Danielle Weisberg and Carly Zakin are two millennial women making their mark in digital news. The two business partners met during college on a study abroad trip to Rome. Weisberg who attended Tufts University and Zakin who attended the University of Pennsylvania decided to stay in contact which resulted in one of the best friendships and business partnerships we have seen. Zakin says, “We had a really strong partnership from the day. That’s because we were friends first.” Their digital newsletter, theSkimm, reaches 3.5 million subscribers every day giving millennials their daily dose of news.
Weisberg and Zakin share that the start of creating this popular newsletter was not completely easy nor was it a favorable idea. MillionaireMatch got the scoop on how they went from idea to an overnight success.
“This would be the stupidest thing we would ever do. Email is dead,” Zakin remembers hearing from tech people in the business. Having little experience at launching a newsletter business both Zakin and Weisberg decided to ask people could give them advice. Both women come from a news background having worked the Nightly News, The Today Show, and MSNBC and know how to produce in that realm. Weisberg had a long time passion for reading books and grew up having frequent conversations around politics with her family. It was ingrained in her to have an opinion on these matters. For Zakin, she was headed to be the next Katie Couric. The passion to share information was there. Where they fell short was technology. So like any great entrepreneur they did research. Unfortunately, the feedback they received was not so positive. “We heard it all about why we shouldn’t start this,” Weisberg recalls.
Fortunately, they went with their gut. Instead of going straight into launching an app, the two decided to do what they knew best, email. “The savviest we both were was to send an email,” Zakin said. They first thought theSkimm would be more like a Google list to their friends who on a regular basis would ask them questions about world news. On July 18, 2012, they launched theSkimm newsletter right from the comfort of their shared couch. It became a success overnight.
The newsletter soon grew a community organically. Not until recently did they incorporate advertisement. To keep cost down, they were their only employees. “We were doing everything, the two of us,” recalls Zakin. As most new entrepreneurs experience, things were going well until they hit a few hurdles and needed to raise money. That again was an area neither of them was familiar with. They once again sought out advice on how to raise money. In meetings, investors didn’t want to believe that they wrote all their material and had no technology background. Despite the early raised eyebrows, the now four-year-old newsletter just raised $8 million dollars in Series B funding with 21st Century Fox.
The company has now gone from two to twenty staff members. Out of those twenty, three focus on editorial work. How do they cover such a wide variety of news and be experts? Weisberg says, “When we started out, we knew we couldn’t be everything to everyone.” Zakin says they shy away from adding ‘experts’ to their editorial team. That’s not what they do. They are simply amazing at translating information to their audience.
On advice for those stepping into entrepreneurship, Weisberg advises, “Don’t quit. You have to really believe in what you’re doing.” Rejection seems to be inevitable for anyone starting something new. “We heard again and again, no. No. No. No. I won’t sign up for it. Why would you want to launch via email? Email is dead. No, I won’t fund you,” Weisberg says. “There are two different paths you can take. One is maybe this isn’t a good idea. The other is we quit our jobs. We believe in this. Our friends like it. We know there’s a huge market for female millennials not getting enough information. We want to fix that. We just did it. The easiest thing you can do is just give up,” continued Weisberg.
The dynamic duo recently added a subscription option for just $2.99 that will help those who want to stay in the know be in the know all the time. Be sure to check it out at www.theSkimm.com.
The beautiful Durrani Popal first got on our radar as one of Kim Kardashian’s Dash Dolls. Dash Dolls, which was a spin-off of Keeping Up with the Kardashians, had one memorable season on the E! Network that premiered in September 2015. We watched the most beautiful girls keep the Hollywood’s Dash store location up and running. MillionaireMatch caught up with the Doll to see how love and life have been since the show.
Before joining the cast, Popal was a student at the prestigious Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. The job at Dash helped seal the deal not to mention, she fit right in like a Kardashian. Kim even commented, “She’s the epitome of a Dash Doll, look-wise. The eyelashes and all the make-up. It’s like we are.” Popal described her experience on the show as, “Lots of drama, but fun.” She also said, “I got nervous because they [Kardashians] were my bosses.”
