Exeleon Magazine

holly daniels christensen

Creating Memories with Sand

Holly Daniels Christensen: Creating Memories with Sand

Memories are often fleeting, but Holly Daniels Christensen, Founder of Dune Jewelry, has found a way to capture them forever through her designs.

As the original beach sand jewelry company, Dune Jewelry has evolved into the world’s only experiential jewelry brand. Their handcrafted pieces incorporate sand and earth elements from thousands of iconic locations around the world, allowing customers to wear a tangible piece of their favorite memories and experiences.

But Dune Jewelry is more than just a jewelry company – it’s a portal to a world of emotions and experiences. As Christensen says, “We capture experiences in every design that leaves our studio.” With a lifetime warranty and happiness guarantee, Dune Jewelry ensures that their customers’ cherished memories will be preserved for a lifetime.

Spearheaded by Holly, the company has proven that their innovative approach to jewelry-making strikes a chord with people all over the world.

Featuring as the Cover of Exeleon’s Most Innovative Women to Watch is Holly Daniels Christensen. Herein, we look into the journey of Holly, her vision as a leader, her struggles, and her connection with sand.

Wild and Colorful

It is believed that the choices we make dictate the life we eventually lead. For Holly, it is these choices that have helped her move past every adversity and attain success.

Holly’s father passed away when she was only 8 years old. Unable to cope with the loss, her mother turned to drugs. Holly mentions “I knew I didn’t want to live in that environment, and I made a difficult decision at a very young age to walk away.”

At the age of 15, Holly left her home and dropped out of school. She went out of her way to make a choice and steer towards a direction of hope.

Today, as a transformational entrepreneur, Holly makes sure to guide emerging leaders about the value of facing and overcoming adversities. She believes that it is these adversities that eventually make one a great entrepreneur. 

Holly explains, “Entrepreneurs who have dealt with misfortune, work differently than those with a traditional upbringing. We’ve got grit, we’ve got survival skills and we’re determined to never go back to where we came from. It’s a little sad, but extremely powerful.”

Holly Daniels Christensen Exeleon Magazine

Change the Narrative

From a young age, Holly used to closely observe and follow her grandmother – a bargain lover who truly knew the value of money.

Talking about her grandmother, Holly recalls, “She used to reuse tinfoil over and over again to heat things up in the oven, cover things, and store things around the house. When it wasn’t suitable for food any longer, she would wash it and mold it into a ring dish or some random household tool. She came from nothing and taught me the value of a dollar.”

Holly was quick to leverage the learnings from her grandmother and started her entrepreneurial journey in the 4th grade by selling bubble gum at her school.

Today, her learnings and experiences have helped her see things from a different perspective. She mentions, “I used to look at my upbringing as dysfunctional and/or negative, but I’ve been working diligently to change that narrative over the past 3 years.”

She continues, “The thing is, we don’t choose the environment we are born into but as time goes by, we do have the power to change it, either accept it or deny it, and move past it.

Perhaps it is because of this perspective, she is quick to point out that she wouldn’t have done anything differently if she were to start again on her journey. “I’m blessed to have gained so much experience, confidence, and knowledge in my lifetime. A full master’s degree from Real Life University.”

Exeleon Shorts: Holly Daniel Christensen Picks

One Book Entrepreneurs must read: Losing my Virginity, Richard Branson

One Productivity Tool that you use: Trello.

One Mobile App that you use the most: Tiny Scanner

One Movie / Show that you would recommend: Any Given Sunday, Shark Tank specifically for the pure joy Barbara Corcoran adds to this world.

One Quote that Motivates you the Most: “Done is better than perfect” resonates with me every single time. In my experience momentum creates progress, progress creates forward movement, and forward movements creates success. I’m not saying that anyone should use this mantra to output a subpar product or service, but if you do your best and you’re ALMOST happy with the project, put it out there with a request for feedback. Works every time.

One Investment Advice that you Follow:  Hold on to real estate ALWAYS, even if you have to give up comfort to do so. As for the stock market, Warren Buffet said, “Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful” and I try my best to reflect on that when I get antsy to buy or sell.

Dune Jewelry

Holly’ journey with Dune Jewelry began at her kitchen table back in 2007. Inspired by the expansive beaches on Cape Cod, where Holly grew up, she started making sand-filled jewelry designs for family and friends.

