She's Empowered Spotlight: Diana Jarrar, founder of MAGICdATES
"I think motivation can feel graceful and not forced when you have a vision of what you want your life to be. What motivates me is my vision of a more just world and how I can play a part in that in any small or big way. It starts with being aware of my own biases and beliefs and hopefully that awareness leads to growth. So I try to live everyday with that in mind. And some days I just want to take a nap, snack, and feel the sun on my face. That’s a good day too."
Meet Diana Jarrar, founder of MAGICdATES! Whenever we're in the mood for something sweet, her Date Bites do the trick. And they truly are magic... not only are they tasty, they are good for you too. We're excited for you to learn more about her + her incredible company!
Tell us a little about you!
I’ve had a bit of a journey jumping around the world. I feel that I have a portal between the east and the west within me. I was born in Damascus, Syria and raised for most of my childhood. My family and I immigrated to Toronto, Canada when I was 11 years old. I have a brief one-year stint in Saudi Arabia and then moved to LA on my own when I was 19. Needless to say, I feel privileged to be living here and grateful to have cultivated meaningful and deep relationships with friends from all walks of life.
What do you do for work? Tell us about your professional journey.
I created MAGICdATES (Md) out of love for simple and nourishing ingredients. I grew up eating dates and my mom would give them to us in place of candy (although I still loved Smarties and Pez, remember those?). I gravitated towards cooking when I moved on my own to LA (it’s how I made friends, I would feed them!) and knew that I wanted food to be a bigger part of my life. I also love problem-solving and creating my own path rather than walking a well-beaten one. So Md was the natural result of all these things uniting.
How do you stay motivated?
I think motivation can feel graceful and not forced when you have a vision of what you want your life to be. What motivates me is my vision of a more just world and how I can play a part in that in any small or big way. It starts with being aware of my own biases and beliefs and hopefully that awareness leads to growth. So I try to live everyday with that in mind. And some days I just want to take a nap, snack, and feel the sun on my face. That’s a good day too.
Do you have any advice for someone who is interested in starting a business?
Yes, don’t do it. Just kidding. Again, I think you have to be super honest with yourself about your vision and intention. Entrepreneurship is super grueling and will knock you down. You have to have some intrinsic motivation that keeps you going otherwise it’s easy to give up. Why? Is always a good question to ask. Why am I doing this? For a long time, owning a business won’t give you the freedom you think you will have. You will live and breath your business everyday. You will have freedom to create, think, and do things differently but not freedom of time.
What are your favorite ways to #spreadgood in your community?
If each of us did a few simple acts of kindness for the people around us, the world would be so much brighter. So I love focusing on that concept. I grocery shopped for my elderly friends during the earlier parts of COVID. Md donated snacks to the ICU team at local hospitals like UCLA. I was involved in distributing emergency kits to the homeless community around LA last year.
Who is one person who inspires you and why?
This is a hard one because I look for inspiration in everyone and everything around me. I can say that the one inspiring quality I find in people is curiosity. I believe this is the single most important trait for any entrepreneur but also just in life. Being curious likely means you’re open to another person’s point of view. It also means that you’ll self-reflect in a kinder way towards yourself because you’ll explore your own mind, habits, and behaviors with curiosity rather than criticism.
What do you like to do for fun, when you aren't working?
I LOVE reading. I love to hike and cooking is my thing. I love researching. I’ll just randomly think of something I’m curious about and start researching the crap out of it. I love taking 30 minutes out of my day to dance freely. WAP is on the top of my playlist right now. Near or far, I love exploring a new neighborhood, a new hole-the-wall restaurant, or cute boutique with handmade things. LA is a fun place to do all that.
What are some of your favorite recipes with Ground Up?
I’d love to explore this more! I think we can make nut butter-stuffed chocolate MAGICdATES.