Popal allowed the viewers an inside view to her ups and downs when it came to her dating life. Her then boyfriend, Shalom, was “a dead end” relationship, as he described it. The relationship started off promising. The two were happy and having fun, and he even gave her a pink Bentley. “I’ve always wanted a pink car since I was a little girl, “ she said. “I still drive it,” she continued. Popal later got herself a pink Lamborghini.
As the two became closer, trouble started to show up. Popal introduced him to her brother, as she felt it was the right next step, but it started to become the beginning of the end. Shalom and Popal had religious differences that her parents would not welcome.
In spite of a tough break, Popal placed her focus on her business endeavors creating Jewels by Durrani and House of Durrani, which sells high-end quality everyday wear. She was inspired by her mom who loved jewelry and would take Popal shopping frequently. The line includes custom pieces, with a Middle Eastern influence. The clothing line has simple, chic and sporty pieces, which are close to Popal’s personal style. With almost a million followers on Instagram, both product lines seem to be booming businesses.
With her new focus, also came a new and better love life. “Haven’t felt this happy in a very, very long time. God is good. Life is amazing, “ she said. Durrani’s new beau is Shahin Safai. Safai is the CEO of Royal Personal Training in Beverly Hills which is an elite training facility that caters to athletes, celebrities and executives. Popal couldn’t be happier. Safai recently said, “I don’t know where you came from, but you for sure changed my life.”
She encourages others who want to start their own line or boutique. “Never give up. Believe in yourself,” she said. Durrani gives us all hope that new and better beginnings are possible when it comes to love and career. The two lovebirds look perfect for each other!
Somaya Reece’s beautiful face first reached our television screens when she joined the cast of Love and Hip Hop, New York. After season 2, Reece decided to leave and since then hasn’t stopped climbing the ladder of success.
The fierce Latina took time to do some soul searching, get fit, and start a new business. The best of all her new endeavors was finding love. Reece talked to MillionaireMatch about all of it and how she was able to open her heart up to the possibilities of a new love.
We first had to know what the secret was from going from size 18 to a size 6. After experiencing many yo-yo diets and being disappointed, “I ate clean and exercised,” she said. Reece added, “I basically starved myself to be skinny. I fainted during a video shoot in DR due to taking diet pills, diuretics. I fainted in the water.” This was a wake-up call for her. The abuse she placed on her body to stay thin was hurting her health. After her doctor said to her, “Your body and heart won’t survive this abuse,” she decided to take action.
It wasn’t easy, but she took small steps. Reece said she was too embarrassed to go to the gym. She decided to start walking 10 minutes every day until she got up to an hour. In addition, she fell in love with making smoothies. She loved creating smoothies so much, she wrote an ebook, 5 Day Smoothie Slimdown, which has delicious and healthy smoothie recipes like Chocolate Banana Cake.
Reece decided to take her commitment to be healthy a step forward. She was approached by a company to promote detox tea. The company representatives “were very arrogant. They also tried to low-ball me with compensation, “ she said. Without actually trying the product, Reece just didn’t feel right promoting it. She wanted it to be a good product for herself as well as her fans. She eventually turned the company down, which no longer exists, and started her own company with a little push from a friend who was encouraged by her weight loss. So, she decided to turn to her sister who had been using a family tea detox for years. She gathered all the recipes and launched Get Slim Detox Tea.
With over 140k followers on Instagram, the tea has been a success, but Reece has always been a hard worker. Her dating life on the other hand definitely needed a little work. “I was blocking it. I was working hard all the time, and blocking having a relationship,” Reece said. “I had been single for two years and enjoying it. I kinda got used to being single. I had to learn balance,” she added. “It wasn’t easy for me to learn to be vulnerable,” she continued.
Reece recently was seen on E!’s Famously Single tackling her dating life or lack thereof. She shared with the world about her previous abusive relationship. During her two years of not dating, she took the time to work on herself. “I did a lot of soul-searching,” she said. “I needed to find my equal. I realized how wrong some people were for me,” she added. Well, that break and the show lead her into the arms of her current partner, someone she met 7 years ago. “It wasn’t the right time back then, but it’s the right time now,” she said. We asked Reece what was the secret to her healthy, successful love relationship. “Communication is totally key,” she answered.
