Hatch Tribe Hero | Eden Dawn
I first met Eden Dawn at Portland’s biggest annual fashion event. We were both editors at two very different local publications, covering the same events. She had years of seniority on me, was wearing black leather and red lipstick as I recall, and she seemed to know everyone. Intimidating AF.
Within a year, I was writing for Eden and she is to this day one of the least stress-inducing and most inspiring editors (and humans) that I’ve had the pleasure to work with. Not to mention her super-cool getaway marriage in Joshua Tree (she wore pink) and the fact that she’s a stylist and started her own made-in-the-USA, chemical-free nail polish company. Here she talks to the Tribe about working hard and laughing your ass off.
“We’re not claiming this polish makes you empowered or the patriarchy will end if you wear it (although, obviously, let's dismantle the patriarchy). But if you like to wear nail polish and would rather buy it from a company that shares your ideals and supports fantastic non-profits, we’re here for that.” - Claws Out.
What is your favorite part of being an entrepreneur?
Being able to run a company ethically. It’s stressful to make all the decisions, but it’s also great to know I can stand by each one as something I feel is good for all involved. And, you know, having a wine at my desk is a nice bonus.
What keeps you up at night?
Where do I begin? Children being ripped from their parents, children worrying about being shot in school, women fighting to try and earn their share of the dollar. Nothing about my company keeps me up at night. Occasionally I have a fleeting thought of how can I care about nail polish when the world is on fire, but being able to use profits to send to charities makes me keep going.
What ignited the spark in you to start your business?
A man who boasted of sexual assault was elected President of our country. Then he started attacking the things I believe in, so I wanted to support the non-profits trying to protect them.
What personality trait are you most proud of?
My empathy. I’ve been a journalist for years and Claws Out is my side hustle. Spending my career interviewing and listening to people tell their stories has been invaluable and taught me so much. I wish it were a trait that was held up higher in the world, particularly by politicians.
In one word characterize your life as an entrepreneur. #TallOrder
Never-ending (does a hyphenated word count?!)
What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
It had nothing to do with business, but I’ve adopted it as a mantra in a lot of areas. Years ago, I walked into a house party and started chatting with an old friend of mine while sort of scanning the room to see what was happening. He turned to me and said, “If you have to look around to see what’s going on, then you’re not what’s going on.” And it was brilliant.
Name a women entrepreneur past or present you admire, and tell us why.
I met my friend Emma, the founder and owner of Wildfang, when I interviewed her as a journalist right when she was opening the company. The thing she did that utterly blew me away was when companies were all trying to avoid having politics as part of their brand, for fear of alienating customers, she doubled down and went all in. She didn’t want customers who don’t believe in equal rights. This was pre-Trump and felt bold and different and against everything a business professional would teach you, but the integrity of it was something I found beyond inspirational. And clearly it impacted the mission statement of Claws Out.
What would you say are the top 3 skills needed to be a successful business owner?
1. Open minded but decisive
2. Flexible but set boundaries
3. Proud of your work but humble
What book has inspired you the most?
Mindy Kaling’s “Why Not Me?” The book is super fun, Mindy Kaling is fantastic, but the title says it ALL.
When you’re not working, what is your favorite way to spend your free time?
I am a firm believer in trying to laugh my ass off as much as possible. It’s the only thing that makes us through this madness sometimes. So funny movies with my also funny husband, big dinner parties with friends, puttering about my garden taking great pride in picking a fresh pea, and I try to get somewhere sunny with a fancy cocktail as much as possible.
About Eden Dawn
Eden Dawn (a rare born-and-raised Oregonian) used her bachelor’s degrees in English Lit and Fashion Design to elbow her way to the position of style editor. With a love for all things style she’s provided shopping guides for Portland’s vintage hunters, hung out in the glitter-filled closet of drag queen legend Darcelle, interviewed Tim Gunn on Project Runway’s love affair with Portland, and styled fashion features extravagant enough to make Jay Gatsby blush.
When she’s not writing do’s and dont’s for the city, she’s styling the fashion features for Portland Bride & Groom or giving advice on where to shop in Travel Portland. In non-fashion moments she can be found in search of the perfect picnic location or hunkered down at home with her handsome boyfriend and two (borderline dictatorial) girl cats.
Connect with Eden