Winning as an entrepreneur means THINKING DIFFERENTLY.
Who is Danielle Ellis?
When faith collides with destiny there's no telling what the future may hold. This statement rings true for our next featured entrepreneurs on Diamond Legacy Group Spotlight Monday, Ms. Danielle Ellis, a fashion savvy successful womenpreneur located in New York, NY with Baltimore, MD roots. Ms. Ellis is a trailblazer in both the fashion and entertainment industry. With a number of successful projects under her belt. From film projects with celebrities and appearing on the Bethenny Frankel Show, this fashionista is taking on new heights as the owner and creator of Ruly magazine, a new lifestyle magazine dedicated to women looking to capture their own sense of power through looking good, feeling good and living the life they deserve.
Danielle first stepped on the digital magazine scene back in 2011 with her successful online magazine Urban Fetish. A noteworthy fashion forward magazine that provided the latest trends in style, fashion and music was very popular in the artist and entertainment world. However, in this new platform Danielle is hoping to serve a greater power by building, educating and empowering a community of women through using her love and passion for fashion to align with her purpose to connect with women, in order to cultivate their mind, body and soul. Be on the look out for Ruly magazine which will be launching in the spring of 2017.
Forever the serial entrepreneur, Danielle has gained notoriety to launch her first modeling competition during New York Fashion Week. Miss Fashion Week New York is an international modeling contest which creates opportunities for models to gain exposure in the modeling industry. Models from petite to plus size go on to compete for the National Miss Fashion Week Title and a $5000 prize.
As Danielle continues to make strides by leaving a monumental mark on the industry she loves, she is a true professional and inspiration to many. Never letting success cloud her purpose to empower women and build a successful lifestyle empire for chic girl bosses around the world she remains multifaceted
What made you get started in your industry?
Growing up in Baltimore I spend most of my twenties around musicians and creative people. Being a creative myself, I decided to try my hand at starting my own magazine. I had many passions so a magazine allowed me to combine my love for fashion and entertainment into one project. I launched my first online magazine in 2011 and it opened more doors than I could have imagined.
Walk us through the step-by-step process that you went through to get to where you are today. What was the first thing you did?
In 2011, I launched Urban Fetish Magazine. At the time blogs were a big deal! I followed a lot of the gossip bloggers such as B Scott, Perez Hilton and Necole Bitchie. They each had a growing audience and I wanted to get in on the action so I decided that an online magazine would be the way to go. I studied web design so I was a little familiar with setting up a website but, I still leaned on my creative circle and Google to educate me on the things that I did not know. I began to post album reviews, new music and fashion articles immediately after the site was up and running. I even had a team of writers (friends and co workers) to help me get started. I would stay up all night working on content and posting to social media. When people began to take notice of my website and its' unique style I began to receive request from the entertainment world for features. I also began to reach out to celebrity PR firms to secure interviews. While I was certainly no big name it did not stop me from creating interest amongst the PR firms. After a few months I began to consider the fact that relocating to New York might increase my chances of connecting with more people in the fashion and entertainment industry. After eight long months of job searching I was able to secure a job in New York and leave Baltimore.
In May of 2012 I relocated to New York and it was no easy transition. While I knew what my purpose was for the move it took a few months to get adjusted. I began to excel in my new job and at the same time I was building connections throughout the city. Many of which have led and continue to lead to wonderful opportunities. Since being in New York I have gained access to Trade Shows, New York Fashion Week, Couture Fashion Week as well as music and film festivals. My passion for fashion continues to drive many of my business ventures. In 2016, I partnered with Miss Fashion Week to launch the Miss Fashion Week New York modeling competition.
What do you consider are your specialty?
I can not honestly say that I have just one but If I had to choose I would say women's empowerment. While I have certainly had my share of exposure to the entertainment business, in recent years I have become more aware of my own power. Sharing the latest hit music is great but I believe that I have a greater purpose which is why I decided to shift gears and only focus on women. I have spent the last five years of my life beating the odds. I have a career and and I am an entrepreneur. I have been promoted four times in the last five years while still having the ability to do what I love. Most people have to choose one or the other. My life is no fairytale but it is definitely a story worth sharing to encourage others.
Do you see yourself making this full-time?
Absolutely. I have multiple business ventures that all tie into one purpose. Women. Looking good, feeling good and living the life that they deserve. When the time is right, I will definitely consider going full time into my own business.
What can we always expect from your company/brand?
Honesty. Life is no easy road. As a successful woman I am excited for the opportunity to share my story with other women who may think that success and happiness is not within reach. I will always use my platforms to promote positive thinking, healthy living and of course great style.
What was the best advice you every received and why?
It's not what you go through, its how you go though it. When I was in my early twenties I had my own place and a pretty mediocre job. I was struggling but at the same time I was happy to be independent. I was retail manager so I often came home late. One night I came home and discovered that my apartment had been burglarized. My computer, television and and gaming console were all stolen. I was devastated. After about a week my apartment was burglarized again. I lived in a basement apartment that was not secure. My landlord was worried so, he suggested that I move in with my Mother to be safe. When I arrived at my Mom's house I was depressed and she said to me "it's not what you go through, it's how you go through it." "Trust that God has a plan." Well God definitely had a plan. After only a few weeks a received a call from one of the biggest law firms in the state of Maryland to come in for an interview. The next day they offered me the job. Three months later I was in a new apartment and I have continued to elevate ever since.
What tips can you recommend that you’d would most likely only share with a close friend or comrade on success?
1. Dress for the job that you want! not the one that you have. I have always taken pride in my appearance and I have learned that it matters!
2. Everybody wants better. Do not settle because you think you "can't" do or have what you want.
3. Everyone is not your friend and some are only seasonal. it is okay to outgrow them. There will be new friends and relationships and every level of your life.
Favorite online resources such as Evernote or Dropbox that you use for your business?
My favorite online resources include Upwork.com and Udemy.com. If you are an entrepreneur it can be had to do things on your own so, I use Upwork.com to connect with talented freelancers all over the world. I also use Udemy.com which is like the DIY university. Udemy has hundreds of online courses on everything from Marketing to Web Design which are facilitated by industry professionals. Paying for college tuition is hard for some and this is a great way to brush up or learn new skills that will increase your ability to be successful in your field.
Can you recommend one or two books that has been influential in your life.
One of the best books that I have read early on in my career was "Nice Girls Don't Get the Corner Office: 101 Unconscious Mistakes Women Make That Sabotage Their Careers" by Lois P, Frankel, PhD. this book is the "Act like a lady, think like a Man" guide for women who want to be successful in their careers. There are so many things that we do when we are on the job that can sometimes hold us back. I have experienced a lot of growth in my career and I can honestly say that it is because I changed my mindset.
What can we expect from you and your company/brand in the next 5 years?
In the next five years I intend to build a women's lifestyle empire and continue to grow within my career with EDSI. I am so excited to launch my new website Rulymag.com (Ruly Magazine) which is a women's empowerment and lifestyle website. I am also developing an online boutique for all the Girl Bosses.
What do you think will be the next big change or shift in your industry?
Women's empowerment is a very broad industry however more and more woman are taking charge of their careers and their destinies so I believe that we are going to see more women one businesses launching soon.
If a young entrepreneur walked up to you asking for your advice and you only had a few minutes to give ‘em your best tip, what would it be?
Do not procrastinate! Everyone has a great idea it is only a matter of times before someone else has yours.
We are excited for what's to come and look forward to seeing what's Danielle next venture will be. To connect with Danielle and her team contact her at email@example.com. Be sure to check out her websites: http://rulymag.com/ http://missfashionweekny.wixsite.com
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