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One on One with Dawn Dewey

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Dawn Dewey performed volleyball rising up. She swam. She even as soon as held Manzano High School’s pole vault document.

But sports activities have been by no means actually her factor – her participation was pushed primarily by her mother and father’ requirement that she keep concerned in extracurricular actions.

Dewey all the time most popular her after-school and summer time jobs.

“I started working when I was 15 and I’ve never not had a job since then,” stated Dewey whose first paying gig was as a lifeguard at Los Altos Pool. “I loved being able to earn money on my own. When I found that sense of independence at 15, I don’t think I ever looked back.”


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She moved onto eating places, paying her means by means of University of New Mexico by ready tables all over the place from Applebee’s to Seasons.

She ultimately took her enterprise diploma to Animal Humane New Mexico and later to Dreamstyle Remodeling, the place she has been advertising director for 3 years – a interval of large progress. Albuquerque-based Dreamstyle, which offers in name-brand house enchancment merchandise and customized transforming tasks, now has operations in 5 states and expects income to succeed in $75 million this yr, up about $20 million from 2015.

And, Dewey says, she likes going to work.

“I love the business, I love the industry,” she says.

Q: Describe your self as a youngster.

I might say rebellious, however I nonetheless received good grades. So I undoubtedly favored to have loads of enjoyable with my associates, but in addition teachers have been actually essential in my household. (It was) the mixture of these two issues.

Q: What have been your profession ambitions again then?

I needed to main in entrepreneurial research (at UNM), however they didn’t have that main at Anderson (School of Management) for the undergraduate program, a minimum of once I was there. I sort of all the time had an entrepreneurial spirit, so I additionally favored advertising, however I didn’t know. It’s all the time obscure once you’re in enterprise faculty, like “What am I going to do with this degree?” Now that I’m eight years out of enterprise faculty and I’ve had so many interns, it’s humorous that so many individuals which are getting a advertising diploma all the time say “I want to work for a firm.” And it’s like, for me, that may not have been my ambition and it’s additionally actually uncommon – one, for individuals with advertising levels to truly work in advertising; and, two, to work at a advertising agency. I far more love working for a corporation and doing their advertising, particularly right here. I type of get to indulge that entrepreneurial spirit I’ve all the time had working right here as a result of Larry (Chavez, Dreamstyle’s president) tasked me with numerous duties, which I’m very grateful for. I create the annual gross sales plans. I’ve been capable of write enterprise plans for a few of our new places opening and so I simply love this job.


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Q: You spent 5 years at Animal Humane, beginning with a clerical place and left as advertising director. What did it train you to start out on the backside?

I discovered a lot extra in that means of sort of working my method up the ranks than I might’ve in class. At one level, I advised them, “I’m going to go back and get my master’s and open my own marketing firm.” (Laughs) I simply remembered this and it’s humorous as a result of I’m saying (school advertising college students) need to do this. I went part-time to return to Anderson for a semester to start out my grasp’s program and shortly realized that, now that I’ve had a style of the actual enterprise world, I used to be studying a lot there. They needed me again full-time, so I dropped out of – first time ever – the masters program. I solely did one semester and went again to work full-time, and simply type of continued the trajectory of shifting up the ranks there. But I feel it’s so necessary as a result of I’ll have plenty of candidates come apply proper out of school they usually’re anticipating a advertising supervisor place and it’s simply so necessary to comprehend that the diploma is slightly piece of the pie, however you’re going to should work your method up, even in case you paid and acquired that good diploma. You can’t begin on the prime; you’ve set to work your method up from the underside.

Q: Were you wooed away by Dreamstyle? How did you find yourself right here?

I used to be. I had been working with Larry as a result of he was, and nonetheless is, a big donor to Animal Humane. He was on the board truly, so I had been approaching him to make donations and I’d gotten him to sponsor a few issues, and he, I assume, noticed one thing in me and so he approached me and requested me if I could be , and it was so kismet. It was sort of like “The Secret,” that guide. I don’t assume I’ve advised anybody besides my husband this, however I had been considering “Gosh, how do I move on to the next step? What’s my next step and how am I going to find that?” And then it was like every week later that Larry approached me. It was actually cool. I used to be like “Oh, it fell into place.” … I used to be unhappy to go away Animal Humane. I liked working there, I liked all of the individuals there, however you recognize I’d been there for 5 years and I used to be desperate to type of unfold my wings, and develop in my profession and professionally.

