What do you love most about your work:
I have worked very hard to get where I am, so I really try to sit and grow in the gratitude and appreciate every second of it. I am truly getting to be my authentic self, and by being that, I get to live a life I love and do what I love to do. I love the people I get to meet, and nothing makes my heart smile more than when someone says one of my speeches or posts or appearances has inspired them to go after their dreams. It really doesn’t get better than that! And, of course, the delicious free food and wine and beauty and lifestyle goodies I get to try are a pretty fun perk of the job, too!
One piece of advice you would give your 18-year-old self:
I would tell 18-year-old Dawn, "Don’t fight who you naturally are, sweet girl. The very things that make you different are the very things that will make you succeed. Embrace your uniqueness and love on yourself a little more, please."
Go-to workout song on your most recent playlist:
Well, it’s not EXACTLY on my workout playlist, but it’s more like my theme song. When I need to summon my confidence and courage, I’ll turn on the 80s song, "Break My Stride" by Matthew Wilder. It reminds me that no matter what happens, "ain’t NOTHIN’ gonna break my stride, nobody gonna slow me down. Oh no! I’ve got to keep on movin’." Sometimes, it will come on the radio right when I need it to, during a nerve-wracking moment, and I always take it as a sign that I’m on the right path, heading in the right direction, and it makes me take a breath and remember that. I tell you this: adopt a theme song, and you will be AMAZED where it appears in your life to guide you!
Your motto in life:
My motto is my own: "Live a life you love, and then with that life you love, inspire others to live a life they can love." Also, when I’m feeling a little overwhelmed or stressed, I say this to myself: "Do your best and leave the rest." It started out as a country song I was writing, and I may have yet to finish the song, but I use it to this day.
A secret talent we should know about:
Secret talent? Well, speaking of country songs...I have recorded two albums, written oodles of songs, and am a country singer, who performed at the Grand Ole Opry twice and regularly at the Hotel Cafe and The Roxy. And, I’m also a pretty mean baker, I’ve been told. And, by mean, I mean so sweet that I’ll put ya into sugar shock.
On Sunday, we’ll find you wearing:
I have been in 6 different cities for the past 7 weeks, but on a normal Sunday in Los Angeles, you’ll find me wearing my Punky Brewster-inspired Joe’s Jeans with colorful patches on them, paired with one of my Project 615 tanks from Nashville giving a nod to the old school country music I grew up on and love, and Frye robin’s egg blue loafers, eating queso and frito pie from Homestate while sipping on mimosas with friends outside on the patio of Bar Covell, where my favorite bartenders hold court.
You decompress each day by:
I take a bubble bath every single night before I go to bed. I view baths like I view beautiful china—why should we save it for special occasions? Every day of life is a special occasion. Treat it (and yourself) accordingly. For the record, I’ve only probably missed about 5 baths in my lifetime and have decreed that my requirement for my nightly bath shall be included in my marital vows one day. Future husband, you have been forewarned.
The trend you hope never goes out of style:
I pray that the call for kindness and intolerance of bullying are trends that never go out of style. We need those reminders on a daily basis because people seem to find it awfully hard to just be kind. I have never understood that and hope I never will.
What is the best gift you’ve ever received:
The best gift I’ve ever received is the "Miss Manners Guide To Excruciatingly Correct Behavior" which was given to me by my mom my senior year of high school. While I love the book, I admit I haven’t read it because I value it for the inscription inside in my mother’s beautiful cursive handwriting, saying: "To Dawn, My Southern Sweetheart and My Southern Belle, here is everything you need to know about ‘correct behavior.’ May all your dreams come true! You’re already the most gracious southern lady I know. Love and Kisses, Mom." I had found an excerpt from a poem called, "After A While" while reading an Ann Landers column my freshman year of high school. It was a poem about love and loss and success and failure, and all of the lessons you learn just from going through life and growing up, even in (epecially in) times of grief and heartbreak. I looked and looked but could never find the poem in its entirety. There, on the page following her loving inscription, inside cover of this Pepto Bismol pink book, my mom had found the complete poem and written it out by hand. My favorite gift to this day. Thoughtfulness is worth way more than a Rolex, people.
What’s the most exciting thing in your life right now:
Oooooooh. That I have no idea what’s coming next. I’m a single girl loving this life, and a girl with a lot of dreams so the possibilities are endless. That’s the best part. I still have a career, love, family, and more dreams coming true to look forward to. I couldn’t have dreamt it any better. And, I can’t wait to see what this wonderful world has in store for me next!