April 2020 Features

Valley Mom Trades Beauty for Business

Splash! You could say that valley mom Laura Dillion, a member of the award-winning and family owned Pioneer Title Agency in its Paradise Valley branch, and her family “took the plunge” when they moved to Scottsdale from Michigan in 1980.

“We say that because we really did take a plunge, literally, into our pool the first day we moved in,” says Dillion. “Now, that doesn’t seem so odd, except that it was the dead of winter! And you better believe we swam on Christmas day, too.”

Dillion grew up in a big family. She is an identical twin and the youngest of four girls, all 13 months apart. Through all the hustle and bustle, she always had a steady example of love from watching her parents.

“My parents will celebrate their 54th wedding anniversary this year,” says Dillion. “They’ve had such an amazing and long relationship, they have always been a great example of the give-and-take and commitment needed to make a relationship work.”

Dillion took that lesson and committed to her first love: makeup. From a young age, Dillion was always drawn to makeup and dreamt of one day becoming a makeup artist.

“My dad used to ground me by taking my makeup away,” laughs Dillion. “I always loved that makeup can help transform a person and give them newfound confidence. I wanted to help other people feel that way.”

After graduating from Horizon High School in 1987, in just its fourth graduating class, Dillion went on to study at Paradise Valley Community College and Arizona State University before moving to Los Angeles in 1992 to pursue work in the beauty field full time.  With a few years working in the makeup industry already under her belt, Dillion started freelancing and doing makeup for celebrities in Los Angeles while juggling retail work at a maternity store, and later working in cosmetics at Nordstrom.

“My first husband was an actor so I got to meet a lot of exciting people and clients through him,” recalls Dillion. “The relationship ended in 1997, but through it I had my amazing son, Kameryn. It’s been so gratifying to watch him grow into a young man and now pursue art, just like I did with makeup.”

After moving back to the Valley to be close to family, Dillion opened a Stila Cosmetics in Saks Fifth Avenue at Biltmore Fashion Park before discovering another one of her great passions: title and escrow.

“While makeup has been a lifelong interest, title and escrow is something that I never saw myself doing,” says Dillion. “My sister worked at a mortgage company and that was where I got my first taste. After learning more about it, title and escrow felt like the perfect fit for me.”

In 2004, Dillion took a leap of faith and jumped head first into title and escrow, while continuing to work as a freelance makeup artist on the side. Dillion has never looked back, even after 16 years in the industry.

“There’s no one favorite part of what I do, I love it all,” says Dillion. “Title and escrow has allowed me to meet the most amazing people and coach real estate agents on how to be more successful and increase their business and market share by using the power of social media.”

Today, Dillion works alongside a four-person, all-female team at Pioneer Title, a locally owned and operated title agency that provides title insurance, escrow, trustee sales, and builder-related trust services.

“Although I’m a new addition to the team, I was immediately welcomed in with open arms,” says Dillion. “This team is like a family, and I know that they always have my best interest in mind and will support me through anything.”

In addition to the close bond she has with her coworkers, Dillion and her team also value giving back to the community, embodied in Pioneer Title’s philosophy of a “commitment to service.”

Dillion’s branch is involved with several organizations committed to serving disenfranchised women and children, including Natalie’s House, a project of Arizonans for the Protection of Exploited Children and Adults (APECA); Homeless Youth Connection (HYC); Bridges Reentry; and the Golden Rule Group (GRG).

In recent months, her team even hosted a fundraising event  and successfully donated more than $14,000 to Natalie’s House and HYC as a result.

“Pioneer Title truly puts people first, and our local offices are encouraged to give back to organizations of our choosing to help people close to our hearts too,” says Dillion. “It’s amazing to be able to give back to organizations that we’re passionate about and be able to make a meaningful impact.”

In 2011, Dillion took another leap of faith when she met her husband, Christopher.

“We met online, which can make it hard to truly get to know someone, but he was so sweet and caring from the beginning,” says Dillion. “We’ve been together for nine years and married for five and a half, and I wouldn’t change a thing.”

And while Dillion found her dream man, he also came with an added bonus – Dillion’s stepson, Jacob.

“I call him my bonus son, because he has been an amazing addition to my life,” says Dillion. “I always wanted boys, and I feel blessed to have two boys of my own.”

For Dillion, watching her blended family grow together has been one of the best journeys.

“Being a parent can be challenging at times, but seeing something finally stick and having a parenting win is so rewarding,” says Dillion. “It’s a magical feeling when everything comes together.”

For more information or to work with Dillion, visit www.ptaaz.com.

Written by: Annelise Krafft

Annelise Krafft, the daughter of local reporter Steve Krafft, earned her Bachelor of Arts in Strategic Communication with a dual emphasis in Public Relations and Advertising and a minor in Spanish from Northern Arizona University before settling into the world of freelance writer and public relations at HMA Public Relations in Phoenix earlier this year. In her spare time, the Arizona native enjoys spending time with her boyfriend, Daniel, playing with her two dogs and tracking the latest celebrity gossip. akrafft@hmapr.com.

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