You may know Daniela Ruah from her role as Agent Kensi Blye on the CBS hit series, NCIS Los Angeles. Here at Shopping for a Change, we also know her as a committed fair trade advocate, a wonderful mother, and as someone who brings laughter and meaning to any conversation. We are so proud to welcome Daniela into the SFAC family as our new ambassador.
We had a chance to get to know Daniela a bit more. Here are some highlights and favorite moments of our conversation.
Welcome Daniela, and thank you for your support.
Q: What projects are you currently working on?
I will start working on season 8 of NCIS Los Angeles in the summer, 2016. I can’t believe how time flies! I’m also currently working on my own ‘non-acting’ project about which I will reveal more details in the future! Also, we are expecting a little girl in the fall, so family life will get busier. We are so excited!
Q: When you aren’t working on the set of NCIS Los Angeles and your exciting new projects, how do you like to spend your time?
With my family, working out, doing projects around the house, reading, watching documentaries, cooking…
Q: Which individuals and/or celebrities have been the most influential for you?
My parents have always heavily influenced me. They are both wonderful human beings who made every decision based on love, including giving me the freedom to pursue the things I love. And I now know how hard that can be because you love your kids so much you want to shield them from everything. But you can’t; there are things they have to learn for themselves and to me, it’s our job as parents to be a safe port for their return if they venture out too deep.
I’m not sure there is a particular celebrity that has been influential to me, though I do look up to many who use their powerful images to bring attention to important causes and issues in the world, such as Angelina Jolie, Sean Penn, Patricia Arquette, amongst many others.
Q: Who are your heroes?
I would say my heroes are those who live through extreme adversity and manage to survive and thrive through sheer willpower and hard work- whether it is a refugee, a soldier at war or a parent who has lost a child. I’ve known examples of all of these and I have the upmost respect for them.
Q: Share the best advice you’ve been given. Would you pass this advice on to your fans?
Much of the advice I received growing up was based on example, rather than a sentence. I always observed that the harder my family worked, the luckier they got… And yes I would pass this on to my fans. Also on a different note, as women today, we suffer more than ever with imposed insecurity. We are told that we should look, feel and act a certain way. Well, my advice to fans is to just be the best version of yourself- female and male. We all have our quirks- embrace them.
"Just be the best version of yourself- female and male. We all have our quirks- embrace them." Daniela Ruah
Q: Have you always been passionate about fair trade? Do you remember when it first became important to you?
I would love to tell you a story about how fair trade has always been a part of my life, but it hasn’t been. My interest began in adulthood along with a growing awareness of the world we live in. Also, of course, being a woman and now bringing a daughter into our world, the sentiment has become even more prevalent as has the need to help protect others more disadvantaged than myself.
Q: When did you first discover SFAC? In which context, what was your first impression? Can you share the story?
On Christmas 2014, I was given a bag from the FEED organization in which the proceeds provide meals for children around the world. I loved the idea of purchasing an item for a charitable cause. I also didn’t feel like I was doing my part, so I decided to look around for another lesser known organization that I could perhaps work with and help bring attention to. It took me a few days, but I finally came across SFAC. I was interested in the amount of reliable press it had received, the notable awards and the quality of the products that I ordered to check for myself. I then ordered more as gifts for friends and family! Stacey Horowitz, the founder, and I began communicating directly, and I was particularly impressed by her charitable achievements and transparency, something that should be far more common than it is amongst larger charities.
The Fair Trade mission is such an important one to promote as well as sustainability in developing countries and awareness of the current discrepancy in how much small producers make, versus their larger counterpart distributors in developed countries. I also love how SFAC heavily participates in creating community projects around the world- “providing clean water, healthcare and education to those in need.”
I love the selection and quality of products sold on the SFAC website and how you are able to dictate where you want your money to go.
"It’s important to me to help empower people around the world to raise themselves, particularly women, from poverty through fair trade rather than just charity." Daniela Ruah
Q: Why did you agree to become a brand ambassador for SFAC?
I’ve been shopping at SFAC for a while and am so excited to work with them more closely as an ambassador. It’s important to me to help empower people around the world to raise themselves, particularly women, from poverty through fair trade rather than just charity. Unfortunately there is a large discrepancy in male and female incomes in both underdeveloped and developed nations.
Q: What are some of your SFAC favorite products, why?
I love so many of the products and all for the same reasons; they are well made, durable and sold at a great price point!
The Dabbawalla Lunch Bags for kids - Toxin, lead, phthalate, and PVC free.
Kids Animal Sweaters - I bought the Tiger for my son and love it! Made with organic cotton and bio friendly dyes.
Kutula Kiss Bracelet Set - Simple & Beautiful
Pure Hand Knit Button Wrap - I give these as gifts
I could go on...
Q: What should every woman try at least once in her life?
To love herself, just as she is.
Q: Describe what brings you the greatest joy and or greatest satisfaction?
My son, the prospect of my little girl, my husband, my family, my friends, my job, travel…
Q: Tell us what is on your bucket list?
Seeing more of the world and contributing to it, starting my own business, climbing Machu Picchu
Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
I’m completely unable to share any dairy products like ice cream, milk or cheese. Sounds crazy I know; but I’ve had this weird thing about it since I was a kid!
Q: How about one beauty secret you are willing to share?
I wouldn’t call them secrets! Looking around myself and being happy with what I have is a big one. A healthy complete diet, drinking water, trying to get enough sleep, exercising, protecting my skin…
Q: What is one thing you wish you knew when you were younger?
That everything was going to be ok. But I wouldn’t want to know how or why.
That was the talented Daniela Ruah. Thank you for your time and candor. We're excited to work with you and look forward to the many successes that are in front of you.