DREAM CATCHER: SARAH DUBBELDAM
Sarah Dubbeldam is a creative innovator determined to start a cultural revolution for women by changing the face of media, a passion long developed over her many years mentoring young women and being immersed in the publishing, film and modeling industries. She founded Darling Magazine in 2011, serving as Editor in Chief of a quarterly print publication that within its first year grew to be sold in over 250 stores across the United States. Darling’s popular online blog posts daily inspiration and has reached over one million women around the world. Sarah spent her high school summers in Oregon working for a book publishing company, where she first developed a love and respect for the power of the written word. She received a degree in Secondary Education and Studio Art, interned in film production at Sony Pictures, and ultimately spent six years as a professional model with Wilhelmina. Her time spent on the “other side” of these industries drove her to challenge the narrow ideals of beauty presented in media and to raise levels of self-esteem in women, encouraging wholeness through a healthy definition of “the art of being a woman”. She currently resides in Los Angeles with her husband, Steve, and her two rambunctious cats.
What makes you different from your competition? So many things, but my top three are that first, we are a magazine that represents women as they really are – we don’t use photoshop to alter women’s bodies, and we speak about women from a real, genuine place of love. Second, we affirm women for who they already are rather than applying pressure to strive for more like most magazines do. And lastly, we put a lot of attention into using women of all ethnicities and sizes so that our models more closely represent real life.
What piece of invaluable advice did you receive that you would like to pass on to women pursuing their dream? Go for it! Don’t listen to people who tell you it can’t be done. You will never know until you try, and if you fail, don’t try harder, try different. Rework and reframe and constantly be strengthening your core vision.
My biggest challenge is… Time management and separating my work life from my home life. Darling is such a part of who I am that I am always daydreaming about it, but I have learned to have better boundaries.
My best advice, in one sentence, for launching a venture is… Really have a clear vision of WHY you exist to begin with, then decide WHAT it is you do (a product, a service, etc.), then decide HOW you do it. Make sure you go in that order – dreams die without the constant “WHY?”
I’m doing this all for… Women everywhere, and for God. I know that God is love, and that He wants all people to know their value and that they are loved. So I like my heart to beat with that vision.
My Top three tips for using social media are… Don’t overshare (it’s not ladylike, and there is beauty in reserve), never brag, and do avoid “selfies” for the sake of wanting affirmation from others. Find that from those who love you, not from how many “likes” you get.
Best piece of hiring advice is… Hire with your gut feeling, not necessarily off of a resume. Remember, you will be working with that person every day, so make sure you “click”.
The most important thing I have learned so far is… That affirmation is the most important thing in a work environment – you want others to know they are seen, that you acknowledge their talents and appreciate them!
LET’S GET PERSONAL:
What are three words that best describe you? Passionate, light-hearted and creative.
What three words best describe your company? Wholehearted, innovative, confident.
When you go on vacation you always… Bring a lot of books but never read them because I adventure around way too much and tire myself out. Working on that!
My favorite nail polish and/or lipstick is… Essie nail polish and Smith’s Rosebud Salve lip gloss.
My favorite time of the day… Nighttime! I love being cozy and snuggling up with a blanket and one of my cats and reading, watching movies, or doing art. It’s the time when I’m the most awake, and the most creative.
My favorite singer is… Lorde.
My favorite movies are… “Catch Me if You Can” and “Walter Mitty”.
My favorite food is… Chicken nuggets.
I funded my dream by… Kickstarter and working about three other jobs on the side!
The key to balancing it all is… Perspective and boundaries – make sure you have them in place and follow them!