Mandana Dayani, Founder Of I AM A VOTER, On Fashion, Politics, And Life With Two Kids

From fashion to politics, Mandana, mom of two, talks about why she started  I AM A VOTER with a group of passionate volunteers and how she’s working to create a cultural shift around voting, plus how parenting has deepened her friendship with her husband and what 7AM looks like at their house.

Mom to two: age and name?

I have two girls, Anderson is four years old, and Miller is 18 months.

What are you working on for I AM A VOTER?

We’re working on building communities of supporters all across the country. We’re also working on continuing and scaling partnerships for National Voter Registration Day on September 24, 2019, as well as the 2020 elections. Our focus is to create a cultural shift around voting and civic engagement, every day.  

You were previously the Vice President at Rachel Zoe’s fashion company. How did you make that transition from fashion to politics?

I just decided to do it and did it! Politics has always been my biggest passion.  I am an immigrant and left pretty terrible conditions to come to the States for the opportunity to achieve the American Dream. I am so grateful for the life this country has afforded me and have always felt a need to honor that. I believe immigrants are often amongst the most patriotic people in our country, because we truly understand how incredible our country is!  Therefore, I felt ready to leverage my professional experience and personal network to work on something I am very passionate about.

One thing you wish you could tell your pre-kids self?

Walk away from negative situations, people and careers as quickly as possible. Life is so incredibly short.

What does 7am in your house look like?

Breakfast is my favorite meal with our family. We usually have a large spread (I’m Persian, so there’s usually lots of food). I am dressed for the day, drinking my (most likely second) cup of coffee. Right now, we’re all trying to teach Miller her animals!

What does 7pm in your house look like?

We’re usually finishing our evening dance party before we begin our bedtime routine: bath, books, and bed. We recently started a tradition of each saying one thing we’re thankful for and whom we wish has good dreams after tucking into bed. My daughter loves it!

An unexpectedly awesome aspect of parenting?

The partnership with my husband, Peter has strengthened through parenthood. We divide and conquer and are so supportive of each other. It’s truly deepened our friendship.

An unexpectedly NOT awesome aspect of parenting?

Not having much time for myself. I am trying to be better at balancing that.

What’s the craziest thing your kids have ever said to you?

My daughter just told me she wants to be President this morning (she met Kamala Harris at an event). I still can’t get this smile off my face.

What does one free hour to yourself look like?

In the evenings, it is me watching one of my favorite TV. My taste in shows is all over the place from Housewives and Vanderpump to amazing British dramas like Broadchurch, Luther and Happy Valley. And nothing cheers me up like Will & Grace, Queer Eye and Marvelous Mrs. Maisel! Typically I’ll watch a show with my headphones on, while drinking tea and wearing my Erno Lazlo eyepatches that I purchased from Violet Grey or giving myself a fresh coat of the new Olive and June nail polishes.

What do you always find time to do with your kids every day, no matter how busy you are?

Breakfast! Every morning we walk our dog together and sit around the breakfast table and share a meal. It just puts me in the best mental state for the day ahead.