Meet The Founder
Meet Your Mentor
I, myself, am in recovery because I have spent 25 years of my life chasing a standard of success that was not my own. That definition of success was the voice of adults I looked up to as I was growing up, as well as society’s expectations as a whole.
I have a feeling my story isn’t all that different from yours.
In my quest for perfection and achievement, I put myself last, made myself smaller, and burned myself out over and over again. My first memory of feeling overwhelmed with anxiety from overwork is age 6. Even then, I was striving for perfection and achievement to win approval, but my mind and body were telling me to run! From there, throughout school and into my professional life, I would work myself to sickness (mental or physical), take a vacation or a leave of absence and then go right back to it. Over time and to cope, I began to study methods to manage my own severe anxiety through yoga and dance.
I started to unravel my perfectionist, burnout-overachiever tendencies and foster a deeper connection to my mind and body.
Slowly, one practice at a time, I began the dismantling inside of me. I danced. I set boundaries. I had difficult conversations. I had more difficult conversations with myself. I danced some more.
I started to make space for a life that was less a pursuit of perfection and achievement and more a pursuit of grace, of spaciousness, of beauty, of meaning, of feeling everything, so that I could decide what was the next right action for me.
At the same time, in my professional life, I began to create new ways of working because of the personal work I was doing myself. I began to apply the things I was learning about boundaries and space and hard conversations at work too.
And vice versa, I started to apply the human-centered, design thinking methods I used to facilitate business problem solving to my personal questions.
The more I practiced these methods, the more they worked their magic, and it’s scientifically based magic at that! I began to see how I could use my own experience as an “experiment” with others — and I use experiment deliberately. In design thinking, we reframe problem solving to experiment with solutions so that we can create a space for failure. If we fail, we learn from the experiment and we move on to a better way to solve the problem.
That’s where Dreamgarten was born, at the intersection of my own experiments to recover from burnout and my realization that I was not alone in placing society’s definition of success on my shoulders and seeking perfection and achievement to accomplish it. I began to use my methods at work as a leader with my team and with my friends in their personal endeavors. I believe that when you guide people to find what’s inside themselves and encourage them to think about the human at the center of any problem, the creativity they bring to solving those problems is endless.
I’m thrilled to join you in this process and can’t wait to see what we unlock together.
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"Sarah listened to me to understand my personal situation and challenged me (in new ways) to really think about what motivated me. That allowed me to create goals and aspirations that were personal to me and my situation. Working with Sarah has enriched my career, my life and my happiness."
Jill Jones Karnyski | Senior Manager, Accenture
"With Dreamgarten and Sarah’s approach to design thinking, we not only voiced our dreams and desires, we also created and mapped a plan to help us get there. Often, with services like these, I find it difficult to truly engage different learning styles - but this was certainly a unique approach that really met and complemented each learner."
AJA Price | founder, Notably, HER
"Working with Sarah and Dreamgarten was transformational for me. It allowed me to connect with a more authentic part of myself — to discover what I dream of doing. In a refreshing twist, she also provided tactical takeaways for how to execute next steps and move even closer to achieving that new authentic goal."
Mackenzie Carignan, PhD
"As an entrepreneur, I have had to figure so many things out for my business through trial and error. It wasn't until my involvement with Sarah and Dreamgarten that I learned I had the answers I seeked all along — I just lacked the peace of mind and inspiration to access them. Sarah provided a set of tools that helped me find my next best steps."
Kate Horner | Owner and Oracle, The Oracle's Message