John Lennon once said, “Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans,” a statement to which Dana Bronfman can totally relate. The young jewelry designer/social entrepreneur and NYC freshman has already launched her first jewelry line in the fall, and we got to sit down with her and hear how it all happened.
THE UNLIMITED - What made you move to New York?
Dana Bronfman - I originally came out here to take some classes, which turned into applying for an internship with a designer to gain more experience. I then decided to stay even longer for a Jewelry design program at Pratt. I think I was subconsciously ready for a change. Since moving here I felt like my world opened up. I was having such a great time and didn’t want to leave, so I kept postponing my departure, saying, ‘I’ll just stay a little longer, just a little longer.’ I then just realized this is where I want to be and this is where I should stay. I’m in love with New York, and I’m ready for it.
TU- Tell us about being a social entrepreneur in the jewelry industry.
DB- I worked in the non-profit sector for two years and then transitioned into jewelry, so I wanted to do something creative but also keep a philanthropic aspect. My business follows both a philanthropic and sustainable model; I donate a portion of the proceeds of my sales to different charity organizations that support green jewelry practices, natural resource conservation, and educational and art scholarships for at-risk youth.
All the metals that I work with are recycled. The caster that I use does certified recycled metals, I rarely use stones, but when I do, I only use natural stones.
I MAKE PIECES THAT I FEEL ARE BOTH UNEXPECTED AND TIMELESS.
TU- Who do you design for?
DB- I design what I like, so I suppose I design for people like myself; bold, aren’t afraid to be a bit different, and look beyond just owning “cool” stuff. My clients want to know where their products came and that they’re high quality and going to stay with them for a long time. I don’t create only in order to make money. I make pieces that I feel are both unexpected and timeless. Everything is handmade in New York.
TU- Is New York your inspiration?
DB - I find it incredibly inspiring. In fact, it was at the essence of the mood board for this collection. These earrings (pictured, right) for example, were inspired by panels, rivets and bolts of the Williamsburg Bridge, and gave them a grainy and matte finishes to create an industrial quality. New York has this opulent, glamorous beauty, and I try capture the contrast of that in my collection.
Selected pieces are available for purchase at DanaBronfman.com