• Sarah Luiz

Remembering Damien

Updated: Apr 18

I had set-out to write a post on why I have such a passion for working with entrepreneurs in the lifestyle sectors. Then sadly I received the news that one of my good friends had passed away after battling for 6 years with cancer.

As I was writing a tribute to him, my WHY became ever so more apparent, so I thought it would make sense to post it here too.

To Damien Lee, my number 1 Positive Impact Entrepreneur...

Mr Lee's Pure Foods

I have always been passionate about the importance of eating well. After graduating from University I began my career in the advertising industry. From a CV point of view, I had made it, working for big global brands at top media agencies. Then throughout the years, I started to battle more and more with my purpose. One day I was given the Coca-Cola account, and after a few weeks, working all the hours, I remember thinking to myself - hang on a minute, my job is to encourage kids to drink more gallons of sugar. No one is questioning this - the only thing they care about is whether we can double the value of the account - that means more sugar - and we are going about our lives as if this is ok, being promoted and winning awards for the best marketing campaign. Really - what am I living for? I didn't like myself or feel proud of my work.

Then after a period of feeling depressed and deluded by our consumer culture and the way capitalism was operating, I finally had enough of being part of the problem and started searching for ways I could be the solution.

It was in 2016 that I had the pleasure of meeting Damien. He told me his story and after many deep chats, he installed faith in me that if you dream big, you can achieve anything. To me, he was the best example of an entrepreneur - smart, ambitious, and using his talented business acumen for the wellbeing of people, and the planet.

Damien became a good friend and a mentor. I watched the film 'The Founder' with him - the story about how the McDonald's empire was built and I remember loving our chats - 'So if this is how a company like McDonald's rose to have so much power, then why can't we apply the same strategy to achieve success like this with a healthy food brand?'

I was so inspired by Damien that I invested the only savings I had straight into his company. I had 100% belief in him - he was someone with positive, conscious values, and he had the right drive and attitude to create change. I remember weighing up the risks of my investment, and then deciding with my gut instinct that there were no risks - Mr. Lee's is my way of trying to help turn the tides away from the manipulative unhealthy convenience food brands that dominate today's culture, towards creating a new global healthy food revolution. And I have been so proud watching Damien and his team grow the company these past few years, achieving great success in the US, and other countries.

In 2018 I wanted to expand my community and work on more innovative impact projects. It was Damien that gave me the strength to move to Ibiza, which despite having a reputation for being a party island, is in fact an island of eco-warriors and sustainable business pioneers!

Damien, I'm so sorry that your journey has come to an end. I will never understand why you were taken away so soon, especially now the world is in so much more need of people like you. Thank you for everything. I will continue to use my digital marketing skills to work with more entrepreneurial businesses like Mr Lee's Pure Foods, and I have every confidence that your team will be racing at the speed of your Harley Davidson to complete our mission to help people eat more healthily. Between us, you can rest in peace to know, we've got this!

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