Millennials are taking over the business world as more young self-made millionaires rise to prominence. One such entrepreneur is Dan Folger, a twenty-seven-year-old photographer turned business mogul who co-founded the jewelry brand GLD. Today, the company has been dubbed “the Nike of Men’s Jewelry” and has closed one of the worst business years in history with over $50 million in revenue.
Dan Folger is a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based photographer who worked his way up the ranks. He started by working as a cameraman for the hip hop legend Wiz Khalifa. One to spot opportunities, Dan took the opportunity of a lifetime to connect and network with industry leaders and big players in the music and business scene. He was gaining a lot of followers and great connections. It was only a matter of time until he would spot his golden opportunity to build something and use all of the connections and following that he had built over time.
That was about the time Dan started to reconnect with his old buddy Christian Johnston and came up with the idea of starting GLD, a jewelry and apparel shop that has today taken the hip-hop scene by storm. Starting as a small box of merchandise in Dan’s & Christians parent’s basement, the company has grown into a 20,000-square-meter headquarters operating out of Miami, Florida.
GLD, pronounced as “gold,” is a jewelry brand that aims to create affordable jewelry for the aspirational customer. It offers a more price-friendly option for the music-loving, thrill-seeking millennial go-getter who still values quality over anything. The company boasts a collection of pieces that can go for $899 but still compete with a $12,000 selection in design and standard.
It was only five years ago when Dan and Christian put $1,000 each into the business. Today, the company has closed 2020 with record-breaking revenue reports despite the global pandemic’s severe economic effects. GLD has collaborated with many big celebrity names, such as ASAP Rocky, Wiz Khalifa, and Trippie Redd. It has also worked with some of the most notable names in sports, including Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant, and Paul Pogba. The company has also penned strategic partnerships with global brands like the NBA, the MBL, the NFL, and Marvel Comics.
Dan recently paid homage to his roots, saying in an interview how Pittsburg prepared him for the life he lives today. “It teaches you a lot of stuff,” he shares about his hometown. “You have the suburbs, you have the ghetto. Being around everything, you become a well-rounded person for sure, so I don’t regret it or wish I grew up anywhere else.” Dan’s advice to any young entrepreneur looking to create an empire of their own is to understand that nothing worth doing in life comes easy. “There will be a ton of road bumps to success,” the serial entrepreneur adds. “A lot of times you will want to quit but you have to keep going. Taking risks is also very important. Every successful person has taken risks. It’s a must!”
GLD continues to grow into a massive brand that’s redefining the way people buy jewelry today. Dan hopes to take the business to a whole new level in 2021 and break new hip-hop culture, sports, and fashion barriers all at once.