Alyson DeNardo is a Partner at M Ventures, an early-stage venture firm investing capital, time, relationships and expertise into today’s most innovative consumer and enterprise solutions. At only 22, she’s already a powerhouse within the Silicon Valley ecosystem. She sat down with us to fill us in on the gear she considers essential to support her daily activities and passion for funding strong female founders. Not to mention, her affinity for all things that sparkle.
This is Michael. Michael Kors. He was a gift from my mom. She got it for me when I moved to San Francisco because she feels every woman is in need a Mary Poppins power bag — something to throw whatever you need in when on the go. I’ve had it for three or four years and it still looks brand new, even though I roam around everywhere with it in tow. It’s my tried and true, go-to bag. I use it every day and for just about every purpose, whether it be going to the gym, traveling, running around San Francisco taking meetings, or all of the above.
Inside the larger bag, I have my little purse, too. The company that makes it is called Milaner. They curate beautiful collections of luxury goods with the same artisans that create for Gucci and Chanel, available at more accessible prices. I usually carry this one alone, but if I’m traveling, I keep both with me for the sake of versatility. The CEO is the most fabulous Italian woman — she was originally an NLP Engineer turned Head of International Growth who speaks many languages. She now has a mission of becoming a voice for these artisans in Italy. Very cool.
I carry a polka-dotted Kate Spade makeup bag, as well, with a few beauty staples. This includes Burt’s Bees bright pink lipstick that stays on for hours. I run around all day and sometimes you need a touch up between meetings or after a workout class. My signature scent lives in there, too - another favorite from Michael Kors. I also carry this jewelry case. When I workout, I throw my pieces in here so I don’t need to worry about losing it in a random pocket; it is great to travel with too. Plus, it’s so sparkly — one of my favorite things to do as a human being is to visually impose positivity on others with something like sparkles or with a bright pink raincoat.
My current wallet is also from Michael Kors. I have another wallet that I loved but had to replace because it was so worn out. It said “Girls just want to have funds,” which sums up my life mission.
I often work from The Assembly, which is a phenomenal female-focused verticalized wellness and coworking space. My current goal is to fit in a workout class every weekday, which explains part of the contents of my bag, including a set of activewear and sneakers. I don't stick to one specific brand of workout clothes, I think this outfit is from Marshall's and it’s one of my favorites! I do admire the aesthetic of Outdoor Voices clothing, though, but have yet to indulge. For the most part, I focus on function, and how long I can wear an outfit before it begins to actually fall apart. I’m loving these sneakers, too — incredibly comfortable. They are Nike Free Runs, I believe.
Airpods! I adore them and they’re basically a utility for my work since I’m on calls with founders most of the day. I have a pair of Beats headphones that are great for work that requires more focus and less external noise. An external battery. A phone charger, of course, and keys. Oh! My keychain. Are you familiar with The Bare Bears? It’s a cartoon on Cartoon Network and the cutest thing in the entire world. I discovered it while visiting China; I came across a girl that had a little bear backpack and did some research and came upon this show. It’s about 10-minutes per episode and is set in San Francisco; they go get Boba, run around the city, and cause a ruckus. It’s so absurdly wonderful. Sometimes when I’ve had a long day, I need to decompress, and sometimes that’s by watching some bears hanging out and cause trouble.
I also keep an emergency chocolate bar in my bag, for obvious reasons. I adore this Dandelion Chocolate. I sometimes also carry Go Cubes or a HeyFrida bar for snacking and caffeinate consumption purposes.
I’m a pretty avid and active reader, as well. I generally carry a book with me along with a highlighter. I like to make note of sections that stand out to me so I can reference them later. I also keep a separate notebook of things I find especially insightful or useful. The current read is “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success” by Carol Dweck.
Want to learn more about Alyson? Follow her Instagram @alydenardo