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Conversations with the Inspiring Dani Keith

Today we’d like to introduce you to Dani Keith.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Dani. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I was working at a legal tech startup in Braintree and it was nonstop and exhausting. I had always been creative – I painted, but the all-encompassing nature of this work stripped away my ability to paint on canvas, this left me stuck and fidgety and a little unpleasant to be around. So, we were living in Mansfield, MA at the time and there was a little bead shop around the corner from the commuter rail and one day I stepped in. It was magical with all of the color and textures and I realized that my ability to translate my 2d creativity was dependent on me being happy, this was a chance to make tiny talismans of joy and wear them and I could coax myself back to happy – and so, I was hooked. People were kind and liked my pieces so I began to sell them. The little tech starts up-sold to a large public company and I took my leave and began an apprenticeship with a metalsmith in Wake Forest, NC and have been producing my own line of work since.

Has it been a smooth road?
When you run your own business you do everything, I thought because I helped others set up their own organizations I would be a natural on my own. I think especially as a creative entrepreneur it is easy to get overwhelmed because you want to produce your work, but that’s just the beginning- you need to market, sell, run pr, handle accounting, etc. What came naturally to me to grow other companies fell flat on my own because it was so much more – it was personal. So I found a business coach, came to terms with what I could actually accomplish in a day, a week, a season and I learned to outsource everything else. It’s a scary but necessary step.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into {Dani Keith Designs} story. Tell us more about the business.
I believe there is beauty in the imperfect and I love the look and feel of something that is made by hand – my work reflects that. I also know how powerful jewelry can be, how it can connect you to an emotion or a person, so when I design and make my pieces I want to make them with joy and love – so that joy and love are felt. They are made to remind you of how powerful and unstoppable you are.

Looking back on your childhood, what experiences do you feel played an important role in shaping the person you grew up to be?
I was raised by an incredible woman who believes in me. My mom always said that I would make a living from my art. I didn’t believe her and thought success meant traditional paths, doctor, lawyer, banker, etc. But my mom knew and when I told her I was making this shift, it’s like she was waiting to hear the words all along and was so happy that I had found my way home.

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