What’s next on the horizon for Somaya Reece? New music produced by her girlfriend, Lady Luck, will be coming soon. She is also working on a new show she couldn’t tell us much about, but it will hit our television screens in January. Her health company, This Fits Me, is adding another product called My Red Carpet Plan for those who need to drop weight in a week the healthy way, and she is continuing to write new books about her life, mental health, and how to start a company and be successful. If that isn’t enough of Reece, you will also be able to download her upcoming Emoji App. We can’t wait!
Maxim’s 16th annual Hot 100 Party brought together some of Hollywood’s most beautiful people at the Hollywood Palladium on Sunset Boulevard. Iggy Azalea, Draya Michele, Nick Cannon, Mel B, Nicole Murphy, and Chanel Iman all graced the red carpet before starting their night of partying. The event’s host was Stella Maxwell who Maxim placed at the number one spot on the Hot 100 list.
MillionaireMatch had the chance to ask the celebs what they considered to be hot. Tyson Beckford was clear, “First off, intelligence,” he said. “Intelligence is the first thing I am attracted to, and then after that goes to beauty - eyes, lips,nose, shape. All of that,” he continued. The former model who looks to have not aged at all, surely doesn’t have a problem with getting a beautiful woman. His secret to staying youthful, “Sleep! I’ll knock out and not do anything all day.”
The ladies of the hit show, Wags, told us what they look for in a guy. “I think if he’s very confident, and he makes you laugh that makes him hot,” says Sophia Pierson. Natalie Halcro chimed in to say, “Our family is really big on humor so I have to say as long as he makes me laugh, then we are good to go. Other than that, aesthetically, a great smile.” They both spoke about the show and the upcoming turn of events their viewers can look out for, which involves a lot of drama for the remaining season.
Shaun Ross, the first professional albino model, talked candidly about unconventional beauty. “What makes a person hot is sexy confidence,” Ross said. “I love that I am representing. Being a person that isn’t considered to be conventionally beautiful, I definitely wanted to be here because I think I’m hot. You don’t have to be a person with big tits, ass and silicon. We are all sexy in our own way. It’s about celebrating more than just body. It’s about celebrating spirit,” says Ross.
One after another, celebrities walked the carpet until Nick Cannon arrived. The carpet was exclusive to him during his photo ops. He wore all black including a turban with an oversized gold chain which seemed suitable for deejaying the party. On what makes a woman hot, Cannon said, “Her sense of humor and self-esteem.”
We were happy to find that everyone, famous or not, looks for what really matters when being attracted to the opposite sex.
Showtime’s Ray Donovan is one of the most watched television series which first premiered in 2013. To date, the pilot episode of the series had the biggest premiere of any show on Showtime. The talented cast joined together for a special event at The Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills. Liev Schreiber, Jon Voight, Paula Malcomson, Dash Mihok, Pooch Hall, Kerris Dorsey, Devon Bagby, Katherine Moennig, Steve Bauer, and Executive Producer, David Holland, were all in attendance for Paley Live LA: An Evening with Ray Donovan.
MillionaireMatch was there and able to get a little personal with the cast. After long hours on set and looking forward to more taping, the cast was surprisingly full of energy. Pooch Hall (Daryll) wore a Superman shirt proudly as he expressed how great it was to work with a cast that felt like family. “I’m blessed as an individual. I’m blessed as an actor,” he said.
We caught up with Malcomson (Abby Donovan) and asked how she survives those rough scenes dealing with cancer and having just shot a man on the show. Malcomson, who fell into acting when a stranger walked up to her and offered her a role on the spot, says Abby is a great character to play even if she’s all messed up. She looks forward to season five.
A newcomer to acting with this being his first role, Devon Bagby (Connor Donovan), says it has been a fun ride and the ending of season 4 will shock you. “I’m excited for everyone to see the whole season so we can talk about it,” he says. Unfortunately, he couldn’t give us any clues on what’s coming up.
Dash Mihok who plays “Bunchy,” says it has been fun exploring what it is like being a new parent through the show.
Steven Bauer who plays “Avi”, Ray Donovan’s right-hand man, loves the unexpectedness the show brings. “It’s really kind of a rollercoaster without too many scary moments,” Bauer says.
We can’t wait to see the rest of this season. Ray Donovan airs Sunday nights at 9 pm on Showtime.