I have news… (!!!)

I don’t think I’ve more excited for anything since I moved to Los Angeles to dance 7.5 years ago, you guys…

I am now…*drumroll please*…a BUSINESS OWNER!!!

Yep, I am no longer at my full time corporate job, I am now a SOCIAL MEDIA CONSULTANT at my own company called DFD Creative 😃

I’ve shared more about why I’m making this transition in my latest YouTube video (below), but essentially I just want to build a life I truly love, and that means being an entrepreneur. My goal is to help small businesses, particularly those that are women owned and run, increase their social footprint and hone their voice on social platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

I’ve actually been consulting for over a year now as a side hustle, so I’m super pumped to make this my main focus. You can read more about DFD Creative over on my “contact” page, but essentially I’m like a one-stop shop for social needs like content creation, product photography, copywriting, community management, data analysis, influencer outreach, and paid social.

If that sounds like something you or someone you know might need, please feel free to reach out to me directly at jordan@dancingfordonuts.com – I would love to talk all things social with you 🙂

Thank you so, so much for all of your support on here. I most definitely would not have the confidence or knowledge to take this leap in my career without this blog and this community!

xo Jordan

DFD Babe Feature: Staness of Eat Like a Woman

It’s been WAY too long since our last DFD Babe Feature!!

Dancing for Donuts | DFD Babe Feature: Staness of Eat Like a Woman

I’m SO happy to be talking to Staness Jonekos of Eat Like a Woman on here today. I think you guys are really going to love this one – Staness is all about educating women on how their bodies are different then men’s in terms of health and diet. I actually had the pleasure of working with Staness a couple of years ago when she first launched her bars, shakes and cookies, and reconnecting with her has me so excited. You know how passionate I am about surrounding myself with smart, motivated women like herself!!

In this interview, we talk about how she got started with her Eat Like a Woman book that then became a plant-based nutrition line, why it’s so important that women understand how their needs are unique, and how female bodies are generally neglected from scientific research. You know I love every single person I interview for this series, but this one in particular is the perfect intersection of what I like to talk about on this blog (aka health and wellness!) + female entrepreneurship. Keep reading to learn more about Staness and her incredible company!

Tell us a little bit about Eat Like a Woman! What made you decide to write the original Eat Like a Woman book and then branch out into the food space?

During a TV show pitch session as one of the executive producers for Oprah Winfrey’s first TV network, Oxygen Media, she personally asked me how I was making a difference.  Health was always my passion and she knew there was something out there I should be doing. When Oprah speaks, you listen. I took a hiatus from television and wrote EAT LIKE A WOMAN after I discovered the FDA banned females from clinical research in 1977 until recently.

Women experience heart disease and stress differently than males, and burn carbs and fats differently, as well as metabolize nutrients at a slower rate.  This information inspired me to create a company that manufactures plant-based bars, cookies and shakes designed specially to support a women’s health. 

I truly love that you’re educating women on how their bodies are different from men’s bodies! That’s not something discussed often. Can you give us a quick summary of what women should be paying attention to in terms of their unique health?

Women have very unique life stages (pregnancy/lactation, reproductive years, menopause and beyond) that require specific nutritional support.  Our Life Stage Shakes® honor these requirements, so we can achieve optimal health at each life stage. We all have a healthy weight, we are all different – focus on health, not size!  We are born with BILLIONS more fat cells than males. How we perceive fat in our society does not embrace health for a woman.  

Of course, staying at your healthy weight is important – too much fat isn’t good either, but those curves are there for a reason. Carbs are not bad! In fact, a female’s neurotransmitter health benefits from a balance between protein and carbs.  High protein diets are not the best fit for females. You may drop some weight quickly, but one can get cranky and those pounds will return when the carbs do. The Mediterranean’s figured it out…lean proteins, lots of veggies, grains, olive oil, and some RED WINE!

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What’s your favorite part of owning & running Eat Like a Woman?

Discovering new science that included females so we can apply it to our daily life is one of my favorite Eat Like a Woman duties, and creating food products that harness this info so we can achieve optimal health as a woman! Every day I am spreading the word that differences matter, so the new science can help each of us. Medical text books still do not have this new research, so I am committed to sharing it with women so they can demand that future research include women.  

