Meet the Maker: Dazey LA Creator, Danielle Nagel

June 14, 2018 | Written by: Johnny Seale

“Dazey is a brand for the dreamers and doers.” -Dani Nagel

The question on our brain most right now has to be “How can we make a difference?”. A question that Dani asked herself while creating her graphic tee line, Dazey LA. Dazey began from Dani creating herself her very own dream job: a combination of art, fashion, and photography. As she created, she shared her journey with full transparency. She showed her design process, marketing tips, and the rollercoaster that is starting a new business. The response she received was HUGE! As she looked at her growing audience, she felt a new calling. Dazey was to be a vehicle to inspire, encourage, and support fellow females in their endeavors; turning her graphic tee line to focus on empowering women. And boy, does she INSPIRE! Throughout the last year the line has focused on equality and the women’s movement, encouraged collaboration, challenged us to take risks and be brave, and to stand for what we believe in!

“We stand for women choosing to be brave and share their ideas and talents with the world.”

We here at FTK are crazy inspired by the DAZEY LA message of empowerment and equality! How did DAZEY LA get it’s start and did you know starting out that the line would take on such powerful messaging?

When I first started Dazey it was for creative freedom. I wanted to be able to get artistic and design what I felt passionate about. One of those things being female empowerment! I have first hand experienced a lot of sexism and societal expectations in my life that took me years to push through and find my true self and calling. I’m hoping by bringing up these important topics other women can begin to discover that too! Or just even feel a little more brave or bold while wearing their Dazey tee. Those are the things that fulfill me the most and are the drive behind Dazey.

What were you doing before Dazey LA? What made you realize that this is what you were meant to do?

I initially went to school for fashion design and then landed an internship for a graphic tee brand. I had always loved both art and fashion but hadn’t realized there was a job where you can do both until then. After that I was obsessed with graphic design! I started off with odd jobs for friends, print shops, doctors offices, and slowly worked my way up. Fast forward 6 years later and I was full time designing apparel graphics for large companies like Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, Forever 21, Macys and Nordstrom to name a few! This was awesome but all I really wanted was to start my own brand and design shirts that stood for something.

You have your hands in so many cool projects right now. You do freelance design, create for Dazey LA, run Biz Babes, OH and you just bought your first home! How do you balance it all? And where do you find the most fulfillment?

Haha that’s still something I’m learning to balance! It seems like as soon as I focus in on a new project the others seem to fall apart and I’m constantly spreading myself too thin. I feel most fulfilled when I’m being creative and working on new things which I think is why I’m always so inclined to take on more. The first thing to go when this happens is self care. I’m in a phase of my life where I’m learning to ask for a little more help and take on less! It’s actually the inspiration behind my upcoming summer line, the self care collection. I think so many women feel the need to balance while looking great and staying sane at the same time! We need to be reminded it’s ok to say no and take it slow 🙂

What are your favorite things to do when you are just Dani on a day off? We know mimosas and Franklin are a huge part of that time! What else?

Hahaha yes good drinks, puppies, and food are easily some of my favorite day off go-tos! I’m very social and love to spend the weekends with friends. I also love to explore new places or parts of town I’ve never been. As an artist and social media personality there is a lot of outpouring into your work and people. Wandering around by myself and just observing things is how I get filled up! Weather that’s an art museum, a park, or cool local boutiques! I’m always inspired by seeing new things. My business coach calls them “inspo dates” and always reminds me I need to take more!

Part of what makes your line so fun is the vintage vibes your designs take on. Nostalgia meets modern. What is your design process like? And where do you draw inspiration?

Taking things back to my last answer these little “inspo dates” are how I clear my mind and make space for new ideas. My less romantic inspiring answer is Pintrest and Instagram! Those are two amazing places chock-full of amazing imagery to get the creative juices flowing. You just have to be careful, being inspired by someone else is awesome but coping is never cool! I like to pull inspo from 3-5 sources and pull pieces from each to create something entirely new.

Your happiness is contagious even through your Instagram! You share so much of your process and your daily life with the world, it feels like you are always on in the best way. How do you keep the positivity radiating even on the days when maybe you woke up not feeling as inspired as the day before?

I’m glad it comes off that way! I try super hard to stay positive even when things are overwhelming. Optimism has naturally always been apart of my personality. As things are becoming more busy and the stress is increasing I have been trying to do a better job of not only showing the highlight reel, but the tough times and emotions that come with that. I will say one thing that does help me is taking some time every morning to do the things that make me happy and start my day off right. Petting my puppy, grabbing a coffee down the street, wearing a fun outfit. It’s the little things like that I feel like make a huge impact on your attitude that day 🙂

What is your definition of kindness?

Kindness is practicing empathy. Pulling your head out of your phone and trying to see things from someone else’s perspective. It’s so easy to be short with people because they can be frustrating as hell, but just remembering that they are going through a different journey than you and carrying their baggage with them. There’s a reason and story behind every encounter you have. Just trying to communicate and act with that in mind. It’s something I’m certainly working on at the moment!

Where do see Dazey LA going in the future? What are your dreams for the line? What are your dreams for you!?

I’m starting to working on making Dazey a full line! While tees are my passion and background, I also love cut & sew clothing. It is what I went to school for after all 🙂 Just really making it a full line and brand. I want to continue to design the collections with meaning and messages behind each piece. I want it to be a lot more than just clothing, but a representation of something bigger!

Shop our collection of Dazey LA here.