Interview with Julie Danz from Juvi Designs

Interview with Julie Danz from Juvi Designs Floralesque 6

Cocoa Pod Baja Pendant selection, ranging from €89-95 (link)

Juvi Designs create some of the most beautiful gemstone pieces and the colours that they use are so vibrant and eye catching that you can’t help but fall in love with their pieces. They create beautiful gemstone necklaces, bracelets, rings and earrings – all are finished beautifully and they add such an eye-catching detail to any outfit.

“As a child I was always attracted to gems, shells and stones and I used to gather beads, seeds and colourful pieces of glass (anything and everything really!) which I kept in boxes in my bedroom.” {via}

This isn’t the first time that Juvi Designs have featured on Floralesque – you may remember when I featured them here when they partnered up with the ISPCC. I am beyond delighted to be featuring an interview with Julie Danz who is one half of the Juvi Designs team today on Floralesque.

Interview with Julie Danz from Juvi Designs Floralesque 1

Can you please tell us how Juvi Designs started?

I started off working as an interior designer, and moved to New York City in my twenties. While there, I worked under Carlton Varney, one of America’s most adventurous and bold interior designers. When I returned home, I met Vincent who is a very talented silversmith, who learnt his craft living in Taxco Mexico. We founded Juvi in 2006 (10 years this year!) when Vincent and I started to combine my love for working with colour and his abilities as a silversmith.

Colour is always at the forefront when I am designing, and I love experimenting with different colour palettes. Our designs have evolved throughout the years going from more chunky statement pieces to delicate and pretty designs. I design the collections and Vincent and his team bring my designs to life. We took off to a great start when we won the ‘Best Accessories Designer’ at Dublin Fashion week in 2006 (our first year in business). Following that we had a pop up in Brown Thomas which led us to opening our own concession in House of Fraser Dundrum, wholesaling to beautiful stores around the country and opening another counter in Arnott’s with other Irish jewellery makers.

Interview with Julie Danz from Juvi Designs Floralesque 4

Boho Bamboo Ring in gold vermeil and amethyst (left) €105 (currently on sale at €94.50) and sterling silver and aqua chalcedony (right) €95 (currently on sale at €85.50) (link)

Where does the inspiration for your designs come from?

Our inspiration comes from travelling and the beautiful places we have visited. The colours of the landscapes reflect the vibrancy of the gemstones. All aspects of travelling, cultures, new smells, food, nature and the people we met along the way have all influenced the essence of Juvi. We both have a huge passion for travel and exploration and want that sense of fun and adventure to come across in our jewellery.

The gemstones that are used in the jewellery are beautiful. Where do you source these? Are there certain gemstones that you are drawn to?

On one of our first trips through Mexico, we came across many beautiful gemstone shops. It was like walking into a sweet shop, where all the gemstones were hanging on the walls and displayed in glass jars on the shelves. It was an explosion of colour. I chose a few to bring home and began experimenting and designing jewellery around these beautiful gemstones. Juvi has evolved since then and we now source our gemstones from both Hong Kong and Jaipur in India.

I love Ruby as it is such a beautiful vibrant gemstone which is why we named our daughter after it. You could say it has a special place in our hearts! However, the stone I think I am drawn to most is Labradorite. It is my favourite gemstone as it is subtle and appears one colour when you first look at it but it has a hidden magical quality so when it catches the light it has a beautiful, vibrant, petroly sheen with blue, green and gold hues.

Interview with Julie Danz from Juvi Designs Floralesque 7

Cocoa Pod Tulum Pendant selection, ranging from €85-89 (link)

Being a husband and wife team I am sure has both its ups and downs but the result overall is an amazing jewellery brand so it must be a good thing! Do you think being in such a close partnership strengthens the business?

Yes and no! Actually we do work very well together but it took time for us both to find our niche. As we are both creatives the business side was tough for us at the start but now we have balanced our strengths and weaknesses. Juvi is more than just a brand name. It represents us on many levels.

Who are your favourite designers at the moment?

Internationally I love Alice Templerley, Isabel Marant and Vivienne Westwood. We are big supporters of Irish design and love to see Irish designers doing well. Ireland is such a hub of design creatives in everything from furniture, fashion, millinery and of course jewellery. Some of my favourites include Helen Steele, Ale Walsh, Margaret O’Connor, KaroArt, Martin Gallagher and Inner Isle.

Interview with Julie Danz from Juvi Designs Floralesque 5

Cocoa Pod Tulum Pendant in gold vermeil and green onyx €89 (link)

Although I am sure hard to choose, what has been your proudest career moment to date?

There have been so many ’proudest career moments ’throughout the last 10 years! From winning the ‘Best Accessories Award’ at Dublin Fashion Week in our first year in business to opening our counters in both Arnotts and House of Fraser in Dundrum. However, if I had to choose, our proudest day came earlier this year when we were approached by the ISPCC to design a necklace. We were honoured to be asked and are proud to have raised close to €28,000 for this fantastic charity.

Do you have any tips for those thinking of getting into jewellery design?

Doing an internship with a jewellery designer is a good way of dipping your feet into it. There are so many Irish designers out there to reach out to and it’s a good way to find out if it’s what you really want. From there it’s about finding your own identity and moving forward.
Do you think that it is important to have been professionally trained before entering the career of jewellery maker? It depends on the type of jewellery.

If you are looking at becoming a gold or silversmith or setting gemstones it is very important to be trained. We are lucky here at Juvi as I have a design background and Vincent is a silversmith that means in my case it wasn’t necessary for me to be trained in the craft of jewellery making.

Interview with Julie Danz from Juvi Designs Floralesque 2

What does the future hold for Juvi Designs?

We are very happy with all we have achieved so far and how the brand has evolved. We feel we have achieved our ethos of high quality gemstones, colourful jewellery that takes you from day to night and affordable luxury. We are always setting ourselves new challenges and goals and we look forward to a future expanding our brand further nationally and internationally.

Interview with Julie Danz from Juvi Designs Floralesque 12

Cocoa Pod Lago Ring in gold vermeil and pink tourmaline €105 and Cocoa Pod Olmec Necklace in gold vermeil, pink tourmaline and citrine €219 (link & link)

A massive thank you to Julie for the interview and giving us an insight into behind the scenes of Juvi Designs. If you are looking for a beautiful, unique gift for someone special (or a treat for yourself!) I would highly recommend checking out the Juvi Designs website and they also have an online store. Juvi Designs can also be found on Facebook, Twitter and their picturesque Instagram.

All images kindly provided by Juvi Designs.

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1 Comment

  1. CARLETON VARNEY
    May 24, 2017 / 7:44 pm

    dear julie i am so pleased to see the work u are doing and i am very proud of your accomplishments do keep in touch i am often in DUBLIN AND WILL LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU AND YOUR WORK CARLETON VARNEYCARLETON VARNEY

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