Daniel’s story

Assembly gives craftsman chance to showcase jewellery

Attending ImagineBetter’s annual conference has been great for business for Nelson craftsman Daniel Younghusband.

Dan had a stall at the 2015 Assembly in Auckland, selling his paua jewellery – Paua by Dan. He sold almost 100 pieces of jewellery at the event. “The conferences are where I make the most sales. They are really good for me.”

Made from Kaikoura paua shell and fine silver, his work includes necklaces, earrings, pendants, bracelets, anklets, and custom designs. Pieces come in varied shapes such as hearts, triangles and circles, and sometimes feature spiral, anchor or starfish motifs. All shimmer with iridescent colours of blue, green and purple.

Dan, who is legally blind and has limited mobility, set up his microbusiness in 2012 with help from his parents and support person Jada.

“It all started after seeing the shine of the polished paua shells from one of my Dad’s fishing weekends,” Dan says. “I just loved the colours of the shells and decided to have a go at making pendants from them.”

He set to work at home with a hacksaw and sandpaper. “I can’t see well enough to work with tiny beads and wires, but my sense of touch allows me to determine shapes, file and sand each piece of paua. The project was simply meant to keep me busy, but friends and family loved the jewellery so much they said I should start a business!”

Dan has attended three ImagineBetter conferences so far.

“These events have been a fantastic way to connect with other people and receive encouragement, advice and support for my business,” he says. “I enjoy going. It’s a good chance to be inspired by other people’s stories about how to live a more fulfilled life.”

He also hopes to inspire others through his latest project – his biography, titled A Man Makes His Own Luck.

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