We had the good fortune of connecting with Dara Green and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dara, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
My entire life’s journey has been all about risk taking, ever since I was a kid. I think it is just part of my DNA! I would not have had the opportunities that I have had, especially the ones that have pushed and challenged me in the growth of my business and as an individual. If you jump, there is always a 50/50 chance of landing on your feet, but you have to be willing to jump…
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Seaside Staffing Company started as Seaside Nannies, a small boutique nanny agency that I started in my little cottage in Pacific Beach in 2004. I somehow knew I would always be in the field of domestic bliss, however I wanted to be able to help my community on a larger scale rather than working for one or two families. I knew after being a nanny for over twenty years, teaching preschool for nine and having a degree in early childhood education, I had the advantage of creating a company that had a different perspective in the screening process. Opening Seaside seemed like a great way of sharing my knowledge, opinions and childcare philosophies with parents to find the right childcare.
Although the first two years of the business were slow moving at first, I was always excited to place a candidate in any capacity. It felt good. It made others happy. It made me feel that what I decided to do made sense and I could be helpful in other people’s lives. My attitude was and still is, that if you follow your heart and do what you love, you can change your life as well as others.
Once word of mouth started to flow, it seemed as if something magical happened. I took the risk and quit my steady nanny job and jumped ship! Since then, growing the business and connecting with people in the industry has been my full-time job.
However, it hasn’t always been smooth sailing, as with any new endeavor in life (or business) there will always be obstacles, which means plenty of opportunities to grow. The only way to experience true growth is to experience those challenges, learn from them and make different choices to make the business (and myself) better.
The success of Seaside has come from the people that I met along the way. Never did I think it would grow as it has over all these years.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week-long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Visiting San Diego for a week? Just seems like there isn’t enough time to see everything however, there are some things that all visitors to San Diego must experience to get a scope of what an incredible city we have, apart from the weather!
Starting south and moving up to north county, would start with a visit to Coronado Island. For whatever reason, once you cross over the bridge it is like you have left San Diego! A quick visit to the Hotel Del Coronado to marvel at the masterpiece that was built in 1888 is a great start to visiting San Diego and is a “must see”! Then head on over to First Street off Orange Avenue for a bite to eat at Tartine and check out the view of downtown across San Diego Bay. Fabulous!
Next spot not to be missed would be Seaport Village and downtown San Diego. Downtown is full of amazing places to eat but Juniper and Ivy is by far my favorite. If you are feeling a bit fancy, you can also make a reservation to dine at the historically famous Mr. A’s!
Speaking of history, Old Town San Diego is also a great place to visit to see what it was like when Southern California was being settled in 1769. What remains of this little town is full of sweet shops and restaurants to sample while you weave in and out of the historic buildings taking it all in. Café Coyote is where you want to stop and grab one of the best burritos in SoCal.
Continuing up the coastline, Kate Sessions park in Pacific Beach is a wonderful and relaxing environment to have an incredible view of San Diego Bay and downtown while enjoying a picnic! Once finished, taking a drive up to the peak of Mt. Soledad in La Jolla is a must for an absolutely breathtaking view of San Diego county. On a clear day, you can see all the way south to Mexico and all the way north to Orange County. Stopping by La Jolla Shores for lunch at Barbarella or dinner at Piatti is a must, however, make sure you make a reservation to eat outside on the patio under the tree.
My all-time most favorite place in San Diego is North County. Torrey Pines State Reserve on the border of La Jolla and Del Mar, is a MUST for a fabulous hike and view of the Pacific, then having breakfast outside at Americana on Camino Del Mar, followed up with a drive to Solana Beach. I always make sure I bring all my out of town guests to Cedros Design District for the best shopping at Soho, Muttropolis and Leaping Lotus! Then off to Encinitas to check out Moonlight State Beach and walk around the village and taste some of the local vegan flavor at Eve on highway 101.
Lastly, the village of Carlsbad has an incredible sweet charm to it as well as it is a great place to walk on the beach after you have eaten at Vigalucci’s on the corner of highway 101 and Tamarack Ave. But if it’s a weekend morning, Café Topes is a must.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to dedicate this shout out to everyone I have met on this journey, truly, everyone. From my personal nanny families that trusted me with their children, to the people I have met throughout Seaside Staffing Company’s growth over the last seventeen years.