Behind the Seams with Dawn White
Photography by Cameron Jordan
[Dawn is wearing the Madison Duster with our Soho Pants]
Welcome to our Stories and our very first post! I am elated that our first one features my good friend Dawn White. I met Dawn through our awesome Los Angeles Mommy group, MxB, started by my extraordinary friend, Katie Kay Mead. This group of 250 women has been the greatest support for so many of us, where new friendships and beautiful connections are being made every day. We realized while taking these photos how apparent those connections were. You can see the members of MxB coming together through these photos taken by Cameron Jordan, the beautiful hand-made weighted blankets by Sheltered Company, the cute romper Dylan is wearing by Black i Boys, gorgeous jewelry by GJENMi.
Dawn is someone who radiates confidence, joy, & strength. She is truly a gem and someone I’ve loved getting to know. Cameron Jordan and I spent some time in her home with her adorable son Dylan and asked her some questions…
- Belinda Kazanci
How did you get started?
I began my foray into the music industry in Philadelphia in 2000 working for a house music pioneer named King Britt. I then went on to manage a legendary recording studio, where I met Questlove from the Roots. From there, I became his personal assistant and then part of his management team. In 2006, I moved to Los Angeles to expand my client and knowledge base and landed a position working with Danger Mouse and Gnarls Barkley. In 2013, I formed my own boutique management and consulting company You and Me, Inc. where I provided tour management services, management for artists and talent booking for corporate events.
What are some challenges you have faced?
On more than one occasion, there have been assumptions I’m one of my client’s girlfriends when I am traveling with them, which is utterly absurd since there is zero indication that would be the case. Whether it has been checking into hotels or dealing with promoters at venues, I’m always dumbfounded when someone asks me how long I’ve been with my “boyfriend.” There is definitely an old boy’s club to the music industry and a notion that women are not as capable of handling themselves in the cut throat world of entertainment.
What are some factors that have helped you become successful?
Fearlessness and determination. I am also a “natural” networker. Rather than forcing my own agenda, I always strive to form authentic relationships with people by taking a genuine interest in them and their creative output. Through the years, this has helped me form solid bonds with people in all facets of entertainment, hospitality and fashion. People want to create and build with individuals they feel a real kinship to, not someone who talked them up at a cocktail party while looking over their shoulder at who to speak with next.
What advice would you give to young women that want to be successful?
I once had a man tell me people didn’t like me because I was too ambitious. I can’t imagine anyone has ever said this to a man. Rather than deterring me, I used this as motivation. The best advice I can give is don’t view yourself as a woman. View yourself as a capable, intelligent, creative, confident, competitive person who is either the best person for the job or will find a way to become the best. And my motto has always been: You are only as successful as the people you surround yourself with. This does not mean material success. But if you surround yourself with positive, kind, focused hard-working people, in turn, you will be the same. Lose the people with unhealthy habits. Take inventory of your own unhealthy ones, whether emotional or physical, and drop them literally like a bad habit.
Why do you wear Bel Kazan?
Bel Kazan exudes comfortable confidence and can easily go day into night, which is great in my line of work where I am often on the go from morning until late into the night. In a Bel Kazan outfit, all you need is a quick change of shoes and accessories to go from a Coachella pool party to a dinner meeting with clients and on to a nightclub event.
How would you describe your personal style?
I call my personal style Pajama Chic. I like flowing clothes that don’t hinder my active lifestyle and I often find myself wearing things could be worn to the theater or to bed! HA! Also, I am a mother to an extremely active 16-month old boy so I like clothes that I can chase him in without feeling restricted.
Who has been your greatest influence/inspiration and why?
Fiona Chung, my creative writing professor from the University of Pittsburgh. She encouraged and allowed me to find my own unique voice by making me part of her Asian American Writer’s Group. Prior to meeting her, I struggled a great deal with being a Korean adoptee and lack of identity. Fiona showed me that my experience and voice were valid and deserved to be heard.
Give us 2 fun facts about you?
I was on the first season of Double Dare and I won. One of my first jobs was dressing up as Chuck E. Cheese
How would you describe yourself in three words?
Loyal, Witty, Determined.
You’re a busy Mama! What do you do to have fun and relax?
Watch Wheel of Fortune (I will be a contestant on the show this year!) I practice yoga several mornings a week to keep my sanity and I also use the meditative state to manifest my next aspirations. I try to maintain a sense of balance by getting out at night after the baby is asleep to spend quality time with friends over a tasty margarita or nice glass of Chablis.
Photography by Cameron Jordan