There are certain advocates in our network who are an absolute pleasure to work with and produce high-quality content time after time. They maintain consistent and effective communication throughout the advocacy process and just are generally pretty freakin’ amazing. We think that it’s important to recognize these wonderful advocates and put them on blast (in a nice way) with our monthly Advocate Spotlight.
This month: CoffeeBreakWithDani
How did you begin your YouTube Journey? What brought you to the YouTube space – who were your influences that made you say “Oh I can do this”?
*Laughs* That’s actually the perfect way of putting it. I’m pretty sure that’s how most of us get started.
I guess I’m the atypical woman when it came to my pregnancy in that I didn’t enjoy it at all. So when I was at home basically being an oven I started to watch YouTube videos. And it was just one of those things where I was looking up something random like a pygmy goat video or something and a tutorial came up from Kandee Johnson and… that was it. I started to watch them late at night and when I couldn’t sleep and when I couldn’t breathe and when I had just eaten like 7 cheeseburgers; I was ALWAYS watching YouTube videos. Finally my husband was just like “Why don’t you just do it? You obviously have enough makeup, you know what you’re doing, you’re not teaching anymore… Why don’t you just do it?”
So I did.
But I didn’t actually start doing it until my son was… about 8 or 9 months. So it took me a while to get started because, y’know first time mom. I was basically paranoid that every second of the day [my son] needed me so it took a while.
But yeah, I think the person that definite stands out for me as an influence is Kandee Johnson
You mentioned you were a teacher, tell us a bit about your teaching career.
Yeah, so I’m originally from San Diego and I was a culinary arts and nutrition teacher at a highschool level. It was a big part of me. There were very few times in my life where I felt incredibly super important and useful and productive and special and that was definitely one of the phases of my life where I look back and… as much of an adjustment process that it was, it was such a beautiful time in my life when I got to connect with so many young people. I think at that age high-school students are so impressionable so being around such moldable minds and being able to remind them how important they are and how productive they can be and putting their traits to positive use was just… it was one of the best times of my life. Y’know besides becoming and mom and marrying my husband. The typical responses. *laughs*
Okay, let’s loosen up a bit what are some of your current obsessions? What’s something you’re super into? Snacks you can’t stop eating or…
Haha well I eat a lot in general. I posted a video on my channel called “50 Facts About Me” and I thought I was going to get the weirdest comments back because throughout the video I was like “Eating makes me happy, Pizza makes me happy. Cheeseburgers make me happy.” I’m 5’11, 130 pounds so I look like a noodle and I truck it down like a linebacker it’s crazy. At the moment I really look forward to getting my Graze and my Love With Food Box because of course I’m addicted to subscription boxes. They’re really good. Although, some of the snacks can be “UGH Where did you come up with this?!” But most of the time they’re really, really good.
Like recently I actually placed an order directly from the manufacturer. I’m sick. I’m serious I’m sick. It’s the Chicago type popcorn that’s half caramel and half cheese. Oh my gosh you will lose your mind. It’s so good.
If you could be any breakfast food, what would you be a why?
Hmmm… You want to answer with what you like to eat. But what represents me… Oh I’ve got it. And this is a shout-out to a breakfast joint in San Diego. So there is this breakfast spot in San Diego, it’s actually in a suburb called North Park. It’s called “Cafe on Park” and they have a pancake that is whole grain – so it good for you – but they put blackberries and Cap’n Crunch into the batter and make the pancake the size of a medium sized pizza. I know you’re thinking – “Wow that sounds awful and disgusting” but once you try it you cannot stop eating it. I think that represents me and who I am because when you initially meet me you’re probably like “This girl is loud and obnoxious” but once you give me an opportunity and get to know me and have a conversation with me, most people tend to like me.
Scent is the strongest sense tied to memory. What’s your favorite scent of all time? What’s a super nostalgic smell or just a pleasant fragrance that when you smell it you’re just like “Yes this is my favorite thing ever.” ?
Oh my gosh… Okay so this is going to sound so weird. My first serious relationship was when I was eighteen and he smoked – which is awful I know but at that time you don’t realize the horrible effects of nicotine and… yeah. But anyway, he had a Zippo lighter and the Zippo fluid you put in the lighter had a very particular smell to it. So whenever I smell that kerosene-y smell – like in those lamps they put outside of restaurants – it reminds me of that time in my life. That really happy, irresponsible, “everything-is-fun-you’re-always-right” time in your life when you really don’t have a care in the world.
Like, my only responsibility was being in high-school and I thought that was it. That was my whole entire life. And now that I’m a mom, and a wife and all these things I look back and it all seems so insignificant. It reminds me of how life changes, how you thought something was the end-all-be-all of your life but you move on and you realized there are bigger things.
You’re in such a rush to grow up but you don’t realize how simple life is when you’re that young.
*Growling is heard*
Uh… Is that growling in the background?
Yeah sorry, that’s just my toddler. He does that. He Growls. We have 4 dogs so I think he thinks he’s one of the pack.
What’s one of your favorite interactions you’ve had with a fan? Maybe one that’s particularly funny or touching or interesting.
In April of this year my friends and I decided to go to the IMATS beauty convention in NYC. I’d had my channel for about 10 months at that point. When I went there I was under the impression that I was paroled from Mommy jail. I was going to have a great weekend with my girlfriends and take little break from the daily responsibilities of a wife and mother and so I was never under the impression I’d be doing any sort of meet up. I still kind of shudder at the idea that someone might recognize me because… I’m just a lady who sits at home with her son and likes to talk about makeup with people who share my interest! So when I got there, after only 15 or 20 minutes of being there I was approached by one of my subscribers and she was like “Oh my God Dani! I wanted to make sure I found you.” And she gave me a coffee mug. And it was one of those coffee mugs with an inspirational messages on it.
So I post daily inspirations on my Instagram, and I do it because I personally like to read something positive every day. I like to keep it in mind for the day… if you’re going to practice one positive thing today, practice this. And she handed me a paper bag with a mug in it and the mug said “Choose Happiness”. And it just… it kind of cemented what I was doing. It just made me feel that what I was doing meant something. Someone noticed what I was doing and it meant something to someone. That what I was doing was worth something to someone. And every day I look at my mug. And of course since then I’ve gotten quite a few mugs and my subscribers always tell me “Thank you” and that they’re so grateful… it’s kind of like when I was teaching. The feeling that I’m doing something useful and not going unnoticed. And meeting [that fan] THAT quickly, when I wasn’t even there to meet-up with people, when not many people knew who I was… it told me that the net I was casting was working and I was touching somebody.
I just wish I had the means and capability to thank each and every person that treats me as important as… well my parents do. *laughs*
Itching for more Dani? Check out her YouTube Channel. Don’t forget to subscribe!