So excited to introduce you all to Joanna Dutra, a confidence coach with a Fortune 500 background, also known as The Creative Confidant! Joanna is originally from Buffalo. She attended college in Washington DC, moved to Boston after graduating, and never left! Joanna is a member of the Forbes Coaches Council and a regular contributor. Eight years ago, she and her family decided to move out of the city for some more green space with the kids. While she still won’t consider herself a suburbanite, she loves the coastal living on the South Shore.
◇ Tell us what you love about The South Shore?
The towns are so picturesque and quaint – how many places in America can you have a view of the ocean while you’re pumping gas? We’re lucky to live here!
◇ Where do you live now?
We live near Hingham Harbor.
◇ Tell us about these cute kids of yours.
I have a 9-year old 4th grader named Annabelle and a 3-year old girl named Autumn.
◇ What do you love to do with your kids?
We love going to the Aquarium and walking the Rose Kennedy Greenway. When I lived in Charlestown, I used to walk my oldest daughter every day over bridges in the stroller, we’d meet up with different friends and mothers all over the city. My husband joked that I’d return from my “job” of walking after dark, often after he’d already come home from work. That stroller racked up a lot of miles, but it’s what I miss most about living in the city…the constant walking.
◇ What is your favorite local activity?
In the Fall, we are very serious apple pickers, so that’s high up on the list. The cider donuts never seem to make it all the way home. We are believers in the apple-a-day philosophy and easily have 50 apples currently in the bottom shelf of our refrigerator! And if you name your daughter Autumn, you’d better really love the season!!
◇ Do you have a favorite local restaurant?
We absolutely love The Oysterman in Duxbury; the marble bar reminds me of a favorite NYC restaurant and the outside is unmistakably New England. I love the juxtaposition in style. We are bubbles and bivalve fanatics, luckily my husband has become a first-rate shucker during the pandemic!
◇ Favorite moment as a mama?
I can’t believe I’m saying this, but my favorite moment as a mom came during the spring of 2020 – right in the heart of the lockdown. I’m an extreme extrovert and a people person, but I realized that I genuinely love spending time with my core family members best of all. The pandemic pause allowed me to be introverted in a quest to understand myself better, and how I like to use my time.
◇ What would you say you find to be the toughest part of motherhood?
It’s so challenging to balance. You never think you’re doing it right. It’s easy to second guess yourself. You feel guilty all the time. When you’re with them, you are thinking of what you need to do and distracted. When you’re not with them, you feel guilty that you’re not doing more and likely wondering what they’re up to. If you’re anything like me, you might even be scrolling through pictures of them on your phone before bed.
◇ Best advice you’d like to give a mom reading this?
#1: Trust your instincts. Don’t weigh too heavily on what others are doing. I know it’s in our nature to compare. But believe it or not – you do know what you’re doing. Only you know your own child. That will be true for our whole lives!
◇ Tell us something people would be surprised to learn about you…
I’ve done stand-up comedy. For a while it was more of a male-dominated genre, but now that the world knows the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, it doesn’t seem as embarrassing to admit!
◇ That is amazing! very cool. So, tell us a bit about how The Creative Confidant came to be?
I spent my career working in marketing for large companies building leading household brands. There was a certain allure to working with a “market leader,” I’m someone that likes to be competitive in sports, so it probably played into my mindset of trying to be the best. Ultimately, it wasn’t personally satisfying because I realized that I wasn’t helping anyone directly. I was focused on the bottom line and selling products, but that didn’t involve people. I wanted to migrate my love of building big brands to building people. Help them feel better about themselves and figure out what makes their individuality shine. No matter what, I think there’s always a chance for us to feel more confident.
◇ What does a typical session look like with you? How have you adapted to the current situation?
There’s not one way that I work. I have global companies that I’ve helped, as well as smaller local businesses. I work with individuals one-on-one, but can also do group sessions. I’ve moved most of my workshops to virtual – but I was able to do a bunch of pop-up confidence workshops in the warmer months this past summer and fall. That was fun! I plan to resume soon this Spring so stay tuned!
◇ Tell us what you have planned so far for this year…
Laughter is a necessary coping tool; I’m dedicated to finding the funny in an otherwise serious world. And in the works for early 2021 is a program for pre-teen and teenage girls to build more confidence.