NativeAdVantage 10-Q2BA:

(10 Questions 2B Answered)

What do you do best?
What makes you the best?
Biggest success?
What are your aspirations?
Most challenging moment?
Favorite Motto?
Favorite People?
Favorite Places?
Favorite Products?
Current Passions?

Featured NativeAdVantage:

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Tom Sito: Chair of Animation, USC Film School

Elizabeth Wynn: Broker, Sotheby's RE

Leonard Greenhalgh: Professor, Tuck-Darmouth)

Ryan Blair: NY Times Best Selling Author/Entrepreneur


Featured NativeAdVice:

Shai Reshef: Founder of University of the People

Paul D'Arcy: SVP of Indeed

Susan Hatje: GM of Mandarin Oriental, NY

Dan Laufer: Co-Founder of RentLingo

Hilary Laney: President of Tri-Digital

Greg Marsh: Co-Founder of onefinestay

Omar Qari: Co-Founder of Abacus

Gabriell Weinberg: Founder of DuckDuckGo

Stacy Rauen: E-I-C of Hospitality Design Mag

Jon Gray: CRO of HomeAway

Joe Speiser: Co-Founder of

Ben McKean: Co-Founder of HungryRoot

John Boiler: Founder/CEO of 72andSunny

Wayne Pacelle: CEO of The Humane Society of the US

Tom Guay: GM at The Sagamore Resort

Dr. Alejandro Junger: Founder of The Clean Program

Rob Flaherty: CEO of Ketchum

Neil Thanedar: Founder/CEO of LabDoor

Andy Grinsfelder: VP of Sales/Marketing, Delaware North Resorts

Laura Frerer-Schmidt: VP/Publisher of Women's Health

Avi Steinlauf: CEO of

Kathy Bloomgarden: CEO of Ruder Finn

Gabriel Flateman: Co-Founder/CTO of Casper

Mark Bartels: CEO of StumbleUpon

Bill Hagelstein: President/CEO of RPA

Adam Singolda: Founder/CEO of Taboola

Jonathan Plutzik: Proprietor of The Betsy-South Beach

Jessica Scorpio: Founder/VP of Marketing at GetAround

Ralph McRae: CEO of Leading Brands

Warren Berger: Bestselling Author

Liz Kaplow: Founder/CEO of Kaplow Communications

Dave Girouard: Founder/CEO of UpStart

Dave Asprey: Founder of BullectProof Executive

Douglas C. Smith: President of EDSA

Val Difebo: CEO of Deutsch NY

Guido Polito: CEO of Baglioni Hotels

Doyle Graham, Jr.: CEO of Valencia Group

Oscar Farinetti: Founder of Eataly

Angelo Sotira: CEO of DeviantART

Ali Khwaja: CFO of Safecharge

Zach Erdem: Proprietor of 75 Main

Jim Beley: GM of The Umstead Hotel

Alexis Gelburd-Kimler: Proprietor of West Bridge

Elie Georges: Proprietor of Hotel San Regis

Kalen Caughey: Founder o VOKE Tab

Michael Friedenberg: CEO of IDG

Donna Karan: Founder of DKNY

Edward Nardoza: Editor-in-Chief of WWD

Scott Dadich: Editor-in-Chief of Wired

Rhona Murphy: Former CEO of The Daily Beast

David J. Pecker: CEO of American Media

Lilian Roten: VP of Swissotel Hotels

Kenny Dichter: Founder/CEO of Wheels Up

Joshua Tetrick: Founder/CEO of Hampton Creek

Paul James: Global Brand Leader of The Luxury Collection

Dr. James Wagner: President of Emory University

Amy Thompson: President of ATM Artists & Management

Neil Gillis: President of Round Hill Music

Brett Matteson: President of Columbia Hospitality

Jonathan Reckford: CEO of Habitat For Humanity

Phil Harrison: President/CEO of Perkins+Will

Chef Bill Telepan

Tony Horton: Founder of P90X

Beth Weissenberger: Co-Founder of The Handel Group

Michael Fertik: Founder/CEO of

Dana Cowin: Editor-in-Chief of Food & Wine

Bob Proctor: Chairman of Proctor/Gallagher Institute

Dennis Turcinovic: Owner of Delmonicos

Vittorio Assaf: Co-Founder of Serafina Restaurant Group

Shafqat Islam: Co-Founder of Newscred

Matt Williams: CEO of The Martin Agency

Bruce Rogers: Executive Chef at Hale & Hearty

Caleb Merkl: Co-Founder of Maple

Candy Argondizza: VP of Culinary at ICC

Neil Sazant: President of The Sagamore

Matt Straz: Founder/CEO of Namely

Terry Couglin: Managing Partner of Marta/Maialino

Andrei Cherny: Co-Founder/CEO of Aspiration

Ronen Nissenbaum: Managing Director of Waldorf Astoria NY

Patrick Godfrey: President of Godfrey Q

Sarah Berman: Founder/President of The Berman Group

Michael Schwartz: Owner of Genuine Hospitality Group

Stephan Aarstol: Founder/CEO of Tower Paddle Boards

Peter Shaindlin: COO of Halekulani Corp.

