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Darren started DSM in 2007. They detail the beginnings of their company in their Starter Story interview: 
Q: How did you get started on DSM?
My personal journey to get to where I am today with not direct and honestly if I would have said 13 years ago that I’d be where I am today...I WOULD HAVE BEEN LYING TO YOU ALL. After starting at the University of New Hampshire in 1995, I lost my father 6 weeks into my freshman year.
After finishing my freshman year, I came back home to New Jersey to be closer to my mom and went to work for a semester doing construction in NYC. From there, I decided to get back into school with the help of a mentor. The whole community rallied around me and really helped me get into Lehigh University in Pennsylvania. Fast forward, 3 ½ years later (and a few rugby injuries) to graduating Lehigh with honors and a history degree (a story for another day).
From there...I assume you’re asking how I went from a history degree to a career in advertising and marketing...bluntly, I couldn’t get a teaching job in a tough market back in 2000. I took an assistant media buyer job at Mediaedge: CIA. From there, I worked my way up the food chain to Zenith Media, FX and back to Zenith over the next 6 years ultimately working my way up to a Buying Director.
> In addition, get out there and get involved. Don’t join a networking group or chamber of commerce and expect business to come to you.
I got married in 2005 and the grind of commuting 3 hours a day into the city started to take a toll. I decided to move to an agency in New Jersey and after 6 months of realizing (like most entrepreneurs) that there had to be a better way to do “this marketing gig”, I literally bought my laptop and went to IKEA on a Friday (my wife and mother in law were on vacation in Florida) and set up shop in my front porch...and waited for my wife to call that evening to tell her. I literally pulled a Jerry Maguire sans the goldfish. I had $5K in savings and 0 clients...the journey began to hustle my ass off to find both and as they say “the rest is history”.
We grew the company through relationships in and around my hometown with folks who knew me since I was a kid. They trusted DSM with small projects and once we proved we could be successful, they trusted us with more. We grew from 1 person to 3 to 7 to 15 to 22 through being smart with money and not spending more than we took in. We moved out of our houses into our first office in 2010...grew out of that office in 2017 and have been in our current space since June 2, 2019.
We’re currently at 18 employees and an intern and are having our best year in the history of DSM. A testament to the amazing staff and talent that we have here at the company. The folks at DSM are beyond employees or event peers...they are my second family.