October 23, 2014
At a Glance
Bio The path that led her to this point
As a lifelong creative, I have always been drawn to sparkly things.
From the early days of making things for my Mum and Grandma out of twisty-ties and beads, to handcrafting custom engagement rings, the thrill is the same: creating something beautiful and concrete from the wisp of an idea.
Danielle Sweeney Design was born from a passion for beautifully designed, unique jewellery.
Established in 2005, I strive to create jewellery that is timeless and reflects the personality of its wearer.
From fine custom designed creations to limited production lines, each piece is lovingly designed and rendered in my private studio.
My route to jewellery started with a degree in Italian from McGill University, and took a turn towards jewellery after volunteer opportunity introduced me to an inspiring Canadian jeweller.
From that point forward, jewellery took over.
I graduated from Toronto's George Brown College Jewellery Arts Program in 2005 and built my business as a custom jeweller, first in Toronto, and then in Sydney.
A diamond jewellery specialist, I seek to provide my clients with the knowledge and confidence to make custom designing a special piece of jewellery an absolute joy.
From the finest diamond engagement rings, to wedding sets and limited edition pieces, I can help you create the perfect piece of jewellery.
Since moving to Sydney, Australia in 2008, I have continued to design fine jewellery for private clients by appointment.
As a new Australian, I have been inspired by this country's amazing coastlines and launched the Coast Collection in 2013.
Each Coast Ring is handcrafted to order and custom engraved with each client's favourite coastline, mountain range, river or other geographical feature.
A portion of the proceeds from each Coast Ring sold through my website is donated to the Australian Marine Conservation Society to help keep our coastlines beautiful.
Since having my daughter in 2013, I feel incredibly fortunate to be able to continue to work with my amazing clients doing what I love.
I am currently redesigning my website and working on a new collection, set to launch in November 2014.
Q&A Insider advice & tips
What's been your greatest achievement to date?
Building a business and learning on the fly. I graduated thinking I knew everything and a few weeks' out on my own made me realise I knew nothing!
I was lucky enough to meet some incredible people who taught me about the jewellery industry and about building a business. Close to ten years on, I'm still doing it.
What's been your biggest challenge so far?
Having spent years building my business in Toronto, my husband and I upped sticks and moved to Sydney.
Moving my business was incredibly tough; finding new suppliers, making new connections and finding new clients proved challenging while we tried to create a new life in Australia.
Six years on, I finally feel settled, with a wonderful network of colleagues.
Best lesson you've learned along the way?
It sounds trite, but the best lesson I've learned is one that I am relearning now, ten years into my career as a jeweller: to have confidence in my skills and my ideas.
I made the mistake of comparing myself to others and lost confidence in my abilities. Losing and regaining this confidence was a hard, but necessary lesson.
A website, book or resource that has helped you in your business or inspired you and why?
I met an incredible woman through an online course who writes a blog called Retail Bliss.
After years as a management consultant working with retailers, Kristi has turned her focus to small and medium sized business with her Retail Bliss blog and consultancy. Her tips are practical and easily actionable.
Which person or brand do you most admire and why?
Tough one... there are so many! Jennifer Meyer Jewelry would certainly be up there. Her jewellery brand is very well positioned in the marketplace and beautifully branded. She maintains a very down to earth image, in spite of her success.
What advice would you give someone starting an independent business in your industry?
Anyone getting into a custom orientated, client driven industry needs to surround themselves with amazing people, and learn from them at every opportunity.
There are so many wonderful people out there who are willing to share their knowledge. Find them and learn from them.
Also, learn to delegate and outsource those things that suck your energy and sap your creativity.
Finish this sentence
Everything changed for me when…
I had my daughter in June 2013.
All of a sudden I had a lot less time to fritter away, forcing me to really focus on what I want my business to be and where I want it to be in the future.
It also helped me return to a point of confidence about what I design and create. I feel motivated and inspired to continue to build my business and that's a pretty exciting space to be in.