August Cardona: Founder/CEO of Epicurean Group

Nick Kenner: Co-Founder of Just Salad


Soraya Darabi: Co-Founder of Zady

My NativeAdVice:


Soraya Darabi is the co-founder of, a shopping platform and lifestyle destination for the next generation of consumers who care  about the origins of the items they purchase. Zady launched to rave  reviews in August 2013, and was featured on the cover of The Wall  Street Journal’s “Off Duty” section with an article entitled: Feel-Good Fashion: The New Black.

What Whole Foods has done for the organic food movement, Zady does for sourced products. Zady is amongst the first online retailers to  seamlessly integrate commerce, rich media content and social media to provide customers with a dynamic shopping experience. On Zady,  customers can learn about the conscious consumer movement and  purchase beautiful goods that were created with craftsmanship and artisanship – qualities that have been sacrificed in a world of cheap prices and fast production. Early this year, Zady was named one of The World’s Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Retail by Fast Company and one of 22 Instagram Accounts Fashionistas Should Follow in 2014 by

How did you get into the media/tech industry? 

I began my career as an intern at The Washington and it was so useful in showing me the ropes of an industry I came to love.  From there I worked for Conde Nast Publications on the digital side, before moving to and focusing on social media marketing and digital partnerships. I am, and always have been, a media addict - though media changes year after year, which is why it's such an exciting field to be a part of.  

What are you biggest successes and mistakes as a CEO and how have you learned from them?

As a Co-CEO you hear how important  it is set the right behavior by example. That said, sometimes you must be careful to set behavior that is healthy or repicable. For instance,  my business partner and I are up at 6 am daily answering emails to one another and our team.  We send our last emails just before we sleep at 11 or so.  If we expected every member of our team to adhere to these hours, we would all burn out very quickly.  So the biggest lesson to learn as a CEO is to be flexible with the rules, and to take in as much advice as you can handle, but ultimately to trust your instincts first and foremost.  

Your advice to an aspiring entrepreneur? 

Remain confident in your idea.  Many will tell you it's no good, it wont work out.  Perseverance and determination are 90% of success.  Forge ahead with your passion and your dream! 

What products on Zady are consumers most interested in and what are your favorites?

Our customers live all over the country and range in age from early twenties to their mid seventies! So there isn't a one-size fits all product.  That said, our home goods are universally loved, like the Le Feu De Leu candles, made by hand under water in LA.  They smell divine.  Everyone loves our Ellepi Whale Staplers made in Northern Italy because the design is so beautiful and really makes an office desk pop with color.  My favorite item we carry are the Mercado Global Weekender bags made by artisans in Guatemala.  MG is a non-profit that celebrates over 10 years of helping women in central America.  They employee 300 artisans to make these bags, which I now use as luggage more often than not.  The textiles are gorgeous and the importance of the work of this ngo is never lost on me as I take the bag to a new destination.  

Life Motto?

"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams." 

Favorite travel destination?

Zanzibar,  I went for the first time with my sister while she was on a work trip in East Africa.  I fell in love with the people, the climate, the local spices, the jungle and the beaches.  And, of course, the food. It's my happy place. 

What literature is on your bed stand?

The Goldfinch. A Thousand Splendid Suns. My Life In France.  Those are the three most recent books I've read and I just loved each one.  My mother is great lead-gen for literature and my friend Melanie, who works at The New Yorker, and my friend Chrysanthe, who started Brooklyn Based and I are beginning a book club together.  I feel old having a book club for fiction - but it's really an essential luxury of life.  

Role model - business and personal?

I have formal and informal mentors.  I meet monthly with Linda Rottenberg, who began Endevour which helps high-impact entrepreneurs around the world. She's amazing.  Beth Comstock, the CMO of GE is a mentor who has helped my career enormously, as has Fran Hauser, a Zady investor and GP at Rothenberg Ventures.  My newest mentor is Carol Hochman, who began Danskin and recently founded Women in America.  We meet monthly to discuss our business and growth plans.  Each mentor offers invaluable advice and I feel pretty lucky to have them as a part of my network.  

What's next for Zady and Soraya Darabi

What's next for Zady is that our community is growing day after day and we are enjoying watching crowdswell.  What's next for me, personally, is my first vacation since our company launched. I'm going to Beijing with the World Economic Forum in September for the annual YGL conference and truly can't wait. 


Following her tenure at the Times, Soraya served as Product Lead for, a real-time online sharing, collaboration, and presentation service (acquired by Facebook). She then went on to co-found the
mobile application Foodspotting, named by Apple and Wired Magazine as an “app of the year” before
being acquired by Open Table.

Soraya was recently featured on the cover of Fast Company’s “Most Creative People in Business” issue,
and Brandweek’s “Hot Digital” issue, and was named one of Inc. Magazine's "30 Under 30," and
included in AdAge’s “25 People in Media to Follow on Twitter.”

Soraya received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History from Georgetown University.