The Importance of Mindfulness, Confidence and Passion
Daphne Mazarakis speaks with Jim Murphy at Local Foods to talk about mindfulness, women entrepreneurs, and growing sustainable fish.
Now with Finger Lakes Fish (now LocalCoho), Daphne has accomplished much in what is still a very young career. Having worked as the Brand Director for Kraft Foods, and developing a mindfulness curriculum for Northwestern University’s Engineering School, Mazarakis has combined her two passions of food and entrepreneurship to start not one, but two food related start-ups. In this interview, we discuss why 75% of start-ups fail within their first 10 years, the ‘whole-brain’ way of teaching, and the ‘ecosystem’ of women entrepreneurs.
Bringing Mindfulness Practices to Schools
Like those 75% of startups, Whey of Life did not make it to its 10 year anniversary, but Mazarakis gained valuable experience and started a practice that has served her well to this day: mindfulness. While it may be a trendy buzzword today, mindfulness was barely on anyone’s radar in 2011 when Mazarakis first took an interest. What’s more impressing, though is to hear her talk about how she developed a mindfulness curriculum for Northwestern’s School of Engineering.
Growing Sustainable Fish
Although most food sectors have experienced some amount of upheaval and adjustment with the advent of the organic and sustainability movements, a lot of misinformation and confusion remains among consumers in the seafood isle. Even the “gold standard of wild-caught” can mean different things depending on where it was caught, and over-fishing remains a problem worldwide despite some recent efforts to set limits. In the clip below, Mazarakis outlines some of the issues facing the seafood category.
Women in the Entrepreneurial Field
Taking a new product to market is no easy task, but luckily Daphne is not unfamiliar with the challenges many entrepreneurs, especially female entrepreneurs, face. When Daphne was at Northwestern in the 1990s, her college classes had “between 20 and 30 percent women,” numbers that have only increased slightly in the past 20 years. Even in 2008, Mazarakis “felt like one of the first women entrepreneurs” even though that’s hardly the case. That feeling was largely down to the lack of a connected entrepreneurial ecosystem, an ecosystem that “is so vibrant now,” thanks in part to the efforts of women like Daphne and her associates in the Northwestern Alumni Association Council of One Hundred.