Photos c/o Danielle Finck
In 2008 Danielle launched Elle Communications, a PR agency that elevates ethical brands, non-profits, political activists, and leaders making the world a better place each and every day. She lives in Venice Beach and spends her free time as an avid yogi and runner, bicycling to the beach with her husband and 75 lb Weimaraner, Weylin, and exploring new creative hobbies, like ceramics and candle-making.
As a child I dreamed of becoming
In fourth grade I decided I would be an attorney and I exclusively wore a Stanford Law sweatshirt for the entirety of two school years!
The last photo I took on my phone
My dog resting his head on my husband’s shoulder. Swoon.
My guilty pleasure
I’m still going 12 years strong with Grey’s Anatomy. Shonda Rhimes is queen.
One thing people might be surprised to learn about me
That I grew up in a tumultuous environment and encountered a lot of abuse and hardships at a young age. I used to think I needed to hide the scars that are a map of my past, but I have found when I share my trials, it gives people the space to say “me, too” and some of my strongest relationships are with people who have faced similar challenges. Those early experiences gave me a deep-rooted empathy and have served as the motivation for the work I do. For those reasons, I wouldn’t change a single thing.
My favorite way to unwind
Running and yoga are daily practices, largely because of the meditative peace it brings to my mind and body.
My real life hero is
My husband. Through unconditional love, he has introduced me to a life I never thought would be possible. He believes in me and he’s there for me in every way imaginable. And he’s there for other people that way, too – I’ve never seen someone have more joy at the prospect of helping another person. I love and admire him immensely.
What I love about my work
Every day, I get to work surrounded by wildly inspiring people – my colleagues at Elle, the clients we serve, and the media and celebrities who are helping us bring more attention to the issues our clients are working so tirelessly to solve. Everything we do is inching the world forward in positive ways, and when things get tough or tiring, it’s always motivating to look at what we have been able to achieve and why we do the work we do.
The hardest thing about my work
I’ve travelled throughout Africa, India, Central America, and the US to see the work our clients do and the people they are serving firsthand. This experience has fostered deep empathy and passion for their work and I get invested – heavily. In PR there are a lot of variables you can’t control – what else is happening in the news cycle, a reporter’s current workload, or a celebrity’s conflicting engagements. Sometimes it’s hard to be patient when I care so much about the stories we’re telling that I want to shout them from the proverbial rooftop.
How I got started with my current career
I interned and volunteered and worked hard anywhere I could. I never had a big break – just a series of showing up and making myself available and working hard to prove I was willing and motivated to help.
One of the biggest mistakes I made when I was starting out
I didn’t realize the value of listening to your gut. We have intuition and instinct for a reason and if you get quiet and give yourself space to hear it, and then commit to following it, you learn how right it always is.
I used to think success meant
Constant growth in size and external recognition.
My current definition of success is
Constant growth in soul and internal satisfaction.
An example of when I had to push through my insecurities
All the time! We’re constantly taking on things we have never done before – sometimes they are things no one in the world has done before. But I love silencing that voice in my head that sometimes whispers, “what makes you qualified to do this?” by hitting the ground running with our team and making it happen.
A few ways I practice self-care
An intense workout is my happiest place. I have found many ways to integrate meditation into my life, and even offer it to our staff through an incredible teacher Erin Ward every Monday morning. I’ve recently been trying to do more with my hands – planting in the yard, making pottery, candles, or cooking a big meal for my husband and friends.
My happiest moment in the past 6 months
Hands-down my wedding! Everyone tells you that it’s the best day of your life, but no one prepared me for the indescribable emotions of the day. I have never felt that combined feeling of love, happiness, and peaceful calm. The feelings were so strong that it’s left me with an invincible joy ever since.
I feel the most beautiful in my skin when
I am rested, active, nourished, stimulated, and ultimately in tune with what makes me the healthiest and happiest.
I wish I could tell my younger self
You are not defined by the place you come from, the people who hurt you, or the things you go through. You are defined by how you react to them. They are your beautiful gift and what, ultimately, will make you you.
The legacy I hope to leave is
There is so much power in showing up for people, loving them hard, and never losing faith in their potential — especially when they fall short of it. I hope the people I do life with always feel this from me.