Danielle Takata-Herring - Co-Founder and Creative Director of DreamBox Creations
Tell us about yourself, and how you got started.
My name is Danielle Takata Herring and I’m the co-founder and Creative Director of Dreambox Creations, the nation’s leading advertising agency for the restaurant space. I grew up in a small pocket of Los Angeles. I was really shy when I was young but loved all-things-art. Whether it was drawing, painting or dancing- I spent countless hours creating art and communicating through design. I always knew I wanted to pursue something in the industry. Fast forward to 1999, we started Dreambox while attending college at Cal Poly Pomona. I was only 20 years old, a 2nd year student, balancing three jobs. Now, Dreambox is in its 21st year. We develop brand messaging for social media, ads, websites, emails, brochures, direct mail, magazines, and corporate reports. Some of our clients include Johnny Rockets, Habit Burger Grill, Round Table Pizza. When I’m not working, I enjoy interior design, volunteering and spending quality time with my husband, Jeff, our 2-year-old son, Clark and 10-year-old English Bulldog, Buford.
We started Dreambox in 1999 when we were attending college at Cal Poly Pomona. My business partner and I were really content working at our other jobs so we never thought we would walk away from stable, corporate environments. I was working at 20th Century Fox and he was working for a global airline. In the very beginning it was difficult to make ends meet but we continued with it and knew that we would never really have this opportunity again. So when we graduated college, we made a conscious decision to both quit our respective jobs and work full time at Dreambox.
At the time we were 20-year-old college students with big ideas. Over time our work began to speak for itself and we gained the respect from our proven work. I co-started the company 21 years ago before the big public push of women owning small businesses but didn’t really focus on the gender portion of the equation in the beginning. In retrospect, I’m super proud of what our team has developed into. (We currently employ 50% women at our company. Our full roster is filled with people with so many different, unique backgrounds and life experiences- it really makes our content that we produce special.)
One of my proudest memories goes back in 2001 when we were hired by our first national brand, Benihana. The relationship began with a cold email asking them if they wanted to learn more about our services. We went up against 18 other much more established competitors at the time and they chose us. After becoming their digital agency and building three successive generations of the brand’s web site along with all of their Email and loyalty marketing collateral, our work together won 1st place in a respected industry publication for the top national chain restaurant website (Starbucks came in 2nd and Burger King came in 3rd) and after that, the rest is history.
It’s been truly amazing to watch something grow from nothing to something that plays a huge role in the restaurant space. To see our customer base grow as well as the employees here. A lot of employees have been here for years- we’ve witnessed them grow from being college students, to homeowners to getting married and becoming parents for the first time, all while working at Dreambox- This is what keeps me going at Dreambox.
What advice would you give someone wanting to pursue a career similar to yours?
Surround yourself by people that have done what you’re trying to do so you can learn from them, vent to them, relate to them, be inspired…etc.
"Never be complacent, Always be a problem solver and never give up." - Danielle
Keep In touch with Danielle