Photos by Sasha Israel
“EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT AND IT’S IMPORTANT TO FIGURE OUT WHAT WORKS FOR YOUR BODY, WELL-BEING AND LIFESTYLE,” says Danielle Snyder, one half of cult jewelry line DANNIJO on her philosophy on wellness. It’s a blustery March morning, and Snyder–clad in sleek leggings and a sports bra from chic athleisure mecca Bandier–braved an unseasonable snow storm for this shoot at her favorite pilates studio, Real Pilates. Marrying fashion and fitness may seem second nature to Snyder whose Instagram feed of late has been chock-full of high fashion (think: silvery slip dresses at Caviar Kaspia) mingled with fitspo (think: cropped adidas Original hoodies flaunting major abs.) “I’ve always loved cutting up oversized vintage tees and knotting them in the back,” reveals Snyder on her personal workout style. “The trick is to know that you’ll probably end up going somewhere from the gym so you should like what you’re wearing.” Case in point: Snyder is hardly ever without her signature “arm party” of Dannijo bracelets and baubles. Beyond creating covetable charms and playing muse for her thousands of followers (42.7K to be exact,) Snyder and her sister Jodie Snyder Morel have parlayed their massive following as a platform to champion causes that mean something to them including female empowerment. “It’s always been important for me to surround myself with strong, ambitious, smart, sincere, positive women that push me to be the best version of myself,” says Snyder. With March being Women’s History Month, it’s apt that we caught up the designer below who talked which women inspire her the most, how she balances running a business and her personal life and her philosophy when it comes to her own well-being (hint: it still includes the occasional retro sweet treat.)
How would you describe you philosophy when it comes to food and well-being?
My grandmother always says, “Everything in moderation.” I love sweets and carbs so I don’t cut anything out of my diet. My healthy go-to staples are oatmeal, cottage cheese and fruit, almonds, avocado toast, grapefruits, turmeric, ginger and green tea. I also drink a lot of sparkling and coconut water.
You are always on the go running DANNIJO, how do you keep healthy in the workplace or while traveling?
My father is a cardiologist so I grew up with an awareness of a healthy diet. I’ve always been an athlete (I polevaulted growing up) and use exercise as an outlet for release. I had a herniated disc last year and started seeing a chiropractor/wellness coach named Dr. Kiberd at Urban Wellness Clinic. She’s changed everything from my breathing to my posture and setup at my desk so that I’m never hunched over the computer. When I travel I always bring workout clothes. One of my favorite ways to experience a city is to run through it or try a local pilates, yoga or boxing class.
You are the picture of fitspo! What do you love about moving your body every day and what type of workouts do you gravitate towards?
I had a herniated disc last year so I’m much more into exercise that has an intense focus on form, breath and posture. I do boxing and Pilates every week and ballet on weekends when I’m in the city. Breaking a sweat is one of the greatest joys. When your body feels good, your thoughts are more positive and your health reaps the benefits. It’s all connected.
How pilates has changed your body?
It’s made me more toned and helped with my posture. A lot of workouts bulk you up, what I like about pilates is that it lengthens and strengthens.
Do you avoid certain things in your diet?
Other than avoiding soda and aspartame, I eat what I want when I’m craving it. I think sometimes people go overboard on the dieting.
Do you have any favorite claean makeup products?
I love Josie Maran’s Argan color stick for a natural blush.
What is your favorite most nourishing meal to make yourself or order in the city?
My grandmother has an incredible “beef and tomatoes” recipe that I love and make. I also enjoy making her pecan-crusted salmon dish. I go over to my sisters place (she lives in the same building!) on Sundays for Taco Night with our family.
When you want to “detox,” what are some go-to tricks that you always resort to? What is your favorite indulgence?
When I want to detox, I try to drink more water and make sure to have lots of greens – I love Juice Press’ Clean Green Protein smoothie for a healthy snack. My favorite indulgence is brown sugar pop-tarts and milk late night!
What practice or mantra do you rely on to stay calm, centered and grounded?
My boxing coach Carlos Ferrer at Tribeca Sports Center is one of the most inspiring, spiritual people I’ve met during my decade in New York. He keeps me centered. In addition to my boxing(/therapy) sessions with Carlos, I practice pilates with Melissa Castro at Alycea Ungaro’s Real Pilates. She has the most incredible energy and makes the workouts fun with a real focus on form. Besides breaking a sweat, I cherish family time with my sister, niece (one of my greatest joys) and brother-in-law. I talk to my mom and dad everyday — they’re my heart. I also love an escape to the beach, a good book (just read and loved When Breath Becomes Air) and music (obsessed with Ludovico Einaudi). Lastly, travel is one of my favorite ways to de-stress and reset!
What are your favorite athleisure brands/lines that you love to wear while working out?
I really like Bandier‘s assortment– I love PE Nation, Ultracor, LNDR, Koral and Splits59..
What are the challenges to being a female entrepreneur?
I don’t think of it as challenging because of gender– I think it’s more that it’s challenging being an entrepreneur. It’s a constant balancing act — reassessing what’s most important at any given moment and making sure to find me-time. In this day and age with cell phones and social media, it can be hard to break away from the hustle.
Who are some of your mentors or peers that inspire you in your own career?
My sister is my right arm, partner and greatest influence–she’s a loving mother, wife and career woman. I grew up watching my mom work (she’s a mental health counselor) and mother us with so much love. She continues to be one of my greatest inspirations.
What is your own advice to budding female entrepreneurs who want to start their own business?
Start locally and test the market. Don’t be afraid to share your idea with friends and get feedback. Surround yourself with people who push you. Use your website or social media platform as your window to the world. Let people peek in, see what you do, why you create and what your distinct aesthetic is.
What is the best advice you received on being a successful, independent working woman?
If you build it, they will come.