Danielle Miele is one of the most passionate voices in the jewelry blogosphere. Having begun her jewelry collection at just four years old, she loves to share her extensive knowledge of antique design and gemstones with Gem Gossip’s avid readers. Danielle encourages her audience to share photos of their ring collections on social media, to celebrate the power of a curated collection that reflects the wearer’s unique style.
We caught up with Danielle to hear what it means to be a blogger in a mostly traditional industry, how she feels about online shopping, and why rings are her favorite type of jewelry.
Tell us a little about your background in the jewelry industry.
Before I started Gem Gossip in July of 2008, I had just earned my masters degree in Science Education and was not happy with the path I chose. Jewelry has always been a passion of mine but I wasn’t sure of the types of careers the jewelry industry had to offer besides sales. After moving 11 hours away from where I grew up, with no job lined up or people I knew of besides my family, I decided to start a jewelry blog with all my free time. It began with an eagerness to learn, and basically documented my journey and the jewelry along the way!
Almost seven years later, I am now a graduate gemologist, I’ve worked at an antique jewelry store as head appraiser for five years, helped start an antique jewelry business from the ground up and have partnered with many brands collaborating on blog posts.
What do you love most about jewelry blogging?
I’ve recently made the decision to take on blogging full-time! With this newfound freedom, I am able to make my own schedule and fly by the seat of pants! If something inspires me, I can take an entire day to sit down and really research it…or if I discover an antique jewelry shop that intrigues me, I can plan a trip to visit. I love being able to do what I love, all day everyday.
Do you have a daily routine, or is every day structured differently?
For the most part, I try to stick to something of a schedule. It basically involves social media, blog writing, blog planning, and responding to emails in no particular order each day, and then I will mix in meals, a work out with my fiancé , random errands and dog duty here and there!
Have you identified any recent changes in the ways people shop for jewelry?
For sure! Definitely as a society, we are changing the way we do a lot of things and shopping is one of them—whether it is for jewelry or clothes. Heck, I am guilty of ordering paper towels and toilet paper online, so I think the shift is happening all around. Jewelry is always an industry that is slower to jump on any bandwagon, but I am happy for that in this case because there are so many amazing brick and mortar stores that I would hate to see close.
What inspires you in your career?
I am inspired by the power of a little laptop and a big dream. It makes me proud to think of how far my blog has come and its influence in just seven years. I like to think back to the very beginning days of starting it—that’s what inspires me!
What’s your proudest career achievement so far?
That is a tough question…I would have to say being named Top 20 Under 40 on JCK’s Power List in 2013. My career was still young and being recognized by JCK really felt amazing.
Why do you think jewelry resonates with people so much?
Jewelry is often so very personal. One could look at a piece of jewelry and have an immediate flood of memories evoked by it. I am a very sentimental person and I think that is one of the reasons for me.
You have a clear love for rings. Can you say why that is?
I like that I can see my rings throughout the day just by looking down at my hands—you can’t see your earrings or necklaces usually unless you look into a mirror. The history of rings in general is also quite fascinating.
What advice would you give to someone shopping for an engagement ring?
My biggest piece of advice for engagement ring shopping is to try as many as possible on before making a decision! There are so many different styles, it can be quite overwhelming, but by seeing them in person and actually feeling what they feel like when worn and seeing if it flatters your hand shape is important. Also, don’t listen to anyone except yourself…and maybe your soon-to-be-fiancé as well!
In recent years, there’s been a huge rise in the popularity of fashion blogging, but there are still relatively few well-known jewelry bloggers. Why do you think this is, and do you see it changing in the future?
I’m not sure why that is—the jewelry industry is very small and it is difficult to get your foot in the door, especially if you don’t have any ties or family already in the business. I know this from experience! It also can be intimidating. Five years ago I used to go to trade shows and no one understood what a blog was—it wasn’t until recently, like the past couple of years, the industry is embracing them and inviting me to take pictures. Before it was always, “please no photos!”
Are there particular design elements and gemstones that draw your eye?
I’ve always been a fan of geometrical designs…I think that’s why Art Deco jewelry is one of my favorite time periods. I have been embracing color more into my wardrobe, so I’m loving the multi-colored gemstone combination pieces. My favorite gemstone is tourmaline, especially a bi-colored or parti-colored.
You have quite the personal collection. Is there a piece you wear every day, or one that has particularly poignant meaning?
Thank you! Of course, I wear my engagement ring every day—it is a Victorian bypass style set with two Old European cut diamonds. Besides that ring, I never wear the same rings every day. To me, that’s like wearing the same outfit. I’ve been wearing my Tiffany & Co. open Atlas ring a lot lately—it was my 30th birthday gift last year.
What does the future look like for Gem Gossip?
Super excited about what is to come! I’m working on a few projects, most are top secret, but I can say a whole new ‘section’ will come to fruition soon on Gem Gossip. I’ve been working on it for quite some time now and my talented sister who is a graphic designer has been helping as well! Stay tuned!
All photography courtesy of Danielle Miele