Jess Dadon is one-half of the Twoobs/How Two Live empire. I first met Jess when she came to my Yoga classes, we bonded over our mutual love of Golden Retrievers and since then she has become a friend and supporter of Natch Essentials. Given her success as a young entrepreneur, I was intrigued to learn more about this powerhouse of a woman.
Put the kettle on, make a cuppa and settle in.
Jess the Entrepreneur
You're probably sick of answering this but tell us about Twoobs - how it came about, what is Twoobs, where are you at with it at the moment?
I started TWOOBS with my sister in 2016 - a line of cool, comfortable, animal-friendly footwear. Before that, she and I had a fashion blog which we started together in 2012.
We had absolutely no experience in footwear prior to this, no design knowledge, nothing. The learning curve was steep but we were very determined… or stubborn depending on how you look at it!
We’ve had some pretty amazing wins along the journey, including a collaboration with Gorman, and stocking at David Jones + The Iconic.
Has Twoobs been affected by COVID at all?
We’ve been hit really hard during COVID. No one is going out so there certainly is not much need for a new pair of shoes!
The silver lining has certainly been the slower pace of the business that has created space to actually step back and take a breath and look at where we want to take the business.
For about three years sustainability has been a large discussion for us, and we’ve taken small steps towards this, but COVID provided the perfect pivoting opportunity, and we’re now completely pivoting TWOOBS to become sustainable footwear in addition to our vegan focus.
Any future plans for Twoobs?Sustainability is what we’re most excited about, when we set off on this journey we assumed there was a roadmap on how to create a sustainable footwear label, but it turns out it’s a lot more difficult than it sounds!
Next month we’ll be announcing the first iteration of our pivot, which includes going carbon neutral and a take back program that repurposes product at the end of its life.
In Spring 2021 we’ll be relaunching with totally new product, with sustainability at the heart of our new design process.
We'd love to know of any business mistakes you've then learned from, or advice you'd give to a start up business.
Hmmm there are just so many mistakes haha!
I attribute any success we have received to our ability to hold on tight and commit to the ride. Running a business is sometimes amazing but most days is filled with setbacks, disasters and disappointments. We have seen so many businesses come and go in the time that we’ve been running ours, and I don’t think our ideas are better, or that we ourselves are any better at running a company, but I do think we’re better at being resilient – or stubborn again depends on how you look at it. No matter what happens or how hard a day was, we continue to show up, to give it our all. If something is not working, which it so often isn’t, we will try 1000 different scenarios until we find something that is.
Jess the Yogini
Tell us about your yoga journey, how did you come across yoga and your journey as a yoga student.
I came to yoga to nurse a back injury on my physio’s recommendation, and while it did help my outsides tremendously, it really did wonders for my insides.
I struggled with an eating disorder for many years, and yoga was completely instrumental to my healing process. It retaught me how to be in my body, and how to value my body for it’s strength and abilities rather than what society tells us as women which is that our bodies are all about aesthetics aesthetic.
I still remember my first session at Here Yoga was a 6am class with YOU! And you just had the most beautiful energy, you were so soft and nurturing, I knew I had found my home.
And then you decided to learn how to teach yoga yourself - tell us about that.
I had this pull to do my YTT, I can’t really explain it, it was just something that felt really right to me. I do remember it feeling like my dirty little secret, I was embarrassed to tell anyone… I guess for fear of judgement - I had this business and I felt like people would think it was weird, but really everyone I told was always encouraging.
It was honestly the best experience of my life. I finished it in April 2019 and when I look back I feel like it was such a pivotal time in my life. It was the moment in time where I stopped living for other people, or what I thought other people expected of me, and started living for myself.
Went in with the desire to learn, but left with life long friends, a deeper love for the practice, and have definitely been bitten by the teaching bug.
Jess the Natchuralist
How long have you been using natural products? Do you remember the point where you realised what you were using wasn't that good for you?
I remember going to a Doterra night with some of my friends (the new age Tupperware party) a few years ago and the chick taking it was speaking to us about how horrendous perfume is for you, I honestly had no idea.
I think that we’ve only recently gotten our heads around the nasties in the food we eat, it was such a shock to me that I also needed to be concerned about what I was putting on my body, or what I was cleaning the house with!
You were one of the first people to buy our Natural Deodorant - give us an honest opinion of what you think of it, your experience with it or other natural deodorants.
I switched to natural deodorants about 1.5 years ago, and loved it initially but then I had this issue where it started to stain my clothes.
I was so excited when you released yours, and also loved that I don’t have to get my hands dirty because previously I was using paste. I am LOVING so far, the smell is delicious and not staining my clothes which is a major plus.I also really love your sage green packaging, I have Natch products dotted around my house and I feel like they look so nice everywhere, it feels like an added accessory.
What are your favourite personal care rituals?I am really into Abhuyanga at the moment which is this Ayurvedic self massage – I use black sesame oil and it is a real highlight of the week!
I also LOVE facials and have been getting very into the at home facials in Iso.