Meet Elisabetta, the founder of Kurandza and the Global Dream Collective.
An adventurer, storyteller, and chocolate-lover who has lived in five countries & speaks five different languages, Elisabetta wholeheartedly believes that the globe is our home and that we, as people, have so much more in common than we have differences.
If you asked me to describe her in one word, it would be changemaker. One look at her Instagram & you’ll quickly see that she’s full of light. This is one girl who deserves to have her story told. She’s making huge strides in education & opportunity for women in Mozambique, and is building an online community surrounding all things conscious living & social good.
I recently got a chance to chat with Elisabetta about the inspiration behind her work & what the journey’s been like. Here’s what she had to say:
Q: What are the stories behind Kurandza & Global Dream Collective?
A: I started Kurandza when I got back to the US after serving in the Peace Corps for 3 years in Mozambique. I became very close to my community where I lived and worked in Mozambique, and I wanted to continue supporting them in an intentional way.Once Kurandza started gaining traction and visibility, I began to receive contact emails from people who wanted to create similar projects in the world. They asked me for advice and guidance on creating their own projects. Soon I saw that there was a need for this type of work and that I was super good at it. I also had always wanted to create more community and empower and inspire like-minded women in creating a more fulfilling life, so I started the Global Dream Collective. The ethical fashion, conscious travel, and social impact blog came along with that, and it’s so much fun for me!
Q: Can you tell us about your career path & how you got to where you are now?
A: During college, I interned with the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice and the University of Milan, both were amazing opportunities for me to see that I wanted a career in international development and humanitarian work. When I graduated from college at the University of San Diego, I moved to New York City to work for the New York City Coalition Against Hunger while studying for a post-baccalaureate certificate in Global Affairs from NYU. I thought that I wanted to work for the United Nations or a large NGO (non-governmental organization), so I studied abroad at the UN in Geneva through my NYU program. That’s when I saw that I’m better suited for direct service and grassroots development. So I applied for the Peace Corps and moved to Mozambique where I lived and worked for 3 years! I ended up working with several large NGOs while I was there, and it just confirmed my beliefs that my mission is to work on the ground one-on-one in partnership with the locals. When I got back to the US from the Peace Corps, I launched Kurandza. Now that Kurandza has grown into something more sustainable, I have the time to also focus on my new passion project, the Global Dream Collective.
Q: What is your favorite part about what you do?
A: My favorite part is being able to collaborate with so many amazing women all over the world! One of my mantras is “community over competition”and I know that when we come together to increase impact for everyone involved, amazing things can happen!
Q: What does a typical day in the life of Elisabetta look like?
A: No two days look the same because I travel so much, but when I’m either at my home base in San Francisco or Mozambique for a few months at a time, I can get more settled into a routine! No matter where I am, I love to start my day off with gratitude, meditation, and setting an intention for the day. I’ve been using my Productivity Planner to schedule all my tasks for the day as well—things like blog posts, interviews, and other content creation, and calls and meetings! After work is yoga and hanging out to decompress after the day!
Q: It can be hard to keep on top of everything while traveling! Share your top 3 pointers for staying productive when working remotely.
A: 1 – Even if you can’t create daily “routines” while traveling, I love to create “bookends” for my day with a few grounding and self-care practices that help me continue taking care of myself while traveling. Things like gratitude, meditation, intention-setting, reading, journaling, and yoga!
2 – Balance “work” and “play” days so that you also enjoy your time away! I do this by designating certain days that are for primarily working at a café or co-working space, and then days that are primarily for fun/adventure/sight-seeing. That way I don’t feel guilty when I’m not checking my phone or e-mail on those “play” days!
3 – Maintain your health! Be sure to bring a reusable water bottle like BKR or Yuhme so that you can stay hydrated! Eat lots of fruits and veggies, and take your vitamins when you’re traveling. I also love taking some cold pressed juice shots before, during, and after my trips! I would sometimes skimp on my vitamins/healthy snacks because I wanted to travel as light as can be, but now I’m realizing that health is #1 and to pack what I need to stay healthy!
Q: Let’s brag about you! What’s one strength you possess as an entrepreneur that’s really helped your business and its’ success?
A: My biggest strength as an entrepreneur is determination and finding creative solutions to challenges. I find ways to make things happen when I’ve been told “no”. This trait has helped me so much with growing my non-profit and launching my business!
Q: You can bring 3 items on a deserted island – What would they be?
A: The Alchemist, chocolate, and my Ray-Bans!
Q: What are you currently reading?
A: I’m currently re-reading The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz.
Q: When you’re not busy running Global Dream Collective and Kurandza, where can we find you?
A: You can find me practicing yoga, hanging out with friends at one of my fave farm-to-table restaurants, or jamming out to 2pac in my car! <3
Interested in connecting with Elisabetta, learning more about her work, or supporting her mission? Here’s where you can find her!
Global Dream Collective: