As the Founder of the Self-worth Initiative and author and illustrator of Paisley’s Last Quill, Deborah is determined to help people discover the power of self-worth. “When you believe in yourself, you can triumph over any obstacles. Yet, when naysayers tell you why you can’t do something, if you believe them, you’ve given your power away,” said Deborah.
She is the ultimate risk taker. Deborah’s career path got really exciting when she was part of the marketing and creative team, working on a 26 million dollar pavilion for KIA Motors with Disney and Universal Consultants. It was there that she saw what happened when imagination and technology joined forces. “Worlds were created from a single idea,” said Deborah. Then, Deborah went on to be the Director of Development for Citibank, FL. Although a whiz at marketing, she rarely smiled. This was because Deborah thrived on creativity and wonder.
Rather than relishing in her successes, Deborah reinvented herself as a producer and creator of a multitude of interactive musicals and productions, while at the same time becoming an award-winning artist. A life-threatening health challenge invited her to live her passion, rather
than staying in the corporate world. This was a ten year stretch that pointed Deborah towards her personal North Star, which was creativity combined with purpose.
After her husband retired, Deborah was gutsy enough to jump into a car, with only four suitcases, going on what started as an adventure around the country. . . but turned into a pilgrimage. Walking underneath the stars, feeling small and yet expansive, was life affirming. It taught Deborah that when you slow down, you discover what is really important. Although, she believed that they would go on traveling for many years, life had different plans.
Deborah and her husband were forced to come back to Florida, after experiencing another health challenge. While bedridden, her acupuncturist encouraged her to join a local IMPROV group. “He told me that my life force was based on creativity. Without it, no amount of needles would bring me back to life,” Deborah laughed. Essentially, she laughed her way back to health. Deborah could begin again.
Although Deborah was a master at reinventing herself, she realized something very important. In the beginning of every experience, she would give away her power. Why? It was because the person who was doing the “thing” the longest, seemed to have all the answers. She had an Ah Ha moment. “The only way I can give away my power is when I don’t believe in my inherent talent, persistence and patience,” said Deborah. She decided to create a character who would become a champion for three generations of women. That is when Paisley was born.
Paisley is about a porcupine, in the animal fashion world, who gives her power away (quills). She does this with love, hoping that she will be appreciated for her creativity, initiative and kindness. Instead, a bully fashion Diva, takes advantage of Paisley. It is when she is down to her very last quill that Paisley realizes that no one can take away her talent. Paisley’s Last Quill starts the conversation about love, self-worth and believing in oneself . . . no matter what anyone else tells us.
It is one thing to come up with an idea. It’s another thing to implement it. In order to create the Paisley brand, Deborah had to re-learn how to write a children’s book. During her first class, she was given a golden ticket and picked up by Clear Fork Publishing. Now that she had a publisher, Deborah was encouraged to illustrate the book. Even though she was an award-winning artist, creating illustrations is a totally different art form. One must convey emotions on every spread. It took her eight months, of working around the clock, then finally, Deborah wrote and illustrated Paisley’s Last Quill.
Deborah has big dreams for Paisley. She imagines that one day there will be an animated movie, merchandising and curriculums that will champion girls at heart to believe in themselves. Deborah has seen firsthand how a simple idea can be turned into something that lives on in the heart of people for a lifetime. Being a Gutsy Gal comes with the territory, when your dreams and passion are bigger than your fear. Sometimes it is the left turns that put us on the road that we are destined to travel on.