start!
People say not to mix business and family - how is it working with your sister? How do you guys balance each other out? How do you deal with differences?
It can be difficult at times because we spend so much time together and it can be challenging to separate business from personal, but over the last 9 years we've gotten a lot better at it. The beauty of our situation is that we can share in each others' successes and push each other to the max. Being sisters means there is a certain level of transparency and trust that makes for a solid foundation. We have very different skill-sets that are quite complimentary. I focus more on the product and the creative aspects of DANNIJO whereas Jodie manages more of the business side.
When you were growing up what were your dream jobs?
I wanted to be a journalist on 60 minutes (I've always loved Ed Bradley) and Jodie wanted to be a sport commentator.
Where does your inspiration for new collections come from?
Everything from travels to old movies, to architecture, to patterns to music. I designed the last collection while listening to Ludovico Einaudi (I love Experience and Nuvole bianche).
What are your morning/night time beauty routine secrets you swear by?
Danielle: At night, I remove my makeup with Aveeno Ultra Calming Makeup Remover wipes and then wash my face with Image Skincare Vital C Hydrating Facial Cleanser and Intense Brightening Exfoliating Powder. I'll use a serum followed by a hydrating face lotion and then dab C.O. Bigelow's Rose Salve on my cheeks and brows. In the morning, I rinse my face with cold water and apply a serum followed by face lotion with SPF. Sometimes I'll put on Patchology FlashPatch eye gels (which I keep in the fridge) while I'm getting dressed - they wake up your eyes and feel amazing.
Jodie: I'm basic and don't use too many products. I've been using Exuviance Gentle Cleansing Creme since I was in high school and recently just switched to Elizabeth Dehn for One Love Organics Vitamin B cleanser. I use Image Prevention Moisturizer SPF 30 during the day and Naturopathica Calendula Essential Hydrating cream at night and switch to VMV organic coconut oil as my moisturizer a few times a week. I also use Ren Eye Cream. I'm big into body lotion every morning and night especially in this weather! I'm pregnant and currently using Cowshed Udderly Gorgeous stretch mark balm.
How do you find balance in your life?
It's a constant struggle, but plenty of exercise, fresh air, cooking, relaxing and alone time. Jodie often spends weekends with her husband and baby at their home in CT so they get a lot of R and R and time away from the city stimuli.
Who have been the most important mentors/role models in your life that have inspired your work and career paths?
Our Mom and Dad-- they have incredible work ethic but always put family first. They never missed any of our track meets or childhood milestones, but always set an example for us when it came to work hard, play hard. They are the most loving, openminded, and selfless people we know.
Jodie, how did becoming a mom and starting a family change your relationship with your work?
It made me more efficient. When I'm at work I want to be 100% focused on work and when I'm at home with Margaux, I want to be 100% focused on her and our family. You can't be two places at once so it's important to be present in the moment.
You both have radiant, glowy skin. What are the five products you swear by?
Danielle: Image Skincare Daily Hydration moisturizer SPF 30, Fresh Brown Sugar Body Polish, CO Bigelow Rose Salve, Oribe Surfcomber Mousse, Burt’s Bees Chapstick.
Jodie: Almay Oil-free Eye Makeup Remover Pads, Como Shambhala Invigorate Shower Gel, Rahua Shampoo & Conditioner, VMV Organic Coconut Oil, Chanel Soleil Tan.
In honor of our Eat Pretty Week, can you tell us what "beauty" means to you?
Danielle: Confidence, natural radiance, and a glow that comes from within.
Jodie: An inner glow that radiates warmth and positive energy.
And what about your favorite beauty recipe for that au natural glow?
Danielle: After washing and exfoliating your face, heat up some honey to slightly warm temperature and cover your face in it. Let "honey mask" set for about 5 -10 minutes. Remove for glowing, hydrated, radiant skin.
Jodie: My favorite smoothie is fresh coconut water, half an avocado, and a frozen banana. I discovered this simple recipe in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica and have been drinking it ever since.
What do you want your legacy to be, both as individuals and for Dannijo?
Danielle: One of my favorite quotes is by Maya Angelou who said, "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." I hope to be remembered for making people feel beautiful, loved, important, powerful and human. For DANNIJO, I want to create a powerful storytelling platform that empowers and employs women-- especially those women living in underdeveloped areas of the world. Each of us hold beauty within and I want DANNIJO to be known for bringing out that beauty and spirit that makes for a more fulfilling, openminded and peaceful world.
Jodie: I want my legacy to be my children. I want them to grow up with love and confidence so they can be independent and empowered to follow their dreams and inspire those around them to be loving, generous and inclusive. With DANNIJO we want to inspire other women to follow their dreams and pursue their passions, to give back and to inject beauty and love into the world.