As a female-founded company, we believe it's important to celebrate and support other women-led brands – especially ones that share our values of sustainability and empowerment. That's why we love Dazey LA, a local apparel brand founded and run by Danielle Nagel. With made-to-order pieces featuring impactful and inspiring messages, Dazey LA is taking a stand against fast fashion and empowering women through meaningful conversations. We caught up with Dani to learn more about how to create a sustainable business and what makes her ride-able neighborhood so special.
THOUSAND: Tell us about your entrepreneurial journey – how did your experiences lead you to Dazey LA?
DANI NAGEL: I went to school for fashion design originally, but as a lover of both art and fashion, found my perfect niche as an apparel graphic designer. I discovered this was even a possibility through an internship at a t-shirt company and never looked back. Before starting Dazey, I designed graphic tees for 6 years for major companies like Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, and Macy's to name a few. That experience is what gave me the courage and connections to finally follow my dreams of launching my own brand of clothing that stood for something bigger.
T: Why do you feel Dazey’s mission is important? What role does it play in running the business every day?
DN: Having a mission driven company gives you so much more purpose and passion! As a strong willed woman, I had been held back in my work life by people urging me to “stay in my place” and “not raise my voice." Once I discovered this was not a weakness but a strength, everything changed for me. I want other women to feel empowered like I did and that’s what keeps me going.
T:Why do you ride instead of drive? What’s your favorite thing about riding?
DN: I love living in a walkable and bike-able neighborhood because we can get around so easily. Our carbon footprint is lowered a lot and avoiding LA traffic is a huge plus. My boyfriend and I are able to share a car which helps cut down our costs as well since we can bike so easily!
T: What advice do you have for entrepreneurs just starting out?
DN: Embrace failure and don’t let it spook you. Entrepreneurship is a rollercoaster journey and you need to learn to accept that and take the ride.
T: What were some of the successes and challenges you faced as Dazey started to grow? What are some of your favorite moments in Dazey history?
DN: Scaling a production based business is not easy, especially since we make all of our clothing to order in LA. Leaning to grow and retract with the fluxing demand is tough and something we are always working on! One of my favorite moments was having a full feature on Forbes, something I never dreamed of happening!
T: What’s next for Dazey LA?
K & S: We plan on growing the brand and massively expanding our wholesale program. We also hope to open an LA storefront in the next few years!
WE ASKED DANI TO SHARE HER FAVORITE SPOTS IN FRANKLIN VILLAGE
Check out her map below or get it here.
1. Beachwood Cafe → Tasty spot hidden in the canyon, it has been here for decades and my mom remembers going when she lived here in the late 80s!
2. The Daily Planet → Adorable book and magazine store on the corner. I’m still a fan of print and love dropping in to grab art , feminist, and interior design magazines!
3. Bourgeois Pig → The reason why I found the neighborhood! Super funky eclectic coffee shop that has built a literal makeshift forrest inside.
4. Franklin & Co → Classic American fare with a $4 mimosa on the weekend, you can’t beat it.
5. The Canyon → Hands down my fav local boutique, they sell the cutest clothes, Dazey included! We love Cynthia the owner, she lives right down the street from us :)
6. La Poubelle → A french restaurant that has been a neighborhood staple for years. Great happy hour or late night scene for a drink.
7. Bolt EaHo → Local coffee shop with awesome owners and great food. I work from here all the time!
8. The Know Where Bar → Another awesome local-owned spot with amazing cocktails. The interior is SO fun with tons of foliage and a Miami art deco vibe.