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Issue Date: January 2013


Most Interesting People 2013: Dana Schneider

Dana Schneider

Jewelry designer, 53

Game on Sometimes Schneider may only have 16 hours to craft a piece from start to finish. Luckily, she had three months to reinvent the Mockingjay pin for the movie. "There was no pre-existing pin. It was just the book cover. I had to fill in the gaps and make it a functioning pin. If no one notices the jewelry, it's doing what it's supposed to do. It enhances the story."

Eye for detail Schneider has always paid attention to jewelry in films. Take Grace Kelly in Rear Window, for example. "Her whole fashion was fabulous. She's gorgeous, but if you remove the details of the big bead bracelet, it would be a little drab without that extra touch."

Timeless treasuresWhile working in Tiffany's repair department in the 1980s, Schneider learned about how people wear their jewelry and that it should last. Now, she uses materials such as sterling silver, 18-karat gold and vintage bakelite to ensure longevity in her pieces. "People just want to put it on and not give it any thought. My jewelry is heavier. I don't want people to have to worry about having things repaired."

LA StoryIn 1999, Schneider moved to LA and got her first movie, From Hell, where she made more than 70 Masonic rings with different colored enamel. "I landed [it] by moving to LA, networking for a year and showing a costume designer my work."

Canton connectionSchneider moved to Ohio to be with her mom after her father died. "We're great friends. I can have a really great quality of life here in Canton that really helps my work — that quiet, that peace of mind."

Star struck "Sometimes I do meet the actors and actresses." But mention Keanu Reeves and she glows. "He is the most beautiful human being I have ever seen in person."

The little things Schneider crafted her favorite jewelry — more than 200 small, metal pieces — for Matrix Reloaded. "I moved to LA specifically to make jewelry for film after I saw the trailer for The Matrix. Even things like vest buttons can be important. I like being able to enrich those little, bitty parts."

Musical muse "I get a lot of energy and inspiration from music. I've seen hundreds of shows." One of her favorite shows was by alternative electronic group VNV Nation at Peabody's. "I love Peabody's. It's a different experience [than LA]. You don't have all the industry people lurking about."


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