Sometimes when you meet people whose careers you've followed and Instagrams you've stalked, they are disappointedly not at all like you'd originally thought. This is not one of those times. Founders of the fine jewelry line DANNIJO, Jodie Snyder, 30, and sister Danielle Snyder, 27, are everything we'd hoped they would be—cool, funny, and fiercely talented. They're the type of duo that you want to ask for style advice and aren't scared they'll judge you for it.
Their line (which they founded in 2008) is filled with big baubles and colorful gems that are perfect for the girl dying to make a statement. That's why they're the first to be featured in the Olay Game Changers series celebrating the beauty of extraordinary women. The skin care company's mission is to find more game changers across the country and share their beauty how-tos, tips, and tricks. Keep reading to find out why dishing with the sisters Snyder was the best possible way to spend a lunch break, truth.
Real Beauty: Why did you start DANNIJO?
Jodie Snyder: Danielle and I have been interested in fashion from a young age. We started designing jewelry when we were in middle school. We basically taught ourselves how to do wire work from our father’s medical tools. It was something that was fun for us to do together, and we always dreamed of having a jewelry company. We had a store in Florida short-term, and when we moved to New York, Danielle and I had both worked in fashion. Danielle co-founded a non-profit called LWALA and went to Africa to do some grass roots initiatives. We got back into jewelry by designing a capsule collection to raise money for the non-profit.
RB: How does being sisters make running the company different?
DS: There’s a real synergy to having this sisterly connection.
JS: It’s an advantage because we grew up together and it’s nice to have your partner always know what you’re thinking. In business, we’ve always had the same long-term strategy, so we have never gotten into any kind of fights about where we think the company should go or the next steps we should take. I couldn’t think of a better partner. It’s fun that I get to work with my sister everyday.
RB: Since blogging began, designers like yourselves, editors, and other people in the fashion industry have become celebrities in their own right. How has this affected your business or added to your success?
DS: It definitely separates us that we’re known for our social media presence and for building a brand through those new channels. Jodie and I have always chosen to focus on the good that comes from the movements and change in fashion. We’ve really done a good job of boosting our online presence and leveraging the relationships with these new age kids. I say 'kids,' but we’re kids in the same way. Fifteen years ago you wouldn’t have been able to build a luxury brand in less than several decades. And with these new tools, now you can.
JS: It has been exciting because we’re involved in such a different time in fashion. We’re really lucky we have such good relationships with bloggers and celebrities and they just like wearing the brand. It’s nice to be a part of this mix. We love traditional print media, but it’s interesting to see what’s happening in the fashion space in real time. We launched DANNIJO during the worst economic climate ever, and it ended up being an advantage because a lot of companies had to rethink how they were doing business.
RB: How would you describe your personal style? How is it different from one another?
DS: As sisters, we have obviously rubbed off on each other. I used to say Jodie was a little more classic in her design and aesthetic and I was a little more bohemian rock 'n roll. But we’ve been together now as DANNIJO coming up on six years this March and we both have this eclectic, world traveler, ever-evolving style. We both really have fun playing with the jewelry and styling it in a way that caters to a range of personalities.
RB: Do you have a favorite designer of the moment?
DS: One designer that we’ve always loved and respected is Miuccia Prada. We think she does such a great job with color, pattern, and texture. Her clothes have a real perspective. In terms of things we love, that’s the great thing about fashion, it’s always changing. Who you’re into is also always changing. Prada’s done a great job evolving over the years while still maintaining a voice that is unique and different. Every season she is telling different stories and you see it throughout the entire collection. I also love what’s happening at Celine. It’s more classic, so the jewelry can have a moment.
RB: Why did you decide to partner up with Olay?
JS: Danielle and I are really into natural beauty and easy ways to make yourself feel and look beautiful. Their products have been around forever, which is a testament to how they make your skin feel. They’re really hydrating, and because we’re always on the go, Olay has great products that you can throw in your bag for a little pick me up.
RB: Do you have a beauty philosophy and a routine that you stick to?
DS: Both my mom and grandmother have always talked about natural beauty, how less is more. So I’m always trying to drink a lot of water, get a lot of sleep—the natural remedies. And a little mascara and red lipstick never hurt.
JS: We’re pretty old school. We love Olay because they don’t use too much perfume and we like more natural products. I’m into oils these days too.
RB: Is there one game-changing product that you can’t live without?
JS: I know my sister can’t live without an eyelash curler or Chapstick! I like red lipstick for when I’m exhausted and have to run to an event. Under eye cream is also really important because I dry out so easily.
DS: Your eyes give it away if you’re tired, hence my love for the eyelash curler. I’m all about those little beauty tricks that make you look like you’ve had a few more hours of sleep.
RB: Do you have any beauty guilty pleasures?
DS: Manicures and pedicures. We’re in the jewelry business, so we’re always showing our hands. And who doesn’t love that foot massage.
RB: Favorite nail polish?
JS: I always wear the same nail polish, Essie Mademoiselle. But my new thing is getting my nails buffed.
DS: I’m a big buffer too. I like navy blues for winter and Essie Wicked on my toes.
RB: Favorite song of the moment?
DS: "California Sunrise" by Dirty Gold, "Color in Your Hand" by D.L.i.d., and "Virgin" by Chico Debarge are really good. And a J. Cole song that I can’t say the name of, it’s offensive.
JS: I like Drake’s new album too. I'm old school and my sister always knows all the brand new music. So I just appreciate some of the new stuff happening, but I always go back to my basics. Steele Pole’s "Spoon House" always puts me in a good mood.
RB: Favorite TV show of the moment?
DS: Homeland and Eastbound and Down.
JS: Sunday is the only night I watch TV and it’s taco night. There nothing is better than Homeland.
RB: Favorite lipstick?
DS: Scarlett by MAKE, and we both are obsessed with Chanel. There are so many good ones. BUTTER London Toasted Marshmallow. I sound like a lipstick whore. And Armani Lip Maestro.
RB: Favorite celebrity couple of all time?
DS: Kate Moss and Johnny Depp
JS: Johnny and Kate, they were everything.
JS: How could we forget Beyoncé and Jay Z?!
RB: Favorite piece of jewelry in the collection right now?
JS: We’re really into chokers for next season. They’re easy to wear with everything.
RB: Do you have any tips or tricks that help you stay healthy?
DS: We love Pilates and runs on the highway, we try to stay active.
JS: And I Citi Bike as much as possible.