Q. How long have you been with Dlush?
A. I have worked at Dlush since July 2005, coming up on 9 years!
Q. How has Dlush changed (or not) over the past 9 years?
A. Since I have started at Dlush, I have treated it like my baby. In 9 years, I have watched it grow and mature so significantly, that its almost unrecognizable to the Dlush it was when I started. We have undergone a few setbacks, but have taken them as lessons that have strengthened the brand rather than weaken it. Over these 9 years we have served millions of guests and learned a ton from them as well. We are good at listening and adapting and ultimately have created a much more enduring brand then existed 9 years ago.
Q. What did you start out doing at Dlush and what do you do there now?
A. I started fresh out of college, the first “career” job for me. There was a post for a marketing and advertising intern (unpaid) at my school and I applied. I was also serving and bar-tending at the time to pay my way but somehow Dlush still won most of time as it continues to today. I started with very entry level tasks like making packages for prospective investors, organizing hiring events, helping to promote the 1 store we had through marketing and worked to develop infrastructure for a corporate division in order to open many more Dlush outlets. While I still do all those entry level tasks today, they have evolved into something I could never have imagined at the time. I make may make those investment packages but I also participate in those prospective investor meetings and present right alongside the founder. I organize hiring events or oversee the organization of them and then I do the hiring and decide who I want on my team. I continue to help market the brand but now we have many more stores and I help with the overseas marketing by traveling to our stores in Kuwait and Doha, Qatar. The corporate office is comprised of myself and the founder so my start as an unpaid intern has developed into being the number 2 in the company- not too bad!
Q. What’s one menu item that you constantly crave?
A. I drink the Naked Angel Ice-T drink every time I’m at Dlush. It’s my favorite and its amazing. Now that we offer food at the UCSD location, I crave a lot more than just tea! I think the Japanese Soba Salad of the Cous Cous Goddess are delicious and put some filet mignon or chicken on them-mmmm!
Q. If you could sum up Dlush in one word, what would it be?
A. Opportunity. I have never failed to see the bigger picture at Dlush. I see this brand for what it truly is–a fantastic product and a unique experience. Our only goal is to make our guests happier when they leave then they were when they came in. Beyond that, the possibilities are endless. Our endeavors to give back to the community and to be a San Diego brand have lead us to participate and help in some amazing causes, meet tons of influential people and of course support a huge passion of mine- San Diego Charger Football!
As I said before, Dlush has given me the opportunity to meet amazing people- influential business leaders, celebrities, professional athletes, etc.- and to travel to unique places- Kuwait, Dubai, Qatar, Vietnam and I am so thankful for all of them. But the most amazing memory to this day was when I emailed Howard Schultz (CEO of Starbucks) about the impending loss of our flagship store at Fashion Valley Mall and after reading my email, he called me directly on my cellphone to speak to me about the store and what I was hoping he could do for me. Although this conversation did not change what happened, having a mentor like that take the time of out his day to call me on the phone was truly the most amazing thing that has happened to me to this point.
Q. Can you share a favorite Dlush memory with us?
A. I have so many, it’s hard to say! Company parties, retreats and just time we get to spend together as a family makes me super happy. The people that have worked at Dlush throughout the years are wonderful young adults and I am always happy to get to work with them and especially spend time with them both on and off the field.
Q. How do you balance the demands of a growing business with your personal life? Any tips or tricks for us?
A. Work hard. Play hard. Period.
I am very blessed to love what I do so much and be so passionate about it that it doesn’t seem like work (well most of the time…:)) but I am just as passionate about my family, my friends, my boyfriend and traveling that I make time for that as well. I also work out with a trainer 5 times per week. Everything is about time management and making time for what truly matters.
Q. Dlush just opened a location at UC San Diego. Can you tell us about what it’s like being part of the on-campus community?
A. It’s so great! I love the youth and vitality of a college campus, especially UCSD where many of the future leaders of San Diego are attending. This is a complete turning point for us and a way to create a flagship space at an institution that shares our values — education and helping to develop children and young adults is the most important thing we can do.
Q. Philanthropy and social entrepreneurship is core to the Dlush mission. We’re curious what causes you’re personally most passionate about.
A. While I was in college, I had many girlfriends affected by breast cancer in their families so that has always been a cause I have supported. I have walked the 3 Day Breast Cancer Walk 5 times and was so happy last year when Dlush gave out drinks for the 5K Race for a Cure. I also love our partnership with the Entrepreneurship Department at USD! That school is very important to me and to still be involved with it is important to me.
While there are so many other great causes out there and so much need, my favorite causes always center around children. We do many great things for the Rady Children’s Hospital and the Challenged Athletes Foundation. I am very proud to be apart of a socially responsible organization. Last year I went on a giving trip with Toms shoes and was able to give out the Toms shoes to children in Honduras. Watching a company put their money where their mouth is is an important step to a brighter future.
Q. We have to ask: Have you tried every single item on the menu?
A. Of course! And everything is delicious!
Are you addicted to the Sea Salted Caramel Ice at Dlush? Well today we’re sharing our recipe so you can enjoy this delicious drink in the comfort of your own home!
- 2 shots of espresso
- 1 ounce of vanilla powder (or syrup)
- squeeze of salted caramel
- half+half cream
- yogurt-covered pretzel for garnish
- Gather all the ingredients together.
- Mix vanilla powder and caramel.
- Pull 2 shots espresso.
- Add hot espresso to mixture and stir vigorously. Pour into cup of ice.
- Pour half and half cream over the mixture.
- Garnish with a pretzel and a pink straw.