While Fred Magnanimi was pursuing a profitable career in derivatives trading on Wall Street, his younger brother, Danny, was back home in Rhode Island, working with their father to reinvigorate the family’s jewelry manufacturing company, Mag Jewelry.
Fred’s life changed when, in April 2013, Danny lost a difficult battle with leukemia – he was 33 years old.
“I decided to build the business that my brother didn’t get the chance to build. Danny’s dream was to create a unique line of handcrafted, American-made jewelry that inspired others through the journey of life. I quit my job, uprooted my family, bought a house in Rhode Island, and joined a dying manufacturing business.”
Fueled by a desire to carry forth his brother’s vision, Luca + Danni was born.
With little design experience, Magnanimi learned by trial and error, creating a line that is more fashion-forward than the religious jewelry the company had been known for since his grandfather opened the business in Cranston in 1951.
“This is only a bracelet : wire, beads, metal. It’s how you put it together – the recipe – that matters,” says Fred. “We have this incredible asset of infrastructure and people who have done this for decades, so I thought we should use that to do something a little different.”
He developed a wrapping technique that allows the charms to lie flat on the wrist instead of dangling. Those charms include initials, arrows with hashtags such as #embracethejourney, colorful Swarovski crystals, and most recently, his breast cancer awareness collection.
Since its launch in August 2014, Luca+Danni has become one of the fastest-growing wholesale jewelry manufacturers in Rhode Island and is sold in nearly 700 retailers in the U.S. and Canada. “It has to look like my story – about the bond between two brothers, a family business, and the people who work here.
“So while it’s a piece of jewelry, what it symbolizes is something much greater.”