The Fashion, Skincare, Life-Balance: An Interview with DonnaReine CEO, DaniAnn Rawls

What led you to start your business and become an entrepreneur? 

I grew up with my Daddy as an entrepreneur, so it’s almost as if it was ingrained in my bones. lol. As I got older and failed at the traditional system of working for someone else I needed a way out. I would constantly get fired or quit, it just didn’t feel right sitting in one spot for 8hrs a day, and someone telling me when and for how long I can take a lunch, or when to come in and when to leave. I just felt in my bones that I’m supposed to be doing more. I knew that if I was going to work hard, I’d rather work hard for myself. I would pray and pray for my gifts and my purpose. Started reading self help books such as “Think Rich, Grow Rich”, “You are a Badass”, committed to daily affirmations and setting my intentions,  signed up for entrepreneur workshops, and surrounded myself with like minded individuals. I knew it was time for me to take the leap and go for it. Shoot, if all else fails I have a degree, I can always find a job. But, I always knew I’d be a boss one way or another. 

You have a resort fashion line and skincare line. How do you balance both
businesses and still have a life? 

Yes that’s correct. I don’t think I’ve mastered the balance quite yet. I’m still learning daily. I’m the type of person who always has to be doing something, I have to always stay busy and productive or I will feel like I’m wasting time and the day. So, to make sure I still have a life I have to schedule things. I’m huge on that, my time is valuable so if I know the ladies want to have dinner or Hubby wants a date night they know to let me know in advance so I can take that moment for them, family, and allow myself the time to step away. I also dedicate my Mornings for at least an hour for myself, and Sundays to my family. Meditation and me time help me maintain my mental balance of it all. 

So many people are posting their vacation pics all over social media. What are some vacation specific fashion mistakes you see people making? 

The biggest mistakes I see people doing in their vacation pics is wearing swimsuits not around the water or underdressing, example if I’m in Tulum and I’m on Hotel Drive at a very fancy restaurant where you need reservations please please please don’t insult them by wearing your swimwear or cut off shorts that have your tush hanging out and flip flops in there. Change into something more appropriate. yes I know you’re on vacation but have an array of options for every occasion. Another mistake I see on vacation pics is wearing revealing or too short garments at the airport, first of all it’s freezing in the airport no matter where you go, so do us all a favor and cover up while you fly!

What are some essential skincare products we all should be packing in our suitcase?

Always pack sunscreen, always always have a cleanser, toner and a nice moisturizer, (water is so different everywhere you go) always pack some lip balm/gloss, and bring your own bath soap ( hotel soap is hit or miss), and pack some benadryl and bug bite cream/away ( Allergic reactions can set back your skincare treatment tremendously)  

What type of woman is your fashion line created for?

The type of woman my line is created for is the woman who loves to travel and be free, who loves the sun, who loves vibrance. She is confident in every step, she isn’t afraid of being sexy yet classy. She knows her royal essence and isn’t afraid to let others know as well. 

So many women of color are launching skincare lines. What makes your brand stand out? Do you think the field is getting too crowded?

What makes my brand different is that it is created by me and there is only one me. My hands make these products to heal, to promote confidence within the one using them, and it is created specifically for melanated skin to reveal the natural glow. I don’t think that the field is too crowded. Go look down the bread, chip, or cereal aisle next time you go to the grocery store. There’s plenty for all of us.

Since you are a fashion designer, what two trends do you wish would go away, and what trends or statements should we keep our eyes on? 

Two trends that need to go away are those sneaker wedge heels or those chunky Dad sneakers. I’m definitely sick of those, they remind me of moon shoes. Another trend that needs to go away is overly baggy clothing on both men and women. It looks soooo frumpy, messy and makes you look bigger than what you really are. HATE ITTTTT! Trends and statements we should keep our eyes on are earth tone colors such as red and camel (this never goes out of style) also resort wear with puff sleeves, long flowy dresses with suttle patterns, painted denim, head scarves, and of course face mask to match garment. 

What advice would you give someone on developing a good skincare routine they can stick with?

Start small, don’t overwhelm yourself with too many products. 1st you use a cleanser 2x a day. Then always always tone after you cleanse, and then you must moisturize. It’s that simple. Later you can incorporate your exfoliants then your night serums. Those are like icing on the cake! Once you build up the habit it becomes second nature.

Someone reading this may have dreams of becoming a fashion designer like you. What advice would you give them? 

Have patience with yourself and understand it’s not all glitz and glamour. It is sleepless nights, it is financial and mental sacrifice, and it is cut throat. I wouldn’t worry about what other people are doing around you, or the pace they may be moving at. Focus on yourself and understand what’s for you is already yours. 

What are some goals (business or personal) you have for 2021? 

Some business goals are to finally launch my RTW Resort Line, and to continue to heal and instill confidence in more women with DonnaReine Naturals. Some personal goals for myself is to travel more with my children! 

For the most update information on DonnaReine & DonnaReine Naturals be sure to follow DaniAnn on Instagram @donnareine & @donnareinenaturals.