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Dana Dishes on Women to Watch posted by: Dana Helms, MicroD
Hello, all you savvy folks! Dana Helms here with this months Women to Watch! When I think of this person I think smart, sophisticated, well dressed and full of creative tricks up her sleeve! Jane Dagmi, is not like any women and I think you would agree that I have met before so it was a no-brainer to tug on her coat and see if she could carve out just a little time, out of her busy schedule, to chat with me!
(DH) Let's jump right in! Tell us about what you do, education and industry creds.

(JD)I’ve been making books and magazines since I was in elementary school. Pages and chapters were a way that I felt comfortable organizing my world. In my teens, I thought I would most definitely go into fashion advertising. Instead after graduating with the most liberal, liberal arts degree (American Studies) and moving to a tiny East Village studio, I started dreaming about space probably because I had none. The infatuation with design and the decorative arts grew and I studied interior design at Parsons while working two jobs. By day I was an assistant in a PR firm and on weekends I worked in a Middle Eastern nightclub. PR was amazing training for anything I did after that. Upon graduating, I applied to interior design firms and publishing companies. It was the early 90s and the economy was not that good for interior design. I took a job selling furniture on Madison Avenue in the meanwhile --  not too shabby but not really me. It was, however, a paycheck. Then I got a call from Country Living Magazine from a resume I had sent to Hearst 6 months prior. I interviewed and was hired as a design assistant. I ascended quite quickly to being a highly productive and very busy editor. Those were amazing times which came to a halt around 2007. Join me for a glass of wine and you can get those details! Fast forward through a bunch of freelance writing assignments, substitute teaching, and 4 years in technology to NOW. As Editor in Chief of Designers Today magazine, I am combining instinct, skill, passion and unwavering curiosity every day. Lucky me!
(DH) That is an interesting journey! I'll take you up on the sip and spill at a later date! Tell me a little bit about you specifically, like, do you mission statement you keep running in your head?

(JD)I don’t have a mission statement, but I find myself returning to certain values and principles regularly. And the broadest level it is simply to be kind and open to possibility. And to learn something new every day.

(DH) What's a quote that speaks to why your feet hit the floor in the morning?

(JD) I am a sucker for song lyrics and show tunes… David Bowie’s Heroes (and every rendition of it especially from Moulin Rouge)  always feels empowering because I feel like each day is a new opportunity.
I also love this line from the Counting Crows Mrs. Potters Lullaby - “If you've never stared off in the distance, then your life is a shame.” To me that aligns with thinking out of the box, above and beyond, and today when we all spend so much time heads down looking at our individual 6” x 3” devices, this resonates more than ever.
And don’t even get me started talking the soundtrack from The Greatest Showman. When I listen, I feel like I can soar.
Make a difference, cause a shift, learn a new word, spread love
Be kind and make a difference and learn something new every day!

(DH) You have now created a monster! We were dancing and singing out in the office after this! Hugh is in my head! 
(DH) What is the most important thing in your work?
The Takeaway.
I hope that in my work, I represent my subjects truthfully and respectfully and in a way that is a little unpredictable. I am not a lover of sensationalism. In fact, I find plenty to celebrate in the everyday.
Greatest Challenges.
The greatest challenge is wanting to do it all and be everywhere. And this feeds into time management and staying focused. I listen to podcasts and other public shows where processes are discussed and I try to take little bits away.
(DH) If you could go back in time and change something, what would it be and why?

(JD) I wish I had the control to step away from work more often and devote more quality time to my kids when they were little. Truth is, working was easier than raising children. My kids tell me I am a great mom, and that, of course, makes me feel great, but still….
(DH) Who's a woman that you watch? AKA any awesome women out there that are inspiring you?

(JD) My sister. Perhaps the most generous, honest, and hilarious person on this earth. In our profession, there are way too many women that inspire me to call out just a few. I think they know who they are because hopefully, I communicate that to them. Luckily for me, you’ll find many of them showing up in Designers Today.

(DH) What's a message you hope you are sending to women who are watching you?
(JD) Trust in yourself no matter how hard that sometimes is. Ignore that little voice that tells you, you’re not enough. I have to do this every day. Stay flexible and open. Make sure to have real human interaction and connection. Hug more. Drink lots of water.

You have left me inspired, with song in my head and heart and I thank you from the bottom of it! Thank you for sharing your wisdom, encouragment and realness! 

Until next time... stay honest, stay humble and stay awesome!

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Jana Platina Phipps

Home Couture Collective
I'm part of WithIt to have a direct "red phone" line to a brain bank of women with competitive intelligence, strategies, and problem solving experience--and to be at the other end of their red phones.
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