Natasha Slater knows how to get people talking: sometimes about her, and her irreverent approach to business and life; other times, in her interviews – some famously conducted from the comfort of bed; and most recently, through The Dinner Conversations, Natasha Slater Studios, and her dispatches from Instagram.
Natasha is all about women celebrating women, and she is changing the way we communicate with each other. Refreshingly frank and honest, Natasha uses her platform to share authentically: from her battle with anxiety and bulimia to her career transitions and motherhood. A visionary and entrepreneur, devoted mother, trailblazer and lover of the arts, Natasha walks her talk, most recently by helping women empower themselves through her #GoodbyeExcuses Girls Boxe, Surf and Mentorship retreats, and fundraising for women and families suffering from domestic violence during COVID-19 lockdown.
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Chelsea Brown: Hi, everyone. I'm Chelsea Brown, and welcome to The Millie Podcast. The more I talk with people, the more I'm hearing the same thing, we're all looking for more meaning and more substance. People want to get away from the scripted reality and get to the heart of each person's story. This podcast is for women who want to rip up the script and explore new ideas, places, and possibilities. Every two weeks, I'll be talking with an inspiring and inspired woman who is creating impact in her community, and more importantly, a woman who can teach us to be ourselves, go after our dreams, and write our own story. I can't wait to share this journey with you. It's time to see the world in a different way.
Natasha Slater: I really became a real rebel from the age of 15, running away at weekends to go up to London to raves. I started taking drugs earlier. I was experimenting. I just wanted to live life on the edge.
Chelsea: Today, I'm talking with Natasha Slater. Based out of Italy, Natasha is an entrepreneur, lover of the arts, global citizen, and rebel.
Natasha: Men have a much, maybe healthier relationship with competition. What happens between women and women is women bond with each other, and then when they start to see that somebody else could be moving forward or have a better idea, they pull back.
Chelsea: I've had the privilege of getting to know Natasha over the past few months, and we'll be getting into it all.
Natasha: The way to go about it is ultimately by being authentic to yourself. And if you think about that, Chelsea, not a lot of people do that. A lot of people say, "Well, I'd like to do that," or, "That'd be really cool if I could do that." But what if you actually did it? What if you chose it and you were relentless about going after it?
Chelsea: I love her take on life and how her story reminds us to be confident, to be ourselves, and to just go for it. Oh, I'm so excited. Thank you for joining me today.
Natasha: Welcome. It's a pleasure to be here. I mean, I've been away. I've been traveling, but I mean, a terrible thing happened to me. My boyfriend dumped me weeks ago, Chelsea, and I have been in a huge depression. So, I've managed to get out of it about like a couple of weeks just through kind of therapy, meditation, and everything. But it really shocked me. I mean, it's quite normal, three and a half years, but still. So, I found out he was flirting with my friends on Instagram, and we were separated. And I had no idea that any of this, that he was basically chasing women on the internet, and I had no idea.
Chelsea: Oh, my gosh. I'm so sorry to hear that. Thank you for sharing this with me.
Natasha: Maybe this, in some ways, was supposed to happen to me. I don't know. Because I tell you something, I have learned so much in these five weeks, and I've gained so many new tools on how to handle adversity, issues, problems. So in some ways, it was funny when I read through what we're going to talk about. I was like, "Wow, okay, I have loads of information."
Chelsea: Well, you know how fond of you I am. And thank you for opening up your life to me because everything you say is like, people need to shut up and listen.
Natasha: Oh, thank you.
Chelsea: And absolutely, I think this is such a relatable topic, and I'm again so sorry this happened to you. But it's absolutely meant to be, and I mean, his loss. Who is everyone kidding here?
Natasha: I obviously need to go to the next level of my life, and I had to get rid of some old people. And luckily, they got rid of themselves. So in some ways, it's a blessing. I'm learning that every event that happens in our life is significant.
Chelsea: That's the thing, every moment counts. So, what does it mean to you to have this platform, to be a global figure, and inspire women and girls through your initiatives like the Dinner Conversations?
Natasha: Well, I mean, I'm very proud if that is what I managed to achieve to do. I think we all need to be reminded to have a place just as a social media platform on Dinner Conversations where we can remind women of the strength and courage they have and their abilities. Because so often in our society, as women, we're conditioned into so many different beliefs, right from when we were children. It begins right there.
And so, when I created Dinner Conversations, I really wanted to create an event that really brought a lot of different women together. I invite around 50 women to dinner every month when, obviously this was pre-COVID, and it becomes very, very interesting. But it's powerful to connect women.
And I had to be in an elevated place in order to do that. You can't be in a place where you're sitting there going, "Oh, often as women, we don't like to share." We can be competitive with other women. We can feel concerned when we introduce somebody and something great happens to somebody else. And we often feel like there's not something in it for us. And to get to the place where I created Dinner Conversations, I had to be a different version of myself in order just to begin it. You have to be in a place where you wanted to freely connect other women for their benefit and enjoy that.
Chelsea: I love that. How does the conversation need to change between women?
Natasha: Well, I think women feel that there's not enough for them. So, what happens between women and women is I often find that women bond with each other, get really excited when they meet somebody inspirational, and brainstorm 5 million ideas, go and say, "Let's do this and that." And then when they start to see that maybe somebody else could be moving forward or have a better idea, they pull back often and feel like, well, start seeing that person as competition. And this is where the problem arises.
Men have a much, maybe healthier relationship with competition because competition exists and it's healthy, by the way. Competition, there's nothing wrong with it. And women often look at competition as a lack for something of themselves, and that conversation needs to change. Women never need to come to the table feeling that they're not enough. And sometimes, somebody else is going to win. Sometimes, it's not your day. Sometimes, you're going to take a big nose dive. And other times, it's going to turn around, and the golden door opens for you. And that's life, and oftentimes, women will want to try to prevent other women to go forward or be threatened by women that are successful or have ideas of what a successful woman is. We compare ourselves to each other way too much.
Chelsea: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Was there a moment that you remember when you knew the Dinner Conversations needed to be a thing?
Natasha: It was actually two years before I founded it because I needed to be in the right mental frame of mind. I needed to be that woman. And although I've always sort of been in my own lane because I'm very much a bit of a... I like to describe myself as a bit of a rebel, which I am. And so, I think I had lots of similarities that I could relate to and that I've had lots of experiences that I could say were empowering of choices I've made in my life, where I could have chosen an easier road and I just went from maybe more difficult one or went for one that was more authentic to what I wanted to do without knowing what the outcome was.
But I do think that I needed to become a little bit more elevated in certain areas within the industry and not just be a rebel for instance. I needed to be able to be with all types of women, and I needed to do a little bit of work on myself to be able to start talking about female empowerment. You can't just sort of set out and talk about something if you haven't researched it, lived it, and worked on yourself. We have to be our living study. We can't go out and sort of become an ambassador of something if we're not experienced and we haven't done the work, Chelsea. We've got to do the work.
And so, I spent a couple of years doing the work, and life events came and happened. And then I just went for it. Timing was right. Timing's something else, is everything, and everything felt right. Funnily enough, I wasn't sure about the name ever. And then in the end, I just decided to go for it anyway because I was trying to think of something else and I couldn't think of anything better. And I thought I shouldn't let that stop me, so I went for it.
Chelsea: I love that. I want to know more about this rebel side. Paint this picture, please. I know you founded Punks Wear Prada, which was a nightclub. And what was it like, a day in the life of the rebel?
Natasha: Well, I think of myself as a much more of a rebel way before Punks Wear Prada actually. I think I really became a real rebel from the age of 15. I think that's where my rebellious side really came. I mean, I was in boarding school, and I was running away at weekends to go up to London to raves. And it was completely unsafe. We say this, I started taking drugs earlier. I was experimenting. I just wanted to live life on the edge. I don't know why I wanted to live life on the edge. Not that I was necessarily putting myself in ridiculously dangerous situations, but I wanted to experience things, and I wasn't afraid. That's something else. I look back on my life and say, "Why weren't you more afraid of doing? That was crazy. You can't... You did that. Oh, my gosh." And instead, I wanted to experience it all. I wanted to know what it felt like.
And I never really thought about myself as sort of... I guess I grew up never ever thinking that I needed a man next to me, which has been a little bit more problematic maybe in my adult life. But I never saw myself or identified myself as a woman as not being enough without a man beside me. So, I've always felt very much an embodiment of female and male energy. And I still think of myself in that way. I mean, I have a very strong little boy that guides me.
