Dana Rubenstein, Tamar Rosenthal, Dapple, Women Entrepreneurs
I met with a woman for coffee who had emailed me a few months ago. She was the assistant to Anna Wintour for
more than a year and the fact that she stuck that job out intrigued me. She was figuring out her next path. After we spoke she asked me if I would mind talking to her
friends who had a company called Dapple.
She felt that they were in need of some advice in regards to how to grow
their business. After meeting both Dana and Tamra I am not sure whyTrust me, the women
behind Dapple do not need advice, they have built a natural cleaning products
business from the ground up. They are
two scrappy independent women that are as impressive as the product.
Dana Rubinstein was born in Israel and moved to Vienna and
then NYC at age 15. Her Grandparents are
holocaust survivors who were in displaced camps. Her parents met in Israel but decided to move
to Vienna where her Grandparents reside.
Her father is a software developer and her mother is a journalist. After high school Dana majored in philosophy
at Yale and then went straight after graduation to Columbia Law School.
Law school was more of a default than a thought process. She went to work for Davis Polk after
graduation practicing litigation. The
hours were insane and after three years she had a baby. Dana took maternity leave and they let her
work from home. It was 2006. She was one of several women working from
home and they really made it a great experience. She stuck that out for three more years. Three years staying home and now with four
kids she decided to leave law.
Tamar Rosenthal grew up in Toronto. Her father owned a bunch of retirement
homes. Her Mom was a super hero, aka
domestic engineer. After high school
Tamar went to York University for a year and then transferred to Yeshiva
University in NYC to study philosophy.
She also took a year and went to Israel to study. Like Dana, after graduation she went
immediately to NYU to get a masters in public administration. By the time she graduated Tamar had two kids
and her daughter was severly allergic to everything.
Young mothers with serious energy. Dana and Tamar got involved with a non-profit
organization. They put on an event where
teams would compete on trivia to raise money for charities.
They became fast friends. Tamar
had grown up with Danas husband. They
both clicked on their desire to save the world and have a lot of kids.
With a highly allergic child Tamar started looking
differently at everything. When she was
washing out the baby bottles she wanted to find a product that was completely
natural and safe. She scoured blogs and
parent forums for the right products but soon realized that there was a void in
the marketplace for these type of products.
She talked to Dana about it and as business oriented women they
decided to fix that problem. They began to work with chemists and pediatricians to create a product that was
baby safe with non-allergenic ingredients.
It took time but they finally created the right product. In 2006, they incorporated and called the
The first place they sold was Alpees, a kids store on the Upper West Side. They knew the owner and pushed him to put the
product in his store. He took two products
and in one week he called them to ask for more because he sold out. That is when they knew they were on to
In the meantime they applied for a program called Seeds for
Success that Yahoo puts on. Yahoo chooses
three women led companies out of 5000 to spend three months with mentors. At the end of the three months a panel votes
on the winner. Dapple won and with the $20K grant they were able to seriously boot-strap the business.
After that they contacted Baby R Us and pitched them from a
board they put together. Then a year later
they were in Bye Bye Baby and continued on to Toys R Us and Duane Reade.
These are two tenacious women who saw a void and took Dapple on the road. They literally dialed
for dollars and the retailers ate it up.
The line has grown from two
products at launch to a mixture of cleaning products, wipes and
detergents. Super impressive women. It is entrepreneurs like this that are
allowing consumers to make better choices for their families and kids.