ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Deborah Cole is a speaker, writer, and visual storyteller based in Austin, Texas. After 35 years leading teams and managing multi-million-dollar projects, the former business owner and leader has shifted her focus, and lens as a documentary-style photographer and writer. She is the author of Letting Go: How Less Becomes More  and SHE (Believed She Could So She Did) which will be available January 1, 2022, both books are published by Positively Powered Publications. 

Born in Texas, Cole knew all too well the expectations placed on a “lady,” but was given very little direction in what it meant to find your calling and become successful and fulfilled. With her natural drive, curiosity, and tenacity, Cole went on to achieve multiple degrees: a B.S. from the University of Texas, a Masters in Landscape Horticulture from Texas A&M University and a MSF from the Seminary of the Southwest in Spiritual Direction. In the 1980s and 90s, she dedicated herself to growing a flourishing landscape design, construction and management firm, Greater Texas Landscapes, Inc., and throughout the years, served on community boards and used her teaching, writing, and photography to inspire and educate others. Cole merged her landscape firm in 2008 and then resigned in 2017. She is now on a personal mission to help others realize their potential and actualize their personal goals. She is a frequent speaker, focusing on diversity, equity and inclusion, particularly for women in business. 

In her upcoming book, SHE (Believe She Could So She Did), Cole chronicles 35 Texas women through intimate and candid photographs along with the stories of their professional endeavors as entrepreneurs. It is in this collection of portraits that Cole’s empathy and talent serve as the lens into the realities, tribulations and successes of a growing demographic – women entrepreneurs. 

ABOUT THE BOOK 

In SHE (Believed She Could So She Did), Deborah Cole pulls from her own experience as a woman growing up in the South, with the expectations and conformities placed upon her, that never truly fit. Too constrictive and heavily influenced by an antiquated mentality that women should “Be ladylike,” Cole, in the early chapters of the book, pulls the reader through her struggles and triumphs to adapt and find her own space in business and life. And through her experiences, she is uplifting, supporting and sharing through the empowering struggles and stories of other women. Cole introduces 35 women in Texas who have, by design or by circumstance, come to create and/or lead companies of their own. 

Cole is a talented writer and visual storyteller who features intimate portraits through the lens of her Fujifilm XT-3 camera and the stories of entrepreneurism of women across industries, ethnicities, religions, sexual preferences, ages, and disabilities. 

This a collection of empowerment, with the human missteps, triumphs and details of everyday life that give the reader a distinct feeling of attainability. Through stunning and candid black and white photographs, Cole coyly and brilliantly gives the reader an immediate sense of intimacy with her subjects. And through her writing women’s stories, shows that the path to professional autonomy is not a linear one, but there is a road to get there. 

Perhaps, for Cole fighting for her own “place at the table” through various careers and professional success, she is now providing a view for other women to see and find others like themselves, role models and stories of inspiration, with an honest and tangible feeling of a friend, colleague, mother, or sister that is standing beside you in their front yard or refined office, offering the nod you need to know, “She believed she could. So she did.” 

Some of the women featured in the book include: Nicole Buergers, Owner of a Bee Collective, Pam LeBlanc, a travel and adventure journalist, Lindsey Hohlt, a successful diamond jeweler and designer, Melissa Ladd, a real-estate developer in Elgin, TX, and many more women who reflect the diversity of the great State of Texas. 

TALKING POINTS

  • Deborah Cole committed to extensive research on the topic of women in business and the topics related to female entrepreneurs, from the struggles, the sacrifice, and inspiring tenacity, and the barriers, as well as help society has in place for women entrepreneurs
  • New Year, New You: The inspiration that you should follow into taking the jump into a new business. 
  • Is everything bigger and better in Texas? Texas female business owners- What we can learn from them and how to support other women business-owners
  • Relevant statistics for women in business, and what this means for future generations
  • Are gender roles still defining what young girls view as attainable? And how can we reframe the dialogue of opportunities for young women 
  • 5 tips to build a business that is centered around diversity, inclusion and empowerment of your employees 
  • The Mentor – What the role means for women leading in business. 
  • Inspirational stories of a diverse selection of 35 women entrepreneurs
  • The Southern Lady – From the perspective of 35 women based in Texas, the book redefines a woman’s role in the South, from women in tech, beekeeping, construction and counseling roles – this is a glimpse into a few of the entrepreneurs inside SHE (Believe She Could So She Did)

TIMELY TIE-INS

  • March 2- Texas Independence Day
  • March 8- Women’s Empowerment day
  • March 16- International Read to me Day 
  • March- National Women’s History Month

ADVANCED PRAISE

“This book, SHE, is so much more than a book of stories. It is a book with two objectives, First, it provides the reader with the unlimited life experiences that illustrate the depth of the soul of the author, Deborah Cole, in her creations. And two, it beautifully tells the stories of thirty-five women who have all, in their own unique ways dreamed, created, launched and run their companies…pure drive, grit and determination. Cole captures that essence beautifully in each woman featured, in not only words but her fantastic photography. Kudos to Deborah Cole!” – Lisa Webb, Founder and CEO at WebbJam.com

SHE is a candid glimpse into the lives of strong and independent women. Deborah Cole captures the eloquence, passion, and energy of each woman’s journey. Each unique story is humble and inspirational — knowing there are other women who have paved the path to success is so encouraging! Ms. Cole’s stunning photography is an extraordinary supplement. This book is a must read for all of the boss babes in the world – hear us roar!” – Abby Fine,professional abstract geometric artist and creator of Tangles AF in Austin

“In addition to the honor of being included in this stellar book, I gained so much from the stories of the other women profiled. I read each one slowly, savoring the unique and amazing lives presented. I was uplifted, inspired and awed. This is such a positive collection. I want all my daughters to read!” – Joy H Selak PhD, Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy®

“Debby Cole is a force of nature, and in her latest book, She…, she makes me seem like one too.  Her gift for seeing through wishful thinking, faulty memories, and fear of bragging and self-aggrandizement are evident in my chapter, if not all.  The thread she wove through our stories outlines how others can use their persistence, patience, skills, common sense, audacity, rebellious nature, and vision to invest in themselves and build their dreams or something better.” –  Susan Malcik, Artist and Photographer in Austin