A Renaissance Woman uses her wit, courage, panache, and tenacity to accomplish anything she sets her mind to. She may defy description with her multi-faceted persona; her list of friends will probably expand and contract depending on her situation. But her capacity for love, understanding, wisdom, and humor make her a woman for all seasons. Embrace the Renaissance Woman in your life!
Dawn Derow - The Renaissance Woman!!
EPN: Today we are sitting here at fabulous French restaurant with amazing Dawn Derow who took time out of her busy schedule for this EPN interview
EPN:Hi Dawn! How are you?
Dawn : Hi! I'm great! How are you?
EPN: Thank you for coming out tonight, where are you coming from?
Dawn: Teaching yoga and after this I'm teaching two more yoga classes.
EPN: Dawn, you are a woman of many talents, goals, and inspiration, tell us about your top three ventures and initiatives.
Dawn: Well my top three!! Gosh... it's hard to narrow down to just 3, because my inspirations and goals are constantly multiplying. I have enough ideas for 5 of me. As a fitness professional, my newest venture is that I have gone out on my own. I left the gym I trained at for 5 years, and now I welcome the birth of Divine Body Balance which has just been launched, (www.divinebodybalance.com) it's my Fitness company, combining personal training, cardio, and yoga. “Awaken the Mind to Elevate the Body”, that’s my motto; and my theory as a trainer has always been lengthen and strengthen the body to live a longer, healthier life. Elements of yoga and strength training help bring awareness through mind-body connection and that's what divine body balance is achieving; the perfect balance.
My second, for now, I guess I’d have to say is my pie business which you can check out at www.pietheorybyDawn.com. A few years ago, I started making pies, the first year I made 40 pies for Thanksgiving. This past fall I made 21, and I deliver them with my assistant Jessica, in my own car; yes I have a car in NYC! This year I updated my website, and added some new items to the menu, more healthy and delicious pies. This is really what makes me a modern day renaissance woman.
I use all organic ingredients, whole wheat flour for the crust or gluten-free option which I recently, just became gluten-free is very important in your diet. Gluten is not so great for digestion; it inflames and bloats your belly. I use organic fruits, pumpkin, and sweet potato, so be sure to order a pie for any occasion... the menu is on my website.
Last, but not least. Because it’s my biggest passion; I’m a professional singer! I work with two different musical projects one is with the talented Sean Harkness; he and I do a acoustic set and just released our CD a year ago called Music 4 Two. I’m so proud of that CD, its like having a child; you made it, you are proud of it, and sometime you listen back in awe, and amazement like, “Wow we created that”. Sean and I have played at the Metropolitan room, the Cutting room, Toshi’s Living Room, Don't Tell Mamas, Salon @ Etc Etc, just to name a few of the venues, and in 2014 we will have a new show. So grab the CD now, have a listen and then come see us in a few months!
My other project is my new band called “iRiS” three fabulously Handsome Jazz musicians share the stage with me. Our style is contemporary pop rock with a jazz twist, it’s a fun gig. Matt Baker on Piano, Adam Kabak on Bass, and Brian Fishler on drums. Our next gig is January 31st at SOMETHIN’ JAZZ CLUB on 212 E 52 st. Following that , on February 4th, Tuesday night we play for 3 hours at the Flatiron Room Whiskey Bar from 9pm to 12am.
EPN: Who is your biggest role model or inspiration? Why?
Dawn: I think I have to say my father and my mother. They are two of the hardest working people I know. My father owned a restaurant on Cape Cod for 30 years, where he worked his butt off. So did my brother and I, since we were about 8 years old. My father taught me discipline and hard work can be rewarded if you have the motivation to complete the task at hand, no matter what the goal is; and he always did it with a smile. I would work at the host stand with him from time to time, and he always engaged with patrons, we would be so busy yet he’d still start up a conversation, smile, and ask how their meal was. He’s a very generous man; I know I got that quality from him. My mother has been a Hair Dresser since she was 18, she stopped somewhere in the middle to raise my brother Bob and I, and drive us around Cape Cod to school event, sports, activities, community theater rehearsals; the list goes on.
That reminds me; my parents recently said, when they look back they say I somehow fit “8 years into 4 years of High School”. Some of my creative inspirations come from my Mother - this woman is so crafty!! I say it all the time; she has a green thumb, she kits 100 scarfs, and baby sweaters, she has been known to weave baskets, spin wool, sod iron stain glass windows, cook, bake... oh, and she still does a mean “up do” to my hair.
You know, I could say my favorite singer, current voice teacher, piano teacher, past bosses like (Jay Solomon - also an EPN member) or even some of my clients, who have been great role models for me over the past 5 years. But the second you said the question - my parents came to mind. They also inspire me personally. They have been married 41+ years, the perfect example of the way a life partnership should operate. Love, honor, respect, and trust.
EPN: Are you a risk taker? Tell us about a risk that you've taken, what was the outcome?
Dawn: Well most recently, I think closing the Door to “Brownings Fitness” after 5 years, of cultivating my fitness skills, and gaining a 85% retention rate in clients sticking with me, was a bit of a risk. Change is always a little scary at first, but I feel great about it. The biggest thing I have learned in recent years is to listen to your GUT! Follow your intuition.
As a singer, I always took the gig/job that was interesting or allowed me to travel rather than the one with more credentials or more pay, or would get me on Broadway, I took a risk with other gigs which made me a “typical starving artist” in my 20’s. But I look back and I love my resume, it might not have Broadway credits, but my voice has taken me all over the world. And now that I have my fingers in several things as I enter into Entrepreneurship, I hope all my endeavors do the same; I love to travel.
EPN: When did you finally decide that you had to take the leap to Entrepreneurship? Why?
