Danae Edmonds is a content creator and founder of online media company Aspiring Co. She graduated from Mercer in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a minor in technical communication. Originally from New Jersey, she now lives in the Raleigh-Durham area of North Carolina. She’s an alumna of Mercer’s Iota Eta Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority.
Here are five things to know about Edmonds:
1. She quit her desk job to follow her passion.
Edmonds came to Mercer interested in pharmacy, but a semester in, she decided that marketing and its creative aspects would be a better fit for her.
As graduation approached, Edmonds was uncertain about what she wanted to do with her life. She ended up working at a software company in downtown Raleigh, but she was also blogging and doing freelance social media work on the side for an online media company she started.
Edmonds said she wanted to grow and develop in this personal venture, and she realized she couldn’t do that sitting at a desk all day. She rebranded her company as Aspring Co. in September 2017, received her LLC status in January 2018, and quit her software job of four years in April 2018.
2. Her company aims to inspire women.
Aspiring Co. is an online media company whose tagline is “aspiration, inspiration and apparel for women, by women.” Edmonds shares stories about women in order to inspire other women to take risks in their careers and follow their dreams.
Her website includes a series of “It Girl” profiles; blog entries with tips and advice for entrepreneurs; and episodes of her “Yes Girl Yes” podcast, which has covered topics such as imposter syndrome, how to establish pricing in a business, and the ups and downs of leaving a full-time job to pursue another opportunity.
Edmonds said the most rewarding part of her work has been getting to meet and know so many incredible women. Some of the highlights have been interviewing artist Amy Sherald, who painted a portrait of former first lady Michelle Obama, and seeing Obama speak at the United States of Women Summit in 2017. In October, Edmonds had the opportunity to attend the Forbes Under 30 Summit Startup Hub as an exhibitor.
3. Mercer helped her learn and grow.
Edmonds said that a lot of her experiences in college and the relationships she forged there – including those that came from her membership in Mercer’s Iota Eta Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority – helped her to become the woman she is today. Mercer taught her to be resilient and showed her how to push through challenges, learn and grow.
She has suffered three strokes, the first occurring during her senior year, but the lessons she learned at Mercer and the support of her friends helped her to overcome them. She said she once felt shame about this piece of her past, but she has learned to accept it as a part of her identity.
4. She wants to spread her knowledge.
In the future, Edmonds hopes to do live shows of her podcast across the country, publish a book or two, and create a co-working studio space for content creators. She has coached other women – including other Mercerians – on honing the message for their online platforms, building online communities and podcasting.
“Because I have built this platform from the ground up, I’ve been able to help other people who have similar goals, who have blogs or some other kind of platform,” she said.
5. She urges Mercer students to enjoy life but be responsible.
“Give yourself grace. Don’t beat yourself up about things. Try to have fun and live in the moment, but also be accountable,” she said. “Don’t be a hot mess. Every situation is what you make it. Spending time with your friends, that’s really important, because those are the people you’ll be able to depend on for the rest of your life, hopefully.”