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In honor of the launch of Vital Proteins new Collagen Water™, we’re kicking off a weekly series on Lively called “How I Uncap My Potential,” where we feature amazing women doing incredible things in their field. Today, we’re spotlighting Vanessa Dew, one of Health-Ade’s co-founders.

Keep reading for our interview with the entrepreneur and learn about why she’s all about taking risks, her advice for aspiring business owners and her must-have collagen products.

Lively's Interview with Health-Ade’s Vanessa Dew

Health-Ade Co-Founder Vanessa Dew: How I Uncap My Potential

Lively: How did you get to Health-Ade?

Vanessa Dew: Since I was little, I remember wanting to be a doctor to cure my mom’s blood disease and cancer. Though I majored in biochemistry, I quickly realized, the pre-med route was not for me, and I pivoted to a sales/marketing role within a major pharmaceutical company. It’s there that I met my best friend and co-founder, Daina. As time went on, I realized that the job and industry I was in was not for me, and I was not fulfilled. To help understand what else was out there in the world of business, I enrolled at USC Marshall School. It was during school that I became curious with entrepreneurial ventures and caught the bug of wanting to create something from nothing and call it my own. Around the same time, Daina [Trout], her husband Justin and I started an entrepreneurial club to talk about various business ideas and we voraciously dove head first into the feasibility of our business together. Through a bit of a windy path, we landed on selling kombucha at the farmers market in Brentwood and the rest is history.

Health-Ade Co-Founder Vanessa Dew: How I Uncap My Potential

L: What has been the most rewarding experience of your career so far?

VD: Two things really stand out for me. First, our people. To see the development of those who started with us from year one and now tackling roles and challenges like a boss is awesome to see unfold. And for those coming in with specific capabilities, or a deep domain expertise to help level up and elevate our organization, is beautiful to watch. Second would be consumer reaction. When someone says Health-Ade is their daily go-to and it makes them feel great and are a fan for life, we’ve done our job. But we aren’t stopping there! Lots of great stuff in the works to further the idea of #followyourgut in new flavors, product extensions, etc. so Health-Ade continues to be along for the ride in our customers’ lifestyles.

RELATED: Video: How to Add Collagen to Kombucha

L: What advice would you give men and women who want to follow in your footsteps?

VD: Taking the risk, taking that first step is often the hardest. We never really know the outcome of our efforts until we actually do it. Whether it is taking the leap of faith to start a company or tackling a new challenge in your career, self-doubt and imposter syndrome can be quite strong. But this is where I say, you have to believe that you can succeed in order to actually succeed. Believing in that will help you navigate through whatever obstacles may come up, or else the excuses just keep on coming. Bet on yourself and take that first step forward.

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L: What does self-care mean to you? How do you unwind after a long day?

VD: Self-care means being proactive to make sure my whole self (mind, body, heart) is taken care of, so ultimately, I feel balanced, fulfilled, and happy. After a long day, I like to think that I need a good workout. But, truthfully, if I am spent, that’s the last thing I want to do. So, I get a workout in before I head to work which leaves me time for what I enjoy after work. I love the simple things: taking my dog, Dubu, on a long walk, making dinner with my boyfriend and reading a book (currently reading China Rich Girlfriend from the Crazy Rich Asiansseries) with a face mask on (love the Charlotte Tilbury dry sheet mask).

L: We have to ask: How does Vital Proteins help you live a healthier life?

VD: Wow — where do I start! Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides is a go-to in my daily coffee. I also love the Bone Broth Collagen. As an adult, I battled skin issues like crazy. From [blemishes] to lacking overall vibrancy, I needed help. I heard that collagen could help with my skin woes, and I found Vital Proteins. Not only has Vital Proteins helped my skin glow, but I know I am supplementing my body overall with something good for it … It feels like I am giving my body a gift to keep it primed for a healthy future.  

L: How do you uncap your potential?

VD: My day starts with a power pose! Seriously, everyone should try it in front of their mirror. Sometimes it is a bicep flex, sometimes reaching for the sky – whatever it is, it gives me a little extra pep in my step and sets the tone for the day. Also, my 7th grade teacher would always say, ‘Where there’s a will, there’s a way’ and it has stuck with me ever since. With the mentality of ‘I can,’ a winning attitude and taking care of my whole self, I know I can take on the world.