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NB|AZ shows Prescott salon owner
the beauty of having a business ally
Dawn Despain, owner of Dawn by Design salon in Prescott, and Michael Naylor, Business Banker and Assistant Vice President at National Bank of Arizona, have been family friends for years, crossing paths everywhere from school and carpools, to sports fields and church.
“I’d gone to beauty school and earned my cosmetology license in the late ‘90s, then got busy with having a family,” Despain says. “As the kids got older, I decided to go back to working in a salon. I wanted to begin with the end in mind, so in 2017, Mike let me pick his brain on the best strategy and helped me establish my LLC.”
Fast forward to 2020 and the lifelong connection turned into a business lifeline.
Since the program—and the process—was new to bankers as well as to small business owners, Despain says Naylor would stay in touch and keep her aware of the latest developments. “It was really great to have him as a friend, as well as someone that I could trust in the banking world,” she says.
Those connections extended beyond Despain’s own Paycheck Protection Program* loan, too. “I was spending a lot of time on Facebook and I shared my successful experience with others who were having challenges,” she says. “Mike was able to work with a dozen or more people who didn’t know where to go and helped keep them afloat.”
For Naylor, that is emblematic of what being a community bank is all about. “We see people in their best and hardest moments, because our lives are so intertwined,” he says. “You always hear about the six degrees of separation, but we joke that there’s only two degrees here in Prescott.”
Fast forward again to January 2021, when Despain’s lease was up for renewal at the salon she’d been at for more than three years. Admitting that she was due for a change, she started looking for a new space. Five days later, she signed a lease and opened for business a week after that. About a week into the project, Naylor called Despain and asked her if she wanted to participate in National Bank of Arizona’s small business campaign.
“I don’t believe in coincidences, so when he called me, I knew I’d made the right decision to go out on my own,” she says. “Amazing things have happened since NB|AZ® entered my everyday life, and because of Mike constantly thinking of me and our business relationship over the past five years.”
“I think small businesses are the bravest people, taking that leap,” Naylor says. “Dawn has always been a go-getter, running 100 miles an hour, and she’s doing it during one of the most chaotic times in business history. We’ve worked with her on other entrepreneurial ventures, too. So, in a way, everything that we’ve done in the past has really led up to her dream.”
Despain says the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive at her new location, which is three blocks from the downtown square. “I enjoy going to work, making people pretty and just being a part of their lives,” she says. “Part of me thinks I should have done this a long time ago, but a bigger part of me understands timing. Things work out when they’re supposed to.”
*See a banker for details. Loans subject to SBA approval. Restrictions apply.