Sakara Life Co-Founder Danielle Duboise on Finding her new North Star through Motherhood and How She Blends Work and Motherhood
As a co-founder of Sakara Life, a 100% plant-based, organic, ready-to-eat meal delivery service, Danielle Duboise was already a force to be reckoned with even before becoming a mom.  The company has been featured in every major publication from Oprah to the New York Times and she has been named on the Forbes 30 under 30 List. But talking with this new mama of an adorable curly-haired little girl made us realize that she is a living example of what is truly at the core of Mitera: that motherhood makes us an even better version of ourselves where it teaches us to be vulnerable, loving, accepting, stronger and ever more humble and powerful at the same time.  
In this interview, she shares with us how her struggles with weight and the pursuit of a perfect diet ultimately led her to start her company with her childhood best friend Whitney Tingle. And how the birth of her daughter and her motherhood journey so far have given her a new perspective on life, a new North Star to follow. And oh, her version of doing it all with the baby on the toe. Read on...
Danielle in the Mitera Yoko Jumpsuit

Tell us about yourself in a nutshell. Where did you grow up, what did you study, do you have any siblings? Were you always into nutrition and knew what you wanted to do when you grew up?

I  grew up in Sedona, Arizona— it is a spiritual mecca in the middle of the desert and it is magical. It's a place filled with crystals, shamans, vortexes, and the energy there is amazing. Please go if you ever the chance! Growing up, I was exposed to so many different ways of thinking and being, and it very much informed my free-spirit, airy essence. Early on, I realized there were no limits and there is beauty in authenticity. I always loved science, and went to school for pre-med,  moving from this spiritual center to the hustle of NYC. Since I was young, I had been dealing with severe body image issues and had been on every extreme diet, and since moving to the city I was modeling and acting to pay my way through school— and that diet mentality kept evolving into something more and more extreme. I  ended up at a 21-day retreat in southern Arizona, where the first 7 days was a water fast. When I came home from that retreat, my best friend (and co-founder of Sakara) Whitney took one look at me and took me to the hospital. While there, I had this epiphany about the lengths I’d go to achieve this dream body or dream life that I didn't realize I already had. I had taken all these biology classes but had yet to fully understand nutrition and that’s when I changed my career focus to learn nutrition. My goal has always been to be a healer, to help people find what they’re seeking, and to guide people to their best and brightest selves. Sakara was birthed, because it was the mission that guided my mess. It didn’t start out as a business. It was a nutrition protocol that transformed my life in every way imaginable, and Whitney and I realized we had to share this epiphany with others.

How was the labor and delivery experience? What was your birth story? Did you have any expectations for how you wanted to bring your daughter, Star into this world? Anything that surprised you about your experience?

My birth was nothing like I'd planned and it was the perfect first lesson in motherhood– you cannot control anything, all you can do is your best.

How did you feel when you first met her?

Like I'd known her forever!

Did you know you wanted to breastfeed and how has the experience been? Is it anything you imagined it to be? What are some things you’d recommend nursing moms to consume to boost their milk supply?

I knew I wanted to breastfeed and we have been very lucky to date. It's been easy, fun and incredibly bonding. Before giving birth, I didn't understand how important the latch was. We were lucky in that we had incredible nurses that helped her latch. Though lactation consultants can also be very helpful, having the nurses there 24/7 was the most helpful. I called them in every time I was unsure if I was doing it right. They were so patient and kind and I know it made a big difference in our feeding experience.
Danielle in the Mitera Yoko Jumpsuit

Do you have a self-care routine? If so, can you share it with our audience?

I eat Sakara every day (plus the occasional glass of wine, french fries or whatever else I'm craving). Food is the foundation of health and happiness. It's information and feeding myself clean, organic, nutrient-rich information is the best thing I can do for my own self-care and to take care of my little one.

The first few weeks and months postpartum are some of the happiest but hardest times in a mother’s journey. What are some of the important lessons you feel like you learned navigating your postpartum life so far? Do you have any advice to those who are embarking on this beautiful and exciting journey called motherhood?

Busy will have a new definition and don't feel bad or guilty about it. I was used to being busy, but it was work/life/play busy. It was working until late, balancing seeing friends etc. Busy as a new mom means you're in your house all day attending to the needs of your little one. It won't feel like the busy you're used to so you'll reach for things like work, visitors, tasks etc, but you have to just let yourself become comfortable with the new busy. Don't put the pressure on yourself to do anything but mother. Watch movies, listen to music, eat good food and just be present.

Becoming a mother can be one of the most sacred, enlightening and self-less experience in a woman’s life. Have your perspectives on life changed? If so, how?

My new north star is adventure and fun. My little Star has reminded me that life is short and every day should be filled with joy. It's helped me recalibrate and shift my focus to doing the things that bring the most joy and fulfillment to my life. No more sweating the small stuff.

You run your own business. How is it going at work (if you have gone back to work)? How are you managing the balancing act of running your company and being a new mom? Give us an idea of what a typical day looks like for you.

As I'm typing this it's currently 4pm on a Friday and I'm sitting at my desk at our Sakara HQ bouncing on an exercise ball while wearing her in my Artipoppe carrier! It's wild, fun and sometimes hard. I'm lucky enough to work in a place that allows me to have her for a few hours a day while at work. When she's not with me, she with Dad at home. It's a juggle!

Danielle in the Mitera Yoko Jumpsuit

How do you feel in your Mitera piece? What does a brand like Mitera mean to a modern mom like you who has an amazing passion and a thriving business in addition to being a new mom?

It's so important that mothers have the option to wear clothes they feel sexy in while still being able to easily mother, breastfeed and be comfortable. I love my Mitera piece because it's designed to look good but it's secretly as functional as a piece of clothing could get.

What are some values you want to instill in your daughter from a young age? With your background in nutrition, are you excited to prepare your daughter’s meals once she starts solids?

Funny enough, I have total anxiety about her beginning to eat real food. I'm grateful that my body has been somewhat of a filter for her. I'm not ready to let that go!
I want to instill in her the ability and desire to always see the light in every situation so she can not only help others shine their brightest, but also allow her to shine, shine, shine.
February 10, 2019 — Mitera Collection