Entrepreneur, Chef, Kitesurfer, Paracuru, Brazil
I got to know Daphné during a kitesurfing trip to northern Brazil. The town of Paracuru is quite small, but man what a great vibe there. Daphné was our host – running a hospitality business she started after living in France and New York City for quite some time. How does one end up in the quaint South American town? You'll have to read below. Such journey, ambitions, experiences, mixed with kitesurfing expertise and master chef qualifications - was a definite WOW WOMAN mix. Dear Daphné, "obrigada por sua recepção calorosa. J'aimerais revenir et vous rendre visite à Casa na Lagoa." (Did I mention she is trilingual?)
2. Where is your hometown?
Paracuru, Ceara, Brazil
3. What is your profession/career/title/self-label/designation?
Hotel/pousada owner/chef/manager/social assistant
4. What was the journey like to get where you are (career wise)? What are some accomplishments you’re most proud of?
Born in Brazil, raised in the south of France, where my ambition ended up reduced to becoming a housewife at 18. I decided to leave for New York, where I lived the «american dream» …I went from being a housewife to full branding, restaurateur/decor designer of my own restaurant etc….It was a long way between restaurant waitress jobs, to having my own hotel in Brazil and my beautiful trio of boys.
With a lot of will there is a way.
5. What did you study in school?
FIT school of design/interior design.
6. How is your life different from what you pictured at 20?
At 20 I really couldn’t picture my life but I started enjoying it on a daily basis…Thank you Big Apple and fantastic encounters along the way.
7. What was your biggest disappointment and plan to overcome it?
We say in France "happy at work unhappy in love"…I guess it often applies. Two things I have learned: (1) Try your best not to mix and match both professional and personal life (very hard to apply, but sill working on it) and (2) Of course never stop believing in your self, your values, your dreams.
8. Advice for other women?
Again as a woman my biggest disappointment was to think that I would have the perfect marriage and the love I needed from the other. It felt like a failure when it didn't pan out that way exactly. The world has changed, the place of women in society also changed, the family model changed. You should not feel guilty, or responsible.
9. Where in the world do you feel “tallest” (i.e. where is your happy place)?
In the air, kiting through waves…or nowhere, no nationality, no territorial appurtenance. And in my town Paracuru, Brazil, where I am free to be who I am, no shoes, no judgments.
10. What extra-curricular activities/hobbies are you most proud of? Why?
Kitesurfing is definitely part of my life now but I guess part of me belongs in the ocean, so it could have been any other water sports.
11. What do you want to be when you grow up? Future goals/challenges?
I want to help people, especially those close to me , those I meet on a daily basis that touch me. I want to help with my abilities and also share the happiness and luck I am fortunate to have.
12. What fears are you still hoping to overcome?
To be alone is a fear that I wish to overcome, and a new one is to fail with my kids, to somehow make them suffer.
13. Anything you'd do differently if you had another go at life?
I would not rush when it comes to love – I would keep focused on myself until the point when I feel confident to be able to love someone else.
14. What inspires you?
Good people, new encounters of all kind, new places are very inspiring. Songs are also a strong source of inspiration since just about anything we feel has been well written by someone.
My kids are always closer to the truth than myself.
15. What are you hopeful about?
That’s a tough one. Am I really hopeful? Maybe I hope that I won’t hurt anyone during my short travel through life and I will even try to spread happiness ..making it easier and funnier for many to go through the journey of life.
16. What are some ingredients to a good life?
Making others happy, the bigger the challenge the greater the recompense. Keeping time to yourself, to look pretty in a mirror – looking good is feeling good, feeling good is looking good. Being always in direct contact with nature, specially the ocean in my case.
17. What advice would you give your 14-year-old self?
Don’t rush…speeding tickets are really expensive in life.
18. What are you reading now? (what books do you gift most and what are your favourite reads?)
I haven’t been reading in so long…after I had my boys (7, 5 and 2 years old)…it has been a challenge getting to read but I will be back.
My favorites 1) Meu Pé de Laranja Lima 2) The Catcher in the Rye 3) Le Petit Prince.
Those three books are for me, timeless.
19. Who is a WOW Woman in your life who inspires you, and why?
Wow I know so many true wow women that I feel ashamed to have been part of this project. My nanny, who had the hardest childhood and gives her love to my kids; the owner (of 40 years) of a supermarket in town Dona Maria, thriving and succeeding in a super macho (Brazilian) society – she stands strong. My wow women are alive and I see them everyday to say WOW.
20. Where can others find you/your work (links to websites, blogs, etc.)?