And I guess in when I say rebel because I come from a very different background, and I got into club promotion. I started out DJing. Well, actually, it was when I was doing my degree in fine arts in London that I got into working behind a bar, and I just loved it. I mean, and I think my mother thought that I was absolutely cuckoo, "Why are you working in a bar?" But I loved it. I was fascinated by that world, and I felt useful within nightlife. I felt like I always had something to add to it.
And I started by learning how that industry worked behind a bar. So, I'm really self-made when it comes to even nightlife promoting. I know how to make all the drinks. I know how to run a team. I know how to deal with the security. And it's a little bit rebellious, the whole job in itself because it's unpredictable. You never know. Especially in London, working in London, every night ends with a fight somewhere. It's not exactly a place for proper little girls. But I liked that. Maybe I was fascinated by that, but I was also good at it. And that's another thing.
And I think from there, I started DJing because in this place, which was very cool. It was called the 333 Club, Mother Bar, there, I noticed there were a lot of DJs and a lot of parties. I'm talking about '98, '97 in London, and I just noticed that there were no female DJs. And I thought, "Wow, we know the owner of the club. Let's get behind the DJ booth."
And this was at the time with my, one of my best friends who then became the manager of Florence and the Machine. And I thought, "Wow, it's cool to see a woman behind the DJ booth. Why aren't there more women playing music?" So, we started with that. So, I started DJing, and then obviously inevitably from DJing, I started creating my own parties. But I'd seen all this already when I was working behind this bar while I was a student. I saw how people created parties. So, I was very influenced by that period in London.
Chelsea: Mm-hmm (affirmative). I mean, I think it's incredible going from partying and then motherhood and now you founded Natasha Slater Studio, Punks Wear Prada, the Dinner Conversations. You're a woman of action. And it's incredibly inspiring. I do want to quickly touch on your childhood. You have English and Italian parents. What was your childhood like?
Natasha: Oh, Chelsea, it's a book, my childhood. It really, when I say that, I mean it. It could be a TV series. And it was pretty crazy. I mean, I went to eight different schools probably by the time of 18, by the age of 18. And that's not including all the different countries that we lived in. So, I was born in Paris, grew up in Boston and England in the countryside, Milan, London. Then went to San Francisco. I mean, we moved around a lot.
A lot of creative characters, my father was a university professor through my childhood and then went into work at the government and the treasury in the U.K. Lots of artists, just to name somebody important who I grew up around, I mean, Francis Bacon. I've spent entire weekends on end with the artist Francis Bacon from the age of seven onwards. How can you not be influenced by these people? There was never any discussion in my life about sexuality, people of all different sexuality were in our lives and definitely Bohemian, but Bohemian educated.
But there was a lot of chaos too. There were a lot of chaos. There was a lot of turmoil. There was drama. There was definitely drama. My mother is originally Sicilian. My father is British. My mom grew up in New York, so she was like a Sicilian New Yorker. And it was definitely drama. My childhood was... There was never a dull day, really. Let's say I had to grow up pretty quickly. So, I was already pretty mature by the time of eight. I knew what was going on in the world. And I kind of was living with a lot of sense of responsibility from a child. So in some ways, very, very interesting, in some ways, maybe a little bit too much sometimes. Not the childhood I've chosen to give my daughter, that's for sure, but it definitely defined me and made me who I am today. In that drama, there was a lot of pain. So, it wasn't all fun times.
Chelsea: And when you found your love for art and ultimately became a DJ, how did music and art save you?
Natasha: I think I was always very creative from when I was a child. And I grew up around, as I said, a lot of quite defining artists. I think when you're a child and you have somebody like a painter like Francis Bacon next to you, it's hard not to be... If you have a creative side, it's hard not to be inspired. So, I wanted to be a painter. After knowing Francis, that was what I wanted to do as a child. My dream as a child was to be a painter. And art's still very much important. And I was also lucky to have a mother that had many art books. We had lots of beautiful books in the house.
And we also had lots of great records. So, I remember looking in sort of my parent's sort of 1950s, '60s record collection. And I think music became an important part of my life because music is in some ways an escape as well. It is a place where you create an outer or external world. You can live within music, and you can go somewhere else. And I think that's one of the most beautiful things about music, and it's always been... Music has become a soundtrack for my life. So when I think about events in my life, I think about pieces of music or, I just remember that. And so when I was got into 15 years old, already pop rock and punk became quite important to me. But from the early ages of 12, like pop music and Madonna, Papa Don't Preach, I probably had that on repeat on my Walkman or something.