And what’s your least favorite part?

There are a million details to launching a food business – operations, financing, legal,  managing three warehouses, three co-packers where we manufacture our bars, cookies and shakes, a law firm to protect our intellectual property and ensure we follow all of the FDA regulations, raising money so the company grows so we can met our costumers demands, and seeking out new distribution channels.  Until recently I personally handled all of these activities, now we have an amazing team that has joined the ELAW family!

Dancing for Donuts | DFD Babe Feature: Staness of Eat Like a Woman

If you had to pick one piece of advice to give to others pursuing their passions, what would it be?

Ask yourself “what do I do every day that I love?” For me, I love to KNOW things.  Researching and writing is like breathing…I have no choice. When I was 6 years old, I found my Mom’s nursing/medical text book and studied every word.  Local kids would come over when they were sick and ask me what was wrong with them—so I started diagnosing my friends. It made perfect sense to write books and launch a disruptive business that can change how we think about nutrition.

Ask yourself: What do YOU do for free daily, because you love it?  When you can answer that question you have found your purpose in life – how YOU will make a difference.  The exact question Oprah asked me years ago.

How do you prioritize time for yourself when you’re super busy with your business? Do you have any de-stressing techniques or self-care routines you can share?

I must confess, launching a start-up is super time consuming.  I need to work on making time for myself and finding balance. The answer – we must all make time for ourselves, me too. De-stressing and self-care is a work in progress for me.  That said, I think ALL women have the same struggle.

What are you excited for in the new year? Are you making any resolutions/goals?

We are officially launching Eat Like a Woman nationally next year. I can’t wait to get out there and share powerful information, and yummy plant-based snacks, that can help women achieve their optimal health. Women have a very different eating journey than men…from body image, to nourishing different life stages, to media pressure to look a certain way…it is time we embrace our differences.  We are ALL EQUAL, but our differences make each of us uniquely beautiful.

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Alright y’all, thanks for reading!! Hope you have a fantastic weekend and if you’re in the northeast or anywhere that got snow yesterday/today, stay warm!

xo Jordan

 

DFD Babe Feature: Rachel of Rachel’s Overnight Oats

It’s been a minute, but we’re back today with another DFD Babe Feature!

Dancing for Donuts | DFD Babe Feature: Rachel of Rachel's Overnight Oats

If you’re new around here, I have a series called the DFD Babe Feature where I like to share stories about female entrepreneurs (particularly in the health/wellness space!) who inspire me. This week we’re chatting with Rachel of Rachel’s Overnight Oats, a company that makes overnight oats mixes in three different flavors (the Pumpkin Spice one is perfect for fall!). Her products are all non-GMO, vegan, soy-free, gluten-free, and have zero added sugars. They essentially take the work/effort out of making a healthy breakfast and as someone who’s been eating them for months, I can tell you they’re a game changer!!

One thing I love about Rachel is how driven she is. I know her personally and can tell you that she is basically superwoman running a business entirely by herself while also working on other projects, being a mom, and staying on track with her health goals. If that doesn’t sound exhausting to you, then I don’t know what does😅 She’s absolutely crushing it in all aspects of life, but she’s here to share what it’s really like being an entrepreneur with a food startup, how she balances life & work, and that not everything is as glamorous on the inside as it is on the outside sometimes.

Dancing for Donuts | DFD Babe Feature: Rachel of Rachel's Overnight Oats

Tell us a little bit about Rachel’s Overnight Oats! What made you decide to start your own company?

I started right in my very own kitchen!! I made overnight oats nearly every night for my fiancé who typically skipped breakfast in the morning.  I was thrilled he loved my overnight oats recipes and was finally eating breakfast, so I found myself making them nightly for the both of us. After many nights of measuring ingredients and making overnight oats, I wanted something more convenient and less time consuming. I went to the store looking for an overnight oats mix, but was disappointed I couldn’t find what I was looking for. I tried everything on the market and they’d come out very chalky, plus I didn’t want all the added sugar. It was then that I decided I would try making and selling my own mix. Here I am over 2.5 years later and it looks as though I wasn’t the only one looking for an overnight oats mix!

When did you start becoming passionate about healthy eating and health in general?

