Taking the Leap: An Exercise in Skydiving


Finding Your Bold

Imagine loving your job so much, you'd take a leap of faith OUT OF AN AIRPLANE! That's exactly what General Manager and Chief Storyteller Dana Bloom did, just in time for Hoopla 2017

It's not something she ever thought she'd do, but when Stella & Dot's Chief Inspiration Officer Danielle Redner decided to skydive, Dana found her bold (with some urging from CEO Jessica Herrin). 

Once Dana saw herself through Jessica's eyes and realized someone believed she was bold enough to do it, she fully committed to the idea. The KEEP community was so inspired by her leap that we HAD to talk to her about the process, the leap, and the surprising results of embracing her own boldness. Scroll down and watch the action-packed video

I didn’t see myself as a girl that jumps out of airplanes... but Jessica Herrin saw me like this before I ever could.
— Dana Bloom on how she found her bold

Q: What were you thinking about the night before The Leap?

A: Honestly, I really tried not to think much about it. I knew I was going to do it, so there was no decision to make and there’s no way to really prepare yourself for it - therefore nothing positive that could come out of dwelling on it. So I tried to just focus on other things.

Q: What was The reaction when you told people in your life 'the plan'?

A: I didn’t share too broadly BECAUSE I wanted it to be a surprise at Hoopla. And I didn’t dare tell my parents; I didn’t want to worry them like that (and they thanked me for that after). I did tell a few friends and others who work at the Home Office.

My friend, Chrissy, sent me a picture of George W. Bush skydiving on his 90th birthday with the encouraging message that said, "If he can do it at 90, of course you can do it! Nothing to worry about." Danielle Redner sent me awesome pictures from her jump and gave some great advice, mostly to savor the moments and enjoy it because it goes by fast. A few other colleagues shared stories about when they had done it and loved it. Most of my friends mostly thought I was nuts. But I didn’t hear one single scary story.

If you’re anything like me, you know the odds... but emotions are stronger than logic
— Dana Bloom, Hoopla 2017 Opening Speech

q: As you stood at the open door, what was running through your mind?

A: I just tried to get myself into as zen a moment as possible – basically closed my eyes and took deep yoga breaths, concentrating on my breathing and not thinking about the jump.

Q: What has been the Most surprising Outcome of "Taking the Leap"?

A: A great outcome is the feeling of knowing I conquered the fear and didn’t let it stop me, of knowing that I’m a girl that was brave enough to jump out of an airplane. I’ll own that for the rest of my life. But that wasn’t surprising.

The most surprising part for me has been how much it has inspired others and the impact it has had on them. I expected (or at least hoped!) that it was going to be a great bold opening for Hoopla – something that would create the energy in the room. What I hadn’t realized that it was going to go so far beyond that. I’ve gotten messages from countless people telling me how my skydiving inspired them to be bolder in their lives and that is the greatest gift. It makes me feel on top of the world (without the free fall feeling)!