I loved getting to know Dina at aaina & co.!
Dina founded and owns aaina & co. and strives to give back and to make the world a better place. I hope you enjoy learning about Dina and her awesome company as much as I did! Don't forget to follow her on Instagram, at: @aainaandco
A little about Dina in her own words:
I was born and raised in the Swiss Alps and moved to Bali at the age of 30, where I had a clothes brand. I subsequently settled in Sydney, Australia, which has been my home for the last 6 years. Having lived in a third-world country and also traveling a lot to other countries for my previous business in Switzerland “ Orchid Arts”, I always wanted to help the weak, especially the children. I love children.
Even the thought of knowing that some children in this world are not as blessed as others makes me sad. At this stage in my life, I felt strong enough to commit to helping these children and [making that a priority].
One of my favorite quotes is: “You have to be the change you wish to see in the world”, by Ghandi.
Even the smallest drop causes ripples and I want to be this drop and hopefully be able (in time) to have more of an impact [on the world] with the growth of my business. This is driving me and that's what makes me so passionate about aaina & co.
When the idea come for this business last year, I was intensively practicing yoga and meditation. One day, after meditating, the idea of the business unfolded so easily… I had all the puzzle pieces in my hand and wrote everything down, full of excitement. It sounded totally crazy, but I was willing to take the risk for the children and for my own son, Jayden.
It was clear that the name of the business had to be aaina & co, because "aaina" means mirror in Hindi and I wanted the business to be the mirror of me and and my values in life. I added "co", because it is not only about me, I can’t do what I want to do without the help of friends, family and highly-skilled people I meet along the way. I like to think of us like being a big family.
The charity I am [currently] supporting is Saba’s Kids. Saba is a friend of mine - and together with her husband Jess (in Bali) they founded this charity a few years ago and they sponsor children’s education whose families can’t afford the schooling fees. Since I am a believer that education should be accessible for everybody, and that it is the foundation to create a good life and to open up doors, pathways and possibilities, there is no other charity I would be happier to support.
Why/how did you choose retail? Specifically, what got you interested in jewelry? I like to create beautiful things… This time, I just went one step further and gave everything I could to create a meaning. Last year, I wanted to do yoga teacher training and with this [new] knowledge and ancient wisdom, I wanted to pass it on in a different way - by creating something that has a message and that you can wear all the time - something small enough to take anywhere you go. I hope that people from all walks of life will appreciate the beauty and dedication that has gone into every piece.
Do you create everything yourself, or do you work with other designers? At this stage, when it comes to the products, I create everything myself. For marketing and other tasks like photography, I have professionals who are highly-skilled to which I give my guidelines and let them know exactly what I want!
What do you want the world to know MOST about aaina & Co.? It's not just another jewelry brand! It's the meaning of the symbols, the message and the intention to help is what the core of this business is. I also have plans to create other accessories in the near future!
I know you do some work with Saba's Kids. Can you please tell us more about that and the work you've done thus far? Anything new and exciting you're working on? I just sponsored the education for one-year for the first child [through Saba's Kids]. She's a 10-year-old girl and I could not be more excited… I feel as if she is already a part of the aaina & co family!
What, if anything, do you find most difficult about being a woman in business? I don’t feel disadvantaged at all, more advantaged at times… :)
When you were a little girl, what did you want to be when you "grew up"? Hahaha… I wanted to be a princess! What girl does not want that? My family always asked me, "how do you do that?" "Oh", I would answer, "that’s very easy, I just marry a prince"… Hahaha Now, turning 42 this year, I feel like a princess, but not as I imagined it as a girl. Wearing the beautiful dresses, but more because I feel blessed and rich on the inside for how life has shaped me and I am grateful every single day for that. I would not want to change a single thing… everything happens at the right time…
In honor of celebrating Women's Day (and Women's History Month all throughout March) who are some women you look up to and admire? I admire people who are passionate about what they are doing because that’s a very important ingredient for success. [People who] stay on the path and don't give up when things are not going the way we think they should.
I obviously admire all the men and women who are not only thinking about themselves. Every time a meet such a person, I feel so blessed for just getting to know them because that’s what I want to achieve one day… and the more I am surrounded by these people, the more I know and I believe that it is possible.
If I had to tell you names, it would be: Mother Theresa and Angelina Jolie.
What's your favorite symbolic charm at aaina & co.? From day one, when I got the first samples, I started to wear the lotus flower. It symbolizes the power to flourish in any environment or circumstance! I would always add other symbols to it and swap and change… Since around the sixth week, I also wear a second one, which seems to stay permanent now… It’s the Swedish Malin, which represents the
inevitability of uncontrollable setbacks as a natural part of moving forward in life.
These 2 symbols give me additional support to my strong-willed character to fight for what I want to achieve.