Society / Profiles

Dynamic Houston Entrepreneur Tackles the At-Home Work Juggle — How Allie Danziger Stays Creative and Grounded

Conference Calls, Hollywood Nights, and Raiding the Wine Fridge

BY // 05.20.20

As COVID-19 restrictions are easing across the country, many are still opting to work from home — a fact that Houston’s still light traffic attests to. In a nod to those who are staying in, we continue with PaperCity‘s series on cocooning at home during the pandemic.

Our subject today is a very busy lady. Allie Danziger is founder and major domo at Integrate Agency, a marketing, digital, and public relations firm; the mother of two small children; a wife; and community volunteer. Of late, she’s consulting for free with dozens of businesses struggling during the pandemic. Danziger is also working with other agencies to launch Mensch Out, a directory of Jewish-owned businesses donating a percent ​of proceeds to Jewish Federation of Greater Houston and Houston Jewish Community Foundation’s COVID-19 Appeal.

She continues to work at home and shares her story.

PaperCity: What is your coronavirus playlist?
Allie Danziger: My husband and I share a home office, so when I am not on calls of my own, my AirPods are often blaring Strumbellas on Spotify to tune out his conference calls.

PC: What are you binge-watching?
AD: Besides Frozen 2 on constant repeat with my kids (daughters 21 months and 3)? I just finished Hollywood on Netflix and absolutely loved every minute of it. The “imagine what life could be like” fantasy was just so fun and had me grinning from ear to ear the whole time. Next up: Succession. I just couldn’t bring myself to get on the Tiger King bandwagon.

PC: If your life were a reality series, what would it be called?
AD: The Juggle. As a business owner and mom of two toddlers, I am very used to managing a hectic schedule. The Juggle has become a lot more exciting lately, squeezing the kids’ Zoom classes in between my own conference calls or walks and bike rides in the early afternoon between strategic sessions with my leadership team.

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PC: What are you doing productive other than minding the home front and working?
AD:  My husband [Eric Danziger], who is also an entrepreneur at heart, and I sit down over a glass of wine to talk about life and how industries will be impacted after COVID-19. I strongly believe that the way of life and business, for many, will not go back to the way things were; businesses will adapt, and new ventures (and industries!) will launch from this, so we spend a lot of time brainstorming what’s next. Nothing has gotten much further than an idea on a napkin, but the creating and inventing has been a really fun distraction and feels productive.

AllieDanziger_Team
Allie Danziger and her team at Integrate Agency in pre-coronavirus times.

PC: What are your go-to recipes for cooking at home?
AD: I’ve probably cooked more in the last two months than ​I have in the last 35 years! I am loving how easy H-E-B makes recipes. You can easily add all ingredients to your shopping list and then just drive right up and pick it all up curbside. The best thing I’ve made so far is the Grilled Greek-Style Lamb Skewers – plus, my 3-year-old was able to help.

PC: What are your go-to take-out meal options?
AD: At the beginning of all of this, I made a list on my phone of my favorite local restaurants that I wanted to be sure to support throughout the pandemic. Some favorites include Barnaby’s, Mai’s, Brisket House, 401 and Fadi’s.

PC: Fantasy moment: If you were stranded someplace in the world, where would it be?
AD: Nothing calms me or gets my creative juices flowing quite like the beach … so I would probably pick Greece. I’ve had to cancel a ton of summer travel plans, including a would-have-been birthday trip to Japan, but we’ll reschedule when the timing is right.

PC:  Have you indulged in any retail therapy? What have you purchased online during this period?
AD: It took a pandemic to realize that I have no casual, work-from-home clothes. My husband didn’t understand the first few weeks why I had packages showing up every few days. I had to purchase some WFH attire.

PC: What is your go-to cocktail for the homebound?
AD: We have been on a kick to “drink the wine fridge.” Over the years, we’ve managed to build up a small stockpile of wine, saving the “good stuff” for a rainy day! I guess we’ve been planning for a quarantine without realizing it. Once that stay-at-home order was declared, we decided that this is our rainy day — and life is just too short to drink bad wine.

PC: What games are keeping you entertained?
AD: House Party! It has been a blast to catch up with friends on the House Party app from all over the country. We’ve made it a bit of a tradition now to pick up dinner on Saturday night and do a House Party with friends that we don’t regularly get to see. It’s a blast, makes Saturday night feel a little special, and I have definitely improved my Pictionary skills!

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