Hi! I'm Debra and I’m an entrepreneur, arts educator and expert in turning late night conversations over drinks into structured projects. I'm the founder of Design Dance.
As a kid, I was regularly sent to my room for being too bossy at birthday parties. From the outside, I might have appeared harsh - a tiny 7 year old dictator telling my friends how to make friendship bracelets. But the truth was, I was extremely emotional, I just had not yet learned how to channel my desire to lead in a meaningful way.
In 2008, I started a business when I had absolutely no idea what I was doing and quickly learned that being bossy and being a boss were not one in the same. Since then, I’ve navigated the exhilarating, humbling, and often awkward personal journey towards what it means to take ownership. Now, I teach, write, and talk about it with other bossy people with feelings.
Youth Development through Arts Education.
Growing up I was not a fantastic student so working in education was not an obvious career choice. But as someone who struggled to find motivation for school work but found boundless energy when pursuing my own projects at home, I know that traditional work and school structures aren’t always set up to engage our most flourishing qualities. Once I started working in schools, I got super excited about the opportunity I could facilitate for students through creative programming. Today, I'm proud to say Design Dance increases access to arts education for over 1500 students annually. In 2016, I launched Prismatic, a 501c3 non-profit organization bringing Entrepreneurship in the Arts to middle and high-school students through arts education and professional mentorship. You can watch my TEDx talk about it here.
Entrepreneurship is my greatest teacher.
I believe that entrepreneurship is one of the most powerful ways to initiate social change. I also believe starting a business can teach communication skills, resiliency, humility and courage, even if you weren't socialized to have those skills growing up. Unfortunately, it can also be a long, lonely road. Today, in addition to serving as the Founder/Director at Design Dance and the Executive Director at Prismatic, I mentor entrepreneurs as young as 16, host education advocacy events and speak and write on the topic of heart-centered entrepreneurship.