Caleb and Levi Pahina of Don Du Ciel

From careers in law and technology, brothers Caleb and Levi share their journey to establishing a small-batch jewellery label.

brothers Caleb and Levi
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Tell us about your brand, Don Du Ciel.

Don Du Ciel is a small-batch provider of refined jewellery. Each piece is a statement of habitual aspiration; the celebration of a life lived purposefully. The brand was founded by my brother Levi and I about a year and a half ago, and we continue to operate from our home in Auckland, New Zealand. Outside of DDC, we have careers in technology and law respectively — although you’ll often find us both in the gym, running or enjoying a fresh coffee.

Could you take us through the early stages of your journey?

Levi and I have always had a mutual interest in fashion/business. During the COVID-19 lockdowns, we sat down together and decided to venture into the jewellery space. It wasn’t soon after that we had designed and 3D printed our first ring from our home garage — and things naturally flowed on from there.

On a higher level, our shared values of balance, consideration and intention were the underlying reasons for starting the brand.

For us, and our customers, Don Du Ciel is a symbol of the power in your hands to progress daily. It’s nice to be reminded of that through our jewellery, every day.

Can you share an interesting aspect of your work? Maybe a part of the product-making process or a unique work ritual you have.

I think it’s interesting how we manage a brand together and balance our time across DDC and our careers. Working with my brother has been great because we complement each other really well. Levi is a forward thinker, constantly looking toward the next product or initiative. I’m very detail-oriented and set the plan on how we get there. When I’m busy, Levi can pick things up… so on and so forth. It allows us to always keep the flywheel spinning and that’s important when running a brand.

What are your future plans and aspirations both personally and for Don Du Ciel as a brand?

It’s early days for Don Du Ciel and we’re continually evolving our brand identity and collection. A simple yet big focus for us will be growing brand awareness and building our community of ‘Dons’. At the same time, we’re working on refining our production process to scale with the brand’s growth.

Can you tell us about the upcoming Spacefor activation? What can customers expect from you, and why did you decide to do it?

This will be our first in-store experience and as brand owners, we can’t wait to connect with our community and see DDC on others. In our store, you will be individually sized by one of us and have the space and time to try on every product from our collection. We will also have two exclusive gemstone rings available only at the pop-up — the Oval Signet in Onyx and Oval Signet in Tiger Eye.

Quick Answers

Currently, my favourite brands are: Porter James Sports and UVU.

An object or item I can't live without: Airpods. I'm wearing these most of the day — in calls, at the gym or on a run.

My favourite online destination is: Strava.

My favourite place to shop is: Milan — not much needs to be said. I bought my first ever ring here too.

Offline VS Online? Offline — I'm an in-person person!

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