Dani Nagel

Don’t let people tell you to reign it in. Your boldness is a strength, not a weakness.


Dani is a self-taught illustrator, graphic designer, and photographer. She graduated at age 19 with a degree in fashion design, but as lover of both art and fashion she combined these two passions to make a career in apparel graphics. For over 6 years before Dazey she worked designing for notable brands like Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Forever21, Show me your Mumu, Current/Elliott, Macy’s, Pac Sun, and more. During that time she realized her true goal was to have full creative freedom with a label of her own. After years of daydream and doubt, she took the leap and created Dazey LA. She draws every tee by hand and does all the photography you see throughout the website and Instagram.

Where did the idea for Dazey LA come from?

Dazey LA was named to take on a meaning of it’s own. Not to be confused with the flower, the word Dazey evokes a feeling of femininity, positivity, and that laid back California vintage vibe.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

Running a small biz means my everyday is different, weather I’m on set for a shoot, designing a new collection, or running to the factory! I would say most days start with a coffee on my balcony where I like to compose and post first Instagram of the day. I generally work from home with my boyfriend who also works for Dazey. Our more chill days where we aren’t running around usually consist of a few phone meetings and lots of email back and forth!

How do you bring ideas to life?

I love brewing my ideas over time and slowly piecing them together. They usually start with a random thought I jot down in the notes section of my phone. Sometimes it will be for a collection theme, specific design, or photoshoot idea! Once I’m ready to get started on the project I pull together a moodboard on Pinterest that really helps form fully the idea. From there I will write down a plan and begin to execute it. When I work on graphics that usually means a skeleton of the collection with titles and descriptions of each design along with 2-3 specific inspo images. I pull bits and pieces from my ideas and the inspo together and usually create something totally new and unexpected! You can only plan so much and just have to roll with it and see what happens most of the time. It’s a fascinating and fun process!

What’s one trend that excites you?

I’m so into the 80s/90s pastel pallets and soft feminine design elements at the moment. For both interiors, graphics, and fashion!

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

Creating a routine! Entrepreneurship can be so unpredictable so setting little routines into place helps me focus. Things like my morning coffee or afternoon walks help me break up my day and give me a sense of normalcy.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Don’t let people tell you to reign it in. Your boldness is a strength, not a weakness.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

Successful people aren’t any more special than anyone else, they just won’t take no for an answer.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Experiment! Be open to trying new things, rebranding, refreshing, wacky marketing tactics. You really never know what works until you try it!

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

Building my company to be so much more than a brand. By focusing on ethical production and message driven products we have fostered and incredible community that cares about our organization far more than any other clothing line.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

Over expecting the results of decisions. Walking into things thinking I knew what the outcome was going to be and planning for that, when in reality it went so differently than imagined. Now I try to brace for the worse and hope for the best! Being pleasantly surprised is SO much better than being majorly let down and take a hit because of it.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

I’ve always wanted to create a women’s network for sourcing! So many women have great ideas but are at a loss on how to produce them and are often not taken seriously by men. I love the idea of a space where women share trade secrets and sources with each other to bring us all up together! I even have a name LOL, “Shesource”. I’ll be waiting for my royalty checks!

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

A dog leash that wraps around your waist so you can walk hands free haha. Literally life changing!

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?

I love UNUM app for planning posts on social media! Super easy and visual and lets me run my Instagram with so much ease.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

All Marketers Are Liars by Seth Godin! Both changed and confirmed how I market my company.

What is your favorite quote?

“Do the damn dream” – A Dazey LA tee

Key Learnings:

  • How setting routines will help your productivity
  • Creative projects are a mix of both planning and the unexpected
  • Building your brand to stand for something more can foster a stronger relationship with your customers
  • You should fight for your ideas despite opposition