Updated: Dec 14, 2019
It was back in 2012 when I first met Donatella. I was the Editor of the 3 x award winning positive lifestyle magazine 'In-spire LS' and she was our main Wonder Woman feature of the month. At the time, Donatella was a successful presenter in the UK and was also an artist manager. She was hard-working, focused and driven but most vitally; she was humble and eager to share her knowledge and experience gained along the way. I was inspired then by her resilience; having had to deal with endless online trolls (something she stills battles against to this day) and her amazing work ethic.
So upon the launch of Women Who Slay, it was only right that I revisit her once again to chart her journey so far, from relocating to the states, to becoming a recurring feature on Love and Hip-Hop Hollywood, to launching her media concierge business and online store. There honestly isn't anything Donatella can not do. I am confident that as she did all those years ago, reading this; you will be as motivated and inspired as I have always been by her. If anyone has demonstrated a strong determination to succeed and a work ethic to match, Donatella is your woman and is without a doubt a Woman Who Slays.....
Donatella it's a pleasure to touch base and interview you again! so much has happened since I spoke with you last!
You're currently one of the stars of 'Love and Hip Hop Hollywood', you have launched your music concierge service 'Connecting The Dots' and you run the bespoke accessory and fashion brand 'Peachy Tings'. While still presenting and hosting and doing a million and one other things! How have you managed to maintain and develop all of your brands at the same time?
It's so lovely to be talking with you again. That’s a good question. My mind is always full of a million tabs, believe me I feel like I’m not doing enough sometimes and then I have to remember to have patience and to take my time with things.
You have caused quite a storm in Love and Hip Hop Hollywood, how did you get involved in the project and how have you found the entire experience so far?
I was making moves behind the scenes for a while in Hollywood. A few people had mentioned my name to Mona and she was interested in meeting me and then everything happened from there.
You have grinded hard for many years and have built up your own contacts and rising up within the entertainment ranks interviewing some of the industries biggest talents from Usher to Busta Rhymes to Snoop Dogg. What do you believe has been the key factors behind your success?
I appreciate you referring to me as successful :) I’m often really hard on myself and don’t stop to look at how far I’ve come, I think it’s because in my own mind I still feel I have so much further to go. That’s what keeps me motivated, new goals and achieving them, I just keep moving the goal posts. I remain in constant competition with myself, I’ve achieved what were once dreams of mine but in the process of achieving them I’ve already set another milestone for myself.
As expected within the public eye you come to expect online trolls and naysayers to come out of the woodwork and shower you with negative comments. How do you deal with the negativity and what processes do you adopt to help you deal with it?
Ahhhh I’ve been dealing with trolls for a REALLY long time and for me there’s nothing that has not been to said to me. You genuinely adopt a thick skin, that does take time because there were times in the past that things really hurt and affected me. Now though, I literally don’t take it personally anymore. Everyone is fighting their own battles, trolls especially!
Being UK based originally, how much has relocating to the states helped your professional development?
It’s helped a huge amount and taught me so much at the same time. It’s the best thing I could of done.
You run a number of successful and diverse businesses. What key factors have you learned along the way that has helped you to run them?
I think to have patience, I’m still working on being even more patient but its important when creating your team and helping them to understand your visions. Have patience and belief and the rest with fall into place naturally.
You started the music concierge service 'Connect The Dots'. What motivated you to start this brand and how long did it take from the initial idea to making it a reality?
I was connecting a lot of dots in LA for quite some time. Some of the deals would go smoothly, sometimes I’d get cut out and sometimes I’d get completely screwed over. It took me almost 3 years to set up my business myself properly.
There is often a misconception that those in the public eye have it easy when creating/launching brands or products. What challenges have you had to face along the way in the creation of your brands and what steps have you taken to overcoming them?
There are so many challenges along the way when you’re actually dealing with the brand hands on. I’m faced with challenges still all the time. I’ve had to put Peachy Tings on hold due to challenges even though the brand has been doing so well. Our website was hacked as were our social media accounts, this was something I didn’t foresee and probably only happened because I’m in the public eye. There are a lot of celebrities who don’t have anything to do with the creating or building of their products or brands, some are simply licensing their name and image in exchange for a percentage of what appears to be their brand.
So far in business, what has been the most effective tool you've adopted to enhance your business and increases sales and customers?
Social media, Instagram in particular, is so key and there is SO much to learn. I actually did an online business course in social media so I could have a better understanding of how to maximize the platforms and increase potential for my businesses.
You have always been humble and kind spirited and haven't allowed the entertainment world to change who you are. How important has it been for you to remain true to who you are?
Awww thank you. Honestly, It’s just me being myself, the only way I know how to be. I’ve had to watch a lot of people change along the road of their success and that’s always saddened me. Those are normally the ones that you see fall back down though too. I never want to lose touch with who I really am. The industry tests you though, believe that!
I've heard it through the grapevine that you have plans to return to the UK again. What can we expect from your return?
I’ve been back and forth a lot quite recently. I have some things I’m working on something I’m really excited about and you definitely need to watch this space. My plan was never to go to America and live there forever. I’ve been bridging gaps since I got to the states and this will be the biggest yet.
What words of wisdom can you offer other women in business or those who are aspiring entrepreneurs?
You are the strongest beings on the planet, don’t let your emotions ever get the better of you. Believe in yourself even when nobody else does and just view your set backs as valuable lessons and learn from them.
What do you love the most about what you do?
I have the freedom of making my visions a reality and knowing that I create my own destiny. I am in my own lane, in competition with nobody but myself :)
Interview by Sasha Shantel @Women_who_slay_