No stranger to elevating the ordinary, DADA Daily founder Claire Olshan is now in charge of making our snacking chic. Olshan is a fashion industry vet who embodies that rare ability to make shopping truly special and has parlayed that savvy into her irresistible, surrealist, specialty food brand, DADA Daily. An aesthete at heart, Claire is a table scape savant (her dinner invites are beyond coveted) and her mantra is that nibbling does not have to be mundane and therefore has created healthy, clean, and delicious food stuffs that look as delightful as they taste. The packaging is too pretty to hide, and DADA will tickle your fancy while still satisfying your need for something crunchy, sweet, creamy and savory.
MELISSA: Things are a little different right now, we’re in an unprecedented time…how have you shifted as a business and as an individual to accommodate this new normal?
CLAIRE: As a business, I think we have really leaned into the entertaining at home arm of our business. These days, we’ve found ourselves living in a world where we have to make our own fun. Instead of moving from the desk, to the office, to the restaurant, we’re moving from the table to the sofa. The home now serves an all-encompassing role, it’s the office, the gym, the restaurant, and every aspect of life in between.
So, I have been thinking about the question of magic and sparkle. How do we bring the magic back to the home? To re-energize it and to make it a safe and inviting place to entertain yourself, your senses, and you loved one’s this holiday season.
To SNACK WITH DADA is to ELEVATE THE ORDINARY. It is the new going out for a drink, the new making reservations, the new buying a ticket at the cinema. I feel like with all of our new launches of snacks and lifestyle, tableware and serving pieces, people will feel a little bit of that surrealist sparkle when they open a bag. Whether for themselves or their friends.
MELISSA: The concept of “elevation” seems to be in your DNA, you elevated the shopping and retail experience with your luxury boutique Fivestory, and now you are looking to elevate the snacking experience too with DADA Daily. What motivates you to level up our day-to-day?
CLAIRE: We can only control so much of our day-to-day. Life, especially NYC life, will always throw you curveballs and hardballs. I am a HUGE advocate of gratitude and writing a gratitude journal every morning (five-minute journal is the best tool I’ve found out there). That being said, we have to find little consistent ways in our day to make ourselves smile…no matter what. And beauty to me is a universal signifier of joy. No one sees a sea of flowers and doesn’t feel something…a rainbow bounty of food at the farmer’s market and doesn’t want to take a picture. So with everything I do, I try to create that simple, attainable joy through elevated beauty.
MELISSA: Let’s start at the beginning, you started your career in retail with Fivestory, the incredible luxury retail destination, how did you pivot from fashion to wellness?
CLAIRE: I think a lot of the shift has to do with the passage of time both literally and figuratively. Literally 10 years have passed since I started Fivestory. I went from being a 23-year-old single girl living and breathing fashion, and everything that came with it, to a 33-year-old wife and mother who loves style but has definitely pushed it lower down on the totem pole of priorities. Figuratively, the fashion retail world has changed so much in the past decade. My uphill battles became steeper, and my desire to climb them diminished. That being said, as we get older, we become more transparent to ourselves on what truly excites us and makes us happy. I had ALWAYS been really into the health food world and only in my 30s did I give it the time, attention, and respect that it deserved
MELISSA: Can you tell us more about DADA Daily and how you combine art and wellness to create that meaningful alchemy? Can snacking be an artform (we think it can!)?
CLAIRE: Honestly, I had spent my entire life with two passions that never met. I have always been an aesthete. I have always loved to entertain people at my home and to bring style and newness into their lives. But I always had another side as well. A side that LOVED health food stores and that has an insatiable appetite to learn more about food and the power of what it could do for us. And it was not until I reached the ripe old age of 31 that I realized those worlds CAN live in harmony—that the health world did have to be this white-washed, perfect place that always felt harmonious and serene. I could bring that witty, fun, sensual entertaining spirit to snacks and entertaining and maybe, just maybe, people would like it.
MELISSA: We certainly do!! Do you treat ingredients like you treat fashion? Do you look for the unusual, the emerging, the most colorful, the most beneficial?
CLAIRE: Yes, we are always looking for new superfoods that can create huge impacts in people’s health (like Moringa, Maca, Schisandra) and putting them into super easy to eat, fun snacks.
MELISSA: What are some of your daily particulars that you always put on (jewelry, accessories…etc.)?
CLAIRE: A new Lisa Eisner commissioned necklace of brass and malachite that I am obsessed with. Her jewelry holds the best energy and I love wearing them.
MELISSA: Summer is over (sigh…), what’s next for you heading into fall?
CLAIRE: LOTS of launches. we are launching 3 new snacks and 3 new lifestyle pieces. Hint hint, they will help serve the snacks that we want you to entertain with!