If you don’t follow Dawn Tan on Instagram, now’s the time to get to it. This Chicago-based content creator shares some of the most save-worthy minimalist snaps that always have us yearning for a visit to the Gold Coast. We recently caught up with Dawn to talk all things inspiration, interiors, and self care. Read on and don’t forget to check out her go-to Nette candle, Fons et Origo.
Hi Dawn! Tell our readers a little about yourself.
Hi! I’m a Chicago-based Filipina content creator with a focus in fashion, lifestyle, and beauty. I'm creative at heart! I love finding beauty in everything, from the food I eat, to going to art museums, to exploring new cities.
Not a lot of people know this but I’m an immigrant from the Philippines, I moved to Chicago when I was 12 years old. Growing up, I always loved fashion and sketching gowns — I thought I would grow up to be a fashion designer. I’ve always felt like I was born to create or do something in the creative space.
Tell us about your Nette candle. Why do you like it and how does it fit within your home?
I love Fons et Origo’s unique scent! It reminds me of my trip to Wyoming last year. It smells like nature — like being surrounded by fresh greenery. It’s calming and not overpowering at all. Lighting it in our apartment smells and feels just like that — bringing calmness into our home in the midst of the usual hustle and bustle of the city.
We’re obsessed with the warm, minimal vibe of your content — has this always been a focus for you?
Thank you! Yes, I have always been drawn to warmer tones, personally it feels inviting and evokes a happy feeling. As for my minimal aesthetic, I always felt a pull towards minimal and neutral content from the very beginning. I truly think there is so much beauty in the simplicity of it all!
Since 2020, I’ve gone through a lot of uncomfortable growth and changes as I’m sure most of us have. On top of that, a lot has changed for me with my lifestyle, marital status, and shifts in my career. During this time, there were definitely a lot of lessons and realizations made, but one in particular was how I was consuming things. I learned the harmful effects of fast fashion and the harmful effects of people’s overall consumption and what that means for the Earth. I felt like I had an internal and external responsibility to be better as a human, a consumer, a creator, and an Internet being.
With that said, I have become very intentional with what I consume and what I buy since. This has helped me curate the “minimal vibe” I give off on the internet today.
When you’re on the search for new inspiration, where do you go? Or better yet, who do you follow?
Anywhere and everywhere. I’m inspired by my own surroundings, whether that’s art, architecture, nature, or beautiful images that evoke a feeling. I love following my favorite designers and inspo accounts for all things fashion, art, and interiors. I love @_youthclub, @le_cime, and accounts that share talented BIPOC creators like @do.like.that.
You’re based in Chicago, how would you spend your dream day there? Any favorite spots we need to check out when we’re in town?
I would start out by grabbing coffee and pastry at one of my favorite cafes in the city, it’s a tie between Blue Bottle or Doma. Then I’d head over to my favorite museum here, The Art Institute of Chicago. No matter how many times I visit, it consistently inspires and reinvigorates me! After the museum, I’d go for a quick afternoon walk by another favorite part of the city, the Chicago Riverwalk. It's so beautiful there — you get to be by the water, pet a couple dogs on the way (ha!) and enjoy the breathtaking Chicago architecture. For dinner, I’d head over to my tried and true fave Italian spot in Old Town called Topo Gigio. Their pastas are incredible and the vibes are immaculate! If I have the time to catch the sunset, I would head over to the nearest rooftop lounge like the J. Parker in Lincoln Park for some prime sunset-watching while enjoying a nightcap!
We’re obsessed with your interiors — how do you go about curating the perfect space?
Such an honor! To be frank, I’ve been going through a phase of wanting to change everything lately. When I first moved to our apartment, I envisioned a Parisian aesthetic filled with vintage homeware, my green tufted sofa, and gold gilded mirrors. As time went on, I slowly shifted my aesthetic and gravitated towards a more modern and minimalistic interior approach as opposed to a Parisian vibe.
I’m currently going through a home and closet purge right now, and getting rid of things that no longer serve me and slowly replacing pieces. It’s a bit of a mess in our tiny apartment but hopefully I’ll be able to share more home content again once I’m finished with my purge.
At Nette, we advocate for taking good care (of yourself and the world around you) — what are your tried and true self-care rituals?
I love a good bubble bath with wine, especially in the winter!
Actually taking the time to slow down and enjoy my warm cup of coffee in the morning and just being present at that moment.
Lighting a scented candle while I clean instead of after
Going for a walk outside, even if it’s around the block to get coffee or around my neighborhood, always makes me feel inspired!