In Conversation with Dana Snyder of herdesk

Dana Snyder_Blog Header

Describe your business in a few words?

herdesk is a responsibly-made desk designed by and for women.

What made you take the leap to start your own business?

I started my first business (Positive Equation) working as a digital consultant for nonprofits nearly four years ago. The moment I walked into my boss’s office to quit was terrifying! I just had this gut feeling that I’d make it work. I accepted the challenge and never looked back!

I wanted to design my own future and work with organizations doing good in the world. Starting herdesk was much less terrifying. Honestly, because I was so naive to the e-commerce and product aspect of building a business! I started herdesk because there’s a big gap in the market for quality furniture that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. I wanted to provide a better desk option for women that would also inspire creativity in the WFH space.

What was your background prior to starting your own business?

Since I graduated from the University of Central Florida in 2010, I’ve worked in digital marketing. I had a brief career working for a nonprofit and then moved to New York City. I spent about five years working for incredible companies on their digital products and social media campaigns.

Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?

Yes and no. I always challenged the status quo wherever I was working. I didn’t realize or think I had the potential to fully run my own business until I was later in my 20’s. At that point, I had built great relationships and leaned on those to jump start my first business.

Take us back to when you first launched your business, what was your marketing strategy to get the word out and did it go as planned?

When I launched Positive Equation, I had about $10k in my bank account at the time and I decided to host launch parties in key cities where I knew influential people – Orlando, Sarasota, and Los Angeles. The events didn’t generate immediate work, but they paid off in the long run.

For herdesk, COVID definitely made things a bit more challenging. I sent an email to Create & Cultivate about a potential speaker position for an upcoming virtual conference. They surprisingly said, “yes!” I marked that live speaking engagement as the launch day for herdesk. My session was all about how to start a business during COVID-19. It was great!

We always learn the most from our mistakes, share a time with us that you made a mistake or had a challenging time in business and what you learned from it?

When I first started working for myself I worked ALL the time. I was living alone, so I would wake up… walk over to my computer at 7:30 am and log off around 11 pm. It was awful and quickly burned out.

I learned to schedule breaks outside and to set strict times for when I respond to clients.

What is the accomplishment you are the most proud of to date?

For Positive Equation, I helped run Movember’s North America digital campaign in 2019. That was a BIG moment.

herdesk was recently featured in Forbes by a friend of mine I greatly admire for his purpose-driven work.

How has your business or industry been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic?

Both businesses have been greatly impacted. There’s been a significant increase in home office furniture. There’s issues with meeting that demand with companies manufacturing from China and overseas.

herdesk is manufactured and shipped right from Texas. The cost of materials are a bit higher right now, but we’re able to not have 2-4 month long wait times.

What’s next for your business? What can we expect to see over the next few years?

I hope to see herdesk expand into multiple desk options with different features, chairs, home office accessories, and more!

Right now I’m a solo-entrepreneur and I’d love to have a team by my side to help grow herdesk as an internationally known brand.

What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were first starting your business?

Accountants are your very best friend! Make sure to set up all of your books and hire an accountant to help you through anything you don’t understand. Don’t try and DIY it on this one.

How have you managed to stay grounded this year?

This has been a CRA-zy year. We canceled our April wedding in Mexico, moved across the country from LA to ATL in June, replanned an October wedding in South Carolina, and I launched herdesk in September.

I’ve stayed grounded with amazing family, friends, and a glass of cabernet in the evening. 😉

Do you believe in work/life balance? What are some of your best tips?

I think this year has shown us that each day is not guaranteed. I truly believe in living life enjoying what you’re doing and getting the most out of it.

Working out is key for me to feel healthy and have a fresh start to each day. I always leave time in the day for some kind of workout.

Put the phone away. I’ve been getting better at this… It’s important to not be attached to technology. Whenever a notification pops up, we feel obligated to answer.

What are your top 3 tips to stay productive each day?

  • 1. I work from my herdesk and use the whiteboard top everyday to write my To-Do Lists. This keeps me on track!
  • 2. I take breaks from the computer throughout the day. Leave and come back refreshed.
  • 3. Close your email when working on an important task.

What does being an Entreprenista mean to you?

Being an Entreprenista means believing in yourself and – this is crucial – accepting help from others on your journey. We can accomplish SO much more together than apart. As you check accomplishments off your list, make sure to open the door for others.

Share it!

