Model, Blogger, and entrepreneur Danielle Copperman balances running a growing food brand, sharing quality time with friends, while travelling for work and to see her boyfriend in Sweden – yet still finds time for yoga! She tells Our Edit just how she makes it work.
Tells us about what you do?
I’m a full time model, currently splitting my time between London and Sweden, and I run a mindful eating and living blog called
model mange tout. A couple of years ago I set up a company specialising in a brand of quinoa based superfood breakfast goods, called Qnola. I work in London, occasionally from a studio where Qnola things are taken care of, but often from home or remotely if I am travelling. I am the founder and director of the company. I don’t really have a role as running a start up means you basically take on every role there is, but my main responsibilities include planning new products, projects and strategies and taking care of the creative side of the business. I attend castings or jobs every week but not always every day, and I fit this into my schedule where I can. For the blog, I write as much as I can when I can take a break from the business, and test and develop recipes weekly.
Where is home and who will we find there?
I live in an apartment right on the corner of Newington Green, with my eldest sister and a friend I met recently on a yoga retreat in Barcelona. I grew up in Bath, which is where my parents still live, and I will always consider that ‘home’. It’s like a retreat, having our home in the countryside (where the wifi is painfully slow) to escape to from the big city. I’ve recently been splitting my time between the UK and Sweden where my boyfriend is from and lives. I spend about two weeks living with him when I can take some time out. I feel really at home in Sweden too.
What’s the best way you’ve found to balance family and a career?
I don’t have a family of my own yet but I do find it important to have a balance in life to allow time to spend with friends and family. I consider my friends family and make sure I them as often as I can. I tend to see friends at least 2-3 evenings a week, and am lucky to share an office with friends too. Its really important to have positive people and people you’re close to and connect with around you regularly. It nourishes the soul and makes even the most stressful work issues seem ok. You’ve got to surround yourself with people who keep you calm and also grounded.
What three items help you juggle everything?
My employee Lydia, the support of my friends and family, and my notes and reminders!
What do you most enjoy about your role at work?
I love being able to make my own decisions and see a simple idea come to life. I love seeing something go from a thought to something big and I love the freedom I have in deciding what to do next. I also love having a product that has been so well received – it makes me proud, motivated and excited that other people are as enthusiastic about something as I am.
Is there anything you struggle with and how do you deal with it?
I find it hard to switch off and in a world where we’re constantly glorifying how busy we are, I find it hard to just sit back and stop planning what’s next. In big cities, there is this overwhelming energy to keep going and whilst its amazing to be surround by people constantly striving and doing and achieving, its also exhausting sometimes!
How do you spend any precious me time you get?
I go to yoga, I go on a run, I go on walks, I spend time with friends and family, I travel, I read, I study. Ironically I still end up doing a lot of things when I have down time, but I love discovering new things and places and learning new skills or languages, and to me, these things are a more valuable use of my precious time than a soak in the bath!
If your planning a holiday where would it be?
My boyfriend and I want to go to Bali next summer. Neither of us have been before and we are dreaming of walking barefoot, living off coconuts in a cosy tree house or some kind of beach hut. We love to travel and I love to discover new cultures and meet new people.
How do you switch off?
Yoga, meditation, an evening run or sprints, dinner with friends and a Facetime session with my parents or my boyfriend. My boyfriend and I sometimes watch movies together whilst on Facetime which is so chilled (until our Netflix gets out of sync!).
What exercise do you do?
Mainly yoga at the moment at my local studio Yogahome, or at home if I don’t have time. I also love boxing, cycling, swimming and walk wherever I can. This year I’ve managed to walk more places instead of getting the tube simply by scheduling in a little longer journey time.
What are you wardrobe fail-safes?
Jeans and a baggy white t-shirt for work and personal life. I love big jumpers and loose fitting basics, as when I’m modelling I’m usually in tight dresses and heels! I love & Other Stories, Cos, Topshop and H&M for effortless basics, and always always always a selection of minimal jewellery. I have some amazing earrings from H&M and ASOS as well as so much vintage jewellery. Rings and earrings are my day-today go-to’s.
Molecule and 1905’s Sofia Scent fragrance oil. Sometimes it’s just a matter of dabbing some ylang ylang oil on my wrists and neck too. I’ve also just launched a range of natural massage candles which I use as fragrance. Our Wake Up Well candle is a combination of Cedarwood & Amyris.
Your hosting a dinner party – what’s on the menu?
I tend to cook in line with the season, so, veggie-wise, it will be whatever I can get my hands on. This time of year I love root vegetables, pumpkin, squash, chestnuts and berries. If we’re talking fall / winter, I’d either do a gluten free chestnut, chanterelle mushroom, puy lentil and chicken pie with buckwheat pastry or a sweet potato dahl, with plenty of vegetable sides. I also love coconut creamed greens and sweet potato gratin with cashew cream. For dessert, a crumble or some kind of cheesecake pot with stewed and spiced fruits.
If you’re going out where is your favourite spot?
I love Newington Table or The Good Egg for brunch as they are super local and the food is amazing. I also love Caravan and the Good Life Eatery for lunch, and for dinner I love Jidori, Korabuta, The Shed, Redemption and Dishoom. Its hard to cut my list of favourites down as I have so many. I love food and love discovering new things.
Is there a woman you really admire?
I admire all the women in my life and their support and energy. On top of that, I admire women in business, especially those a similar age to me who have started companies from nothing, endured the struggles and put their life and soul into what they’re passionate about. Its so inspiring.
What’s the next big thing in your life?
At the moment I’m focussing on expanding the business and launching new products and projects. This month I’m also enrolled on a 200 hour yoga teacher training course in Berlin which I’m super excited about. I don’t have time to research much and although I probably wont ever teach yoga, I really want to understand it on a deeper level and become more advanced and able to teach myself more freely. There are several projects in the pipeline to do with new products and projects linked with my blog Model Mange Tout. There are lots of big things coming up, but I think my yoga training will be the most transforming.