Sarah Danu has been a business person since she was a child. She progressed from very successful lemonade stands at age six to knitting fuzzy hair bows under her desk in middle school and selling them in the hallways. She was in seventh grade when she first heard the word sustainability. She was hooked and knew sustainability would play a big role in her life. In high school, she took responsibility for bringing her parent's business onto the world wide web and worked full time during the summers.
Upon high school graduation, she was selected for Elon University's Leadership Fellows program which she attended for one year. To satiate all the people asking what she wanted to do, she joined the pre-med program, but a month into that she knew that was not what she wanted to do. So, she did what any undecided college freshman might do, dropped out of university and bought a one way plane ticket to Europe.
This travel turned out to be a vital part of her education.
She volunteered through World Wide Opportunities in Organic Farming (WWOOF) and HelpX. Not only did this allow her to travel practically free, she was totally immersed in families lives and their cultures quite different from her own. Her perspective on the world was broadened into a much more accurate viewpoint and she found that travel had an affect on her that some people apparently experience when they drink coffee.
While working on an organic winery in Spain by, she applied to universities at night. She was accepted into The College of William and Mary and flew home to begin her sophmore year. About a month into that, she realized she did not want to be in college at all, so she got three jobs and split her time between work and school. She calls it hacking college. She also created an extensive post-it-note system to plan how to graduate a year early, maintaining a very high GPA, so she could be totally free to follow her passion — contrapeneurship.
At William & Mary, she began running a food co-op, created a weekly sustainable food club and became the first person to ever major in Leadership Studies, a major she created herself.
While in her final semester of school, she was recruited by RelayFoods.com as an intern. Her first task was to launch a new market for their business in Williamsburg. Unfortunately, the launch date was during exam week. Sarah single-handedly pulled off the companies first ever profitable launch and still got A’s on all of her exams. University hacking.
She finally did graduate with a major in Leadership Studies and Environmental Science, as well as a minor in Marine Biology.
She was offered a full-time position managing sales & marketing for RelayFoods.com. She created a team of salespeople which doubled the companies active customer base, and profits, as well as a training program that could teach anybody to sell and heading the companies Innovation Team. After two years, she was craving more travel. She left the company and headed to Asia where she spent nearly a year in introspection.
Once she ran out of travel funds, she headed to NYC to search for jobs. She was recruited by one of the largest companies in America to launch their online grocery program. This job was based in San Francisco so she flew west with two jam-packed suitcases and a bicycle to start a new life. Immediately, she purchased her first home (er — sailboat) and got to work. Unfortunately, her department was temporarily closed, she got a new boss and everything about that job changed in the first six months so she decided to leave the company and strike out on her own at last.
She founded a skincare company, Salinity Studio, which used the bounty of California herbs, flowers and oils to nourish the skin organically. This went pretty well and she was featured in Business Insider for her work and invited to present her company on Shark Tank.
In 2018, she founded the podcast and media company Contrapreneur to highlight people using business to make the world a more sustainable and socially just place.
Her clothing line, Danu Organic, will be launching one month after the receipt of the colorgrown cotton she’s ordered.
She also has a third business, Sprinkles, offering organic sugar-free sprinkles.
In Autumn of 2018, Sarah Danu and her partner, Charlie, completed a multi-year renovation of a 1974 Formosa 41’ sailing vessel, which is their home, and sailed it under the Golden Gate Bridge to warmer waters. Sarah Danu is nomadic. You’re as likely to find her on a remote anchorage in the Sea of Cortez as on a business trip in NYC.