#wcw: Danya Shults


Meet Danya! I met her seven years ago when she was on the junior board of the nonprofit where I worked. Her warmness and passion for doing good jumped across that conference table and I knew she'd be someone I'd want as a mentor and a friend, or as she has coined, a friendtor. She is a woman inspired by her faith to take action, bring people together, find meaning, and make the most out of every situation, as you can see below! – Katie

What are you working on?: I'm building Arq, a lifestyle brand and community inspired by all things Jewish and open to everyone. We create content and experiences that help anyone connect with Judaism in a relevant, inclusive, and convenient way. I'm constantly working on my impatience, which can be a strength, in that it helps me move fast and get shit done, but it's also a vice, since I'm often in "what's next?" mode instead of "this is enough, I am enough!" mode. 

What's your vision for 2017?: The Jewish New Year begins in the Fall, so I just finished making my resolutions for the year 5778 :). My husband and I moved to LA from Brooklyn a couple of weeks ago – right before Yom Kippur, in fact, so it was auspicious timing. My personal vision for 2017 is to let go of as many expectations as possible – about our new city, the people we'll meet, the things we'll do, the house we'll buy, and on and on – and to welcome this new phase of our lives with wide open arms. 

Best thing our readers might not know about you?: I won Mrs. Etkind's spelling bee in 2nd grade. I was the finalist for a role in an off-Broadway play when I was a kid, but it went to Mischa Barton. I met my husband at singles party that I hosted. I'm a triathlete!

What brought you to WC?: Before I launched Arq, I worked in venture capital and tech, and I was often the only woman or one of very few in my daily work. Since I launched Arq, and, frankly, since the election, I've really gravitated towards women entrepreneurs and women-only support systems like Women Catalysts. I've found them to be relatable, empowering, fun, and deep. And, shout out to Katie Tilson for inviting me to join the community and for asking me to speak at one of the first NYC gatherings!

Where will we see you next?: At the beach! I've also just been selected as an On Being Fellow, so there's a chance you may hear me on the podcast or see my writing on the website – stay tuned :)