And art, art was always important. I was always around creative people. So, arts was important. And I liked to think of whatever I do today, in some ways, even when I do my Dinner Conversations where I invite women, I often describe it to other people as me curating a gallery or a show because the way I invite people to my events, I try to curate interesting people together. I think very carefully about who I'm putting together and who I'm putting in a room together. In the same way a gallerist or a curator would put paintings together, there has to be a harmony. There has to be a synergy, but there has to be also some disruption going on or a conversation, a story you're telling.
Chelsea: Mm-hmm (affirmative). I love what you said, music is an escape because I think when we listen to music, we can really be whoever we want in our minds. There's no rule book. And it's really cool how you channeled that.
Natasha: I think music is something where when you're growing up and you need to find answers to questions you don't even know how to ask, music helps you. And I think in that particular time when I grew up, that was very much the beginning of an MTV generation and music videos. We're talking about the '80s. I remember seeing Boy George on the TV for the first time. And we had Top of the Pops in the U.K., and I was like, "Wow, you can look like that. You can dress like that."
Even Madonna, I mean, Madonna was defining for me as a role model of a kind of woman I could be, an independent woman. I mean, I think that regardless of what we think about her today, she's gone a little bit loopy, but when I was 12 in the '80s when she came out, I definitely wanted to be that kind of woman. I identified with that. I wanted to be independent. I wanted to make my own way, and I wanted to break free from any kind of hold that anyone else would have on me. And I think my childhood definitely defined me just because of that, that I wanted to make my own way, and I wanted to be independent. I always wanted to be in a place, and I still do today, where I can walk away from anything that doesn't feel right to me and know that I'm financially independent to do that.
Chelsea: You seem to really connect with the aha moments. It's amazing. How do you think that you've retained the essence of who you are through these transitions that you've made? Or maybe you're discovering new things about yourself.
Natasha: I think about that quite often. I think that we're always rewriting our story, but I think the way to go about it is ultimately by being authentic to yourself. And if you think about that, Chelsea, not a lot of people do that. A lot of people say, "Well, I'd like to do that," or, "That'd be really cool if I could do that." But what if you actually did it? What if you chose it and you were relentless about going after it and just saying, "Well, no's not an option for me. I'm going to live my life on my terms"?
Living your life on your terms is challenging. It's not easy. I mean, oftentimes, I wish sometimes I'd chosen an easier road because when you all ask life for a lot, everything is going to hurt more. Everything is going to be more. So when you ask for a lot, you're going to have to expect a lot of challenges coming your way. And that's something I've definitely learned. If it was easy, then you'd have to ask for less if you want it to be easy. It's going to be hard when you ask for a lot.
So I think anyone who puts themselves in a situation where they're saying, "I want that. This is what I really want," there's what you want, and then you have to go and get it. And you're not going to get it rereading the old chapter in your book or in your life or living in the past. So, you've got to constantly put yourself mentally in a place where you're living in your future self. And that's something I practice now more so than ever. And I do that with meditation, and I'm very much an advocate for meditation.
And I'm quite disciplined in my life. That's something else. So when I say rebellious, I'm rebellious in a very disciplined way. I mean, what I mean by rebellious is I refuse to take... I'll take the road less traveled any day, the one that I don't know what's going to happen down the road, but I'll be disciplined because if I want to take that road, I'm going to have to work harder than a lot of other people. I'm going to have to face maybe more difficulties, and I'm going to need a mental stamina to get through them because life is going to come and slam you in the face. And it does on a daily basis to not just to me, to everyone. And you have to be able to be determined. And the only way you can be determined is if you're disciplined.
Chelsea: You've been open about your struggles with anxiety and bulimia, and now that we're talking about discipline, I love your motto, your mantra, make it happen, wake up, dress up, make up, show up. Can you walk me through what each part of this means to you?
Natasha: Well, I think they all kind of are the same aren't they really? Make it happen, meaning that you all are responsible for your own destiny. So, all of them mean that, show up, make it happen, choose your thoughts. They're all about taking action but essentially about taking responsibility because anything that you want in your life, you have to take, first, responsibility. I mean, no one's going to go out... It's not going to be something exterior that's just going to happen to you. I mean, we'd all love to win the lottery, and that does happen to people. But it's not in every single person's life. Most people, to get what they want, have had to put themselves in a position where their thought believes that that's possible and attract that. So, I'm a big believer in the law of attraction.
