Posted on 22 March 2016
Doni Jantzen is the epitome of a Woman on the Rise. Through our Rise City Swim #WOTR campaign, we strive to empower women by highlighting those who are inspiring because of what they do – with their careers, interests, and relationships. Doni is this inspiring example; a New Yorker born-and-bred, she has been a star athlete her entire life and today manages the development and production at a highly successful startup company, securing her title as a Woman On The Rise.
But it’s not only that. We also love that much of Doni’s career, interests, and relationships are in fact structured around the same goal of empowering women by making them feel great in their own skin. As an all-American collegiate field hockey player, Doni surrounded herself with strong women who worked together to build each other up, and now her role at Gwynnie Bee, a subscription rental clothing company for women sizes 10 to 32, is all about opening the world of fashion to all women, and reinforcing the belief that women can do, and wear, anything as long as confidence plays a role.
A woman who lives by the motto “It would be a sin to waste a day like today,” Doni is both laid-back and focused, confident and friendly – which made our Woman on the Rise shoot (partially outside on one of the coldest NYC days on record!) such a blast.
Read on for our full Q&A.
What keeps you busy Monday through Friday?
Working for a kick-ass fashion-meets-tech startup called Gwynnie Bee. I run a team of tremendously talented women, and our job is to create clothes that our members will love; we design, develop, and produce in-house brands.
What’s your idea of a day well spent?
My father had a saying, “It would be a sin to waste a day like today.” NYC cultivates a lifestyle where our jobs come first; this will always be there, but I think it is so important to make sure we set aside time to play and enjoy life outside of work. A day well spent for me is a healthy combination of work and play.
What’s your favorite thing about NYC?
Living in a city like NYC, there are endless possibilities of what we can do in a day with the variety of restaurants, shows, museums, activities, people, and groups. I can truly be myself and make a choice of what that means at any given time.
Doni on the Best Advice She's Received:
I should fight for what I want.
When do you feel your best?
When I am on the squat rack? But seriously, I love to feel strong, fast, and capable. I’ve always had a positive relationship with my body and to this day it feels great testing myself physically.
What’s your proudest accomplishment?
I was an all-American collegiate field hockey player. I got to play a sport I loved with a group of strong women who will be my friends for life. I traveled a bunch, met great people, learned how to approach challenges in life, discovered the true meaning of being a team player, and pushed myself mentally and physically. I am proud that I had that time and I am proud that it has proven to be a tremendously valuable experience applicable to my everyday life.
How do you relate to the mission at Rise City Swim?
My interpretation of the Rise City Swim mission in a quote is “Git it girl!” -- which was a mentality instilled in me as a child. I wrestled throughout my youth and for part of that time I was the only girl wrestler on Long Island. My father was my coach and he taught me to disregard social norms: that girls can do that too, that being different is cool, that my voice could be heard by showing instead of telling, and that I should fight for what I want.
Want Doni’s look? She wears the Sadie top and Raine bottom in Lava, available for pre-order on March 30.