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Dawn, pictured second from the right, as a Brownie.

Dawn De Santo

Growing up in Berne, Indiana, Dawn (Lehman) DeSanto loved being a Brownie Girl Scout in the Limberlost council. Her mom was her troop leader, and her sister Jan was also a Girl Scout. From an early age she was artistic and enjoyed earning arts and crafts badges, as well as camping and other activities.

After high school Dawn pursued her art studies at the former Fort Wayne School of Fine Arts. In the 90’s, after becoming frustrated trying to find interesting, flattering clothes in “post-junior” sizes, she began hand-stamping clothes in her printmaking studio. She received many compliments on her creations and entered a local craft fair to see what would happen. Sales were so good that she started her own company, Hand Jive Clothing.

Born of Dawn’s love of fashion and art, Hand Jive is now in its 25th year of producing “groovy clothes for cool chicks.” She credits much of her passion for fashion to her early years in Girl Scouts, and she encourages women to embrace the changes that life brings … in style!

Dawn now offers her original-design, limited-run apparel, including dresses, jackets, coats, tops, pants, tunics and scarves, at art shows around the country. You can also check out her fun designs at www.handjiveclothing.com.  

A former board member of Creative Women of the World, Dawn has traveled internationally to teach women how to rise out of poverty through the power of their own creativity. After 40 years in Fort Wayne, Dawn and her husband Tym DeSanto now call Nashville, Tennessee, home. They have two adult sons.