Posted on 29 June 2015
Brown graduate. Surfer. Jewelry designer. Traveler. Tracy Dungo has quite the impressive resume and she’s constantly on the move. So we were thrilled when we had the chance to meet up with the founder and designer of Kalaki Riot, a jewelry line with an urban-meets-island vibe, in her Manhattan apartment. Dungo’s apartment also serves as her studio, where she handcrafts each of her unique pieces. A company that’s made for the woman “whose lifestyle is shaped and influenced by her own nomadic habit,” Kalaki Riot’s mission aligns with ours at Rise City Swim, and Dungo is clearly one of the #womenontherise who makes NYC amazing. So after we chatted about everything from entrepreneurship, to her spirit animal (it’s a pineapple), to bucket list goals, we headed up to her roof for a shoot that resulted in some gorgeous photos of Dungo rocking Rise against the Midtown skyline. Read on for our full Q&A with the badass designer.
Rise City Swim: What keeps you busy Monday through Friday?
Tracy Dungo: All things Kalaki Riot! I’m busy with marketing strategies and campaign build outs, making updates to the site, creating and refreshing content, running to meetings, designing – you name it. It’s exhausting but I love it. This is what I signed up for.
RCS: What have been your biggest challenges in creating your brand and image?
TD: Our product is jewelry but we’re really a lifestyle brand. There are brands that are constantly putting some really amazing stuff out there, so to maintain a good amount of variety as well as a certain level of quality that your customers now expect can be tough. There’s a constant need to always innovate what we’re putting out.
Tracy on Creating Her Own Business:
"It’s exhausting but I love it. This is what I signed up for."
RCS: What’s your favorite thing about NYC?
TD: I travel quite a bit and I still have yet to come across anything like the energy of the city and the people who live here.
RCS: What’s next on your bucket list?
TD: I want to travel to Ireland and see the Northern Lights. And to surf on every continent -- except Antarctica, there is no way…I have two more left.
RCS: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received?
TD: I was once told to find three hobbies you love: one that could make you money, one to keep you in shape, and one to be creative.
RCS: What advice do you have for other young women?
TD: Find something you’re passionate about and you might just feel more fulfilled and inspired in other areas of your life.
RCS: How do you relate to the mission at Rise City Swim?
TD: I love how Rise City Swim commits to the idea of self-expression and confidence in the modern woman. Those two things are a big part of what it takes to run your own world and I love that the brand celebrates that.
Be sure to check out Kalaki Riot at its website and on Instagram. As you can see, the pieces go perfectly with the Rise City Swim collection: Above, Tracy accessorizes with numerous Kalaki Riot pieces, including the Arrow Flint ring and Catalino Hook bracelet.