Squish Stars: Danielle Stern

photo of Danielle Stern

The past number of months have been a whirlwind. Yet, there are some women entrepreneurs that are continuing to break the mold and shine like the stars they are! We're proud to introduce our Squish Stars campaign, highlighting incredible women entrepreneurs!

We were lucky to talk to Danielle Stern, Founder and Creative Director of Leftys Right Mindand ask her some questions. 

Description of your business? How did you get started?
Leftys Right Mind is a luxury creative studio. Through visual design and marketing activations, we partner with brands and private clientele to design and create wearable artwork. Leftys Right Mind was first launched as a graphic design studio, but as demand for hand painting and personalization grew, so did our business. The great thing about our company's growth is that graphic design is still a very valuable piece to our larger puzzle.

What measures have you been forced to take since COVID started? What is the biggest pivot you had to make with your business? 
Danielle: We had a large demand for our on site activations, so clearly with quarantine and social distancing, event bookings have dropped. But the team has stayed determined to get through these times and pivot in redirecting our focus to offer our services in a new way. Virtual events, gifting and collaborations have been keeping us busy, and even though we have a lot to learn, it's been going really well for us.

What have you learned from this experience thus far? Both on a professional and personal level. 
Danielle: Both professionally and personally, a positive attitude will get you through anything. Focusing on the tough times and struggle on hinders forward movement, so shift your focus and direct your energy towards something good like perpetual pajama wearing and extended quality time with whoever you are quarantining with. There is no one that feels comfortable with the state of the world right now and everyone on this planet is living through the unknown right alongside you. Don't stress over what you can't control, know you are not alone, and know we will all get through this stronger than we went into it.

Have any businesses or individuals helped to inspire you through this time? What do you admire most about them? 
Danielle: Sara Blakely is my girl crush. Not only is she the Founder of Spanx, but she is running her underwear empire while raising a family and not taking herself too seriously. She champions people to follow their passion and to embrace their unique selves. Sara seems to incredibly relatable, down to earth and funny, while being youngest self-made female billionaire. Instead of flaunting her achievements, she uses it to promote and teach hard work, perseverance and hustle. You cannot get more badass than that!

What are the biggest issues for running your company right now? What areas do you need help with? 
Danielle:  It's difficult to not see your team in person. When you're together, an organic creative collaboration forms. I miss that a lot but thank goodness for Facetime, right? It definitely helps!

What's been your biggest win since starting your company? 
Danielle:  Being given the opportunity to work with the brands we've gotten the chance to partner with over the years. I remember when I was first starting out and all the pro-bono work I offered just to get my name out there. Now, I have the pleasure of being in the company of brands like Ralph Lauren, Jimmy Choo, Marie Claire and Squish Marshmallows - I'm living my dream!

Are there any special or new self-care practices that have helped you stay grounded? 
Danielle:  I love to leave my phone and computer in another room, turn on some music and craft - my quarantine hobby and obsession is needlepointing. Unplugging allows me to really clear my head and recharge.

Favorite show you've been watching/book you're reading/podcast you're listening to? 
Danielle:  I normally never get the chance to watch television but between our Birdies collaboration and a large gifting program with Sephora, their has been endless hours of painting going on, so I've gotten the chance to hardcore binge Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul and now I'm onto Shameless. All 3 I highly recommend!

If you could be any of our marshmallow flavors, which one would you be? 
Danielle:  Birthday Party!! I am a die hard rainbow sprinkles gal!! Can't ever turn away from them.

To learn more about Danielle and her business:
Instagram: @leftysrightmind