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Meet Diana Darr

Today we’d like to introduce you to Diana Darr.

Diana, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Most of my childhood, I had dreamed of becoming an interior designer. I would spend hours studying my Nannie’s design magazines and watching Genevieve Gorder work her magic on Trading Spaces. I just knew it was my calling. What I hadn’t planned on were life’s twists and turns.

Shortly after my high school graduation, I received a partial scholarship to study interior design in London. Instead, I ended up following my heart and moved an hour away from my hometown of Schertz to Austin. I left home with a few hundred dollars in my bank account, a new roommate I had met online that summer, and a part-time job at a bookstore waiting for me upon my arrival. Looking back now, I can laugh at how bad that could have played out for me, but at the time, I thought it was a very grown-up move to make.

After about a year of working and going to school part-time for Business Administration, I came across an online ad looking for PR interns for a fashion show tour that was coming to town. While I never considered it for a career, I did want the perk of getting into VIP for the show, so I answered the ad and waited for a response. To my surprise, I landed a phone interview with the team back in L.A., and I was accepted almost immediately. I quickly became the lead intern and started running promotions to increase ticket sales.

Shortly after the fashion show wrapped, I responded to another ad from a band who had recently relocated from Colorado and was looking for someone to assist their management team with PR. Their bassist, Chris, taught me everything from how to write a press release, to promotional strategies for live shows and merch. Soon, I was coordinating street teams for their upcoming shows and landing them interviews with local media.

As I continued working with that band, I picked up several other skills, including web and graphic design and photography. I also started adding other musicians and a few fashion designers to the mix and began making a name for myself within the local music scene. In 2010 I moved to Houston, where I continued freelancing part-time while also raising a family and working another full-time job in the oil & gas industry before officially launching Diana Darr Media in 2016. I now provide design, photography, and publicity services to musicians and other small business owners across the U.S. and Canada.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I officially opened Diana Darr Media in January of 2016. Shortly after, a series of personal struggles began appearing almost non-stop for the next year and a half. That April, our home flooded during the Tax Day floods. It was a long year of juggling running my business from hotels and coffee shops and getting our kids settled in as best we could before our home was in livable condition again.

In the summer of 2017, when we were finally in the home stretch of getting the last few repairs completed, my grandmother’s health began to decline rapidly. She passed away on August 11th, but we weren’t able to have her funeral until the 22nd. On the 25th, our home flooded for the second time during Hurricane Harvey, and nine months later, my mother passed away.

While those events weren’t directly business-related, they did require constant adjustments to get things somewhat back to normal for all involved. I have to give credit to my friends, family, and even my clients for helping me get through those rough times. I’m certainly blessed to have such caring people in my life.

We’d love to hear more about your work.
Diana Darr Media supports the growth of independent musicians and small business owners through earned media and strategic design.

Many new clients who come to us require most, if not all, of our services. From Brand Styling and Photography to Web Design and Publicity and everything in-between, we take the time to plan out their long-term goals and create a professional image that can grow with them and represent them in the best way possible. Whether they are new to the game or have been around for decades, we help them take the “small” look out of their small business.

We’re most proud of our relationships with our ongoing clients. Many of them came to us needing help with a single project (event flyer, photo session, etc.) and ended up sticking with us for the long-haul and sending referrals our way. In many ways, we become like family, and our clients appreciate us consistently going the extra mile for them.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
My definition of success has changed tremendously over the years. I grew up in a low-income household, so I attached a monetary value to it from a young age. I believed you couldn’t consider yourself successful unless you wore expensive clothing, earned a certain amount, or lived a particular lifestyle. That same narrative was in movies and TV shows, so I assumed it must be true.

Although I’ve hit many of those milestones, I realized that those things didn’t matter as much as I once thought they did. Today, I define success as utilizing your God-given talents to live the best life you can and setting the foundation for others to do the same.

My initial dream of becoming an interior designer may not have worked out, but I am still able to use my design skills in my everyday life, and I genuinely love what I do and the people I get to serve. When I took a chance and put myself out there at 18, I had no clue that it was preparing me for a career that would allow me to work from home and spend more time with my family; something I had dreamed about as a child but didn’t think was possible. Now, my kids get to witness my daily triumphs in my business, and they speak of their big plans as if they already know they are going to come true. Of all of my career achievements, I consider that my most significant success.

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Image Credit:
Diana Darr Media

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