How Our Nangi Baby Came About
It’s high time we share our love story, and how our desire to create something unique gave birth to the sustainable jewelry brand that is Nangi.
We are Jenny and Danuka. In 2013, we became a couple, and in 2017 we started our Nangi adventure.
We’ve been wanting to let our amazing Nangi friends get behind the scenes of our little family business for a long time now. So, here’s our story!
How It All Began
We actually fell in love working for the same company back in 2013. So, working together and being a couple is something we’re quite experienced in. And to be honest, this dynamic has always felt right for us!
Jenny was first charmed by Danuka’s wit and good-humored energy, and Danuka quickly fell in love with Jenny’s high-spirited vibe and bold confidence.
Since then, we knew fairly fast that it was going to be the two of us.
After a few years, Danuka wanted to pop the question. This was before our Nangi adventure began. So, like many other men in his situation, he didn’t know much about jewelry, and had little to no experience buying any.
He had heard you needed to spend three months’ salary on an engagement ring and that the ring should have diamonds (both of which are big myths btw.).
Danuka wanted to make something special for Jenny, so he contacted a jeweler in Copenhagen he knew she liked. He created a diamond ring set in white gold. If a lab-grown diamond had been an option back then, he definitely would have gotten one.
Did you know that Nangi is the first and only jeweler in Norway to offer lab-grown diamonds? They're more eco-friendly and conflict free, as opposed to mined diamonds.
He did a good job, didn’t he? Jenny obviously said YES!
The process of making our engagement ring, opened our eyes to the world of custom designed fine jewelry, something that would become such a big part of our lives further down the road!
So, that’s how the first piece of jewelry we ever created, actually was designed by Danuka.
Norway + Sri Lanka = <3
But Danuka soon realized that his girlfriend’s great passion and talent for jewelry design outweighed his own—big time. So, logically Jenny is the head designer for all Nangi pieces and collections.
Jenny’s infatuation with jewels started when she was a little kid in Bergen. She used to experiment with all kinds of colorful jewelry and adornments.
When her family moved to Singapore for a while, her mom took an interest in the beautiful pearls found there. Jenny grew up adoring the pearl necklaces and earrings her mom started designing. Jenny has loved to bling up her looks ever since.
Danuka’s roots are in Sri Lanka. His parents came to Norway from Sri Lanka in the 1970s. Growing up in Oslo, Danuka and his family spent every opportunity traveling back and forth, visiting relatives in Colombo.
When Jenny became part of the family, we of course started traveling there together. And it didn’t take long before we were naturally drawn to the mesmerizing jewels the country has to offer. (It’s actually nicknamed “The Island of Jewels”.)
Our first hike to Adams Peak together in 2014
The island is full of precious gemstones in a stunning variety of colors, shapes and sizes.
In Sri Lanka, it’s equally common for both men and women to wear gemstone jewelry.
People are also more spiritual than in Scandinavia. Sri Lankans are into astrology, and strongly believe that each jewel has mystical and healing powers.
Our Sri Lankan wedding took place exactly at 15:47, because that’s when the stars of our zodiacs aligned perfectly, Jenny being an Aries and Danuka a Pisces. Photo: Johannes Lovlund.
Most of our friends in Sri Lanka wear gemstone jewelry. They believe the gems aid them in furthering their lives.
Inspired by our friends, we wanted to introduce the concept of birthstones to Scandinavia: Each specific gemstone accompany a specific month, and the gems' properties match the persons being born that month.
Gifting the birthstone of a loved one adds a whole new dimension to that gift. It makes it a more powerful and thoughtful present.
The Best of Both Worlds
All the amazing and colorful gems we found in Sri Lanka were set in designs that didn’t quite fit Jenny’s Nordic taste.
That’s when we had the idea of combining the best of both worlds. What would happen if the breathtaking gemstones of Sri Lanka were set in a simpler, minimalistic Scandinavian design, to really let them shine?
That’s how Nangi was born.
Our jewelry is meant to empower cool girls and inspiring women, so we wanted to name our new baby Nangi. It means “little sister” in Sinhalese, one of the languages of Sri Lanka. It's important for us to give something back to Sri Lanka, and that's why we support an orphanage for girls there.
To this day, it’s Jenny who brings the grand visions and determined willpower, while discussing major decisions with Danuka, who contributes with well-grounded strategic advice. We think we’re a pretty good team.
Our Nangi baby continues to be one of our most fun and exciting projects. We feel grateful that we get to passionately live, love and create together.
We hope our passion can be seen in our creations, and when connecting with our Nangi friends :)
Love from Jenny & Danuka