The Interview Series: Spotlight on Daniella Shapiro

Tell me a little about you and your company

Daniella Shapiro is a Disruptive Entrepreneur, Marketing & Branding Strategist, Social Media & PR Specialist and Speaker. 

Daniella Shapiro is the Founder and CEO of, a Premier Marketing, Branding, Social Media Management, PR and Event Planning company dedicated to building products, services & brands for the future. 

Daniella has a BA Marketing Communication degree from the University of Johannesburg and an honours degree in brand leadership from Vega College.

Daniella has a number of years work experience in the events, marketing and branding industry as Daniella previously owned and put together the Bonita's City2City Ultra-Marathon for 3 yearsand is currently one of the founders and directors of Wellness, the manufacturer and sole distributor for theglove™ condom brand. Daniella is passionate about sharing her stories and life experiences and loves to be standing in front of a crowd inspiring others.

Daniella started her business journey when she was 19 andhas an incredible story with lots of advice and learning experience to go with it.

Daniella is not afraid to be transparent and be candid about her struggles and all the challenges she has faced to get to where she is now. The brand is currently going global after a lot of hard work which is exciting, however there were many knocks along the way however after all the setbacks and changing strategies a number of times – everything started falling into place.

Daniella is continuously innovating and disrupting the market. Daniella's greatest passion is to share her story and provide a platform whereby aspiring entrepreneurs can learn and grow from the lessons she has learnt along the way.

Daniella is also a fitness fanatic and Health Nut. She believe's that in order to be productive and successful in business and your personal life you need to have a healthy mind and body to keep everything in balance. Daniella loves to be outdoors running half marathons, looking for new challenges, climbed Mt Kilimanjaro and summited in 2009.

Daniella also does a lot of speaking engagements to big corporate companies in order to educate and motivate teams and employees in the workplace.

How long have you owned your own business?

Since I was 19 years old I have been entrepreneurial, founded and owned 3 companies to date.

What made you decide to start your own business?

I have always been a high achiever and have always had to study hard to do well. Nothing came easy. My mom, Nadine always had her own business and was always independent.  I was always taught to be just that to be able to stand on my own two feet and to be successful in my own right. My dad, Paul was a very successful attorney who was a complete academic and brilliant thinker.  Both my parents always did everything they could to enrich my knowledge and encourage me to achieve great things in my life. They always said : “You are special and are here to make a difference in this world.” I grew up with huge confidence and belief in myself. In the year of July, 2000 my life changed forever when my mom and I got a telephone call to say that my dad had been murdered in a hijacking. This was my worst nightmare and a very traumatic experience for my mom and I.  I wanted to always make my dad proud and decided from that moment on I would do everything in my power to show my dad that I was doing the best I could and become the best person I could be. I was always challenging myself from a young age and my mom was always my greatest mentor, encourager and supporter and instilled so much confidence within me.

I used to think of every and any way to start making money from a young age. So I started doing TV commercials form the age of 12. I auditioned for hundreds of commercials and landed a few good ones so I made some money to start putting into my bank account. I also always used to go with my mom and the crew to all their events and functions in order to learn, earn and become inspired.  I was always thinking of ways to innovate.

I always had an entrepreneurial mindset and from a very young age I always felt  I had something special, a confidence, a spark, something that was unique. During my Honours year at Vega College I had to complete an internship at a company as part of one of my final exams. Since I always had a passion for different brands falling under the umbrella of a successful company – L’Oreal is where I decided I could gain value and experience. It was a 3 week internship and from the moment I arrived I was excited, enthusiastic and ready to get my hands dirty. However, what I did learn and know now for sure is I am definitely not a corporate girl who was cut out for an environment of sucking up to the boss, taking instruction and reporting to countless divisions in an 8-5 environment. Worst of all, to have to slog away to climb the ladder which could take 10 years to get to the next rank and make my boss a billionaire. No, this was definitely not me. I liked to make my own rules, think way beyond the box and make big things happen no matter what it took. My 3 weeks at L’Oreal ended with a final presentation that I had to present to the senior directors which was a campaign I had put together to launch one of the new brands for the “Kerastase” division. My presentation blew their socks off. They were so impressed they offered me an immediate position without even having to go through the regular interview process, but I knew immediately that this was not my calling.

It was at this moment that I had a huge revelation; I needed to build my own empire and disrupt the market space.

What was the best advice you received when you started your career? 

My mom always taught me to “never follow the status quo or be a sheep.” These words resonated with me from a young age. I was always a leader, never afraid to step out of my comfort zone or take a calculated risk despite all the challenges that have come with the journey -  it has all paid off. Also, very importantly I was encouraged to NEVER EVER give up on my dreams, invest in myself and make my goals a reality no matter how many obstacles get in the way (and trust me there have been plenty.)