That's having said that, I have struggled in my life with depression, anxiety. I have only recently won, and let's hope I, cross our fingers, recently really won a 25 year battle of bulimia. So, it started when I was around 15 years old. The thing about bulimia or any kind of addiction, especially when you live with it for a long time, is that it's not necessarily an everyday occurrence. And there are some moments which are worse than others. So, you might go through some months which are worse, and then it kind of clears up and it goes away a bit. And you think that you're over it and you've got the battle.
So obviously, I did try traditional therapy from everything from psychologists to psychiatrics. I tried in the past antidepressants. I went to acupuncturists. I've tried healers. I tried the works, and I eventually end up doing the 12 step program as well, which actually freed me somewhat the most because abstaining from alcohol meant that I wasn't actually messing with my blood sugar levels. So, I started to realize that a lot of it was chemical, not just emotional in my body. And I think there's something there that needs to be explored still when it comes to eating disorders, and there are people doing that.
And I've had to take multiple actions multiple times, and every day, I have to take a decision not to go there. It starts with me. So, external things can happen to us. And if we let our thoughts get the better of us, if we let our anxiety get the better of us, then we will go back into old patterns of the past. Because one of the things I'm learning very much is that the body registers your memory. And if your body is experiencing, your body is going to relive out your past experiences and go there because that's what it knows. You literally need to trick your body into you need to live the experience. So, your body tricks your mind into believing and you experience. So, this might sound a little bit out there, but when I got free of bumilia, it was a decision. Somehow, it was a decision I made.
And it's not that I didn't want it in the past because I did. No one wants to be bulimic. It's, really, I mean, I would say that the fact that I can talk about it today so freely and openly is a miracle. I thought it was the kind of thing I would take to my grave. I was so ashamed of it, Chelsea. I was so ashamed. And because there were moments when I was really on top of my career and living my best life, and yet I was miserable inside and being sick and having a very bad relationship with myself and obviously consequently food and hiding that. And that was probably my lowest moment. When you hide something, you're living a lie. You're hiding from the real world and you're hiding from yourself because you know deep down there's a lot of shame in that. And I felt a lot of shame for a long time.
So, today that I can talk about it, it's not a sexy subject to talk about, bulimia, but I'm like, "Woo-hoo, let's talk about bulimia." It's like I feel very open to talking about it and very free to talk about it. And I'm very proud of that actually. There are so many people suffering in silence, and it is horrible. It really is horrible. It is a horrible disease. And very few people managed to help me get through it to be honest. I went to every single therapist. I tried everything, and it was practically impossible. So for me to be here with you now, we're talking about it openly and this is going to go online, I'm like, "Okay, fine. Any questions about bulimia, send me an email. I'll answer you."
Chelsea: Well, I think you're amazing.
Natasha: Thank you. It is about getting in control of your thoughts. If you don't own your thoughts in your mind, they can take you to some dark places. And especially once your body has deposited those experiences and those memories in the past, you'll just keep going back to that. So even if you don't want to be sick or if you don't want to take drugs or you don't want to drink, that's what you know, so you'll go there again. So, you have to gain control of your thoughts.
And I did work, extensive work. I do every single day. I still always, I'm a big advocate for therapy too because I think that finding the right therapist to speak to is a great way. And I think being able to have these open conversations, Chelsea, where we can talk about this because today, and that's what I try to do in Dinner Conversations with women, let's open this conversation. Let's talk about anxiety. Let's talk about addiction. Let's talk about depression. Let's have these conversations. Let's talk about eating disorders because people, we read about this stuff, but people don't talk about this stuff enough. You shouldn't feel shameful to have an addiction or to have a problem with anxiety or to need help. There is no shame in asking for help.
More people than you know are suffering in silence and just get it out there. Get it out there. Start asking for some help. So if you've got a family member, if you don't, I mean, today you can go online and you can practically join any kind of 12 step program. I think 12 step programs are fantastic because there are fellowships out there with communities. And you can straight away find people that have similar experiences to you. And you realize within 10 minutes that you are not alone out there. And I think that is the best advice I could give anyone. And you don't need any money to join a fellowship. By donation only, so you don't need to go to see the best rehab or the best therapist.
