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Meet Dayla Arabella Santurri of Dayla Arabella in Back Bay

Today we’d like to introduce you to Dayla Arabella Santurri.

Dayla Arabella, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I was working for Hilton Hotels in the mid-90s while in college. Once I graduated I decided to stay on and a few years later the company asked me to take over the General Manager position at Scullers Jazz Club in Boston – a 200-seat club they owned that produced over 200 concerts a year. I was young enough to not know what I didn’t know, so I jumped in with both feet. I soon realized that I didn’t know anything about managing a staff, I had never even seen a P&L statement nor created revenue forecasts. I didn’t know anything about managing or booking entertainers and didn’t really know what PR stood for.

I soon found myself ‘learning by doing’ all of these duties. It was quite a ride! I picked up so many valuable skills in that ‘trial by fire’ atmosphere. What I didn’t know then, was all those skills I was honing during my 11-year tenure, would be vital in my launching not one, but two businesses. Thus in 2010, Dayla Arabella Inc., which housed both an event and public relations company was born.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I think my struggles entering the world of the self-employed and surviving in that first couple of years are pretty typical. When do you scale up? How best to market yourself? How do you get people to pay you? How to say yes, when you want to say no? And when to say no when you THINK you should say yes?

We’d love to hear more about your business.
I’m an event architect and a publicist, and what surprises me the most is how many of my clients chose me because I do both. What sets me apart is that I don’t use templates. I am an architect in every sense – my team and I build the event and the PR strategy from the ground up. We put the client’s mission and goals on the table and start there. Sometimes the journey takes us down an unexpected road, far from the well-worn path and out of everyone’s comfort zone, and once you have buy-in from all parties, that is where trust, commitment and confidence build and success is soon to follow.

My philosophy is that good business practices transcend individual industry needs. That is why in the last 10 years I’ve been privileged to work with clients in healthcare, high tech, higher education and the arts. I’m still definitely known best for my performing arts clients, such as the New England Philharmonic, Newport Music Festival, the Park Theatre, Emmanuel Music, and Chorus pro-Musica.

What were you like growing up?
I was born in Rhode Island and moved to Boston at 18 to go to Northeastern University and essentially never left. I was a good student, always looking to fight fires. I liked projects. I liked problem-solving too. Sounds like a budding event planner, doesn’t it?

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