In late March 2020, the coronavirus pandemic forced the world, almost, to a halt, with stay-at-home orders & closures of non-essential small businesses, while wreaking havoc on the global economy.
We all braced for what was to come, including Dawn Fitchett Fernandes, who knew she needed to muster up the strength yet again to push through another curve in the rollercoaster of life.
Dawn has seen her fair share of trials and tribulations. In her early 20’s, she was diagnosed with a muscular disease with doctors advising she would never walk or talk again. Using her courage, strength and tenacity, she put all her efforts into healing & through endless hours of physical & occupational therapy, as well as diligently followed her holistic doctors’ recommendations on diet & supplement regime. Within time, her diagnosis improved and she re-learned to talk and walk once again.
Years that followed, Dawn continued to focus on her health, as well as her career & family life. She accomplished an amazing career in Printing and had a beautiful & talented daughter, Briana. Life seemed to be back on track, until things took a grim turn once again.
In 2007, Dawn was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Still in disbelief from the news that her health was once again in jeopardy, more bad news came the very next day. Due to the United States economy being hit with a deep recession, she lost her lucrative job, as Print Broker, in Chicago. Yet more was to come.
On the 3rd day of this brutal week of misfortune, Dawn found herself suddenly single again when her fiance decided to walk away from their relationship due to her diagnosis. Using the same strength & courage she implored earlier in life, she put all her efforts into her faith, health & strengthening her mindset, pushing forward to get her life back on track.
But while she focused on her health, the stress of being unemployed weighed on her heavily, especially when unemployment barely covered half her mortgage. In despair, down to her last 60 days of unemployment, having sent out over 20,000 resumes, with no job prospects in sight, Dawn had to immediately refocus.
Dawn prepared for the business ahead by taking a proactive approach & making changes on her own terms.
With over 20 years experience in Branding, Printing & Advertising, Dawn ventured out on her own in 2009, creating a highly successful Advertising Agency called Celebrate Our Town, Inc., which she sold in 2016. The company focused on generating visibility of local small businesses, nonprofits, and the community they served as a whole.
Celebrate Our Town’s success quickly grew to over 200 clients in just a few short years, even helping launch another company, Faith Graphix. This nationwide Design, Printing & Marketing Agency helped businesses effectively brand themselves to help them stand out in the crowd.
Continuing the positive momentum into 2011, Dawn launched yet another successful company, Celebrate Home, Inc., which focused on greeting new home owners with a generous basket filled with community information, merchandise and gift certificates from local businesses. Dawn created a unique program, “Celebrate Home Business Opportunity Kit“, a branded business plan with exclusive territory to new entrepreneurs worldwide, which has been a great program for the company.
With dealerships in over 35 states in the USA, as well as additional dealerships in Canada and Australia, this unique program focuses on helping other like-minded entrepreneurs succeed in their own branded business, while continuing to help uplift local businesses & communities at the same time.
But like many small businesses, Dawn has also been hit by the pandemic as well. The dealerships have slowed down as many small businesses were forced to shut down or go out of business altogether. The other impacting factor was acknowledging homeowners have been cautious on buying homes right now, but Dawn is optimistic. While her businesses have had to pivot to keep up with these unprecedented times, it’s been necessary to ensure business doesn’t stop.
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While in-person visits have helped drive trust & visibility to Celebrate Home’s brand, due to the pandemic, many have had to alternate and use delivery services to ensure new homeowners are still receiving their welcome baskets. She has found that companies who are able to pivot and are flexible with change are more successful because of it.
She has also seen this to be true with businesses impacted by the looting from recent protests. Many small businesses, already impacted by the pandemic, have suffered further loss due to the looting and damaged storefronts. Her contribution to her community is to be deeply involved in helping rebuild. Her greatest reward is seeing communities coming together to help each other during these times of need.
Dawn’s positive energy is infectious & comes from her passion of helping others. Her motto – Choose to love, not hate! Through these hard times, we are reminded that we really are all in this together & equality is an important element to our overall success in this country.
She continues to do her part by uniting businesses with the community they serve, allowing them to give back, while helping businesses stand out in the marketplace. Dawn is grateful for her success & very humble as she is well aware of how quickly the universe can change course. Dawn believes in what Napoleon Hill penned, “Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.”
Today, Dawn is happily married and continues to persevere regardless of the obstacles of life. Her focus remains on her health, as well as her current & future endeavors. She has even started to venture into new opportunities geared towards her health by building a health brand.