Today we’d like to introduce you to Danielle DiVello.
Danielle, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
My story takes career turns that brought me through the news industry to marketing to criminal justice back to marketing, then to politics and back to marketing then to Criminal Justice and then my final return to marketing where I established Cupid Designs LA in 2012.
Born and raised in New Jersey, I started my love affair with California in 2004 after touring colleges with my mom. I was accepted into the University of San Diego (USD) and began my undergraduate career to become a news reporter in 2005. From 2008 to 2009, I worked at CBS 8 in San Diego writing anchor scripts for the afternoon news segment and working on promotional spots in the promo department during my final year at USD. This is where I learned of my passion for getting to know local businesses, hearing their stories and I naturally began to think of ways in which these local entrepreneurs could better market their position in each of their industries.
I graduated from USD in 2009 and was headhunted to establish the marketing department for a global logistics company located in Long Beach. I moved to Hollywood (because of course I absolutely had to experience the “Hollywood scene” that I only heard about in San Diego) and commuted down to Long Beach for a year. Crazy, right? You know the 101 to the 110 exchange in Hollywood during rush hour provides a lovely 15mph stop-and-go drive to make that commute an hour and half morning and night completely bearable. Not.
I relocated to Belmont Shore in Long Beach where I resided for 3 years. During this time, a capital equity firm in London bought the global logistics company that I had developed the marketing department and created a well-oiled machine for over 2 years and global layoffs ensued. You guessed it; I was one of the disposables. Three months after I was laid off, the VP of Sales called and urged me to return as an independent consultant. In 2012, Cupid Designs LA was born.
As I worked again for the global logistics company that originally brought me to Los Angeles, I realized I had the experience and the skill set to work as an independent consultant and strategize for any company looking to improve their position in the marketplace. During this time, I also found myself missing the stories of the community and wanted to discover how I could contribute to the betterment of society. I developed a strong interest in local politics. To back up just a moment, when I was laid off, I decided to embark on a new path towards obtaining a master’s degree in Criminal Justice from Boston University, which I received in 2012. So in 2014, I used this knowledge and my marketing experience to run a Long Beach political campaign that successfully placed the candidate in office. I have a deep respect for politicians who fight the good fight and I plan to one day run for office and hold a local position that continues to develop our community into the beautiful city we all love.
In 2015, I became the Marketing Manager at a privately held auto finance company. I continue to take on clients and I am very passionate about those that I work with; I put my heart and soul into each project, which is why I am selective and work with those who are just as passionate about their business. Born on Valentine’s Day, some call me Cupid, but this Cupid Designs LA.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
When an entrepreneur starts a business from scratch, there is no clear path to take ensuring the road will lead to success. To be honest, I started the business out of necessity (to be brought on as an independent consultant by the company that laid me off). When I soon realized my potential, I had to build a brand for my work so I needed clients.
I designed websites pro-bono, wrote and designed brochures and business cards, planned events and developed marketing strategies for companies free-of-charge. Then I dealt with clients who barely wanted to pay for the work and would say, “Just design it real quick, how long can it take? Just a few hours, right? So that’s what I’ll pay.” Marketing requires a creative and analytical brain, a visionary who can write out the strategy in black and white and then provide measurable results. Some of it can be learned, but creativity cannot be taught. A skillful marketer is invaluable to any size business in any industry.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Cupid Designs LA – what should we know?
Cupid Designs LA builds brands. CDLA provides marketing efforts for clients through strategy development, collateral production and event planning. Strategy Development: Working alongside key team members, clients are guided through “The 3 Cupid Cs” to develop a marketing strategy – Collaborate, Collect and Create. Collateral Production: Once the ideal marketing strategy is developed, collateral is discussed to identify what will be most effective in the client’s market. It is then designed, quoted out for production cost and completed by established deadline. Then results are evaluated so each client understands their ROI. Event Planning: Choosing an event location to impress guests can be time-consuming and stressful, not to mention the other aspects that require attention. Multi-billion dollar companies trust CDLA with million dollar productions.
One client required a complete meeting space transformation in a matter of a few hours. CDLA completed the set-up of pipe and draping, up-lighting, decorative light boxes, white leather furniture delivery, lilac centerpieces, DJ and full bar to turn the space into an exclusive lounge space. You can see the before and after on www.cupiddesignsla.com/works in the EVENT section.