And you have to be prepared to do the work, whatever it takes. If you got to do a 12 step, if you got to show up to therapy a couple of times a week, if you go to do your daily meditations, then you've just got to show up and do those, so hence one of my show up quotes. So, if you want change, you've got to be the change.
Chelsea: Yep. What is your theme song?
Natasha: I'm thinking now like Rocky or something.
Chelsea: Yeah, oh, yeah.
Natasha: It's probably that. I mean, there's so many of them really, but that's definitely one where if you got to get up and make a change, there's a good one by the Foo Fighters as well, which is All My Life. It's like all my life I've been searching for something. And again, it's like that's something's within you. It's not something exterior. And that's when you just take action. The only person that I can count on is me to change me.
Chelsea: I love that we're talking about this. I mean, I've even felt like this at times so I-
Natasha: And you're a pretty positive person.
Chelsea: Thank you.
Natasha: And I think if anyone today listens to this podcast and says, "I've never felt like this. They're lying," so, and I think that we live in a world that does everything possible to make you feel like this, even if you don't feel like this, even if you didn't come from that kind of difficult background, or you didn't have those problems in your life or a estranged family. I mean, we are challenged left, right, center, back today.
And we need to keep it authentic and real, which is why I'll go back to saying again and again, meditate, meditate, meditate because that is the time where we get back to us no matter what's happening externally. And definitely COVID has shown us that. And to be able to go through a period like COVID, which is huge mass instability globally, people have lost their jobs and lives, I mean, their lives, family, money, homes, how do you get through that? You've got to get through that, haven't you? You've got to move forward no matter what happens to you. You've got to move forward.
Chelsea: You're a woman of action. I mean, that's very, very clear. I love what you did during the coronavirus. You are already vocal. You're a thought leader, and you really took charge. During COVID, you launched a platform to help end violence against women at home. You saw a problem, and what did you do? You turned around and did something about it. Can you tell us a little bit more about this and how we can get involved?
Natasha: Yeah. So, I mean, again, gratitude is the pathway to success to any kind of difficulty. It's a solution, always. It's always a solution. And I think that at the beginning of COVID, I was definitely feeling quite sorry for myself. And I was like, "Wow. I spent three months feeling sorry for myself at home, locked in with my 13-year-old daughter. This is not a good look."
And I think one night, I went to sleep about a couple of nights into lockdown, and I thought, "Wait a minute. I get to go to sleep in my nice apartment. And I get to feel sorry for myself. But actually, I'm running a female platform empowerment platform. Well, what about those women out there that when I go to bed, their horror begins? What about these women that are prisoners of violence inside their own homes and they can't get out?" And I just felt really, really propelled to do something.
Now, I've never really run charities before. And it's been a difficult subject for me to feel comfortable talking about because it's another one of those things, isn't it? When you talk about, if you go out to a dinner party, you talk about violence against women or anything, or kind of any form of abuse about women, you're always going to have somebody at the dinner table saying, "Yeah, but she asked for it. Oh, but she knew what she was getting into." And I'm very tired of these conversations because there are women and children that, regardless of the decisions that you've made in your life, no one deserves to be treated like that. That is just not acceptable. It's not okay. Yeah, maybe you married somebody that you knew was violent. That doesn't mean that you married somebody going, "Oh, well, it's okay for him to hit me."
And I think, again, we have to have more conversations about what's really going on in people's homes in people's relationships. And COVID for me was really obvious for that. I was like, "Wow, the whole government, everyone's just telling you to get off the streets, stay at home, stay at home. But where are the guidelines for staying at home here? No one's giving anyone any guidelines to stay at home."
And so, I just got in touch with the charity in Italy called Telefono Rosa that basically is the national helpline. And I started out by just saying, "Right, I'm going to use my platform to send out the telephone number." So, everybody knows that there's this telephone number, so if anyone knows, and I asked every single influencer that I know to share this telephone number. And from there, we just started a GoFundMe page, and I've actually been doing any kind of work, influencer work that anyone asked me to do during COVID, I actually donated the money to the fund as well. And we've donated it over to the Telefono Rosa to help any women, to house women.