Dawn Dewey, advertising director at Dreamstyle Remodeling. (Roberto E. Rosales/Albuquerque Journal)

Q: How a lot of what you discovered on the nonprofit utilized if you entered the for-profit realm?

I feel that base expertise – having to be actually industrious in determining the way you’re going to realize your objectives in a nonprofit – is an excellent basis for studying as a result of, once I was at Animal Humane, the annual advertising price range was like $28,000. Here, I can simply say it’s a lot, far more than that if you put all of the markets collectively. It’s within the a number of tons of of hundreds, however being an Animal Humane with that $28,000 price range for a $four.5 million greenback working price range on the time, that’s a tiny proportion of selling. … It simply taught me, one, negotiation expertise. When you’re at a nonprofit, you’re sort of promoting an concept. “Hey, don’t you want to do this because it feels good to support animals?” And so it actually helped me construct negotiation expertise the place now I even have cash to spend, however you higher consider I’m a penny pincher.

Q: What have you ever discovered from representing Dreamstyle on Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies Remodeling Futures Steering Committee?

That you’re all the time smaller than you assume you’re. We are one of many largest transforming corporations within the nation, really with the revenues we’re doing now, nevertheless it’s very humbling to go to this Harvard steering committee as a result of they’ve on there, you realize, the vice chairman of Home Depot, of Kohler. These are giants. So it’s actually superb to have the ability to go have dinner with these individuals and community with them, they usually even have implausible info. … The steering committee is the primary (group) to listen to their semi-annual (report) earlier than they launch it to the media, and all of the information tales you’ll examine transforming are sourcing these stories for his or her info. It’s actually humbling and simply such an honor to have the ability to be a part of that steering committee.


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Q: You have lived in Albuquerque your entire life. Do you see spending the remainder of it right here?

Oh, yeah. This is my city. (laughs). I adore it right here, my household’s right here. And I’m proud to contribute to the group that raised me.

Q: You had your first baby in May. How has being a brand new mother impacted you as knowledgeable?

I might say it’s had an incredible impression – principally an enormous precedence shift. I began working at 15, and I’ve all the time beloved my job and that’s all the time been my prime precedence. And once I was pregnant, I used to be so naive. You simply can’t perceive the depth of the love you are feeling in your baby and so it’s simply given me definitely a recent perspective on what’s necessary. Obviously, my profession nonetheless is, this firm and the individuals listed here are like a household to me. It’s an enormous precedence for me, however she’s about 10 tales above it. (laughs)

Q: What are your pet peeves?

I had one this morning. Being referred to as pet names by different professionals like “sweetie” or “honey” – or by anybody actually, besides my husband or my dad. That’s an enormous pet peeve. People saying “um” lots is an enormous pet peeve of mine, I assume as a result of my mother was fairly strict on that. And laziness.

Q: Do you have got any unusual quirks or superstitions?

I’m very superstitious. I consider in déjà vu and indicators and stuff like that – which my husband doesn’t consider in in any respect. I’m going to sound like such a loopy individual: I all the time assume birds are my spirit animal as a result of, when one thing significant is occurring in my life, I’ll all the time get one thing vital from a fowl. I’ll see like a hawk on a mailbox or one thing. Honestly, it occurs on a regular basis. My dad broke his femur driving his bike two weeks in the past. It’s horrible. … He’s going to be superb however, the day he referred to as, he was up on the Valles Caldera and we have been panicking. I’m in my kitchen and we’ve a fountain outdoors the kitchen. I look out and there’s like eight robins on the fountain – like that by no means has occurred earlier than, ever. There’s like one hen on the market (often); they’re aggressive and there have been like eight robins. I used to be like, “I told you, it’s my spirit animal.”


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Q: What is your good method to spend a day without work?

Just hanging out with Jordan, my daughter, all day – going to the park with her, and swinging and letting her nap in my arms.

Q: What is one meals you possibly can’t reside with out?

Green chile, in fact, however I might say tacos. I really like tacos.

Q: Homemade or do you go someplace?

Homemade are one of the best, however I really like Taco Bell, Taco Cabana, Los Cuates. I really like tacos from anyplace.

Q: Do you could have any hidden skills?

Tray spinning from my days waitressing. I can spin a tray like nobody’s enterprise.

Q: How would you describe your self in three phrases?

Ambitious, hopefully type, and pushed.

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