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Meet Danielle Wallis

Today we’d like to introduce you to Danielle Wallis.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I was raised in Santa Cruz, California to a family of artists and free spirits. My mother, a flower child, and Dead Head taught me to have an open mind and heart in life. My father, a custom cabinet maker, introduced me to the grit, physical, and mental skill that goes into creating beautiful works of art. Being raised in such an open, encouraging environment helped shape me to become comfortable (with who I was) at a young age.

In high school, I fell in love with fashion designers like Alexander McQueen and John Galliano, as well as street style in Tokyo, Japan. I dressed up and captured film photos with friends in backyards and parks. These influences and practices began my “trip down the rabbit hole” into a world of all things editorial, dramatic, colorful, textural, fantastical. I wasn’t a skater or surfer like the other kids in school. So, finding these types of artists reassured me that there were other people out there like me!

I had a few different majors at The Academy of Art University in San Francisco but graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Merchandising. Along the way, I was fortunate to have the chance to dabble in all the different branches of fashion and art that I was interested in. While in school, I held internships at Teen Vogue, Dizon Inc., Anthropologie, and Free People. Alongside going to school, working in retail and interning, I also assisted stylists and produced my own test shoots. It was an incredible time!

Since I graduated college, I’ve lived in New York, went back to San Francisco, and am now in Los Angeles. It’s been an incredible journey. I must say, I’m still just as curious and eager to learn, experience, and grow!

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
One of the most important lessons I’ve learned along the way is to stay patient and manage my expectations. I tend to idealize situations. For instance, when I moved to NYC, I thought I would be booked with assistant (styling) gigs non-stop. Little did I know, I had just graduated college, moved to a competitive new city, and had a LOT to learn.

Things take time. Sometimes, all you can do is “plant the seeds” – make contacts, network, reach out to others – and hope that people come back around! We can’t always control when things happen, but we can try to make a positive step in the right direction.

Another big take away I’ve learned from my career so far is to know when to move on. Keeping on the route with a certain goal for years and years can absolutely get you somewhere. But, if you aren’t happy in that job anymore, or you have other interests, there’s nothing wrong with pulling the plug and changing directions.

Lots of things happen in life that we cannot control. Sometimes, the next best thing is right around the corner – but only if you make a change!

We’d love to hear more about what you do.
Currently, I am best known for my work in fashion, product, and prop Styling. More recently, I’ve been focusing on product and prop styling. I’m known for working in a variety of styles such as vintage, bohemian, modern, youthful, etc.

My signature style combines a variety of colors, fine art references, elements from history, decades of fashion, and textures. I love mixing prints together and layering things in unique ways. When it comes to product and prop styling, my work tends to go into two large groups, which I label as “natural” and “plastic.” A good portion of my portfolio is “natural” – recipe ingredients, wooden textures, natural products, foliage, flowers. The other portion is “plastic” – synthetic materials, bold/saturated hues, etc.

Throughout my career, I’m most proud of my ability to adapt my aesthetic. When I moved back to San Francisco after living in NYC, I was still on an editorial kick. I wasn’t open to doing lifestyle work when really that’s where a ton of the business is! I was lucky enough to pair up with Anthony Rogers at Bob Cut Mag, which catapulted my lifestyle portfolio. Today, I have a great time taking on different types of projects and adapting my style with the Client’s.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
It’s hard to pinpoint just one moment! Of course, what stands out are the “firsts” – first paid gig, first time being published, etc.. Then, there’s also repeat work, like getting booked more than once by a single client. Overall, I guess I’ve felt most proud when I can sustain my life by doing things that I love!

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