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Danielle Rowlett Tate ’03

Although the Maryland Department of Motor Vehicles is an unlikely place to be inspired, it just so happened to be where Danielle Rowlett Tate ’03 got the idea to found her business MissNowMrs. Now a successful author and business owner, Tate's ability to innovate goes back to her time as a tenacious Biology major at McDaniel.

McDaniel College alumna Danielle Rowlett Tate '03

The last thing newly married Danielle Rowlett Tate ’03 expected to become at the Maryland Department of Motor Vehicles was an entrepreneur, but that’s where her booming online business, MissNowMrs, was conceived.

Soon after her wedding in 2005, the successful medical sales rep took a day off from her very busy job to change her last name from Rowlett to Tate on her driver’s license. Only after hours of waiting in line and three trips did Tate officially become Tate in the DMV’s world. A driven high-achiever who doesn’t believe in wasting time, Tate was frustrated and fuming. She told her husband, Culin, a serial entrepreneur, “There should be a service that streamlines this process.” He shot back: “Well, you should make one.”

A decade later, MissNowMrs was grossing about $1 million a year and had assisted hundreds of thousands of brides to change their names on all of life’s vital documents — driver’s licenses, bank accounts, insurance policies, passports, voter registrations, Internal Revenue Service forms and Social Security cards.

In January 2016, Tate released her first book, “Elegant Entrepreneur: The Female Founders Guide to Starting & Growing Your First Company,” to offer step-by-step advice to capable but inexperienced women. Written from experience, the book also features insights from more than 25 notable entrepreneurs.

Her business savvy might come as a surprise, given that she majored in Biology with a minor in Psychology. But Tate says her liberal arts degree has served her well and prepared her to become an innovator. After surviving organic chemistry, she concluded no challenge would be too daunting: “I learned about mental toughness and that with enough tenacity — and a book — I can figure out anything.”

About Danielle

Career: Entrepreneur, MissNowMrs founder

Class: 2003

Major: Biology