She recalls, “Every time I would bump into people who I had gifted my jewelry, they would be wearing my designs and they would often ask if they could bring back sand or earth elements from their upcoming trips for a custom design.”

“Of course, my answer was yes, and it dawned on me that everyone I knew had a place or memory that could be captured in these designs.”

Having had this realization, Holly decided to hone her craft by taking on a jewelry workshop at Metalwerx in Waltham, MA.

Soon her inspiration became a passion, and her passion turned into a thriving business.

Today, Dune Jewelry has grown from being a one-woman led kitchen table business to a diverse jewelry manufacturing company with thousands of customers from around the world.

Capturing Memories

Built around the concept of capturing cherished memories, Dune Jewelry is a unique brand that is handcrafted and personalized just for you.

Holly mentions, “My favorite thing about Dune Jewelry is that we allow you to hold onto your favorite memories.”

The company creates tangible reminders of life’s most precious moments using sand and earth elements from thousands of sentimental and iconic locations from around the globe. “So, while the world becomes more digital, with most of our photos catalogued in our phones, Dune Jewelry captures your memories in a unique way.”

Dune Jewelry began as The Original Beach Sand Jewelry Company® and has since then evolved into the One and Only Experiential Jewelry® brand in the world. “We capture experiences in every design that leaves our studio, and we offer a lifetime warranty and happiness guarantee.”

Talking about one of her favorite designs from their catalogue, Holly mentions the Rope Seven Sand Cuff Bracelet which she makes sure to wear every single day. “It’s filled with sand and earth elements from all of my favorite memories and travel aspirations. Pressed flowers from my wedding, sand from Positano, Italy, shells from St. Thomas, clay from Sedona, Arizona, sand from the Greek Isles, earth from Africa, and Mother of Pearl to remind me to stay calm and positive even in challenging situations.”

At Dune Jewelry, Holly and her entire team are dedicated to the idea of giving back to the society. The company donates a small portion of all profits to various coastal preservation programs from around the world, including the Association to Preserve Cape Cod.

Holly proudly mentions, “I love giving back to multiple small charities and organizations where I know the funds will be used with care.”

Happiness Comes in Waves

Talking about her book – Happiness Comes in Waves – Holly mentions that the book includes life lessons she has learned from the ocean, sand stories from Dune Jewelry customers, and team members. Moreover, the book includes quotes from her friends, family, and colleagues as well as all the incredible women she has connected in her journey.

“The ocean is eternal, it’s powerful, and it’s the lifeforce of our planet. Not only does it sustain us, but it brings so much joy and peace to billions of people around the world every day.”

She continues, “I’m inspired by women and this book celebrates not only the ocean, but also women around the world. Our power, our beauty, and the connection we have to Mother Earth.”

Holly Daniels Christensen Book

Be Uncomfortable in order to Grow.

Over the years, Holly has integrated an entrepreneurial approach that is focused on trial-and-error methodology. She believes, as an entrepreneur, it is imperative for one to shake things up and make a mess in order to create something better. “The cleaning up of the mess is where real progress is found.”

When she started Dune Jewelry, she received significant feedback from a lot of business owners and experienced executives. They mentioned that the proprietary customization process developed by Holly and her team wasn’t scalable. She recalls her reaction to this feedback, “I understood at the time that our process was complicated and time-consuming, however, I was in full denial that it wasn’t scalable.”

Fast forward 12 years later, Dune Jewelry has shipped well over a million personalized designs to customers across the globe.

Holly has molded herself into a leader who is not shy of being uncomfortable. She mentions to be an innovative entrepreneur one must “be willing to do the work, get your hands dirty, explore new technology, look at unusual solutions, dig in, be uncomfortable in order to grow, and be willing to do it manually before finding the perfect solution.”

She further adds the importance of listening to your customers and your team. “While you may think you know exactly what your customers and team need and want, you don’t. You have to be open to outside influence and drop the ego. Nobody knows everything

Read Digital Version.

Read Digital Version.

On the Cover – Holly Daniels Christensen


LI @dunejewelry

IG @dunejewelry

Happiness Comes in Waves – Amazon Link.

Published by
Exeleon Media LLC




Editor-in-Chief – Daryl Yeung

Project Manager – Josh Wilder

Magazine Design – Naomi Lam

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