You could say Bronx-born Elana Noy was fated to own her own business one day—the super-satisfying-to-say moniker of her line, Malka Dina, a nonsensical family nickname she’s had since childhood. “Even before I needed it, I’ve always had this built-in company name ready!” she says. When she did make the leap into designing full-time, in 2014, it was after a few years of visual merchandising. “I took a wheel-throwing class in Williamsburg, and right away I was like ‘Uh oh, I like this too much not to do it every day,’” she says. Making use of her skills from the Maryland Institute College of Art, Elana got back into the metalworking game with projects for Catbird and Lindsey Adelman before officially taking up the Malka Dina mantle at a holiday market. Her angle: fusing her newfound affinity for the kiln with her revived love of soldering to make earrings, hairpins, mugs, and incense holders featuring the arcs that are now her calling card.
“I busted really hard to get here, but it all happened so fast that sometimes I wake up and it feels crazy that I work for myself,” admits Elana. But even though she’s running a one-woman show, she’s committed to keeping both of her main materials in the spotlight. “I want to combine clay and jewelry in a cohesive way, without it seeming like I’m running two separate businesses.” —liz sheldon
BEHIND THE SCENES
She’s gonna make it (all) on her own.