Dawn: About 2 years ago I realized I had a lot of multi talented and influential people around me, some of which are very successful in what they do. I wanted to be like that too. I have always “Done A lot” at once, it’s a part of who I am, I happen to be good at a few different things. I know how to embrace it. Since the beginning of our adult lives we have been told to narrow our abilities, specialize in one thing, go to college and major in one subject, etc; but why? Why not embrace all your talents and let them all flourish as best you can. That’s what Entrepreneurship and EPN supports. Entrepreneurship will allow me to catapult to the next level on the latter to success. I also love to network; I think I’m one of the few that does; it comes natural to me. I love meeting new people and socializing, but most importantly, I love bringing people together. I have been doing it since my early days as a teenager, throwing parties for my plethora of friends from different circles, and introducing them to each other.
EPN: What message do you have for the countless number of women and young girls wanting to follow your footsteps?
Dawn: Follow your dream, and what ever you put your mind to you can make it happen. Also, I believe in putting it out there in the universe. Write it down in a notebook, tell a friend. The more you talk about it, the better chance of it happening. Take chances, and for Christ’s sake, don’t be lazy with your time here on earth. Keep moving, learning, and do something. We are given one life, why not live it to the fullest, that’s what I do every day.
If you have a goal in mind, do one thing every day that will get you closer to that goal. And at the end of the day, look at your list, and be satisfied with what you achieved today. Remember that tomorrow is a new day, and you will have time to complete your list when the time is right for you to. It’s like building a house, it’s not going to happen in a day. For me, my daily goal was to complete this interview - see that? One step closer to my dream through EPN! 🙂
EPN: Tell us more about your pies!
Dawn: I started baking pies in 1995 at my father’s restaurant. We had a bakery that was active for about 8 of the 30 years we owned the “Lighthouse Restaurant” on Main Street in Wellfleet, MA. This is where I learned to bake. I became the “Pie Girl”. I didn’t even think anything of my baking skills until several years later. I would bake for the occasional holiday gathering, some family dinners, upon request, for friends’ birthdays, even brought pies to my shows, and in the middle of singing I would auction them off. Recently at my Birthday Party show, someone shouted out “Girl you can bake”. I thought that was so great. Usually I get “Girl you can sing!” During the summer of 2010 is when I started to tie it in to what I do in the health and fitness industry to reshape my approach to baking. That’s when Pie Theory by Dawn was born. I love baking, its very ZEN for me. I zone out a bit. Maybe in the midst of my hectic NON STOP day, standing over a counter rolling dough gives me solace.
EPN: What other projects are you currently working on?
Dawn: Well, Actually As a trainer we are constantly working out and working on sculpting our temple. So I have my own trainer too!
His name is Jay Bamboo and his style will be very popular, I am certain of it. It’s a necessity with the way humans are evolving. I like to think of him as the magician and I am his assistant. The style of training is called HUMANIMAL TRIBE - Keeping it Raw. I train with him because I believe in his style of training. A lot of my clients use this style too. Some of which train with me once a week and train with him another day. So they get the YIN and YANG we have to offer. Its all a Balance; Divine Body Balance. We are still working out how it will all come together for marketing purposes, but eventually we hope to have a photo shoot, and make fitness videos - that way, as I’m sleeping and resting for the next day, maybe some one somewhere is watching and using the video. It’s all about branding, and capitalizing on what you do best. Humanimal Training and Divine Body Balance are very similar in principle.
Not to give too much away yet; but I’ll throw out a few key phrases that pertain to this training:
Primal instincts, Strong but Flexible, Nurture your Nature, Find your Animal Spirit, Innovative training, Dynamic movement.
EPN: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Dawn: I always dreaded this question, because I do so well with achieving my short term goals of 6 months to a year that the thought of 5 years from now freaks me out a bit; but time certainly does fly by.
In the future, I want to work more with woman of all ages, from young girls (I train an 11 year old girl who is overweight right now) to a 70 year old woman who is as strong as I am. From there branching off to Pre-natal/Post-natal, weekend retreat getaways for women in the Hamptons or other destinations. One of my other secret fitness fantasies is I would love to train professional hockey players and teach them Yoga. Ways to lengthen & strengthen their torn up athletic bodies.
For my Pie Theory business, I would like to see a storefront in the future. I have some really great ideas that I think could kick these cupcake places out of the water and, in its place, put healthy and delicious pies.
Musically, I just want to keep making it; writing songs, collaborating, working with my band and with Sean. I think both are a beautifully creative union of musical talents, and who knows maybe we will still be playing gigs when we are 80. There’s no reason why I won’t be, who knows, maybe I’ll even do a headstand on stage while singing.
EPN: What are your top New Years Resolutions?
Dawn: This kind of ties into Future projects. I have a few fitness endeavors that might take off. Working for Exhale and CRUNCH, teaching classes, keeping my connection there and the door open.
But my biggest goal for my new company is to be an even stronger personal trainer, and an even better, more confident, Yoga instructor, to meditate daily to help define what I stand for to my clients and representing my company to my best ability; Divine Body Balance.
In addition to that I have been working with a nutritionist, his name is Nick Ebner.
So my goal for this year is to work closely with him, and learn more about the depths of nutrition. I have been working with him since July, and there is so much to learn. It’s important to dig into all aspects of health & wellness. I think a big part of it too, is just to listen more.
As for music, just keep the music playing, and open the possibility for more gigs in the future for both Sean Harkness & I, and iRiS!
Keeping active; that’s me. If I don’t have a pie in my hands, I am either singing in a microphone, lifting a dumbbell, or my hands are at my heart center - saying “Namaste”. May your day be filled with light & love!!!