35 Things You Don’t Know About This Copywriter After 35 Years in Business

35 years! Wow, I remember when I started my business my goal was to make it through the first 3 years. January 1st, 2024 marks my 35-year anniversary. I’m grateful to say that I achieved, and surpassed, that first goal.

In honor of my business anniversary, I’m sharing a little piece of me – 35 things you may not know about me. I hope you enjoy learning something new or perhaps, you’ll discover we have some of these things in common. Here goes:

1. I didn’t dream about becoming a copywriter when I grew up. Nor, did I dream of starting my own business. It was a thought I had, “One day maybe I’ll start my own business.” But I had no idea what that business would be.

2. I started college as a Fine Arts major, but changed majors because I thought my teacher and fellow students would “find me out” when they saw I couldn’t draw a portrait, landscape, still life. Fast forward many decades and I’ve let my inner artist out.

3. After pursuing painting with alcohol inks (as a way to spend my time during the height of the pandemic), I launched a website to promote my work. If you are an art enthusiast, visit https://CreativeWhispersoftheHeart.com to view my alcohol ink creations (or purchase a piece).

4. One of my alcohol ink paintings, “Whispering Silver Tides,” received an Honorable Mention from Art & Color 365 Magazine.

5. I wrote the cover feature story titled, “Artful Relaxation: How Art Elevates Your Guests’ Experiences,” for the International SPA Association’s Pulse magazine (print & online). You can read it here: https://pulse.experienceispa.com/mag/0820497001698840623/p26

6. I have served on the Board of Directors for the Boulder Chamber of Commerce, YWCA Boulder County, and the National Speakers Association, Colorado Chapter. I served as Board President of the Rocky Mountain Direct Marketing Association.

7. I was honored when my colleague (then VP of the Boulder Chamber of Commerce) asked me to start and co-chair the Boulder Women’s Leadership Group (BWLG) which still thrives as one of the most active groups at the Boulder Chamber.

8. I was the 2022 recipient of the Member Engagement Award from the National Speakers Association, Colorado Chapter. The Rocky Mountain Direct Marketing Association honored me with the Creative Person of the Year Award (2004). In addition, I received the Boulder Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business of the Year Award (1998), Volunteer of the Year Award (1993), and Citation of Recognition for outstanding accomplishment as a Boulder business (1991).

9. I was asked to serve as the Chair of the Business Women’s Round Table on Kaua`i. Along with my committee, we brought many inspirational programs to the business women on the island.

10. I played Amaryllis in “The Music Man” in sixth grade. Loved having a solo (sang “Goodnight My Someone”) and have the best memories of it. What fun it was ten years ago to have a mini-reunion with some of my Music Man classmates!

11. 1 love singing. I sang in both the girls’ chorus and school chorus in high school. After high school, I started to take singing lessons from my dad’s friend who was an opera singer, but then I went off to grad school so the singing lessons came to a halt.

12. While it wasn’t on my bucket list, singing on the stage at Red Rocks in 2019 was definitely a bucket list experience. I sang back up with the Coal Creek Community Chorus for FACE Vocal Band. You can see one of the songs (Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”) here: https://youtu.be/Y18eIjQImXE?si=dAHQGYW0mk1oBfsT

13. I love to dance – disco and salsa mostly. I’m grateful for my Ayre dance/exercise class (we call ourselves “Ayreheads”) led by Juliet Seskind. We have a blast!

14. I danced a side-by-side Charleston in the Dancing with Boulder Stars fundraiser for the YWCA Boulder County and received the Judges’ Choice Award for my performance. You can watch it here: https://youtu.be/5ZrCTRGpwL0?si=20PYP57yqTwJ4Gec

15. In the good ‘ol disco days I was a disco dance instructor. Many folks say they don’t like disco, but turn on some old disco tunes and you’ll notice everyone gets up to dance and has a TON of fun!

16. While they’re tucked in my storage closet, I still own disco and an assorted collection of record albums (yes, vinyl).

17. I was a disc jockey in a popular Boulder discotheque. I had asked a friend to teach me how to spin records (as I thought I was going to work at Club Med and use the skill there). Next thing I knew, the disco offered me a job. Speech therapist by day and disc jockey by night.

18. I have a master’s degree in Communication Disorders (major in Speech Pathology & minor in Audiology). I worked as a speech therapist in the public school system before realizing it didn’t fuel my passion. It was hard to admit that after spending 6 years in undergraduate and grad school studying for it.

19. I was born in Flushing, NY and raised in Bayside, Queens, NY.

20. I was a semi-finalist in the Miss Teenage America contest held at Palisades Amusement Park in New Jersey. How many of you remember Palisades?

21. I went to the Barbizon School of Modeling. Started to pursue a modeling career, but was told by NY agencies that I was too short so I set that dream aside.

22. I applied to the High School of Performing Arts and after being turned down, I did a little bit of performing in high school, but the rejection kind of squashed my childhood dreams of being an actress.

23. I was blessed to call the North Shore of Kaua`i my home for 10 years. A piece of my heart will always be on Kaua`i.

24. A former resident of Kaua`i, born and raised in New York and currently living in Colorado, I am the only professional you’ll ever meet who embodies the Aloha spirit with a New York state of mind and a Rocky Mountain High all rolled into one.

25. I cry a lot when I think of my beautiful golden retriever Ike (short for Aikane, which means friend in Hawaiian) who died in April 2012 (he was 13 ½ years old).

26. Being “Ike’s mom” was one of the best things that ever happened to me. Ike was a precious gift in my life and an inspiration to all who met him. His buddy Pierce Brosnan said “Ike is a champion.” And, former President Bill Clinton said, “I love your dog,” after playing with Ike on the beach.

27. I don’t like to talk politics or religion. . . so let’s change the subject.

28. Though I now live on the mainland, I still say “aloha” and refer to my “lanai.” It’s annoying when someone replies, “You’re not on Kaua’i anymore.” Heck I know that, but if you don’t like the aloha spirit, that’s your issue, not mine.

29. Why, when I introduce myself as “Debra” do people say “what do you like to be called?” My response is, “You can call me by any name you like, as long as it is polite.”

30. I value my family and friendships above all else.

31. I miss my mom and dad every day. I am grateful I have 2 brothers (I’m the middle sister).

32. I love tradition, birthdays, and holidays, but I don’t like to spend them alone.

33. I’ve known my BFF since the 1st or 2nd grade. How lucky am I?

34. I started my business long before the Internet. That meant, sending out direct mail pieces, making follow up phone calls, setting up face-to-face meetings. While social media may seem to make it easier to connect, in many ways it disconnects us. Marketing, like life, is about building and nurturing relationships – in-person connections are still vital.

35. I have not created a multi-million-dollar business and that was never my goal. Yes, money is important as I do have bills to pay. My “why” has been about people – having time with friends and family, serving my clients, and enjoying flexibility and freedom. Success is not always measured by money.

Want to let me in on something that I don’t know about you? Drop me a line because I’d love it if you shared a little piece of yourself with me.

Here’s wishing you a wonderful year of self-discovery, exciting new adventures, good health and great happiness. May all good things come to you and yours in 2024!