SHE MADE THE FIRST MOVE: RACHEL DRORI OF DAILY HARVEST
Via The Newsette
Making the first move in your career, love life, or when forging friendships can be intimidating. Luckily, there’s a highly-curated and safe platform that makes it easy to take fate into your own hands to land that dream job, relationship, and bff. Bumble is the revolutionary app that lets users connect with confidence, allowing busy women everywhere to use tools like Bumble Bizz to find interesting and motivated people to network with, hire, or even work for. For the month of January, we’ve partnered with Bumble on a 4-part series highlighting women who made the first move in their careers, and ended up as the main characters of major success stories.
This week, we’re chatting with Rachel Drori, Founder & CEO of Daily Harvest, a company making clean food accessible and convenient. Since launching in 2015, Daily Harvest has offered customers a range of healthy foods co-designed by a Michelin-trained chef, including soups, overnight oats, harvest bowls, and even lattes. In addition to creating an extremely successful brand from the ground up, Rachel has raised over $43 million in VC funding, and counts celebrities such as Bobby Flay and Gwyneth Paltrow as some of her investors. Below, this wellness boss speaks to us about how making the first move helped catapult her career, her advice for entrepreneurial women, and how to stand out to potential employers on Bumble Bizz.
Bumble helps women make the first move, whether it be to find a romantic relationship, meet new friends, or expand your professional network. You #MadetheFirstMove when you took the leap and created Daily Harvest. What advice do you have for women who want to build their own companies? What are the first few steps they should take?
I think one of the challenges women face is striving for the ideal of “having it all.” In my experience there are real trade-offs between work life and home life that have to be weighed. You simply cannot be in two places at once. Once I let go of this societal ideal and gave myself permission to prioritize and not just try to be everything to everyone, I was able to be better at my multiple roles. The first step I would take is to simply accept that there is never going to be a “good time” to take the leap. There will always be a reason not to but if you believe in your vision all the sacrifice and trade-offs are worth it!
There will always be a reason not to but if you believe in your vision all the sacrifice and trade-offs are worth it!Tweet
Strong relationships—whether they’re with investors, mentors, or fellow entrepreneurs—are key to building a successful business. Can you share a few relationships—professional or personal—that have helped you take Daily Harvest to the next level?
There have been so many!
I’ve been very lucky to have incredible investors since the very start who really understood the mission. Those early investors were mostly operators who not only supported me financially but also strategically and emotionally. As a single founder I really relied on them (and still do!) to be that sounding board that most entrepreneurs find in a co-founder.
Personally, my husband has been a key part of my support system throughout the journey of starting Daily Harvest. As someone who is not in the weeds with me everyday, he has always been able to help me see things from a broader perspective (for decisions big and small). We’re also true equal partners when it comes to raising our two sons, and I cannot imagine growing my business or family without his teamwork. If you asked him how he imagined fatherhood before we had kids, I can say with full certainty that this was not what he had in mind. I am so grateful to him for how he continues to step up and amaze me every day.
You started your career working in marketing for Four Seasons, a service company focused on the consumer. What lessons did you learn and use from that when developing your own brand?
I learned a lot about the customer being at the center, and this has really been a guiding light for me in building Daily Harvest. A service company like Four Seasons is great at listening to its customers and evolving in real time to meet their needs. If a FS team member notices a guest has a button missing from her shirt, that team member will run out to get a matching button and have it on her shirt by turndown.
At Daily Harvest, we bring that same service mentality to a physical edible product and that’s what differentiates us. Most companies with a physical product consider themselves “customer-centric” because they build products around a small group of test customers and then convince the rest of the population (through aggressive marketing) that what the small group of customers wanted (and what the company invested millions of dollars of inventory in) is what’s best for everyone. We are fundamentally different because we speak to our customers every single day, both pre and post the launch of any collection. We iterate constantly and don’t stop improving until every bite, click, and interaction is built around our community.
You’ve raised $43 million from top venture capitalist firms and celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Serena Williams, and Bobby Flay. What advice can you give women trying to find investors for their own idea? If they’re finding angels on an app like Bumble Bizz, what questions should they be prepared to answer?
Be persistent and believe deep to your core that your business is worth investment from great partners. Remember, they are investing in you just as much as they are investing in the idea. Heading into the funding process with drive and determination will greatly impact the results. Don’t let rejection deter you. Fundraising can be full of the highest highs and the lowest lows but you only need one (or a handful) who believes in you.
Also, do your homework and speak to everyone who will have a conversation. If you really understand the metrics and mechanics necessary to get the deal you want you will be poised to get it!
Questions that anyone heading into fundraising should be prepared to answer include:
- What is your vision?
- Why are you the person to see this vision through?
- Who are you trying to reach and why should they be customers?
- What’s your competitive advantage? What makes you different?
- If launched, what are the key metrics of the business?
- How big is the market opportunity?
- What are the risks?
- What do the next 18 months look like once you are funded?
- Why me? *Finding the right investor that understands your mission and believes in YOU is equally important!
Daily Harvest continues to be one of the fastest growing e-commerce brands, delivering healthy lattes, soups, and smoothies to subscribers nationwide. How do you and your team celebrate each milestone? Do you have something you treat yourself with every time you meet a goal?
I feel like I am always moving full steam ahead to the next goal, challenge, milestone, etc… At Daily Harvest, we never stop improving, innovating, and introducing new ways to make eating good, whole food easier. BUT it is so important to take a step back and celebrate the wins. This year, for our holiday party, we surprised all of our employees with a box at the Mumford and Sons concert at Madison Square Garden and custom Daily Harvest sneakers. It was such a special night celebrating an incredible year for our business. Outside of big celebrations we have a tradition of showering people unexpectedly with glitter cannons. It’s an easy way to make someone feel appreciated and it’s always funny watching the subject’s reaction.
Who are some women who #MadetheFirstMove by starting their own brands that inspired you?
Emily Weiss is a force! I am inspired by how she has built the Glossier brand into a cult. Other female founders who continue to impress me are Steph Korey and Jen Rubio (Away) and Tyler Haney (Outdoor Voices). These women don’t just sell products; they have created communities around their brands, where customers can go to feel heard and connected with others.
Bumble Bizz is a tool that readers can use to take fate into their own hands to land their dream job, meet fellow women who are interested in expanding their own professional circles, or even hire talented individuals to join their businesses. What qualities did you look for when hiring your Daily Harvest team? How can readers stand out when putting themselves out there on a platform like Bumble Bizz?
The three A’s: authenticity, ambition, and adaptability. Having a team that is just as passionate about your mission as you are is the key to growing a brand that solves the right problems and stays nimble. I am proud of the team I have built at Daily Harvest, because every single team member not only believes in our mission to “take care of food, so food can take care of you”, but works hard every single day to make it a reality for our customers. I also look for team members that take initiative and quickly maneuver through the rapid changes of a startup without flinching.