Blake Woman - Danielle Copperman
Tell us a bit about yourself, and your life so far...
I am a model, writer and entrepreneur living in london. I am the founder of Qnola breakfast goods and author of modelmangetout.com - a food and lifestyle blog centred around natural and sustainable living, and being in balance with the universe. I model full time with IMG models which allows me to travel a lot. My journey so far has taken me straight from school into full time modelling, and then onto setting up my blog and business - just a couple of years ago. Its been exciting and varied and there's always a lot going on, but its taken a lot of hard work and manifesting to attract the things i want and the places and situations in which i want to be.
You are originally from Bath - How did you end up in London?
I moved to London when i was 18 to model full-time, as there are no jobs in Bath, and I wasn't keen to commute as i had been doing from the age of 16-18!
When did your interest for nutrition start?
Not long after I moved to London. I was more aware of staying shape for modelling, and so as i embarked upon a journey of working out a lot and eating more healthily, i discovered many things about the supermarket foods available to us and this inspired me to study a biology A level from home and then a short diet & nutrtion course. It was all in aid of keeping fit, slim and energised for my job that first sparked my interest in nutrition and wellbeing.
What has been the biggest struggles/best reward of starting a business been?
Doing it alone was the biggest struggle. Getting into Selfridges Food Hall and now Waitrose, and being featured in worldwide press and endorsed by celebrities who truly love the products have been a few of the best rewards, although when you stop and slow down to notice things properly, you notice that everyday there are small victories, even if that is just a sale made online by a new customer, or a nice instagram post of someone enjoying the products. i try to celebrate them all!
What tip would you give to young women who are embarking the same journey?
Decide your own direction, your own reasons for doing what you want to do, and your own definition of success. Following or aiming for boundaries or goals set by other people is not realistic, definitely not enjoyable and not really possible either! You're embarking on a unique journey, so keep it unique and above all, enjoy every minute of it - even the daily struggles and challenges are part of your journey and your ability to grow, improve and evolve.
Is using organic/local/sustainable products important to you?
Yes, although it's not as possible as i would like it to be. We do use some organic ingredients in our products, but they are more expensive, and with the expensive ingredients included in Qnola, our products are already inaccessible for many people. I value organic ingredients when eating fresh food and cooking for myself, but with the ingredients in Qnola, like nuts and coconut oil for example, i don't think the use of pesticides and other treatments is as seriously harmful as it is when eating raw vegetables - which are more directly affected by these processes. in an ideal world i would include all organic ingredients as i believe the way things grow more wholesomely makes the ingredients taste better and do a lot better once consumed.
Talk us through your daily routine.
My routine changes constantly but most mornings are the same, i make sure of it and value my morning routines. I start by tongue scraping or oil pulling and then enjoy a hot drink of fresh turmeric, lemon and ginger or adaptogen powders in hot water or nut milk. I then wash my face, use a natural face mist followed by a serum and moisturiser. I then stretch, do yoga or go to a class, or on a run if I'm feeling awake enough. then i start my day of work, either from home or from my studio in Shoreditch.
How do you choose your products when creating new recipes?
I look to the universal provisions and experiment with whats seasonal, functional, vibrant and flavourful. I am always discovering new natural ingredients and am constantly working them into my own diet, so anything i create for Qnola is an extension of what I'm enjoying at that moment. In terms of coming up with new product ranges, i speak directly with customers, sometimes send short surveys to my returning loyal customers and also take inspiration from what is already popular on the market, and also what isn't available. i started Qnola because it didnt exist, and i hope to develop my range into snacks and other breakfast products that are perhaps available in some form, but not yet in healthful forms!
Top 5 recipes
The top five recipes from my blog are:
What´s your mantra?
I have many, and they change depending on what i am experiencing from one day to the next. Sometimes its might be a quote - something as simple as 'let it be' or 'let it happen' which helps me to trust that whatever will be will be and whatever is supposed to happen will come to me when it is supposed to. I also OM and use vedic mantra's when meditating.
Who is your typical customer?
A health conscious, educated and aware female aged between 17 and 41. People who come to Qnola are usually already aware of the bad state of the supermarket breakfast offerings, and are looking for something more nourishing but just as easy to prepare in the mornings as a bowl of cornflakes. many customers are active and into fitness, whilst others are looking for better skin and just changing their diet to feel better and more energised. Most of our customers are based in London, USA, France, Germany and Scandinavia.
How would you describe your style?
Very laid back, minimal, timeless, classic, vintage, comfortable, effortless and sometime plain, i guess! i dont like colours or patterns unless its summer, and i usually go for block colours or prints with white patterns or some texture - I never really mix colours! i wear a lot of vintage second hand clothes as i love the character and stories behind them and i feel i am wearing something with a lot of depth to it. i find high street stores feel empty sometimes, although the basics are of course essential. day to day i wear oversized, loose clothes such as t shirts, shirts or jumpers and either some skinny or mom style jeans or an asymmetric skirt. i love interesting cuts, an open leg and good-quality fabrics.
With all the success so far, what is the long term goal?
My long term goal is to grow a bigger team around Qnola, in order to reach more people and create more of a community alongside our products and other offerings. I want to expand with new products, more events and more educational and inspirational content via online and also in print (our first Wake Up Well Magazine will be launching this summer - you heard it here first!). i want to create a sustainable and inspirational brand, not just food products, and i want to change the way people live and feel, one morning at a time.
Text and photos by Thea C. Sneve Løvstad