As CEO of Girl Scouts of Eastern PA, Kim E. Fraites-Dow guides 40,000 young women to their future. Spend two minutes with her and you'll also welcome her wise words and joyous approach to life, love and work.
As CEO of the Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania, Kim E. Fraites-Dow spends her day guiding 40,000 girls to their future. So you might expect she has words of wisdom to share. You might not expect those wise words to resonate so strongly with women of every age.
Yet that's just what happened when Kim's interview replies circulated the REALM Fine + Fashion Jewelry team. All of us—from 20-something to 60-something—connected so strongly with her advice on career and life it actually brought us to (happy) tears!
I've had the pleasure of getting to know Kim as a customer, observed her as a leader and enjoyed her company as a girlfriend during the photo shoot for our March 2021 campaign. No matter what role she is in, there is a brightness that emanates from her. She finds the good in you, the joy in any situation, and helps bring that out.
We're so proud to have Kim as a Real Woman of REALM. We hope you will connect as strongly with her as we all did and be inspired by this woman of many titles and talents, who is as down-to-earth as they come:
CEO/GSEP + GSUSA + BFF + RWR + MOM... KEFD.*
Ann King Lagos
Founder + Designer, REALM Fine + Fashion Jewelry
Girl Scout, Troop 131
REALM: What do you do for work?
KIM: I am the CEO for the Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania, serving close to 40,000 Girl Scouts with the help of 15,000 amazing Volunteers.
… and play?
Spend time with Friends and Family, get outdoors, play the clarinet, read.
How has being a Girl Scout shaped your life?
Girl Scouts is a wonderful way to focus on being intentional about the choices you make and the way you live your life. There is a focus on continuous self-development and confidence, an appreciation for other people and the beauty of diversity, and the drive to introduce innovation individually or collectively when there is an injustice of any kind or an identified need for improvement.
What is your favorite Girl Scout motto?
The Girl Scout Promise and Girl Scout Law are incredibly powerful. Our Girl Scout Movement aims to live up to these shared values.
March is International Women's month. What advice would you give a young woman for her professional life?
Take the time to think about what you want to do, and what will give you a sense of purpose. Set goals and go for what you want. You may not start out doing exactly what you want to do. You are in charge of the direction you are going, and each opportunity is a steppingstone toward getting to where you want to be. Do not be afraid to ask for help. NO ONE who is successful has done it on their own. Believe in yourself.
... and for her personal life?
Find the joy in every day… look for it. Not every day is going to be happy. But every day there is joy.
"Believe in yourself.
Be willing to do hard things.
Take risks. Ask for Help.
Find the joy in every day.
— Kim E. Fraites-Dow
How do you live with Courage + Kindness?
Both of these are within your own power… you choose… to be courageous… to take risks… TO GROW! Being kind can be hard sometimes if you are hurt and focused inward on your own emotions. If you can focus outward you will see how to be kind in every situation. Choose kind.
What does it mean to be Strong + Stylish?
Strength looks differently from one situation to the next. Finding strength within, I think, is the most powerful strength. This comes from yourself, from the army of people who love you, and from the divine love from which we were all created. Style is personal… I can feel strong and stylish in most any situation… even if it is in loungewear at home.
Our featured collection this month is SCEPTRE, which represents Strength + Courage + Spirit. What do those words mean to you?
- STRENGTH means knowing you have the power and support to do anything.
- COURAGE means you are willing to do hard things.
- SPIRIT means you believe God’s love is with you and working through you.
A favorite of Kim's: REALM Fine + Fashion Jewelry's Stack Rings.
In a tradition we adore, she gifts herself one for every career milestone.
Your favorite pieces of REALM jewelry?
- Stack Rings – gold – white gems – green gems – stacked. Bought one when going up for the CEO job… bought the other the day I got the job… added the green the following year.
- I love the style, comfort and symbolism of the Domain Portrait Hoop Earrings so much, I had to have both the silver and the gold!
- Reign Thoughtfully Cuff Bracelet makes me feel like I am surrounded by a lot of powerful and loving women.
How do you #ReignThoughtfully?
I am all in and always fully present. I am always growing, listening, adapting and understanding.
What does it mean to #BeYourOwnEmpress?
This is about self-confidence and peace. Most every night I go to bed peacefully, knowing I did my best. Some days you win, and some days you lose. Loving yourself through it all; and giving your life your best shot is all you can ask.
Why do you love REALM?
I love Ann’s vision, talent and passion. REALM is the realization of her heart in the world. And, Ann’s heart is about craftsmanship at its highest level, beautiful design and empowering women through her power… born out of hard work, challenges and dreaming big.
Photo of Kim + Ann by Marco Calderon
All other photos by James Graves
Makeup by Victoria Roggio