'How Did They Do It?' With Founder of Barefoot Scientist, Dana Ward!

Dana is the Founder and visionary behind Barefoot Scientist, the all-things-good-for-your feet, foot care brand (you've probably seen it in your local Ulta!) I met Dana way back when I was styling celebs and she was a TV Host. My we have changed our paths since then, haha! Before we get into the Q's I've gotta plug my fave product of hers- the exfoliating rasp called, "The Gratest" because honestly, it's the best on the market and here's a novel thought- actually works to smooth my quarantine feet! Ok Ok, let's chat with Dana to see how she came so far.....

LA: What is one interesting or weird thing that people may not know about your career?

D: One of my first entrepreneurial ventures was inspired after finding a superior beauty product (a non-orange sunless spray tan, what?!) and a fitting audience (sororities at universities in Los Angeles). I launched a mobile spray tanning side business where I would spray dozens of women within a short time frame ahead of their scheduled parties. I had a specific goal in mind: to earn back the savings I used to launch the company and to ultimately save and buy a new sports carAs soon as I hit my goal, I sold the machine and retired” in order to re-focus on my then career ambitions in new media. Ha. You never know how your dreams may change, and that’s completely OK!

LA: During your professional journey, what is one mistake you made that you learned the most from?

D: Making assumptions. Don’t do it. From assuming a person is qualified based on their resume or assuming a manufacturer will run the exact same packaging as already agreed upon to assuming that someone heard the update on an important item or even assuming that you yourself have the answers... At the expense of potentially being annoying, I’ll now double-check and verify as needed; the extra moment it takes to confirm alignment ultimately saves a great deal of time and resources in the long run.

LA: What is one thing you did that put you on the right path to be successful in this career?

D: Feeling free to always ask questions, and further, to not feel intimidated as if I should already know the answer. As a founderyou hopefully know your brand inside and out, but there are a lot of experts in their fields who can provide sound advice a lot of experts in their fields – it’s just your job to ask the questions, then take that information and apply it to your company and your specific circumstances. There’s so much valuable information out there, but deciphering it is key and asking questions can help pave the path.

LA: What are you most proud of at this moment?

D: For 2020, our Ulta Beauty launch and then becoming a part of their official brand lineup – was an absolute highlight for me as a founder. Currently, I’m proud that as a team, we are able to get ahead on our inventory projections. As you open more retail accounts, receive more brand opportunities and grow your overall sales as a brand, it can get tricky to track everything in an efficient, accurate way, but we’re doing itWe also have a new wellness product launch coming up that I developed after having an issue with not being able to get deep, restful sleep... stay tuned!

LA: Your go-to beverage after a long week (specifics please!)?

D: Mezcal, sparkling water and a hint of juice that I squeeze by hand straight from the citrus fruit on our trees... I’ll take whatever is available– grapefruit, lime, lemon– but my absolute favorite flavor addition is blood orange. pour the nectar of the Gods mixture over a perfect single ice cube with a stainless steel straw and it is a good time... I think the details of the preparation make me feel like I’m really capturing the #treatyourselfthing and I enjoy it that much more!

 

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