Past. From failing her first computer science class, to writing an entire novel on a plane, to fashion school graduate — Dona has never felt limited by the unknown (or by the number of hours in a day).
Present. Head of Windows Insider Program, managing a community of 16 million people working to use Microsoft products to make an impact in their communities. Author of 6 published books (4 young adult, 3 non-fiction—and one more on the way!). Fashion designer and blogger, using hologram technology to bring her fashion line, Prima Dona, to life. Mentor to 45 entrepreneurs in East Africa and Nigeria. Saying words on stage all over the world about these life-changing adventures.
Future. Who knows? In her words: “I’m convinced humans can have 9 lives like our stealthy feline friends. I’m determined to prove it by living 9 lives in this one and helping other ambitious misfits do the same (also, 9 Lives would be a great name for a memoir, no?).”
WHAT’S YOUR STYLE?
I love wearing bright colors and giant prints, especially dresses that are great for the evening and then work well with a jacket for the day. I travel a ton, so I need things that I can just throw in my suitcase, shake it out when I arrive and will always look good, no matter what. I’ve never met a statement piece that has the ‘I’ve never seen anything like that’ factor that I don’t love. My favorite Armoire brands are The Oula Company, Zuri, DVF and Yumi Kim.
WHERE DO YOU SEE THE FASHION INDUSTRY GOING?
There’s a huge opportunity to revitalize the fashion industry. When Microsoft announced HoloLens, I thought, here’s this really cool device that enables people to create and design and explore. I can use this in fashion school to design better, rather than actually going through the work of cutting and sewing and fitting and it not being the right thing, then starting all over again. Using tech, there’s a much better way to solve the fit problem, and create in a more modern way. I want to use holographic technology to disrupt the fashion world. This is also such a better way to design and create to reduce waste in the world.
HOW DO YOU USE ARMOIRE?
I love having additional choices in my closet. As a designer myself, I can design and sew and create my own clothing, but Armoire gives me the clothing I need when I need it. I spend over 50% of each month traveling, so I love that I can get sweaters and vegan leather pants for family-time in Minnesota, but also colorful printed dresses for my entrepreneur coaching work in Kenya and Nigeria. Armoire fits all of my 9 lives. My favorite part of Mondays is picking up my Armoire case at the Riveter before flying out.
WHAT MAKES ARMOIRE SPECIAL?
Armoire’s algorithm is awesome, and really works for me. I don’t see any need to spend a ton of time looking for what I want, or go in to find clothes. With other clothing rental services, there were always way too many choices. I really like the limited selection I see in my closet, and knowing that it’s tailored to what I want and need. I also LOVE Armoire’s stylists and that they really “get” me.
WHAT’S YOUR GET SH*T DONE MODE?
I always have at least four projects going on at the same time, and I switch frequently between them. If I’m struggling to work on a project for Windows Insiders, I’ll write a chapter of a nonfiction book I am writing, or I’ll sketch something from my fashion line, or I’ll watch a short tutorial video to learn something new. This keeps my energy SUPER high since I never get bored or burned out of what I’m working on. Also having all of my hours filled with my passions enables me to say ‘no’ to obligations!
WHAT DO YOU DO WITH 10 MINUTES OF SOLITUDE?
I set my timer and do a work sprint. You can whip off 10 emails, a journal entry or a sh*tty first draft of an idea in ten minutes, no problem. If I have ten minutes to write a document, I will finish it — It may not be the best document in the world, but all the bones will be down, enough to the point that I can share it with someone and ask them what they think of the overall framework.
I wrote my latest nonfiction book, Spin Your Tale, on crafting the story you WANT people telling about you through a series of 10 minute work sprints, mostly on airplanes.
WHAT’S YOUR CATCHPHRASE?
#DoTheThing. Come join us if you’re ready to get out of your comfort zone and make those dreams you’re afraid to even admit to yourself come true!
SLEEVELESS LAYERED DRESS
What Dona thinks:
“So good for travel & layering under jackets!”
Other members add:
“Great style. I love layered outfits. The fabric is light and airy… Keeping this in my favorites.”
“I loved the color block on this! I got a ton of compliments.”
DIANE VON FURSTENBERG
SHIFT DRESS WITH RUFFLE DETAIL
What Dona thinks:
“The color is AMAZING. Love the dramatic ruffle!”
FLORAL OVERLAY BLOUSE
What Dona thinks:
“Love the color!”