What a fantastical day. I’ve been inspired by Debbie from afar for quite a number of years now. Her light is always shining bright and her intentions are the purest of anyone I know. Telling her story has been an absolute joy. She approached our day with both playfulness and professionalism — a balance that is so very hard to strike. Her passion, persistence and perpetually perky personality have gifted her with a business that thrives far beyond the shores of her home island of Martha’s Vineyard. This ability to utilize and share her most precious skills and to reach far and wide with her ideas inspires me to run even faster towards my dreams because she has proven that all we as creative entrepreneurs hope for is indeed possible.
What blows me away most about Debbie is her intense focus on over-delivering and being generous with her community of Women on Fire members. So many entrepreneurs are so focused on building more more more all the time that they lose sight of the most important people — their customers! Debbie’s community of women are so much more than customers to her. They’re each a special being with hopes and dreams that matter dearly to her. On Debbie’s office walls, I found big post-it notes filled with Women on Fire member names. I couldn’t believe she had taken the time to write these names out like that. Why not a spreadsheet? She cares deeply about the community she has built, makes sure everyone is taken care of and strives to deliver value and love.
Thank you Debbie for sharing your being with me today. XO
Q: Why did you choose to live in your state/city/town?
A: I arrived on MV at age 23 for a day’s visit, stepped off the ferry on a rainy day, and knew I would die here! I was shocked to say that to myself. I knew I was home …and this was my geographic home.
Q: What is your favorite brunch spot nearby?
A: State Road
Q: Best cup of coffee in the neighborhood?
A: Kaldi’s coffee at Rosewater or Cocoa Hazelnut coffee at 7a
Q: Is there one morning ritual you can’t live without?
A: Filling out my Grati-Pad
Q: What’s your favorite ‘80s or ’90s jam?
A: Bruce Springsteen, Fleetwood Mac, Carly Simon, Rolling Stones
Q: Where was the last place you traveled to? What’s one not-to-miss activity there?
A: Denver. VooDoo Donuts.
Q: Do you prefer traveling by train or car? If in the car, are you a driver, a passenger or a backseat driver?
A: Train is preference! If we're driving, I liked being the passenger.
For a deeper dive, listen to Debbie’s full interview below!
Debbie's journal entry transcribed:
This day — what a day! I’m so much more used to focusing on other poeple and I was surprised how good it felt to have Eli ask me such thoughtful, perceptive questions.
Plus, it was so fun just to be with him — easy and inspiring.
I realized today just how good this life is, my life right now. It wasn’t always true. I struggle with sharing that I’m so happy in this moment. I fear people won’t believe a person can be this happy but I am because I’ve seen it when I couldn’t get out of bed, or I was sick day after day through loss and heartache.
I am shaped by growing up without financial means and now I am shaped by all I have and I am so extremely grateful.
I forgot to tell Eli about my One Word bracelet I wear every single day. It says: TRANSCEND. I have it because Hillary Clinton lost and I was beside myself with how I would handle the cruelty, the ugliness, the backwardness of what’s happening in this country. I will transcend it and pour my love into the things that matter to me each and every day. And I am finding it helps.
I am rising above it in whatever way I can, whatever ways are possible.
Like having Eli here today talking about my life, what’s important, who’s important, my beliefs — and immersing myself in positive energy and regard.
This is how I’m choosing to live my life and no one anywhere can take that away. Not that terrible things aren’t happening to so many. But I can do my tiny part to transcend the horribleness and focus on uplifting people, supporting people, loving people and helping wherever I can and use my energy that way.
CONNECT FURTHER WITH DEBBIE PHILLIPS
Eli Dagostino’s zest for life has been celebrated on the stages of SNL, on the pages of Vanity Fair, in the seats of Carnegie Hall and by the MET museum and Squarespace.