What do you wish someone had told you when you started your business?

 Be extremely cautious when going into a business partnership. Make sure you have done a thorough background check on the person/people involved. No business can be successful if the partners don’t share the same goals, visions, objectives and most importantly make sure they have INTEGRITY.

What are the three skills that new entrepreneurs need in order to succeed?

- The art of closing a deal

- Be authentic and transparent in all areas of business

- Know how to “sell yourself”

What routines do you have in place to help your days run smoothly? 

- I Wake up at 4 AM every morning

This gives me extra hours in the day and allows me to get my early morning run and training session in and start my first meeting by 7 AM which makes my day way more productive.

Best time to be productive is when the rest of the world is sleeping – gives you a head start.

-  If you’re truly going to act on your priorities, you need to dedicate time to them.

I always map out my week in my outlook calendar and put down my priorities to create a “typical” week, with time dedicated to each of my priorities: meetings, exercise, work, social and goals. I always start with the most important and then focus on the least flexible responsibilities.

- I am a stickler for to-do lists.

- I Eat healthy and live a healthy lifestyle

Anyone who knows me knows I cannot be without my exercise or green tea;) I put a huge emphasis on only eating healthy food that is as raw and organic as possible. I stay away from sugar and carbs. I always make sure I am setting a new training goal to keep me motivated. Most importantly the healthier your mind and body is, the more productive you will be in the workplace and the more confident you will be in everyday life.

-  I delegate!

I am a very hands on person but I find it extremely more efficient to delegate when necessary – this helps take a huge amount of pressure off. For example, I hired a PA to manage my diary, help with the office admin and basically make sure my life runs smoothly. It has made my life a million times more productive. I don’t know what I would do without her. 

- I always aim to be 10 steps ahead of the game

I love the feeling of being ahead on Monday morning if I work during the weekend, but I don’t like the feeling of losing all my precious weekend to work. When I have big presentations, client meetings to prep for or speaking engagements booked then I do the work I need to do to be fully prepared. I always aim to be 10 steps ahead of what needs to get done. I like to feel ahead of the game come Monday morning. Then, I keep the rest of the weekend free to have fun, be social and of course have me time. 

How do you find balance as an entrepreneur?

I love to be outdoors running half marathons, looking for new challenges and setting new fitness goals. Living a healthy and active lifestyle plays a BIG role in my life (both mentally and physically.)

- To make time for hobbies, passions, and relationships outside of work, I always make sure to have a short version of what I'd ideally love to do for busy weeks. I'd rather have a nice long dinner with a friend if I can, but during a busy week, catching a 45-minute coffee during the day is better than not seeing friends at all. 

I enjoy to look for activities that incorporate work and play so I can kill two birds with one stone, such as social and networking events

- I set times for myself. If you reserve an evening for plans with friends, your boyfriend or family, you'll focus more during the day.

 - When I have a good chunk of time to myself, I sometimes feel obligated to use it to get other things done, like errands or phone calls—but I’ve learned that the only way to use that time to truly reduce my stress level is to do something totally for me. A yoga class or quick burst of exercise is a good method to calm your spinning head, or enjoy a good pamper session (my favorite is a massage or facial.) I also spend time taking my precious doggies for a walk or get stuck into a great book.

What is your favorite thing about being an entrepreneur?

You can dream GIANT  and make your dreams a reality. There is no limit to what you can do.

What do you do to unwind? 

I love being outdoors, running, hiking, taking my dogs for beautiful walks, spending quality time with friends and family (with a delicious glass of red wine ;) , reading, listening to motivational talks and of course having any kind of pamper session … facials and massages are my absolute BEST!

What is a project that you are working on right now or just finished?

 We have currently expanded our social media strategic management side of our business.  We now have a team of premium copywriters, social media experts and researches.  Specifically trained in various niches.  In the past one could go to school and learn all about marketing.  Social Media has changed all of that. now creates the perfect and unique Social Media Strategy with highly researched content for all social media platforms.  Our goal is to increase networks, brand awareness and ROI without the hassle whilst the client sits back and waits for the content to arrive on all the relevant social media platforms - It could not be made more simple!  At VERY affordable prices.

How can people get in touch with you? 

To get in touch you can follow me on:

Instagram        :            @Danzshapiro

Twitter :           :            @Danzshapiro

Facebook        :   

Linkedin           :  

E-mail              :  

Website           :   

 I always love to hear from you:) #DS.comTribe