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Meet Dawn Shipley Rodriguez of Blue Dawn Aromatherapy in South Pasadena

Today we’d like to introduce you to Dawn Shipley Rodriguez.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I’ve always been a creator of sorts, though it took a long time to get to Blue Dawn Aromatherapy. I do have a few memories of making homemade skincare concoctions with my mom as a child that really stuck with me. I lived with my grandparents most of the time, so the good times I did have with my mom were pretty magical. That led to my dream job being creating natural skincare. However, I had no idea where to start. Instead, I’ve spent near 20 years as a software engineer, designing and coding complex business systems. I’ve also had a band since 2001, Dawn Shipley & the Sharpshooters, where I’ve done a large portion of the songwriting plus managing. I learned a lot about business that way. I’ve had a clothing line very briefly, had a couple of recipes published, and I also meddle in photography and do some writing. Interestingly all of these things have been hobbies since childhood in some way shape or form, and they all culminate now in Blue Dawn Aromatherapy.

But it wasn’t until chronic illness started plaguing me that I found the passion for health and wellness that pushed me towards my dream. In my search for ways to become healthier and decrease toxins in my body which were causing me physical pain, I happened upon a natural deodorant recipe that contained essential oils. Those two words “essential oils” opened up a whole new world, and before I knew it, I was a certified and registered aromatherapist with the knowledge to make the products of which I’d always dreamed. Add a little of my creative flair in the kitchen with vintage glamour girl flair from my rockabilly/singer side in the way of an elegant art deco look, and Blue Dawn Aromatherapy was born in 2015.

As the business has grown, I’ve also become a contributor to the world of aromatherapy by way of acting as the Socal regional director for NAHA, the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy, and writing a regular column about carrier oils in their journal. I’ve got a great little spot at Cote d’Azur Spa in Pasadena to do personal custom blending sessions, and have been formulating products for multiple other companies as well.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I’ve been lucky in finding a great community and resources – people, organizations, new cutting edge classes – that have helped make the journey pretty smooth once I got on the Blue Dawn path. I’ve had so many amazing opportunities just fall into my lap. I am truly blessed.

That being said, there are always obstacles. I do wish I had 3 or 4 of me, as there is never enough time/energy to get everything done that I’d like to do! Though my biggest obstacle has been my health. 2019 brought with it the biggest challenge of all. Between January and May I became barely able to walk or move at all – even sitting up was a challenge. Needless to say I had to close the business, which I just reopened in December. I’m still healing from the worst of it and learning to live with new limitations, so my husband gets to do a lot of the work, but it’s so great to be able to get back to my passion. Plus, in the long run I feel the new knowledge is going to help me make better products and has given me great topics for my educational blog.

Blue Dawn Aromatherapy – what should we know? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Blue Dawn Aromatherapy specializes in wholesome aromatherapy-based botanical skincare and wellness products designed to nourish and nurture our beings so that we may get the most out of life. They are meant to smell good, feel good, and make you feel good long after using it without toxins – no parabens, no petroleum-based ingredients, no formaldehyde, no sulfates, etc., etc. You don’t have to worry about what kinds of weird things are going into your body when you use Blue Dawn products.

I take pride in the fact that everything is made small batch and not only with high-quality ingredients that are usually organic or wildcrafted but also with the expertise of a Registered Aromatherapist – one of only 13 in California – plus lots of love. I believe in the powers of knowledge, intention, gratitude and positivity, and each batch is made with large amounts of all of the above.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
I’ve gotta say so far it’s having won awards from Global Health and Pharma in their Alternative Medicine and Holistic Health Awards for 2018. I won best natural wellness and skincare in California as well as aromatherapist of the year for the western US for my contributions to holistic health. What an honor! What really moves me, though, is hearing someone tell me how much they love my products, how that pimple magically disappeared, or that my formulas are “magic in a bottle.” Can’t beat the feeling of positively impacting someone else’s life!


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Image Credit:
Dawn & Jose Rodriguez

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