Sister act Danielle and Jodie Snyder launched the luxury accessories brand Dannijo in 2008, with immediate industry acclaim. The kaleidoscopic jewelry collections are handmade in New York and beloved of A-list clientele including Olivia Palermo, Beyoncé, and Jessica Alba. With its latest collection, called Love is Love, arriving in Harvey Nichols Kuwait and Riyadh, Le66 in Dubai, and Sophie’s Closet in the UAE, creative director Danielle took a much-needed vacation to Tulum, Mexico. The Dannijo designer shares her intimate travel journal with Vogue Arabia for an insider view on what fashion’s finest ponder when off-duty.
When my British best friend, Sophia, called to see if I’d want to do a spontaneous girls’ trip to Mexico, she’d barely finished her sentence before I was telling her where we should stay, eat, and shop: Jashita Tulum and La Esencia hotels, Posada Margherita and Hartwood restaurants, and La Casita de Xaman for unique pieces.
Every season, my sister Jodie and I travel somewhere for work – either to be inspired or to bring a collection to life. We’ve gone to Cuba (before the gates were officially opened to Americans) to shoot our #dannijocubano collection on locals as a means to bring back their stories and spirit. This time, Jodie was nine months pregnant, so it gave me an opportunity to do some soul searching amid the Mexican breeze and mesmerizing sunsets, with just Sophia to keep me company.
The Love is Love collection is meant to serve as little reminders to Love – be it to your best friend, significant other, sister, or self. I’m 32 and don’t yet have kids or a family of my own (though I spend 90% of my time with my sister, her husband, and my niece), but my career has brought me great fulfilment on a number of levels. Over these last 10 years in New York, I’ve experienced tremendous love – many times and in many forms. I’ve learned more about myself through every relationship and I’ve grown in ways I never imagined.
“I haven’t yet settled down – but I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be”
I recently stumbled upon a great analysis from New York-based therapist Vienna Pharaon (@mindfulmft) about the exchange between Alice and the White Rabbit in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland that really resonated with me. Alice asks the White Rabbit: “How long is forever?” He replies, “Sometimes just one second.” Vienna explains that it’s not always about how long we are with someone that gives a relationship meaning and value – rather, it’s how transformed we are in that time. There is great comfort in this truth.
Because of societal norms we’re meant to feel like we’re broken or doing something wrong if we’re not married or in a long-term relationship by a certain age, but it shouldn’t be the case. Sometimes, as Vienna says, forever is in any moment that changes the fabric of our souls. This spontaneous Mexican getaway gave me the clarity to see that my soul was not broken or missing something – rather, its fabric is full of color, texture, and wear.
“The thing about travel is that no matter how far away you are from home, you’re still with yourself”
I come from a very close family – my parents have been married for 36 years and have the most incredible relationship. I see the way they always put each other first and the confidence they have in their union, and I dream of that. I remind myself that when they met, it was a different time – before cellphones, social media, or dating apps. It was much simpler and people had an easier time focusing on what was right in front of them… They also didn’t feel the need to constantly market/brand themselves on Instagram and maintain an additional “digital life.” The landscape today is different – it’s about juggling (including people), constantly comparing options, and instant gratification. The mediums through which we connect may be different than it was for our parents but the concept of love hasn’t changed. It’s a powerful, indestructible connection that brings out the best in two people.
The beauty of it, though, is that it gives us fresh perspective and an ability to unpack and organize the piles of our jumbled thoughts. I haven’t yet met the love of my life, but I have realized I’m whole – I come from so much love and I have an abundance to give.
Dannijo’s latest collection, Love is Love, features brightly colored crystals, neon vintage beads, and “LOVE” adorned designs. It is available at Dannijo.com, Harvey Nichols Riyadh and Kuwait, and Sophie’s Closet in the UAE.