When I was in high school I remember becoming more aware of my eating and exercise habits. I’ve also lived an active lifestyle whether it be horseback riding or an outdoor hike, etc. I think eating healthy and exercise go hand in hand. It’s just part of who I am.

Dancing for Donuts | DFD Babe Feature: Rachel of Rachel's Overnight Oats

What are three personality traits you think are key to being a successful business owner?

1) PERSISTENCE –  A food start up is full of challenges, growing pains and financial demands. You need to be persistent even though you may not get the response you are looking for the first time you ask.  You have to have the will power to keep trying even when things are tough. Some of my store accounts told me “no” three times before I finally got a “yes”. 2) PATIENCE – Things take time and although you may be the one in charge, some outcomes aren’t always your decision or within your control. Sometimes you just have to be patient. 3) ORGANIZATION- Staying organized is crucial. Knowing details and learning the systems that run a business is key, but that’s not always easy when you have emails flying and your phone ringing off the hook.

What’s your favorite part of owning & running a company?

When you create something of your own and experience the challenges and successes along the way, it creates a sense of appreciation for other entrepreneurs because I know first hand how hard it can be.  When I am at an in-store demo and someone asks, “Are you Rachel?” it’s also very moving to see their excitement when they meet the face behind the brand. I feel so connected to what I am doing and when I hear someone else loves or enjoys my overnight oats, it just feels good.

And what’s your least favorite part?

The long hours and balancing work, home and social life. Most weeks are 7 day work weeks. I know I won’t be working 7 days a week forever, but I have to now just to get things up off the ground!

Dancing for Donuts | DFD Babe Feature: Rachel of Rachel's Overnight Oats

What advice can you give to others looking to start pursuing their passions? Is there anything you would have done differently?

I would have started sooner.  Don’t hesitate if you have an idea or want to start a business. Yes, its scary because its out of your comfort zone, but once you start building momentum with your brand and business, it’s really special.

How do you prioritize time for yourself when you’re super busy with your business? Do you have any de-stressing techniques or self-care routines you can share?

I try to schedule myself for a facial or a mani/pedi on a consistent basis. Once I have that on the calendar, it’s a commitment in my schedule that I plan to stick to. It helps me take time for myself and I plan it my schedule just like I would book a work meeting.

What are you excited for in the second half of 2018 and beyond?

I am preparing for a launch in Northern California. This is a big step for the company and I’m really excited about it.  Although the business is growing, that also means performance expectations grow, financial demands grow and responsibilities grow.  I am also really looking forward to expanding the product line and coming up with new products to share with our loyal and growing customers.  

So that’s the scoop on Rachel – what do you guys think? I freakin’ love how she just keeps it real and I know with her persistence she’s going to absolutely crush it even more in the future. If you’d like to find her on Instagram, her handle is @rachelsovernightoats and you can shop her products on Amazon Prime here, or on her website.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great rest of your week!!

xo Jordan

DFD Babe Feature: Maria of the Dandy Bee Co.

It’s been a minute, but we are BACK today with another DFD Babe Feature!!

Dancing for Donuts | DFD Babe Feature: Maria of the Dandy Bee Company

If you’re new around here, I have a series called the DFD Babe Feature where I like to tell the stories of incredible women that are chasing their dreams and have started inspiring businesses. On this week’s lineup, we have Maria of the Dandy Bee Company here to tell us a little bit about why she started her all-natural beauty company and how she navigates a busy life as both an entrepreneur and mother.

I actually had the pleasure of working with Maria & her company for an Instagram giveaway and blog post (do you guys remember the What’s in My Purse post from a few weeks ago?), and I can tell you first hand that’s she’s super organized, extremely kind-hearted, open to connecting with others (which is what this is all about, in my opinion!) and hard-working. Keep reading if you want to hear more about her business, values, and advice!😊

Dancing for Donuts | DFD Babe Feature: Maria of the Dandy Bee Company

Tell us a little bit about the Dandy Bee Company! When did you decided to start your own company?

Hi everyone! I recently launched the Dandy Bee Co., an all-natural body, beauty and home brand that has been years in the making. After taking time off running a blog and women’s accessory line of mine to raise my two sweet kids, I decided this was the year to rebrand and relaunch my company. While it was a little scary and a bit overwhelming, I knew the timing was right and it has always been a passion of mine.    

