Dana Gelenter The Beauty Behind Dana Bands

Oh Dear Diary, inspiration comes with knowledge and Dana Gelenter has a unique way of showing her craft.  Getting to know the beauty behind Dana Bands was very gratifying.  Some women just have a touch of brilliance.  Get to know the creator of the must have head accessories Dana Gelenter.

How was the name Dana Bands created?

The name  DanaBands was created in 2009 upon graduating from the University of Delaware. It was thought up by my boss, Tony, at the time when I was juggling two jobs and starting this business. He really believed in me and my product and insisted that the line needed a name; one that was catchy and correlated to these hair accessories. He was right! Now people refer to me as “DanaBands”, instead of just Dana.

What brings out your creative side? How do you make your ideas work?

    Everything inspires me. Creativity runs in the family and thru my blood. I work full-time in NYC in the heart of the fashion industry, so it’s all around. Walking down 7th Ave, I could spot a unique sweater or scarf, the mixing of hardware in someone’s jewelry, the studs or spikes on a coat, and so on and so forth. It will set off a new idea for me instantly. I always loved to draw and paint, but I was more of a creator. This means going out, getting the fabrics and materials and getting down to business. I only have from 9pm – 12am or so on week nights to work on DanaBands, so this time is used wisely to fulfill orders and execute ideas stored in my mind from that day.

What qualities come from Dana Bands designs?

       Our vision for the brand has always been to create signature pieces that people would see and notice right away it’s a DanaBands. From the spotted guinea feather accents to the diamond shape stud, we like to think outside the box and develop quality designs that would stand out from the rest. There are the mass-produced China items that are very cheap or mid-tier, the handmade/crafty looking items, and then the high-end designer. We don’t think there is a large market out there for what we do, which is mid-tier affordable and handmade without that crafty appearance. DanaBands aims to be trendy and fun, so we source materials from all over to keep our loyal customers on their toes and coming back for more.

Do you feel like Dana Bands describes your personality?

       Absolutely! I am certainly biased when shopping materials and creating pieces because a lot of my personal taste and opinion comes into play. Although a good designer doesn’t just create pieces only he/she can wear, I do make the final say in what will be used in the line and what gets canned. DanaBands consists of pieces you can wear to work, out for the night, or to the gym. My life is hectic and requires about 3 outfit changes or looks a day. The brand is the same way in that we create accessories with a purpose. They reflect all the different “hats” a woman wears on a daily basis. On another note, I am a big time perfectionist so I expect nothing less for DanaBands.

 Are you happy that you choose this profession? How would you want to pen your whole career in this industry?

      Every day I feel blessed, ambitious, and worried. I wish I could say I chose this, but really it chose me. It was the best way to start a business and develop a passion, by accident. I was doing something I loved to do and decided to take it to the next level. It has been almost 5 years now since I started this at 21 years old and have made a commitment every day since to accomplish something new. Currently, I have a full-time career in NYC in addition to DanaBands. In this economy, I feel it is important for me to rely on several incomes and be able to invest in my dream more easily. One day, I will need to make a choice which road I want to take. There are no set plans, but I know this is where my heart is.

 What keeps your spirits up when times don’t seem to bright?

      A good, positive support system will keep you motivated and lift you up when times seem unbearable. I strongly believe you can’t live a positive life if you surround yourself with negative minds. I’ve lost friends and gained new ones because owning this business has shown me so many true colors. You also get to meet amazing people along the way. Some days I may feel a bit lost or losing hope, yet it is always when we are ready to give up that the miracle happens.

 Your Dana Bands have been showcased all over Style Network’s Jerseylicous, The Glam Fairy and most recently the Wendy Williams show.  How does that make you feel?

      It never gets tiring seeing your creations pop up on TV! I think I do a little scream every time we see one. It is very flattering that so many people enjoy and have chosen to wear DanaBands on these shows. One of our models, Francesca, was wearing our head wrap to The Wendy Williams Show and was picked to ask Wendy a question. All we could see from watching at home was her long, gorgeous hair and double rosette wrap. It was a random feature, which made it so exciting!

 October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Do you showcase awareness in your Dana Bands designs?

DanaBands uses the bubblegum pink rosette to represent Breast Cancer Awareness. For October, 10% of all sales that month from DanaBands.com will be donated to a charity of choice. This year, we partnered with 074ATE1, an organization in North Jersey that is dedicated to supporting breast cancer awareness, research, and local support networks.

 What advice can you give to my Mommiez/Beauties who are searching for inspiration to build their own business?

       I would advise ladies looking to start-up their own business to find their passion first. Too often people look for an easy way to make money and lose sight of why they got involved in the first place. Find what it is that makes you excited to wake up in the morning and what will keep you going after sleepless nights. Trust me, starting and running a business means a lot less sleep and less free time. Once you find what that is, stick to it! Know that there will be ups and downs and bumps along the road so stay focused, stay hungry, work hard and stay humble.

If you met yourself when you were first starting out, what advice would you give your former self now that you are here?

      If I met myself when I was just starting out I would say, “Keep Going… all the sleepless nights, money spent, and parties missed will pay off. You are just 21 years old, graduating from college and struggling to pay bills, but you are setting yourself up for a brighter future. It will take months and years for people to believe in your brand as much as you do, but they will. Every penny invested will be worth it. Don’t let others take advantage of your generosity because they will. Take every experience good and bad with you as a lesson.”

My Diary readers you can splurge a little bit checkout Dana Bands and follow her on Twitter @DanaBands and Instagram @DanaBands

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