Diamonds are a girl’s best friend. But what about sand? Holly Daniels Christensen explored this with her company, Dune Jewelry & Co. Launching in 2010, Christensen established the brand and now has the world’s largest sandbank. “Many people don’t realize it, but sand comes in many different colors and textures. Sometimes it’s soft, fine, and white and other times it’s dark, volcanic, and textural,” she said. So, Christensen used Mother Nature to spark a successful jewelry company.
Turning Minerals into Money
“I think that part of our success comes from being able to offer something wearable and tangible – something that will always be with you.”Holly Daniels Christensen
Like many creatives, her jewelry-making began as a hobby. “I always had this strong sense of creativity inside of me and I wasn’t able to fully express it in my career as a real estate agent.” So, sand jewelry became her release. But what makes Dune Jewelry & Co stand out amongst the rest is its beach influence. “I grew up on Cape Cod surrounded by beautiful beaches and coastal culture.” She continued, “I’m not sure if it’s the sea, the salt, the sand, or the negative ions that make people feel so good – [but] I love allowing people to take that feeling with them wherever they go.” With her company, people get to take more than happy memories of the shore with them. She said, “I think that part of our success comes from being able to offer something wearable and tangible – something that will always be with you.”
Dune Jewelry & Co offers an assortment of accessories. From bracelets to charms, there are options to cater to anyone’s preference. But the company offers customizable jewelry as well. Customers can send in their own minerals for a personalized touch. “Sometimes it’s beach sand, shells, or sea glass, but our customers are getting more and more comfortable with their creativity. They have sent crushed granite from the Rocky Mountains, baby chihuahua teeth, bits of the Berlin Wall, flower petals from wedding bouquets, sand from golf traps, and scraps of an old passport cover. The sky’s the limit!”
Success in Sand
With her innovative touch, Christensen found success in her business. Dune Jewelry & Co not only has storefronts but also can be purchased online. In a society that’s more inclined to purchase online, it’s remarkable to find profit both options. “I can’t tell you how many times someone purchases on our website and tells us that they first saw us in one of our retail partners. That’s HUGE.” But, it hasn’t been smooth sailing due to the ongoing pandemic.
Instead, it’s been described as an “uphill battle”. “This is a time when you have to dig deep and get scrappy, find those entrepreneurial roots and figure out ways to do more with less. That’s why I love collaborating with other brands and influencers.” In the age of social media, utilizing influencers promotes your brand and introduces it to a new audience. She also did note the use of PPP loans to help out the business.
Influencing the Future
But what she also found success in being a role model. “My daughters love it! They find it so exciting to come to the studio and meet my team.” With Dune Jewelry & Co, Christensen gets to embrace being a businesswoman. With her new career, she gets to expose her children another side to working. “Raising little entrepreneurs and making sure that they know that they deserve a seat at every table is the most rewarding.”
Dune Jewelry & Co is embracing innovation in their brand. In an industry that can feel oversaturated, Christensen made sure to add personality to stand out. But, she also hopes her ambition inspires others. “My advice to new business owners is to jump in with both feet and make a splash! If you embrace the world around you, you’ll find learning opportunities around every corner and that’s truly what it’s about.”