Who says the world of burlesque is dead? While it hasn't been the most-talked-about profession, you'll find passion in the burlesque dancing world at its high with the dancers bringing the same flair as they did in the 20th century. And Danielle Colby is certainly one of them. But sometimes, fame can get in the way of a happy relationship (come on, let's not ignore this).
Born on December 3, 1975, in Davenport, Iowa, the heavily-tattooed reality TV star first saw got a glimpse of burlesque during a show in Chicago she saw with her family. She then went on to create her own troupe, Burlesque Le'Moustache and was included in the 'American Pickers' by creator and star Mike Wolfe to bring a little fresher energy to antiquing.
Danielle's been picking since the inception of 'American Pickers'.
Photo Source: The Queen of Rust, Instagram
With her TV fame as well, she also went on to expand her interest in business as well. Her net worth was considerable enough to open her own clothing boutique as she's also a designer (duh!!).
Danielle Colby holds a net worth of $2 million. The majority of her wealth comes from her early and current career as a burlesque dancer, then her appearance on 'American Pickers'; managing Wolfe's Antique Archaeology, and also owning several business ventures.
Colby is initially primarily a burlesque performer.
Photo Source: Yippie Punk
Colby was initially raised as a Jehovah’s Witness, but she had a few Pagan beliefs in her. She was also once married to an Englishman, Robert Strong, and had two children with him. But slowly her fame in the burlesque and reality world really put a strain on her marriage. She was married to her husband Alexandre De Meyer.
Colby's interest in burlesque developed when she was "10 or 12 years old". But the real fascination came in the mid-2000s when she, with her husband and kids, attended a performance in Chicago starring legendary burlesque artist Satan's Angel with comedienne Margaret Cho.
Colby got a lot of tattoos before she started on burlesque.
Photo Source: The Queen of Rust, Instagram
She thought burlesque to be a sort of "taboo and wrong and bad". But when she came out of the performance, she found it so much more "liberating" than she'd imagined.
I left thinking, 'Who cares if I have stretch marks? Who cares if I'm a size 14 or 12 or 10? It doesn't matter. What matters is that I like myself.' That's the feeling I left with, and it was life-changing, and at that point I knew I wanted to do it [burlesque].
Colby was a traveling makeup artist for Lancome and Estée Lauder, which kept her from doing what she loved, burlesque. But when her family responsibilities called her back to the Quad Cities area, she left everything to establish her own local troupe, Burlesque Le'Moustache, with her own stage name 'Dannie Diesel'. Still, no one particularly approved of the idea.
However, Colby's sister, Carbomb Betty, was one of the first people she was convinced to join, but she started out by teaching for about half a year. And then, the women "really wanted to perform". But she tried ensuring there would be no frontal nudity of sorts. Of course, accidents happen.
Danielle's sister (center) joined in first.
Photo Source: MySpace
And then, it boomed. Performance after performance, her team got standing ovations around Midwest, their major area of shows. She also opened her own burlesque academy 'Dannie Diesel's Bump 'n' Grind Academy' in the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago and also took part in the Iowa Burlesque Festival, in its inaugural year in 2014.
'American Pickers' creator and star, Mike Wolfe had been a longtime friend of Danielle (25 years, according to his tribute post on Instagram). The two developed a conceptual plot, which eventually materialized into the script of 'American Pickers'. And Mike had been picking for over 20 years.
Mike Wolfe is married to Jodi Faeth (not in the picture), by the way, not to longtime friend Danielle.
Photo Source: Mike Wolfe, Instagram
It was then sold to History Channel, and Danielle was given charge of the office of Mike's antique shop 'Antique Archaeology'. The show, meanwhile, since premiering on January 18, 2010, became the "top rated non-fiction series of 2010 among total viewers and adults 25–54".
The 21st season of the show, however weird according to the time it aired, concluded this February, and it's still going strong. Meanwhile, she's also designated as a producer of the 2016 documentary, 'Tempest Storm', an additional bump to her impressive net worth.
On the other hand, before she ever started burlesque, she was part of a female roller derby team called 'Big Mouth Mickies'. Actually, she owned it, which was "a bunch of Irish girls that got together". But yeah, it was rough; the pushing around and doing what you can to win were.
Roller Derby is one of those few things Colby relishes from the past.
Photo Source: Danielle Colby Cushman, Facebook
However, an injury after three years of derby-ing forced her to quit and thus became a traveling makeup artist.
Colby also opened up a clothing boutique in LeClaire, Iowa, called '4 Miles 2 Memphis', in 2013, and she's the primary designer there as well. A year later, it was announced the adjacent shop, 'Broken Cherry', was getting closed and thus moved into the '4 Miles 2 Memphis' storefront. The two shops didn't have a barricade in between them and thus had access to each other in between.
With a millionaire net worth, it was evident she wanted to give to society for getting all the love she does. She went to Puerto Rico in 2017 to do some relief works against Hurricane Irma, like building houses, fundraising, and discussing reconstruction strategy with local leaders.
Yeah, she's a giver as well.
Photo Source: Danielle Colby
She's also donated her time and money to charity organizations, with her dearest one being Batey Girls, providing economic support to girls and women in the Dominican Republic, where the risk of sex trafficking and domestic violence is high.
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There've been several rumors about Danielle leaving 'American Pickers' over and over since it actually destroyed her first marriage. That one is completely false, by the way. We know how valuable she is to the team. Her second marriage with Alexander de Meyer also ended in a secret divorce in two years of their secret marriage in 2015. She's now rumored to already be engaged to Jeremy Scheuch.
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