We had the good fortune of connecting with Debbie Clason and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Debbie, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I’ve been in the marketing and communications business for more than 40 years. When my leadership position with a non-profit organization was eliminated in Jan 2019, I found myself in a unique position. At my age (then 61), should I dust off my resume and re-enter the job search market or use my experience to start my own business? Although I really liked the idea of a steady paycheck, I’d been toying with the idea of striking out on my own anyway. I realized my recent setback was actually a setup to move forward so I took the leap. I’ve been challenged every day. I had a great first year, then lost everything in the pandemic. I’m so glad I stuck with it because 2021 has been the most abundant year of my life.
What should our readers know about your business?
I’ve been writing since I was 10 years old, so it’s an innate passion of mine. I love putting sentences together in order to accurately tell other people’s stories.
Clason Communications uses a mix of my love for story telling and 40 years as a journalist, corporate marketing director and public relations professional, to produce unique video marketing, social media, website content and print assets for my business clients. I call myself “Your Hometown Marketing Expert” because I function as a business’ personal marketing department. I use my skills as a marketing and public relations professional to effectively and affordably market my clients’ businesses.
Having faith and following your instincts is key to success. So is persistence. I almost threw in the towel when my fledgling business tanked in 2020 but I realized I was in good company. How could I give up when everyone around me was working so hard on my behalf? I’m also a big advocate of doing your homework and showing up. And, above all, be authentic. Once I decided to fully embrace my creative self, I began to flourish.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Fountain Hills is one of the most picturesque spots in Arizona. After picking you up at the airport, we’d drive straight to Sofritas for some of their made-from-scratch guacamole (the best in the state), freshly made chips, and delicious margaritas. We’d do some shopping at Classy Jazzy and Beauty Box Boutique., then stop by The Artists Gallery to find one-of-a-kind treasures from local artists who run the co-op.
For meals, we’d lunch at Euro Pizza Cafe and Oka Sushi, meet friends for cocktails at Grapeables, then dine at Arrivederci where we can watch the World Famous Fountain sport its many colors at night. If we’re still hungry, we’d stop by Oyo Frozen Yogurt for a sweet treat.
We’d hike in the McDowell Mountain preserve, with trails that begin nearly right outside my home. Stargazing is easy in Fountain Hills, as we are a dark sky community. If the Star Dudes are set up at Adero, we’d head up there to get some expert commentary on what we can see through their telescopes.
If we had time left, we’d definitely venture to either Sedona or the Grand Canyon. Both are spectacular places to spend a day or two and should be on everybody’s must-see travel list.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I credit most of my success to my family, most especially my father and son who are successful businessmen in their own right and take the time to inspire, educate and encourage me at every turn.
I am also thankful for the Fountain Hills Chamber of Commerce. They have a fearless leader, Betsy LaVoie, who works tirelessly on behalf of business owners in this community.