Danielle Robay is inquisitive, and really wants to know what makes you YOU. You could even say, she's pretty particular about getting to know all the details. She is an entrepreneur and creator of the best selling card game QUESTION EVERYTHING, video podcast host of PRETTY SMART, TV host and journalist, currently host of E!’s ‘While you were streaming’ and so much more. Danielle draws you in, and somehow you feel compelled to spill all the tea. So we felt it was only fitting she is the first to spotlight in our new interview series; particular details of particular people.
Melissa: What particular moment inspired you to start your company?
Danielle: I got a ‘dream job’ and ended up hating it. I quit and was unemployed. I was living off my credit cards, so anxious about the future and unhappy about the present. I decided to use that time to take myself to grad school. I watched hundreds of hours of Robin Roberts, Katie Couric, Larry Kind, Barbara Walter’s, Bob Costas, and Oprah. I kept a running google doc of all of the questions I had asked celebrities, entrepreneurs, authors, politicians and thought leaders over the years. One day I looked at that list and realized that I had asked questions for a living and I’ve never asked myself one question. I started by asking my self 5 questions a day. Once I got through them all, I was a different girl. I knew myself better. I was more interesting at dinners and I was more practiced at asking questions and more confident in conversation. But most notably, my relationships completely changed. We often forget to ask the people closest to us the BIG questions.
When I asked my friends and my parents thoughtful questions they felt seen, heard, validated and cared for—I saw it in their face. When I spoke to stranger, they were drawn to me. I could tell my questions lifted their spirits! It was then I realized that questions are a superpower. They’re our way IN. When I figured this out, I put this card deck of 52 Questions for deeper conversation together. My life changed when I saw and felt the power of questions. I wanted everyone to experience this feeling!
Melissa: What is the best advice you would have told your younger self?
Danielle: Find some faith. What’s meant for you, won’t miss you. Also, don’t say yes to anything that you want to say no to!
Melissa: What are the particular basics in your closet?
Danielle: Denim: Levi’s (altered to fit just right) or Agolde (best jean shorts EVER), White t-shirt: Paige or Velvet, Bra’s: Simone Perele Heels: Gianvito Rossi, Sneakers: Jordan’s, PJs: Skims (boy short + tank)
If you want it, GO FOR IT.
Melissa: What is your day-to-day routine like? Give us your morning to night breakdown!
Danielle: Morning- I wake up and say thank you (out loud) for whatever is on my mind/heart that day. I walk to grab coffee, workout, blast music in the shower and then jump into the day! Nighttime: I should probably have one…
Melissa: What’s on your particular playlist right now?
Danielle: Right now, Jazmine Sullivan “Girl Like Me” or something by Musiq Soulchild, Aliyah, Snoh Alegra, Lauryn Hill.
Melissa: Anything you’re particularly obsessed with at the moment?
Melissa: Particular item in your closet or home that you could never part with?
Danielle: My books and my shoes are a close second!
Melissa: Nicest thing you ever treated yourself to?
Danielle: Therapy, a great tailor and a one month airbnb in NYC last September. That was magical!
Melissa: Particular thing that makes you feel scared? Anxious? Pet peeve? Happy? Excited? Cry?
Danielle: Anxious/Scared: Climate crisis. Excited: Anytime I hit a new milestone at the gym. I did some of my first real pull ups the other day! Pet Peeve: People playing videos or music out loud on their phones at the airport or on a plane. Cry: I cry all of the time. I cry tears of gratitude for the amazing work opportunities, for the amazing people in my life, for the beautiful experiences and for seeing the world. I know it sounds trite but a few years ago I started feeling connected to myself much more deeply and since then the tears haven’t stopped.
Melissa: Particular person or people you would want to host a dinner with?
Danielle: Oprah!!! Can you imagine the guest list, the teachings, the intellect and all the incredible love in the room?!
Melissa: Who is a particular person who dramatically impacted your life and how?
Danielle: I met Steve Carlston, serendipitously, when I moved to LA in 2013. He was the GM of NBC and I was so excited because I thought maybe he would change my life professionally. He did something much more profound. He changed my life personally. Steve taught me about service. Though, he never once spoke to me about what it means to be of service. I would listen to his stories, watch the way he treated people and spoke with people. I saw how Steve lived his life and thought, I want to be like THAT. He’s kind, so cool, always knows the right thing to say, comes from a place of humility and is the most charismatic person in any room. He leaves every person he meets better than he found them.
Melissa: What particular thing that your younger self wouldn’t believe that you’ve done now?
Danielle: On my graduation day from college I wrote on my mortarboard hat, “Those who don’t believe in magic, will never find it!” I just keep trying to believe in the magic.
Melissa: Lastly, a particular turning point in your life?