Named one of “8 of Miami’s Coolest Entrepreneurial Women” by the leading female lifestyle publication PureWow, Dana Rhoden Baran has managed the reputations of more than 500 luxury lifestyle brands over the last 20 years working in Los Angeles, New York and Miami.
Dana started her PR career working with LA’s entertainment industry so she is well-versed in creating buzz and brokering brand partnerships for clients. Today, The Dana Agency represents marquee brands in beauty, fashion, hospitality, real estate and arts and culture. We sat down with her and this is what she had to say.
Q: How did the idea to start an agency come about? and when?
I left the PR agency I was working at to go in-house and a former client, a big beauty retailer, called to see where I went. He told me to start my own PR agency and that he would be my first client. I did and we worked together for the next 12 years until he retired.
Q: Who were some of your first clients that helped build your vision?
I always gravitated toward helping other entrepreneurs, especially women like myself, achieve their dreams.
We helped launch a couple exciting beauty and health and wellness brands such as Briogeo and The Honey Pot when their owners were still moonlighting from their day jobs – today, they are multi-million dollar companies and household brand names.
We helped another female entrepreneur get her handmade, bedazzled Obama shirts in national news outlets and worn by celebrities including Lara Spencer, who was hosting the syndicated entertainment newsmagazine The Insider at the time. We even dressed Cyndi Lauper in the shirt for her performance at Obama’s inauguration which was an unforgettable moment. Needless to say, the t-shirts sold out!
I love the challenge of achieving big goals with small budgets. It forces me to get super creative!
I have been fortunate enough to represent and work alongside badass women in business and I have deeply benefited from their support and mentorship over the years.
Q: What were your biggest challenges throughout your career and how did you overcome them?
One of the biggest challenges was starting my company at a young age and not being taken seriously. However, I quickly learned that one of the biggest advantages one can have in business is having people underestimate you. They never see you coming until it’s way too late and they are left standing in your dust.
Only 4.2% of all women-owned firms have revenues of 1 million or more. I am proud to be part of that 4% but working hard every day to help change this ridiculously low statistic.
Q: What has been the biggest change in the industry and where do you see the future of PR going?
One of the biggest challenges in the industry is the incredibly shrinking media landscape. Some many amazing publications have folded, talented writers and editors have lost their jobs and true journalism is being replaced by clickbait trash.
Q: How has social media changed your business structure?
Social media has given us a new, creative and exciting way to package and disseminate news and content. It’s the new frontier and it’s here to stay
Q: What are some brands or companies that are making innovative changes and we should keep an eye for?
Well Miami is having a “moment” as you know…..so there are many exciting things happening in the Magic City.
Our offices are located in Wynwood so we couldn’t be more excited that Miami’s preeminent creative and cultural district is getting its first hotel – The Arlo Wynwood. Many are familiar with the brand’s NY-based hotels in Midtown, NoMad and SoHo neighborhoods. The Wynwood outpost will offer a steady beat of programming, a spectacular rooftop pool (perfect for fashion shows), more than 250 works of art and F&B by Bar Lab, the trend-setting culinary and cocktail collective, and award-winning Miami Chef Brad Kilgore.
Readers should also keep their eyes peeled for exciting new developments underway in the Sunset Harbor Neighborhood of Miami Beach.
In addition to The Arlo Wynwood, we are also excited to be representing the debut of Channing Tatum’s MAGIC MIKE LIVE North American Tour which kicks off in Miami this October with a thrilling stage spectacular inspired by the hit “Magic Mike” films
Q: Any recommendations to young entrepreneurs who want to get started in the fashion and PR world?
Network as much as possible – business is built on personal relationships.
Never burn bridges. Today’s assistant is tomorrow’s boss
Hustle and hard work create opportunities.
Fake it until you make it! Imitate confidence, competence, and an optimistic mindset at all times.
Q: Is the agency currently involved in the crypto, web3 or NFT space?
Yes, our agency is immersed in the arts and culture scene and we have a lot of exciting collaborations in play for Art Basel 2022.
One of those projects is bringing Brooke Einbender, a.k.a. “Mindbender Art”, a pioneering NFT artist in the “phygital” (physical + digital art) and Web3 space in Miami.
We also represent Chotto Matte which was one of the first in the hospitality industry to release a NFT with a membership/benefit aspect. Dubbed The Founder, and valued at one million dollars, the one-time-release collectible chip card granted its owner exclusive membership access to an array of bespoke benefits designed to mirror the advantages accessed by the brand’s founder, Kurt Zdesar.
Q: Any big upcoming projects you would like our audience to know about?
On the beauty front, Josh Rosebrook, founder of the namesake green science beauty brand and a dear friend and client for the last 10+ years, is expanding his clean beauty skin and hair care portfolio with the launch of a new body care collection not to be missed!
I am also excited about Elspiri’s new “Barbiecore” one-pieces swimsuits which we launched at Miami Swim Week. You’ll feel like a true doll in these Beach Barbie worthy hot pink looks.
Last but not least, everyone’s favorite go-to wellness sanctuary, exhale® spas, is launching new medical spa treatments to their menus at select locations nationwide. Think injectables and recovery treatments including Botox, Restylane, Juvéderm Ultra Plus, Juvéderm Voluma, and Kybella alongside Chemical Peels, Microneedling, Lymphatic Drainage, Mesotherapy, Carboxytherapy, Accufit, LasMD Ultra, Cryo T-Shock, and Icoone Roboderm.