Dan Fuller Jewellery
Updated: Jun 23, 2020
Dan Fuller Jewellery is an unconventional range of jewellery and fashion accessories designed from superior-grade stainless steel. They are situated in the Watershed shopping area in the V&A Waterfront since 2015.
Dan and his passion for being an entrepreneur have been entwined since the start of his journey. He made the expedition down from Durban to Cape Town in the birth of the 2000s. Stocked and barrelled with a marketing degree he was offered a chance to join the ‘The Millennium Project’ in Cape Town. While, the pay was non-existent, he had the fortune to meet an interesting and remarkable man named ‘Ian’. This led to them investigating creative opportunities in the realm of jewellery design and manufacturing.
Dan having never studied jewellery design prior, started off with what he calls his “picture rings”. In his parent's garage, he would craft the rings by casting zinc into a ring mould, setting an image upon the top and hand-pour a resin with the aid of Ian’s gardener, Godfrey. The result, bar many mistakes, was an amazing and diverse product that was sold to various stores in Cape Town.
Though this was not enough for Cape Town’s local forger, he began experimenting within the sphere of the road less travelled- as at the time stainless steel jewellery was relatively new. He loved the idea that his product would never rust or tarnish. He scoured Cape Town in his car for a year, learning and adapting, from different industrial companies where he perfected the art laser cutting and bending, polishing and electro-polishing and combining different coating finishes with rubber, wood and leather.
Dan eventually took designs to a large laser cutting company, where he states,
“They must have thought I was crazy when I brought in my small designs to them! As they were cutting thousands of pieces for the engineering and automotive sector, but I didn’t have my own equipment at the time”.
His small range reached retail companies such as Truworths and American Swiss, but he realised that he had to “compete through innovation, unique design, quality, and a niche market”. The Cape Town forger’s diligence and reliance paid off when he secured a contract to supply jewellery for the J&B Met. This allowed him to take the next step into the wonderful Neighbourgoods Market at the Old Biscuit Mill. Dan Fuller and his jewellery have traded there ever since and allowed him to “meet some amazingly talented people”.
Fast-forward to the year 2015 when Dan accepted a lease at the Watershed shopping area in the V&A Waterfront. “That is when I really started to feel like I had a company. I hired brilliant and fantastic staff who are still with me to date. Together we share all the ups and downs, along with a collective vision for the future”.
What does the future look like for Dan Fuller’s Jewellery?
“Recently we have secured contracts to supply corporate promotional gifts to Wesgro, an organization aimed at promoting economic development in the Western Cape, locally and internationally. I am also supplying some Game Lodges who have big ties to conservation and wildlife programs. Along with that, Dan Fuller’s Jewellery focus is to grow the corporate market, the online business and maintaining strong roots within the local market.”.
How do you view Dan Fuller’s Jewellery?
“I feel that the company is like a living entity, a family, and as such, your suppliers are your extended family. I have many suppliers who I have worked with for over 10 years, and I see the journeys that they have travelled”.
What are your views on “Local is Lekker”?
“It can be best summed up by my wardrobe. It is probably about 85% locally made. From my socks and boxers, my tees and shirts, jeans and even my embossed leather key rings, all are made by contemporaries in the local fashion industry, many of them long-time friends who have embraced entrepreneurship in our great country.”
What are your superpowers?
Courageous, resilient, loving and humble.
What do you love about Africa?
I love the diversity and strength of the African People and the Beauty of the Continent.
What made you take the step into the unknown to become an entrepreneur?
I always wanted to be in control of my destiny and perhaps leave a footprint for somebody to follow.