We had the good fortune of connecting with Dana Ward and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dana, is there something you believe many others might not?
When I hear someone say, “fake it till you make it,” I immediately think that the person must be missing out on so many great opportunities to learn more about their industry and grow as a human. The truth is that no one is an expert on everything out there in the world, and to “fake it” suggests that we should be 100% proficient in whatever we are doing. It’s an unhealthy falsity to create a façade of confidence, and it prevents people from discovering their own inner confidence based on learning and evolving their skills, thought processes and interactions with others. I think we should instead strive to have real confidence in ourselves along with humility – regardless of where we are at in the journey to “make it.”
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I’ve always wanted to create innovative products for women — since I was a little girl mixing new nail polish colors using a combination of my mom’s polish collection and arts & crafts supplies. Sorry and thank you, Mom! I finally had the opportunity to create a dream product after having my own ongoing foot problem that I couldn’t find an ideal solution. In my previous career, I used to spend long hours on red carpets in ridiculous heels that would rub and create friction, and thus, I’d be left with painful, gross blisters. After a few years of R&D and several hundred formulations, we invented PreHeels blister prevention spray to solve this very common issue. It was the first step that eventually led to our development of a full premium foot care collection under the Barefoot Scientist brand. Generally, I have a personal sentiment that there’s too much noise out there in the world, especially when it comes to beauty and consumer products. So it has always been important to me to do something unique and innovative that solves a real problem — especially if I’m going to spend so much time building a business (as many entrepreneurs do!). Specializing in “skin care for the feet” is definitely a bit different for our industry, which can be challenging since so much customer education comes along with introducing a new step to a beauty or wellness routine, but I’ll happily take it!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I’d recommend starting at the Broad art museum to enjoy the curated collection of pieces from some of the most famous contemporary artists. I’d specifically highlight my favorite area in the back corner featuring Ellsworth Kelly & Sam Francis. And on the way out, we’d walk next door to check out the cool architecture of the Walt Disney Concert Hall by Frank Gehry. We’d swing by the Arts District to grab a bite from one of the many fantastic restaurants. Right now, I’d want to visit Damian, a brand new eatery that self-described as “rooted in Mexican culture while celebrating seasonal Californian produce.” Another day, I’d recommend heading to the coast! We could pick up some sandwiches & salads from Bay Cities in Santa Monica on the way… probably drive up PCH to see that all of the beaches are packed, so keep going up all of the way to northern Malibu to my favorite little private beach for some laughing, boogie boarding, eating & napping — in that order. There are just so many great things to do in LA. How can I pick?!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’d like to give a shoutout to my fellow female founders & friends, Elin & Anh-Thu Dannerstedt. They have built a beautiful brand, NCLA Beauty, from the ground up. It’s wonderful for us to be able to chat candidly, inspire and help each other with learnings from our respective companies.
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/danaward/ & instagram.com/barefootscientist