We had an opportunity to catch up with the co-Founder of Bethesda-based Daisy Baby & Kids Dana Evans.Â Dana, who moved from the west coast, is a wife, mommy, entrepreneur, business woman, and creative genius behind the furniture, nursery design, and children’s accessories boutique.Â Somehow, she keeps it all together, looking beautiful, glowing, gracious and running her retail business and household.
Pamela’s Punch: What was the inspiration to start Daisy Baby?
Dana Evans: I went into a partnership with some friends to open Daisy Baby, because we were all heading into that stage of our lives. Once I got into it, I really loved the design aspect of it, and the experience of being here with the moms their first time around, doing all that really fun stuff! As for why we chose Bethesda, I’m not from this area, but my friends were and they always knew they wanted a store in this area. It’s an area that’s very family focused and full of people who care about design, the quality of things in their home, and have a certain esthetic.
PP: Who has been your strongest ally and mentor?
DE: My parents are my supporters and advocates. My sister is my biggest influence – who I look to for advice and admire and model my life after. In the retail world Andrea Paro & Fabiana Zelaya, the original owners of Daisy Baby taught me everything I know about creative the perfect retail environment. I am very grateful for the start they gave me. My biggest inspirations are Julia Child, Steve Jobs, Walt Disney, Dave Ramsey, Paula Deen, Oprah… people who are really successful in life. I’m always interested in how they got there, and that whole process of achieving your goals and your dreams.
PP: What is your “secret” to success during this challenging retail time?
DE: Our store is always a work in progress. It’s not about selling baby stuff. It’s about sharing the experience of bringing a baby into the world. It’s being a part of that exciting time in someone’s life. We’re here to talk about the nerves before you have the baby, and celebrate after you have the baby. We try to stay on top of trends and respect various budgets. Most of all it’s about that personal service, and really being an experience instead of just a storefront.
PP: Can women “have it all”?
DE: Oh, Pamela. This is a conversation that’s near and dear to my heart. I am a hardcore feminist and I truly did believed I could have it all. After becoming a mother, I do believe that you have limitations and you have a ceiling. It’s not necessarily forced on us by “the man”, but it’s forced on us by the reality of loving your children. If you want to be there, and not have your children later in life be able to say “my mom was not there for me”, it would be hard to be a high powered CEO or reach all your ambitions in life. Prior to having a baby, I left my store at 11pm. I don’t do that anymore. I don’t pick up a laptop during my 2 days off. You cannot come to work from 5am to 10pm and still have that time to be present with your child. Coming to that realization was very tough.
PP: Tell us your favorite spots in or around the nation’s capital.
DE: The National Gallery of Art is hands down my favorite. the Rothko collection, and Calder are my inspiration. I think Washington DC is one of the most beautiful cities. I equate it with Paris. It’s such a privilege to live here.
PP: What advice can you give to a new mommy?
DE: Have confidence in yourself. Go with your gut. Know that you have the innate ability to care for this child and to know what your child needs.
PP: What’s next for Daisy Baby?
DE: Three things. First, building our online profile and becoming a resource online, along with being a stronger retail portal. Second, becoming a place for moms to congregate. A place to talk about birth, and let them know their birth options, and to form those mom groups, those friendships that are so vital during those years. Third, to continue to grow the business. To be the number one baby design resource in the greater DC metropolitan area with representation in DC, Maryland, and Virginia.
PP: What’s next for you?
DE: I want to continue to run my business well, to continue to work on my business and not just in my business. To continue to grow my family. To achieve my personal goals, like becoming a mentor and helping other young women develop professionally. To at some point have a non-profit arm of my business. I love what I do. The balance of my job – I get to do the back end of the business and to also be out there chatting with the clients and hugging the babies. I always want to be involved in that – the designing nurseries and being a part of this world. For me, it’s always been about that experience, and the aspect of making a wonderful space for new parents.
Daisy Baby is located at 4912-A Del Ray Avenue Bethesda, MD. @shopdaisybaby
Pamela Lynne Sorensen is the founder of Pamela’s Punch, a leading source of information for the “who, what, when, and where” of Washington, DC’s elite social, professional, and philanthropic scene, which she founded in November of 2006. In 2012 she launched Pacific Punch, based in Los Angeles. Pamela comes from an extensive background in sales and business development from a variety of industries, has been involved with charities and fundraising for a number of years and holds several Board and leadership positions. She currently resides in Arlington, Virginia and when she’s not out on the town, she’s reading or writing while sipping fine wine, or traveling the country and the world ISO adventures, beauty, fun, food, style, libations, music, and the good life. Follow her on Twitter at @pamelaspunch.