(#SheForShe) Beyond the Social With Celeb Yoga Instructor, Danielle Cuccio
We are SO excited to be kicking off our #sheforshe campaign with Danielle Cuccio: the beautiful and accomplished yogi, blogger and entrepreneur! This lady was one of the first people Erica + I reached out to when we were considering starting a blog, so we are thrilled to have her on SOLO and to be sharing our first collaboration together!
Danielle's one of those ladies who just seems super human. Somehow, she manages to divide her time between teaching private yoga to her celebrity clientele, leading classes at Swerve Studios in West Hollywood, updating her health blog AND actively growing her wellness brand: Cuccio Somatology.
Sure, she makes it all look easy-- but Danielle's had to deal with nervousness, fear and self-doubt like the rest of us, and she's got some sage advice to share with all of you!
(You will get a $25 giftcard to BeautyKind just for entering and you will also have a chance to win an incredible girlfriend prize pack, including high end cosmetics, bath products, artisan jewelry and superfood protein powder).
SOLO: Which women have consistently supported and encouraged you throughout your life?
My mom and my sister. Both hard working women (one a Business Owner and the other a Doctor.) I love seeing women work hard and still be able to support a family! I don’t have kids yet, but I am totally inspired that when I do, I will be able to because they did it.
SOLO: Are there any women who have influenced your success / inspired you in some way?
Yes, SO many! One of my main inspirations, Rachel Ashwell, the owner of Shabby Chic Interiors, has always portrayed such a lovely life and way of living. I love her aesthetic and overall vibe. It inspired me to create my own business and create a place for people to turn to for a happier, more beautiful place. My company, Cuccio Somatology, portrays beach vibes and calm and relaxing feelings. Yoga, beauty, light, love + positivity.
SOLO: What drives you to wake up every day and continue doing what you’re doing?
My yoga students and clients. I get such good feedback from them. Yesterday, I received an email from one of my private clients I see weekly, and she was telling me how amazing she felt after our session the day before. She was giving me the credit, but it was all her. :) I love bringing out FEELING GOOD in people. There is no better feeling and I know I want to continue doing that and making products that help people feel amazing, healthy and beautiful.
SOLO: What makes you different from all the rest?
I am an Esthetician, Yoga Instructor, Business Owner, Blogger, Interior Design Lover… All in one. I also have a pug and boxer that keep my life interesting to say the least! I grew up in a very mixed family - Italian and Russian - Jewish and Catholic. A little bit of everything! My parents are in the beauty industry so I grew up listening to their business grow and develop. So I guess you can say I have a lot going on and am not just interested in one thing ie. BEAUTY or HEALTH. It’s about healthy living and combining all of it to be your best, happiest, most beautiful self. I definitely know that some people stick to one thing like nutrition or yoga, but I like to study it all. My philosophy is all around health + beauty, including ALL that plays into it. I’m also the busiest, calmest person I know. I have 100 things going on in a day and I’m teaching yoga/calm! :/
SOLO: Which of your personal attributes have contributed the most to your success?
OCD! Totally guilty! Never tested but my dad has always told me that I have OCD like him and luckily, in the business world that’s not always a bad thing! You get stuff done! :) I also love connecting with people and making people feel good…which then makes me feel good too.
SOLO: Are there any sacrifices you have had to make in order to be successful?
I’m definitely hitting one right now. I LOVE teaching, but as I create my brand, it’s going to be a difficul shift to go from yoga teacher to CEO. I hope to find a balance but of course, I will have to sacrifice a few classes! Saying no is so hard! I would teach everyone and meet everyone I could if I had more hours in the day!
SOLO: What advice would you have given to yourself when you were first starting out?
I would have told myself, “it will all work out.” There were so many times where I wanted something to happen, more students in my classes, more clients, my DVD to be created, and I got so overwhelmed and thought it would NEVER happen. “IT’S ALL GOING TO HAPPEN.”
SOLO: Being an instructor means having to "be ON" a lot of the time. How do you stay confident and self-assured?
Great question! It’s sometimes hard. As a yoga teacher, you sometimes pick up your student’s energy. If they’re having a hard day, you might start to feel it. I sometimes doubt myself and say, “Was that me or them?” BUT, my students and clients always end our sessions lighter, brighter and with a smile. So that’s when I know that I did my best to pull them out of the funk and that’s just what yoga does.. on so many levels!
Of course, I have my days where I am tired, but I take a day off in the middle of my week every week to rest, not teach, and do whatever I want to do. It’s important to find that “me time”. Yes, it’s hard to be ON all the time, but that’s what your students need from you. My energy is everything and that’s why I get paid the big bucks! :)
SOLO: How do you pull yourself out of bad moods or dark days?
