I was first introduced to the jewelry designs of Dana Rebecca by my best friend Allison and I immediately fell in love! Rhyme & Reason readers know that unless I’m wearing a statement earring, I’m always in simple, timeless jewelry that can be worn everyday. So, it’s no surprise that Dana Rebecca is now one of my go-to jewelry shopping destinations for gifts and for when I do a little shopping for myself.
Her designs are so beautiful and exceptional quality so I was thrilled to have the opportunity to interview her and learn more about how she started her company, what inspires her designs, and what she is loving right now in the jewelry world. I’m currently really into stackable rings so I cannot get enough of her collection and this bracelet is at the top of my wish list! She has so many beauties to choose from! Keep reading to learn all about the successful and inspired business Dana has built, her Chicago musts, and all the jewelry, fashion, and decor items she can’t live without.
Meet Dana of Dana Rebecca Designs
Name: Dana Gordon
Neighborhood: West Town, Chicago
Job: Jewelry Designer of Dana Rebecca
Instagram Handle: @danarebecca
Let’s talk business…
You started your own namesake label, Dana Rebecca Designs. What has been the most rewarding experience?
We turned 10 years old this past May and it was such an incredible month for me. I had a brand new baby at home and an almost 3 year old. I brought both girls to the office to celebrate with my team and it was in that moment that I realized that over the course of 10 years and all the milestones we hit, it had been a fabulous journey! The moment hit me outside my office taking pictures with my girls and big balloon number 10. I never imagined we would be where we are today so the experience itself has been a blessing.
Describe your jewelry designs in 3 sentences or less.
Dana Rebecca Designs was founded on the idea that your jewelry should make you feel as comfortable as your favorite t-shirt and as amazing as your little black dress. Inspired by my travels and the special women in my life, each piece is designed to be the piece you’ll still wear 20 years from now. My goal is that we get to celebrate all the major milestones in your life, celebrations and everyday living.
Can you tell us a little more about your role as founder and what it requires?
I founded DRD in May of 2007 and still am the sole designer of the collection. My day to day is never the same and while designing is my main focus I am heavily involved in the creative and marketing initiatives for the brand.
What is your career path? Have you always wanted to start your own company and jewelry line?
Growing up I was always very creative and heavily into art projects. The summer of my sixteenth birthday I was traveling with my father overseas to India when I chimed in on a conversation he was having about a piece of jewelry. I offered my opinion about the design / concept and the next thing I knew I was working with a talented Indian designer, producing my first collection. That summer I returned home with my new “collection” and attended two charity golf outtings where I sold out in 48 hours. I continued doing this every summer with my father and low and behold turned a hobby into a business. I am forever grateful for my dad’s encouragement and guidance to do something with my creativity. He nurtured me to believe in myself and to create pieces of jewelry that people would be proud to own.
Funny enough, I still wanted to be a lawyer. I always envisioned myself holding court in a courtroom as an attorney. My freshman year of college my brother was studying for the LSAT exams and he urged me to follow my passion and to pursue jewelry design. After graduating from the University of Texas in Austin, I attended the Gemological Institute of America in Carlsbad, California, and studied in their Applied Jewelry Arts Program. Upon completing school I launched Dana Rebecca Designs and the rest is history.
What is a typical day in the life of Dana?
My days always starts or ends with my children. They keep me motivated and focused on building something they will be proud of. But truly no day is ever the same. We have two offices – one in Chicago and one in NYC. I work out of the Chicago office and collaborate with my team on all the marketing and sales initiatives we are working on. My day typically ends with designing and conceptualizing new products. That part never stops!
What inspires your jewelry designs?
All of my designs are inspired by the women in my life who are my dearest and dearest. Each piece is named after someones first and middle name just like the collection Dana Rebecca. I am so deeply inspired by people and how they live their lives. I hope all of my pieces are worn and enjoyed everyday and don’t collect dust sitting in you jewelry box waiting for an occasion.
Let’s talk Fashion and Jewelry…
Describe your style in three adjectives.
Classic, relaxed, and put together
What are your wardrobe staples?
Dark denim, Chanel flats and Iro leather jackets
If I peeked into your closet, what color would be the most prominent?
Black and navy
What jewelry item would you splurge on tomorrow if you could?
Luckily the entire collection is at my fingertips but I’m always looking to add to my cuff stack!
Are there any jewelry trends you’re excited about right now?
We are not trend focused and will never be but we love mixing and matching metals and feel like right now people are doing that more than ever! So maybe that’s a trend?!
If you could switch jewelry boxes with anyone, who would it be and why would you want their jewelry collection?
Great question! I would take my moms! She has some of the most elegant and exquisite pieces and of course LOTS of DRD! There is so much history involved in all the pieces of jewelry that she owns and I love that connection and feeling that jewelry has.
What is your favorite type of jewelry to wear?
I love all my name cuffs with my girls names! Poppy & Lulu go with me everywhere and keep me feeling close to them at all times.
Let’s talk Beauty…
What are your beauty must-haves?
Jan Marini everything and my facialist Tanith Greenberg. She is my must have!
What perfume do you spritz on as you walk out the door?
Not into perfume.
What color nail polish are you currently wearing?
I’m into “dipping” right now and apparently they are numbered. So I’m wearing #22!
Let’s talk Décor…
Describe your decorating style in three adjectives.
Clean, textured and casual
If your mother taught you one trick about interior decorating, what would it be?
Mix color and pattern. Don’t be afraid!
What is your favorite piece of art or furniture you own?
My NG Collective pieces!
What’s on your bar cart?
Cart, cabinet, walls. My husband is a whiskey guy so the cabinets are FULL. I’m a pinot noir kind of gal so we always have red on hand too.
Do you have any must-have coffee table books?
I’m coffee table obsessed. I love fashion and travel books! My shelves are stacked in colorful books and I’m not afraid to say a few of them are just there for aesthetic purposes.
Let’s talk Travel…
Beach or Mountains?
East Coast or West Coast?
What is your favorite destination?
Are you planning any upcoming trips?
Hong Kong and India both in March.
Who is your favorite travel buddy?
My husband! He’s up for anything. Literally.
Go-to cocktail when you’re traveling?
Pinot Noir or a margarita!
What is your top bucket list destination?
Maldives and Bali
Let’s talk Chicago…
What is your favorite part of living in Chicago?
Fill in the blank: “On the weekend, you’ll find me…”
Brunching with my family
Best date night restaurant?
Best brunch restaurant?
Best healthy food restaurant?
Best boutique(s) or shop/shopping?
Ikram, Felt, Intermix and P45
Casual days at home with the girls. Art projects, movies, and snuggles.
Anything else we need to know about Chicago?
Chicago has it all. Architecture, food, the best summers and the most amazing people!
For more Sitting Pretty Interviews, see:
Photographs: Dana Rebecca