What inspired you to start working on your own business creating non-toxic and organic beauty products?

Dandy Bee Co. was created out of a desire to provide my family with hard working yet non-toxic daily essentials. When my kids were born, I saw these little people who hadn’t yet been exposed to many of the harmful things in the world, chemicals and beyond, and wanted to prolong that as much as possible! I wanted to create a company that was transparent and trustworthy. That is the driving force and our bottom line for everything that we create for our customers!  

What are three personality traits you think are key to being a successful business owner?

I think one of most important traits to have is determination. You really need to love and want it. I think sometimes there is this ideal of what running a business is – of getting to call the shots, being your own boss, flexibility etc. But at the end of the day, it is a lot hard, hard work, and hours devoted that may not pay off for a while. Another trait I think that is important is being able to enjoy the process, because success is rarely an overnight experience. For me, my previous company had very little to do with what I am doing now. But, I learned so many skills and lessons along the way.

I grew in my maturity and my vision, and while it could easily feel like I haven’t reached all my goals (especially as a mom who took time off), I know each step including the time off has played an important role in my success today and in the future. The last trait would be to understand and appreciate who you are, and to be willing to delegate. There is no one type of person who makes an amazing leader. Personally, I know I am not the best salesperson, but rather more vision driven and creative. Because of that, it is important for me to find people who I can partner with to help me in the areas that aren’t my strong points.

Dancing for Donuts | DFD Babe Feature: Maria of the Dandy Bee Company

What’s your favorite part about running your own company?

I love being able to create, to imagine, and to see my dreams take shape. I love the feeling of accomplishment that comes when the hard work pays off!

And what’s your least favorite part?

In many ways, the vulnerability. Putting myself out there and hoping that people enjoy what I’ve created. It makes me strive harder though, and develop tougher skin!

What advice can you give to others looking to start pursuing their passions?

Look for a mentor if you can. Someone who has been there that can help guide you, or at the very least encourage you, through your journey. Test out your ideas on people around you to gauge if there is an audience for it. And become an expert in what you love to do: if you cannot do it to earn money yet, spend some time everyday practicing or experimenting with your passion. One day you’ll find you have developed your specialty!

Dancing for Donuts | DFD Babe Feature: Maria of the Dandy Bee Company

How do you prioritize time for yourself when you’re super busy with your business? Do you have any de-stressing techniques or self-care routines you can share?

I always try and take weekends off, and if I can’t, only devote an hour or two to work. That time is for me and my family. My husband who is also an entrepreneur has encouraged me that it is possible! I love to read, and will spend at least 30 minutes every night by myself enjoying whatever fiction I can get my hands on. I also find time praying my way of getting whatever is causing me anxiety off my chest. It helps me really dissect whatever issues I’m facing and come up with a game plan on how to tackle it.     

Where do you find inspiration?

Honestly, I am a problem solver by nature. A lot of my products are a result of some issue I am, or someone I know is dealing with. Or, if I see another product that I feel like I could improve upon also drives me. For example, my husband’s deodorant would leave this terrible build up on his shirt that I could not get out without major elbow grease. I formulated our own that he (the pickiest deodorant user I’ve met) loves, and the transformation of his shirts has been an amazing side effect.

I also love following other woman entrepreneurs. I once watched an episode of Chef’s Table on Christina Tosi and cried the entire time! It was so inspiring seeing this female who is an expert in her field, and the journey it took for her to get there.  

What are you excited for in the second half of 2018 and beyond?

Launching many new products! We have been focusing on our organic lip balms and all the marketing aspects of it to build up awareness of our brand. Now that we have been making some headway there, I can start moving forward with making lots of new yummy goodies available for everyone to try!  

Dancing for Donuts | DFD Babe Feature: Maria of the Dandy Bee Company

And there ya have it!! How unbelievable is Maria, you guys?! That quote right up there ^ might be my biggest takeaway from this whole interview, but I think there’s probably something in there that could resonate with anyone.

If you’d like, you can visit Maria’s site at the Dandy Bee Company and check out her organic lip balms (I’m obsessed with every single flavor), or find her on Instagram here.

Thanks so much for reading and if there’s someone you’d like me to interview next, please let me know in the comments!

xo Jordan