Posted in

Leave a Comment

Randi Shinder on how SBLA explores the intersection of science and beauty to create skincare products that address universal aging concerns

Describe your business in a few words? SBLA uses the intersection of science and beauty to create skincare products that address universal aging concerns. The non-invasive wand-delivery-system skincare line is clinically proven to build collagen, smooth, lift and tighten the skin while targeting the most fragile areas of the face and neck to deliver a…

How Heather Ouida and her co-founders are amplifying women’s voices in the gaming industry through the*gameHERs

Describe your business in a few words? The*gameHERs is a media platform and social networking community that connects, supports and amplifies women who game and who work in the gaming industry. Our mission is to advance the role, voice, image, and power of all women, femme-identifying and non-binary gamers who are comfortable in spaces that…

Creating a smarter swaddle with Hindi Zeidman through her company The Ollie World

Describe your business in a few words? It all started with an amazing infant named Oliver. I was a single foster parent and he was my foster son. When he came to me he was on the verge of being labeled failure-to-thrive because he struggled with the basics of eating and sleeping. He was also…

Jen Fuller on how Etta Loves delivers both babies’ cognitive development and calmness for parents through uniquely-designed baby products

Describe your business in a few words? Etta Loves baby essentials are uniquely designed with science to support babies’ visual and cognitive development, delivering wonder for babies and calm for parents in the everyday. What made you take the leap to start your own business? I had an idea that I couldn’t ignore when my…

How Jessica Jackson is achieving better sleep for both parents and their babies through The Mookabee Swaddle

Describe your business in a few words? The Mookabee Swaddle is committed to helping babies (and ultimately their parents!) achieve better sleep by utilizing the proven power of a parent’s scent. 10% of all profits are donated to Saving Mothers- a non profit dedicated to improving maternal health worldwide. What made you take the leap…

Stacie Stanley on empowering women through her swimwear brand STAYkini™

Describe your business in a few words? STAYkini™ is a swimwear revolution created to empower women through high-quality, backless, strapless swimwear that lets us move freely and soak up the sun while avoiding unwanted tan lines and accidental exposure. What made you take the leap to start your own business? I had the idea for…

Healing Trauma and Getting In Touch With Your Power with Kimberly Ann Johnson, Author of Call Of The Wild

What made you take the leap to start your own business? I’ve always worked for myself (beside when I waited tables and a brief foray into public school teaching). But I took the leap from a calling to a career when I became a mother. What was your background prior to starting your own business?…

How Nicole Boyd used her maternity leave to create Prept, a personal style and beauty help service delivered to consumers virtually so that everyone can feel Prept

Describe your business in a few words? Prept is an on-demand style + beauty concierge that matches women in need of style/beauty help to experts that can help in an affordable, personalized, and digital way. What made you take the leap to start your own business? Having TIME OFF from my corporate job while on…

Daniela Schiliro & Heather Kamback on co-founding inBodi Swim, a swimwear brand inspired by different places of the world the duo has traveled together

Describe your business in a few words? Each collection of inBodi Swim has been thoughtfully created based on different places around the world that we’ve been fortunate enough to see and experience. Along with the environments, colors, textures, cultures of each place; we are most inspired by the unique beauty that each and every woman…

Women Making Bold Moves In Business

Your next read: Ali Kriegsman, co-founder of Bulletin, has released her debut book How To Build A Goddamn Empire. We can’t wait to check it out!  🎉 An exciting partnership: Rocksbox, founded by Meaghan Rose, was acquired by Signet Jewelers, making their $1B service business goal that much closer. 🎉 Top sellers: The Jills Zeder Group, a women-led…

Jasmine Carter on how her own obsession for engagement rings led her to create Balacia, a custom bridal jewelry brand that allows shoppers to create the engagement and wedding rings of their dreams

Describe your business in a few words? Balacia is a custom bridal jewelry brand allowing shoppers to create the engagement and wedding rings of their dreams within their budget. We use diamonds, moissanite, and gemstones so buyers have endless options for colors, shapes, and sizes for their rings. In addition to rings, we also make…

How Julianne Fraser is creating meaningful dialogues with Dialogue New York, a global digital marketing consultancy that specializes in influencer marketing

Describe your business in a few words? Dialogue New York is a global digital marketing consultancy, that specializes in building influencer marketing strategies for luxury and lifestyle brands. What made you take the leap to start your own business? Over the last decade, I’ve watched as the Wild, Wild West of Influencer Marketing took shape,…

Tiffany Buzzatto on pioneering unbottled, undiluted, and uncomplicated slow beauty with her brand DEW MIGHTY

Describe DEW MIGHTY in a few words? We are pioneering unbottled, undiluted, and uncomplicated slow beauty. We plan to always deliver effective skin care products without fillers, sans water, free of nasty ingredients, and without plastic or trashy packaging to always USE LESS. DEW MORE™ What made you take the leap to start your own…

Molly Fienning on how Red Clay turned her into a hot sauce fanatic and CEO

Describe your business in a few words? Red Clay is a cold-pressed, made-for-foodies hot sauce and hot honey brand, named “Tabasco for the 21st century” by Food and Wine Magazine and “a hot honey to elevate your meal” by The New York Times. Crafted by a talented Southern chef, we focus on delicious flavor, sustainably-sourced…

Jhoanna Marissa, founder of WILLA Creative Agency, on creating her dream women-led digital creative agency in the fashion and lifestyle space

Describe WILLA Creative Agency in a few words? A digital-first creative agency working with beauty, fashion and lifestyle brands. What made you take the leap to start your own business? Not being able to find my dream job. I wanted to work in the digital e-commerce space specifically in beauty and fashion. And back when…