Q&A With Danielle Elise, Founder and Chief Community Officer of the All Black Creatives Foundation

Danielle Elise is the Founder and Chief Community Officer of the All Black Creatives Foundation. She’s passionate about the art of the gathering and designs experiences for people to create, be inspired, be celebrated and find community. Through the All Black Creatives Foundation, she has designed community programming with brands like Adobe, Instagram, Google, and Facebook.

Currently based in Mexico (and having lived throughout the Midwest and West Coast of the United States), Danielle and her family lead their entrepreneurial-lead lifestyle that prioritizes family time, work hours, and adventure. Through this Q&A, she offers guidance and tips on parenting, organizing, and leading a company from the comfort of her ever-changing home.

An All Black Creatives Foundation event with Instagram, in Chicago, IL

Q: Thank you for joining in for a quick interview Danielle! Could you tell us a bit about what you do, and how you found your way into this work?

A: I’d like to say that I work on community development and brand partnerships! I work to match the needs of our community, with resources that help accelerate them on their creative journeys, celebrate their passion and identity, and connect them to community. One of my earliest desires was for the people around me to feel seen and understood. Everything I create- the music I write, the places I volunteer, the business I’ve built- all stem from this same place!

Q: You live a lifestyle of traveling, adventure, and entrepreneurship. How do you manage and organize your days while having an ever-moving location?

A: I used to hate “putting things in the calendar” and now it’s the only thing that keeps me sane! I also use an app to keep track of time zones. I mentor a collective in Berlin, and it helped so much! We also have a team at All Black Creatives, so I delegate and trust my team to help me get things done!

Danielle’s four year old son Sōl accompanies his parents on their world wide adventures, and likes to get involved with the family business

Q: Do you find that your work structure and parenting/family structure overlap?

A: Of course! Sōl will tell you any day that he’s “Sōl from all black creatives” He wants to be involved in everything we do- most recently we had to print out an extra page for him so he could “sign the contract too!” It’s fun, and he loves being involved in the family business… especially during zoom calls lol. This is sometimes really challenging for all of us. Setting up  intentional- non distracted playtime together helps during those really busy days.

Q: How is school going for Sōl? Could you talk a bit how you two educate him and what you’ve found to be most impactful?

A: Since he’s only 4, and actually even if he were older I think we’d approach his learning the same way. We focus on themes that are interesting to him, and then incorporate them into our daily lives. For science we make slime or swim and explore in the ocean. He “cooks” with us and we read together often. Kids learn through play! I was homeschooled and I loved it, so I often just pull from the way my mom taught me.

Q: Could you give a few tips on staying organized and balanced as an entrepreneur?

A: Ha! Ummm. Find people who are great at organization and hire them? Our community manager Brianna has been a total lifesaver. And then i’d say, make sure you’re finding time to do things for yourself- not work related and not even in relation to your partner or kids. When you’re healthy and happy, you can carry that into everything else you do. 

Q: Lastly, what’s one piece of advice you would give to any parents who are feeling thrown for a loop with remote learning for their children?

A: Hmmm be encouraged! Kids learn and have the ability to learn in so many ways. Staying home for a year with their parents will probably be some of the most memorable times of their lives. Don’t be afraid to give your kids a “mental health day” off of school either  – my mom used those at least once a month! Give yourself grace. The kids are alright.

Learn more about the All Black Creatives Foundation here

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