We had the good fortune of connecting with Vanessa Dew and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Vanessa, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
Work-life balance needed to change as my personal priorities shifted. In my 20’s, it was easy to throw myself into work, do boot camp 5 days a week, eat well, and still have a very active social life. Now, my priorities have changed with family obligations and building a thriving business from scratch. I had to reprioritize and make sure I was making time for the things that mattered. I couldn’t work 10 hour days, go out with my friends, and still be dedicated to my self-care and family responsibilities. Something had to give and trade-offs had to be made! I realize now that my sense of balance was rooted in what mattered to me. When I was clear in what I wanted to invest my time in, what mattered most, and why I was doing something, I always felt more balanced.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?

Starting your own company is not for the faint of heart. I started Health-Ade with my best friends, Daina and Justin Trout, in 2012 and it is the business I operate today. It was during a time where I was feeling extremely unfulfilled in my corporate job. I was in my mid-20s, I knew I needed a change…I needed to build something that was my own–not just work on the corporate hamster wheel. At the time I was working within the pharmaceutical industry, and I realized that work may be great for some, but it was not for me. Daina and Justin felt very similar and we started an entrepreneur club to understand what could be ours that we could build. We came upon kombucha through a very windy and fortuitous means and we started brewing it, selling it at the Farmers Market, and thus started the path of our journey within the beverage world.

Way before that though I realized something about myself. It was during college where I was on the path to pre-med, following the very safe route my parents thought I should take. I realized that I didn’t like following the ‘shoulds’ in life. I should be this, or I should be here in life, or I should be that. It was that understanding about myself – this rebellious optimism for the what-ifs – that fueled me and I couldn’t deny that side of who I was.

Building Health-Ade over the last 9+ years has been a huge learning curve full of ups and downs. Nothing came easy, everything felt hard, felt like it needed 110% of me all of the time and even then, it still wasn’t enough. But what I realized was that it was the grit and optimism within each of us that allowed Health-Ade to flourish in those early years.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Wow, so many pockets of Los Angeles are essential must-try. Sunday, I would head to the Arts District. Start at Smorgasburg to sample the food stalls, shop around the Row, check out the eclectic shops and art. In the afternoon, I would go for drinks at a rooftop bar like Spire 73, Perch, or the Wayfair Hotel and then try dinner at some new urban hotspot within DTLA. Monday, I would hike Runyon Canyon, have brunch at Sunset Plaza, and then do some afternoon shopping along Melrose. Dinner at Crossroads or Catch is definitely a scene-y LA place to try and spot some celebs. Tuesday, head to the beach towns! Take a walk along the coast, have brunch at one of the many beautiful beachside spots like Moonshadows, Malibu Farms, or Nobu. Head down to 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica for some shopping and perhaps try Felix in Venice for an amazing Italian dinner. If you are a farmers market lover, head to the farmers market on Wednesday mornings in Santa Monica, it is one not to miss in LA! If you are down for some hole-in-the-wall spots and ok going off the beaten path, there are great taquerias like Avenue 26 tacos in Lincoln Heights, Mariscos Jalisco in Boyle Heights, or Tacos Y Birria La Unica just down the street. Tacos aren’t just for Tuesdays 🙂 . If you want less urban sprawl, take a drive down to South Bay like Palos Verdes. Hike Portuguese Bend Reserve and hang out at Terranea for some R&R. If you can, LA has unparalleled access to the arts like a concert at the Hollywood Bowl during the summer, jazz nights at LACMA, and amazing exhibits at the Broad. Whatever your flavor, I guarantee, LA has something for you!

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My shoutout goes to my mom. She’s always been a source of strength, love, and resiliency for me. All my life she was sick but you would have never known it being around her. She was a superwoman to me. She was always cheerful and present with her children’s upbringing. She built a strong career and was loved by many. The days with her illness were tough, but she was always so optimistic about the future and what she would be doing to live life to the fullest. It gave me hope as well. She may have questioned some of my decisions, but she never stopped loving me or supporting me to make sure I felt like I could do anything. It was that encouragement that ultimately gave me the final push to know that I could do anything, and I owe her everything I have today.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/v_dew/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/vanessa-dew-023489a/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/vanessa.dew/

Image Credits
Headshots credit Hope Leigh and product shots courtesy of Health-Ade.

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