It’s been a tremendously exciting time lately for Danon Jewellery so we wanted to share an exclusive interview with the very lovely and inspiring Gal Danon, Designer and Co-Owner of Danon Jewellery.
Our interview kicks off in London where I met Gal to spend quality time with her at the LFWend event. We started off with dinner at Comptoir Libanais located in Chelsea, if you are wondering what our very-pink and girlie looking drinks are, they’re rum and rose daiquiri cocktails – so delicious and refreshing after our busy afternoon of looking around the shops and chatting away about future collections. This restaurant is a chain that started in London and is now spreading across the country, I love the concept of the healthy canteen style Lebanese food and all the colours are just so beautiful and uplifting. They also sell a myriad of amazing basket bags, cookery books and much more.
Whilst enjoying our time here I want to find out a little bit more about the creative/design side of Danon.
How long have you worked at Danon and what job did you do before this?
I have been working at Danon for eight years now, before this I gained a Masters Degree at Tel Aviv university and became a social worker and I then spent nine years working in different areas of expertise such as juvenile delinquents, couple therapy and also as a parole officer.
Wow, that’s a real contrast to the job you do right now, what do you love about your current role as a jewellery designer?
I love how the process evolves within creating, the ideas can come from small things like nature, drawing, shopping and inspiration from surroundings, this can then be turned into a whole collection. Also, hearing people’s comments about the designs is always useful and especially seeing people in the street wearing the pieces is extremely flattering too.
A selection of the designs from the new collection AW16/17 available here
Is there anything you find tricky or frustrating about your role?
I have a combination of roles at the company, we are a family company and I have to switch my mind from managing the business to keeping my head clear to then designing and creating the products. It can be tricky at times but I have to train my brain to multi task these roles.
What is a typical working day like for you?
I wake at 630am and deal with the usual morning household chores and putting together the packed lunches for my two children. Once I am organised and set to go I drive to work, it takes about an hour and fifteen minutes in traffic, this gives me time to think about my day ahead and catch up on some calls in the car. When I get to work I check the Social Media and the emails I need to action. I also catch up with my father, Josef Danon (the founder of the company) we go over the designs together to make sure all the technical details are sufficient. At lunch time I sit with a few of my co-workers an we eat together, its a chance to catch up socially and we have a few laughs too. The afternoon is usually a combination of brand strategy, design and updates. I share an office with my brother Ilan, who is also a co-owner at Danon, this way we can communicate more effectively and share our ideas about the future of the company.
What are your hobbies and interests outside work?
I am a prolific reader and besides all the classics I am very much into reading only English romance and fantasy books, I am the proud founder of a book group where we meet up and also have a secret Facebook Group to share reviews and recommendations. Another big part of my time is dedicated to Cross-fit training which I do 4-5 times per week, it gives me the strength and energy to stay fit and healthy. Here in Israel we have amazing beaches and during summer I spend most of my weekends at the beach hanging out with friends and family.
It looks so beautiful, you are very lucky to have this summer beach lifestyle. What would your words of advice be to anyone wanting to enter the world of jewellery design?
Patience and enjoyment would be my two main words of advice – remember that even the best ideas you have, may take time to achieve and it is easy to think faster than you can actually accomplish. I learn a lot from my wise father Josef, quite often I have been so exuberantly excited and told him about an idea I thought was so brilliant only to have him show me his very full notebook from 20 years ago with the exact same ideas. He always says that if it was an easy profession, everybody would do it, and that we are lucky it’s so complicated, because this is our chance to excel and be the best and the most professional we can be. Enjoy what you do, have fun with the designs and always aspire to give your customers a piece that will make them happy and feel good about themselves.
Your father sounds like a very wise man and what would you advise anyone going into business or working with family?
You have to keep it professional and remember it’s business, be wise enough to understand personal things may get in the way from time to time – if you think it would jeopardise your family relationship – don’t do it! When I came in to the business I was absolutely sure it was never going to affect my family relationships.
What was the last piece of jewellery you bought for yourself (not Danon)?
A few years ago my home was burgled and all my precious jewellery was stolen. I was so traumatised by this that despite working in a jewellery business I didn’t wear any jewellery at all for a year, until I came to visit London in the Springtime and I bought four rings and a Tiffany bracelet, this is my most favourite item and I wear it all the time along with my own designs which of course I am always proud to wear.
Which stores inspire you and do you follow the trends of?
There are too many beautiful stores but at the moment I love Anthrolopolgie, everything here is so interesting and it is a store where it could never fail to impress me. The homewares and clothing are just amazing there. As far as Israeli design goes, I really love a brand called Comme Il Faut I think their designs are so sophisticated and inspiring.
Where do you see the brand growth going in the future and where would you like it to be?
Our brand is very well known in Israel and of course in the UK it has a tremendous following, we would like the growth to continue and expand in these countries as well as the US, Europe and maybe even the Far East too. We certainly have the potential, our designs are receiving great results and we have a USP of hand crafted, good quality products, which is getting less common these days because so much bad quality is being very cheaply manufactured from flimsy materials. Our items are made to last a very long time with quality components and materials – we are proud to be unique and to promote this.
And finally, what is the last thing that made you laugh out loud?!
I have a Whats App group with my friends and they sent me this image today which really made me laugh out loud 😉
Ha – love it, I think I would definitely buy Brad! Thank you Gal for this interview – I know that everyone will enjoy learning about you and what an interesting job/lifestyle you have in Israel.
Readers, please feel free to add comments.
In the next few weeks I shall be posting a blog about our time spent at LFWend including…what we saw, what we wore, who we met and what we bought!
Danon Jewellery is available online from www.danon-jewellery.co.uk
If you are interested in becoming a UK stockist or you would like to locate your nearest retailer, please contact here.