And domestic violence went up by 60, 70%, and then I was very happy to see a lot of governments taking action on that. Especially in New York, Governor Cuomo, he was great, very vocal about that. But in France were as well, in Germany, and having secret codes for women if they needed to go to the chemist and need help and ask for help. And thank you again, Chelsea, for your donation. That was really important.
So, how can anyone be involved? Well, the campaign's still open. We have a GoFundMe page. We will be doing more work. I mean, now, as I said, we got to an objective, and now there will be another conversation starting. I want to talk about it more. I'm just going to keep pushing it in people's faces. I'm quite disruptive like that. I'm rebellious in that way, Chelsea. We need to have those conversations. You don't like it? Sorry, that's life. And those conversations need to be... They need to be at dinner tables.
Chelsea: I think it's important that we end the taboos against these conversations. I'm really inspired by how you're teaching other women to be in their own lives. I've learned so much from you already just by knowing you for a short period of time.
Natasha: Thank you.
Chelsea: But before we end the conversation, I'd love you to tell us about Wonder Pearl.
Natasha: Well, that was an idea that came up because I became through Dinner Conversations very good friends with the founder of the juice and clean beauty brand here in Italy called Depuravita. She's actually a Turkish woman. Her name's Sandra Nassima. We became close friends, and she had the resources to produce products, which is what she does anyway. And I thought, "Well, wouldn't it be great if we could make something for women, that supported women on a daily basis?" And then I just thought some kind of... Something soul nourishing is what came to my mind.
And she'd been doing these sort of these little chocolates that were sort of protein. And I thought, "Well, what about if it had properties, like almost like miracle type properties, like anti-aging, antioxidant, had a shen tonic, which basically creates female vitality." And she said, "Well, pearl powder has that." And I said, "Well, let's put the pearl powder in a chocolate, and let's make it a pink chocolate because anything pink always looks better and it's fun." I wanted it to be fun.
So, I had this idea, and I came up with this name, which was Wonder Pearl because we put 500 milligrams of pearl powder into a ruby chocolate. And ruby chocolate is actually naturally pink chocolate with no colourings and tastes like berries but has no berries in it. It's the fourth type of chocolate after dark, milk, and white, and there's ruby chocolate.
And so, we created this fun product. It wasn't the easiest time to launch I'll admit, Chelsea. We launched it during COVID. And we were obviously going to do a huge launch in Milan with all our influencer and VIP friends. And it was going to be a big thing. But we are still hopeful that that will happen, and that will happen in maybe September, maybe October, maybe November. Let's see how it goes.
But I think the idea is to keep creating what I describe as soul nourishing products for women, products that can support women's lives daily. And what are the difficulties that we go through and what are the things that we worry about? Everyone worries about their skin or feeling good. And I think that there is no price on wellbeing or inner peace today.
The other thing we're looking now working on is building Dinner Conversations retreats, places that you go when you need mentoring in your life, when you have a hard moment, when you're up against a wall and there's no way you can back down from it. You need to be taken out and literally carried out. And you have somebody sit there with a pep talk, literally wake up for the morning and somebody getting in your ear and saying, "Right, it's going to be like this." And I definitely had those moments in my life and had to do it on my own, but not everybody manages to do it on their own.
So, it's definitely my dream now to create these retreats. And I'm hoping that for 2020, we can start to create this already, small retreats for 10, 15 women where they will not be a typical yoga retreat, but they'll be more about a place to come for sort of mentorship to get over an obstacle that you're struggling with in your life. Create the future you want, and how are you going to do that? You need tools. You need to choose it. You need to decide it. And there's comes a point in your life where you need to take that decision that that's what you're going to do. I want to encourage with this conversation all women to be bold and brave and go after your dreams and truly believe that they are in your reach because they are if you believe they are.
Chelsea: Oh, thank you so much for sharing with us your story, your wisdom, and your tricks and your tips.
Chelsea: It's always so good to talk to you.
Natasha: Chelsea, there's so much more, but we'll save it for another episode.
Chelsea: Thank you much for joining us for this fun and fascinating conversation with Natasha Slater. And thank you for listening to the first Millie Podcast ever. Please join me back here in two weeks time for our next conversation. I'll be talking with political and sustainability consultant Elena Christopoulos, who has been very close to the U.S. presidential race. If you enjoyed this podcast, please hit subscribe, share with your friends, and visit us at millie.ca.