This 20 second video was shot spontaneously in the living room of her Melbourne home. It was just the start of what would soon become an international business.
Dani Regan’s life and career have completely transformed in less than two years.
She had been working as a 9-5 corporate employee, but she now directs a growing six-figure firm that supplies customers all over the world.
Many people have her designs tattooed on jewellery or as tattoos. Businesses, like a Middle East construction firm, also use her designs to brand their products.
Customers also have had her designs printed on clothing and packaging. They are even used as nail art by specialists. And one customer has even had it made into an iron to brand cattle.
Danibydsgn’s origins are difficult for Dani to grasp.
9news.com.au: She said, “It’s crazy how it all happened.”
It sounds just too good to be true.
“Every morning, I am struck by the surreality of it all.”
It’s not something I like to say it happened to me – it’s true that it took a lot of work and long hours to learn how to make a website, as well as many other things. But it kinda became its own thing on the internet.
Dani felt bored during the COVID-19 lockdown of June 2020 and decided to get TikTok, a social media app.
After seeing a video in which people were encouraged to write their names with letters that overlapped, she decided to use the anonymous name of Harlo and Rei.
Her shock at what she did next was unimaginable after posting the quick video of herself creating the monogram.
“I have no idea what has happened.” She said that the video was viewed over 8000 times quickly. There were many comments, comments, and suggestions from viewers asking to have their names included in the symbol.
“I became overwhelmed by requests – DMs. Followers. Comments.
TikTok users requested Dani use her skills and create monograms using the same design as their names.
Dani, taken aback at the unanticipated attention, agreed to fulfill her fans’ demands and posted videos showing her making monograms with their names using the app.
“For the past two weeks, I created TikToks during my weekends and work on weekends. It was all without really considering it.”
When Dani was suggested by a friend to open an Etsy account so she could start charging for her designs, the fun turned into a business venture.
Dani created and managed the website herself. When Dani wasn’t at work, Dani was creating monograms for herself and posting the videos to TikTok.
So fast did her followers grow that she soon had hundreds of thousands of them.
She has over 1.4 million TikTok followers and 154,000 Instagram fans today.
Dani developed her design style over the course of several weeks after fulfilling several orders. Dani moved from creating monograms out people’s name to using meaningful dates, numbers, and sayings.
Dani was then sent a photograph of the tattoo by a woman who had used Dani’s design.
Dani stated, “I thought it was crazy.”
I never would have thought people would get tattooed with these designs.
There are hundreds of photos that she has received from people who love her tattoo designs.
“And they’re all different. Like people get them very big, or really little with added color.”
Dani was shocked to suddenly find herself a businesswoman and she decided that her normal client could still enjoy Dani’s work.
Dani explained that she viewed it as “If I was advertising my mum, as an individual, tattoos would be of little interest to her.”
Dani began offering jewellery with her designs in April.
Dani purchased her own engraving machines and materials. She learned to engrave jewellery by herself.
Also, she started offering a package that allows her to create logos and designs for business. This has been used for everything from industrial businesses to skincare brands to cocktail bars.
Dani decided that it wasn’t sustainable for her to continue working at her corporate job and also run her own business. She left the corporate world in June.
Social media’s power
Dani claims social media is the reason she made major life-changing changes.
She said, “I believed 9 to Five was the end of me. I wanted to climb the corporate ladder.”
But social media has literally transformed my life.”
Dani stated that she had never imagined she’d be able to make a meaningful impact on people’s lives as much as she has with her designs.
Many customers appreciate the custom-made monograms. They are more than symbols.
These symbols are frequently used to represent and connect with deeply emotive events and concepts such as the death or anniversary of a spouse.
It’s an honor to create something similar for somebody.”
Dani was also amazed at the extent to which her designs were seen all over the globe thanks to social media. Customers reached out to Dani from as far away as California, Ecuador and Hong Kong.
Through social media, she also connected to an anonymous master engraver from Echuca (regional Victoria) who offered to show her how to engrave.
He taught me all I know by talking on the phone for hours. She said that she drove to Echuca, where he had taught her for two days.
She also got help from the man to source an engraving machine.
She stated, “It is just insane to me how this all came together because I did not know where to start engraving.”
Dani is even more amazed by the way her social media critics have assisted her in getting to this point, as her admirers.
“I can recall receiving hate messages saying that you would put too many words in one symbol. I thought it would be more efficient to have the symbol in three. It was odd, I thought.
Dani looks forward to seeing where Danibydsgn takes her now that she is fully engaged.
In the past financial year, the company made well above six figures. This was her first year of full-time operation.
“I am definitely interested in growing and seeing what other products I could possibly offer, be it clothing or other custom goods.”
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