Welcome to the first installment of the Wonder Woman series – let’s get straight into it!
I have had the privilege of working with and learning from Dawn Alexander while I was still living in Cape Town. She is one of the most energetic, passionate women I have ever met with a laugh you could probably hear from about 20km away! I gave her a few questions to answer as she has had an incredible career in two very different industries.
- Please can you give us a little insight into your career to date – your industry, highs and lows, you know the deal.
I began my career as a skin therapist in Cape Town after graduating from the Cape Technikon. After a year at a salon in Claremont I went to London and worked for Decleor as an Account Manager for 2 years, responsible for the accounts in the major centres like Dickens & Jones, Harvey Nicholls, Selfridges and Harrods. I loved it, loved the travel in London, loved being able to hop over to Europe, but felt the need to try something new! Deciding to branch out, I ventured into the advertising world in London and quickly developed a love of marketing, and technology! I studied various computer programmes while working for the incredible Ad Agency and left London after 4 years to return home to CT! No more lunch trip in helicopters to Scotland, or quick Xmas drinks in Paris on the Eurostar L
Once back in CT, I started working at Dimension Data in their marketing department. What an experience and whilst there, studied marketing part time. After some time, I worked on a project with our New York office and they landed up offering me a position there with a transfer. Off I went and worked the hardest I’ve ever worked in the Manhattan offices for 3 solid years. The highlight of my working career for sure! Backstabbing, late nights, 911 and constant travel made this period of my life the most exciting and nerve wracking ever! During that time I completed a copy writing course and after 3 years came home to Cape Town to a new marketing position at a new IT company called Latitude Information Technolohgy.
After a few years, Latitude was bought out by another company called Square One Solutions Group and it was during this time that the call to get back into the industry which has always been my real passion, called! In a big way…
I had developed a friendship with a therapist (!!!! Sarah!!!) at my local salon and decided to enlist her in my plan…. and so the birth of N’RGY SKINSPA began!
- Which 3 beauty products (skincare, bodycare or make up) can you not live without?
Dermalogica MultiVitamin Power Serum
Mac cremecup Lipstick
Michael Kors fragrance…
Because I can’t leave out Jo Malone’s vanilla and peony scented candles!
- To date, what has been your biggest achievement?
There have been a few of which I’m extremely excited and proud – first and foremost co-creating my incredible daughter! Secondly, maintaining a sense of humour! Thirdly building a sustainable business from nothing in a recession; and lastly achieving my dream of working and living in my top three cities, New York, London and Cape Town!
- If you were to go back to 21 year old Dawn – what advice would you give her?
Don’t take it all so seriously.
Try to put yourself first more often.
Remember your worth.
Follow your heart.
- What do you find inspirational in a woman and who is your greatest inspiration?
I find women who support and empower other women inspirational. Lena Dunhan was recently quoted as saying “A huge part of being a feminist is giving women the freedom to make choices you might not necessarily make yourself.” Women who understand the complexities and sacrifices involved in juggling a business with being a mother, inspire me.
My daughter is my greatest inspiration. Living with integrity as an example to her is what drives me.
- What do you feel is the most liberating thing that you have done in your life?
Liberating is the same as scary right?! Haha! I would have to say walking away from the corporate environment and everything that was familiar and comfortable, and beginning a business built on passion for the industry and sheer determination.
So there you have it! Definitely someone who has led an incredibly dynamic life.
Don’t forget, if you would like to be featured, or know of someone that you should be featured next month, just pop me a mail.
Happy Wednesday beauties!