About Dara Elliott | Strategist

Hello, I'm Dara.

Brand Strategist. Industry Veteran. Curious Person.

I've always been fascinated with brands and how they have the capacity to capture our hearts, minds, and ahem...wallets.

They really seem to get us. They know our aspirations. They speak to the ideal versions of ourselves. They embody our beliefs.

For instance, the 90s-me was all about dELia*s and their sartorial wonderland. Early-2000s-me was so obsessed with Abercrombie's idyllic cool that I snagged a job there to fund my preppy polo habit.

This fascination with brands naturally led to a career in fashion and beauty. From boutique PR agencies to running marketing for iconic brands like Sephora, Marc Jacobs, and Swarovski, I immersed myself in the industry.

I saw brands like Bonobos and Warby Parker popping up and was drawn to the direct-to-consumer space. They had unlocked a way to build brands that resonated more deeply than ever before. 

My curiosity was piqued. In 2016, I launched Brevity, a direct-to-consumer, technical apparel brand. I wanted to learn how to develop, launch, and build a brand from scratch.

I learned all that, and then some. Though, the most important thing I learned was there's much more to a brand than meets the eye.

You can be well-versed in consumer insights and tactical marketing, yet know very little about what really makes a brand, a brand. 

In hindsight, I had a built a brand based on market research and analysis, and that can only work for so long. At some point, you need a more compelling reason to believe. At least, that happened to me.

To build a brand, it's imperative to really believe in something. I didn't have a clear answer to that. So I did some exploring. I trained in CTI's Co-Active® coaching model. I read a lot, everything from branding, behavioral economics, to organizational psychology. 

The ideas that resonated most were Simon Sinek's concept of Why, Daniel Pink's work on intrinsic motivation, and Cal Newport's argument for mastery over passion.

It turns out, purpose, or whatever you want to call it, is simply about learning, mastering your craft, and fostering a sense of connection. 

For me, that craft is branding, specifically for emerging DTC brands. I created Brand Sourcebook to serve as a platform to nerd out about branding and to connect with early-stage founders who are building something worth caring about.

Let's build a brand, brand together!


Dara Elliott | Brand Strategist, FounderDara Elliott | Brand Strategist, Founder 

@darabelliott  |  @brandsourcebook

P.S. a few fun facts about me... 

Purpose ('Why')To lead with curiosity so that I can connect people and ideas.

Core Values ('How')

No 1. Seek fresh perspectives - embody all angles and points of view. 
No 2. Embrace growth - welcome experiences that will expand and challenge me. 
No 3. Ignore the shoulds uncover insights, trust my intuition. 
No 4. Aim for mastery - quality over quantity, long-term over short-term, niche over mass.   

City: San Francisco (previously New York, San Diego, Los Angeles).

Originally from: Burbank (grew up at this little donut shop).

Morning routine: Deeps breaths. Green smoothie. Solo dance party.

Fave workout: Jogging by the water while listening to non-fiction audiobooks/podcasts.

Happy place: Scenic walks. Insightful conversations. Bright, airy coffee shops.

Drink of choice: Smoothies, I'm obsessed with creating new concoctions!

Indulgences: California burritos (aka burritos with fries inside) and Haribo gummies.