My iPhone background: “YOU GOT THIS.” I also love reading semi self help like books. I read a chapter a day and they usually give me that bit of inspiration I’m looking for when I need it. Pinterest quotes help too!
SOLO: What makes you feel beautiful?
YOGA! Argh - totally cliche and boring answer coming from a freaking YOGA INSTRUCTOR! But it’s really true. It connects me to ME and makes me feel complete and happy. Teaching Yoga Booty Ballet also makes me feel HOT! I let my hair down, wear a sports bra to show off my not quite 6-pack (not even 4-pack!) abs. I start to love my body despite it’s flaws! The music, dancing in front of the mirror - so fun/the best workout in LA! I also love dressing up on the weekends, while not teaching.. I am in yoga clothes all week long so it’s fun to curl my hair, put a little more make up on and throw some heels on!
SOLO: What makes you feel strong?
MY JOB. Juggling all that I do. IT AIN’T EASY!
SOLO: How have you (or do you) handle self-doubt?
I read inspiring quotes and/or books. I also meditate whenever feeling iffy. Usually those silly thoughts vanish and I feel better.
SOLO: When faced with negativity, are there certain techniques that help you come out on top?
Yoga, Journaling, Meditating (Closing my eyes and breathing for 5-10 minutes does the trick)
SOLO: What are the challenges you face in your work, and how do you handle them?
Juggling everything that I do and finding enough time in the day to get it all done and enough time for myself to relax. That balance is so important to me and I think it really is important to living a happy & healthy life. So I do my best to staying on top of it! For example: Today is my day off and I went to a yoga class for me, got a green juice on my way home, cleaned my house, played with my dogs and NOW I’m writing these answers. This is my only day to do things like this besides Saturdays, so I make sure to chill on my off-days.
SOLO: What is your vision for your future? What are you most excited to accomplish?
MY BRAND! Ohhh, it excites me so much! CUCCIO SOMATOLOGY was created about 2 years ago and is my brand that I envision being my everything one day. I already have a HOME POWER FLOW YOGA DVD out, an HEALTHY LIVING TIP E-BOOK and I’m now working on my essential oils and yoga products! I’m working on creating so many products to bring to peoples’ homes to make their lives calmer, sweeter and happier.
SOLO: Do you experience fear? If so, how do you handle it?
Of course! Fear is a sign that you really want something! So in a way, it’s a great thing. BUT you can’t let it overcome you. I fear things of course, but I keep going despite it being there. I try to turn down the fear volume and turn up the LETS DO THIS volume. If you listen to fear, you will never achieve what you want in life. You have to ignore it and push it out of the way with positivity, energy and your desires! Fear is so unnecessary. When I feel fear, I just do whatever I fear anyway. Like fearing the bandaid being taken off, just rip it off and do it anyway. Then it’s done and another check mark to the books. :)
SOLO: If you could have one super power, what would it be?
To be able to make more time in the day. I have so much I want to do every day and I usually get it all done, but I feel like I could always keep going…
SOLO: What message do you want to send to women who may deal with insecurities and anxieties that could be holding them back in their lives?
Let go of doubt, fear, negativity - JUST GO AFTER YOUR DREAMS. You are meant to live your dreams and just take steps every day towards them. Don’t rush it. But do your best, take the consistent steps and you will succeed.
SOLO: What is advice can you can give to women who are trying to find their "purpose" in life?
You have to just go on YOUR JOURNEY. Nobody could have told me that I would be a Celebrity Private Yoga Instructor starting her own health brand 10 years ago. NO WAY- I HATED YOGA YOU GUYS!!!!! I went to beauty school after graduating from UCLA - I thought I was starting a skin care line. NOPE. I think let your passions do the talking and let it take you where it wants to take you. DO WHAT YOU LOVE.
SOLO: What is the best piece of advice a woman (could be your mother) has ever given you?
Be cool, calm and collected. By the way, my mom never told me that but that’s my mama in a nutshell. She is the most fashionable, calm and classy lady I know so I hope I can take those traits from her.
SOLO: If you could “nominate” an outstanding woman who has encouraged or inspired you...who would it be, and why?
It might just have to be the owner/founder of YOGA BOOTY BALLET - GILLIAN. She created something totally funky and amazing, she is 100% herself and I dig it. I think we all have to be ourselves and just go with it. It will take us where we need to be. I guess, do what makes your heart sing. SO CHEESY, but true.
As I’m writing this, I’m sitting in my office, with a favorite candle burning, a bright pink rose picked from my garden and my two dogs snoring in the background. These things make me feel home and make small moments that much sweeter. Maybe that wouldn’t make you feel at home, but surround yourself with the things that do. :) xo
** DON'T FORGET TO ENTER THE CAMPAIGN & NOMINATE A WOMAN WHO INSPIRES YOU! **