Indego Africa recently stopped by DANNIJO’s resplendent design studio in the Meatpacking District and were immediately overcome by the combination of joy and diligence that co-founding sisters Danielle and Jodie Snyder pour into their ultra-stylish enterprise. Why were we there? Delivering colorful new Dutch Wax Cloth jewelry pouches, of course.
By way of launching a high-profile new partnership between Indego Africa and DANNIJO, Danielle and Jodie teamed up with seamstresses at Indego Africa partner cooperative Cocoki to produce a vibrant new line of jewelry pouches. Starting now, each time a customer purchases a DANNIJO product from their website, it will arrive in a jewelry pouch handmade by a member of Cocoki. And as is the case with all Indego Africa products, each jewelry pouch is personalized with the name and signature of the artisan woman who produced it.
Partnerships work best with a purpose. We were greatly comforted that, for DANNIJO, it was instantly clear that collaborating with Indego Africa was about a whole lot more than just people feeling good about themselves. In many ways, it was, for DANNIJO, a return to their roots. In 2006, Danielle visited Lwala, Kenya and co-founded a non-profit organization called L.W.A.L.A. (Live With A Lifelong Ambition), for which Danielle and Jodie designed a capsule jewelry collection. Indeed, the success of that philanthropic jewelry collection played a pivotal role in their eventually launching DANNIJO as a luxury accessories label in 2008.
Partnerships also work best when partners truly complement one another. For instance, it only took juxtaposing Danielle darting around the room with ideas practically flying off her tongue with Jodie carefully pouring over an arrangement of images spread out before her for us to realize the explosive potential of this sisterly duo.
For Indego Africa and DANNIJO, we had to initially cast aside some of our obvious differences – DANNIJO blends a bohemian rocker vibe with timeless sophistication while Indego Africa blends unapologetically nerdy competence with, well, unapologetically nerdy competence. But the startling (and highly promising) array of collaborative approaches and ideas that sprung out of our short visit was proof in the pudding that these two organizations complement each other well and that this partnership is built to last.
We at Indego Africa absolutely love when successful woman entrepreneurs around the globe find creative ways of encouraging the work of blossoming women micro-entrepreneurs in Africa. From the bottom of our hearts, hats off to you Danielle and Jodie for blazing your own entrepreneurial trail and for remaining grounded enough to keep making a difference while doing it.
-Conor French and Deirdre McGuigan
(Photos: Artisan women, jewelry pouches, awesomeness)