Not many teenagers can say they have found their life’s passion and know with exacting detail what they want to do with their lives by the time they graduate high school, but Dawson Rae can. At just 17-years-old, the creator of BlueJadeFinds knows precisely where she wants her life to lead, and has a plan already in motion to help her reach her impressive goals.
Dawson Rae created BlueJadeFinds, an Instagram-based business that sells pre-owned clothing and accessories to customers around the world, less than one year ago in 2019 and it has already grown significantly in that time. With more than 8,500 followers, Dawson’s business reaches all corners of the globe, thanks to her creative marketing and diligent internet-based business model.
As a teenager with a clothing-based business and love for fashion, Dawson quickly realized how unethical the fashion industry can be, and how much wasted product winds up in landfills simply because it isn’t brand new. When asked who has been the biggest influencer in her career, Dawson succinctly replies that it is more of a “what” than a “who”.
“The concept behind BlueJadeFinds is based on creating a more sustainable and ethical way of shopping, by reducing the manufacturing of the fast fashion industry,” Dawson explained.
Prior to launching her business, which is named after a mountain she dubbed “BlueJade Mountain” while hiking in Northern British Columbia, Dawson purchased the occasional piece of clothing from Poshmark, a resale website for quality second hand items at discounted prices, but primarily purchased new from storefronts. She slowly began increasing the volume of gently used clothing, shoes and accessories, which resulted in more money remaining in her pocket while continuing to fuel her passion for fashion.
“Slowly, my entire wardrobe began to fill itself with beautiful secondhand clothing, and eventually there I was dressed head-to-toe in pieces that might have ended up in our landfills,” she explained proudly. “Knowing that I, myself, as one individual could make a difference by shopping sustainably, I wanted to influence others to do the same.”
And thus BlueJadeFinds was born.
Never imagining the rapid growth and success of her business when she initially launched it in 2019, Dawson now has an incredibly full daily agenda to keep all areas of her life running smoothly and on her tightly run schedule. As a former Canadian National Archery Championship winner, she is no stranger to hard work, perseverance and attention to detail.
Working full-time as a waitress and a student in her first year of university, Dawson wakes early and spends the first several hours of her day in online classes. Once that is completed, she often heads to her studio to take photos, prepare packages, sew, spend some time on social media or other administrative tasks for BlueJadeFinds. Once these in-house tasks are complete, she drives to the post office to mail as many as 30 packages each day, followed by regular stops at the thrift or other second hand shops to source new products for her business. Needless to say, Dawson runs a tight ship and maximizes every minute of each day to ensure everything is completed efficiently.
Dawson views BlueJadeFinds as something that she loves to do, rather than “work” and prizes many aspects of her business, such as thoughtfully creating an appealing Instagram feed, giving back to her supporters through giveaways or contests, crossing off different places around the globe where she has shipped products, and reworking articles of clothing into something new and unique. While she enjoys all parts of her business, one element is her favourite by a long shot: being able to inspire, encourage, empower, and support young girls just like her to chase their dreams.
“[I have created, alongside many of my supporters,] something so much more than just buying cute reworked clothing,” Dawson excitedly explains. “We have created a platform where together we can support, uplift, empower, and listen to one another. Everyday I try my best to put out a daily inspirational message in hopes that it will touch at least one person’s life and make even the slightest of difference.”
Dawson has a two-year goal of evolving BlueJadeFinds into her own clothing brand that has been designed and curated from her own personal style, along with other impressive longer term goals, such as creating and implementing programs to empower young women not only locally but globally as well.
Dawson is clearly a passionate, driven young woman with inspiring dreams that she fully intends to bring to life. She is a talented woman keeping her skilled archer’s eye on the target to make a big impact in the world, and this Woman to Watch is just getting started.
As Tsuts’weye is a program designed to support all business women in the Shuswap, we are fully committed to serving our diverse membership, such as young women entrepreneurs like Dawson Rae. If you know other young women interested in entrepreneurship or who would like to get involved in the program, check out our website for more information on to get started
A note from Dawson to her supporters:
“To each one of the beautiful girls that continuously supports BlueJadeFinds, I truly can’t express the level of gratitude I owe to each and every one of you. You are not only supporting my business, but you are supporting my dreams, and you are believing in me. It is because of you that I get to do what I love every single day.
Love you all,