The Fierce 50 – My Fabulous Friend Deborah Boland

Fierce 50 is the brainchild of Catherine McCormmick who had an idea to bring together 50 female bloggers over the age of 50 on the 50th day of every year (February 19th). The idea is to shift a paradigm and to raise awareness of women in their 50s. Each of the 50 women involved have been paired up with a partner to feature on their blog on the launch day. You can read more about what it is all about here at Thrive Global.

I am so pleased to introduce you to my partner Deborah Boland of Fabulous After 40.

Fierce 50

Despite being on opposite sides of the world Deborah and I have actually met. Last year, at the RewardStyle conference in Dallas, I was standing at the first evening’s cocktail party surrounded by beautiful 20 something girls and feeling rather out of place. In walked a stunning and elegant blonde – Deborah. I have to stay that I rather latched on to her as she had been to the conference in previous years. She very graciously took me under her wing and over the next few days we bonded. I can’t wait to see her again this year in Dallas, where hopefully this time I won’t be such a green “newbie”!

Here is a little bit more about my blogging friend…

Deborah is an Image Consultant and full time blogger who lives just outside of Toronto in Burlington, which is about an hour away from Niagara Falls. She’s been married to Ian, a cardiologist for 20 years (we discovered last year that were both celebrating our 20th anniversary) and she has three teenage children, two boys and a girl – Harrison 18, Brandon 16 and Ashleigh 14.

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Deborah has been blogging for 10 years. This talented lady was previously an Executive TV Producer and Host for 20 years. She also owned her own production company which specialised in Lifestyle TV. Creativity is obviously one of Deborah’s strengths as she had her own show on HGTV for 6 years called Backyard Pleasures – a high end backyard design series (garden to those of us who are English). When she left TV in 2006 to raise her three small children Deborah started blogging.

Deborah had always loved fashion and produced/hosted many fashion series during her time as producer, but like many of us, in her 40’s she found getting dressed was not as fun as it used to be. Her body was changing (getting a little softer and rounder) and her lifestyle had changed to being at home with her children dressed in yoga pants, which were more practical than being dressed to the nines for TV. She discovered it was very hard to find clothes that weren’t dowdy or too teenager-ish for her age and stage of life.

It would have been easy to get down about it and give up on fashion. But since fashion had always given her so much joy Deborah was determined to not fall into a frumpy rut. She says “right then and there, I thought “Life is too short to be Frumpy” and I made it my mission to create a website for other women like me who wanted to get solutions to their style problems and Look Fabulous After 40! Today I help midlife women Tweak their Chic and Look Age-Amazing, as I like to say!”

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Deborah describes her style as elegant with a modern twist. She loves simplicity – classic sleek lines, excellent fit and luxurious fabrics. (Think Jackie O). Like me Deborah loves colour. It makes her happy. She’s drawn to warm bright spring shades (which are perfect for her) that have energy and life. She also enjoys a bold accessory like a tall merlot suede boot, an artistic gold statement necklace, or a dramatic cape. We have favourite designers in common too, her favorite brands are Diane Von Furstenberg, Michael Kors, Akris Punto, Milly and Maxmara to name a few. She tries to only to buy things she absolutely loves! (Great advice for building a wardrobe that works for you)

Deborah says her biggest challenge at 56 is slowing down. “I know that sounds funny, but I love what I do and I’m sure I’ll be working into my 90’s. On one hand that’s a good thing to be always learning and growing, but there are also so many other things that are important too, like just chillin! It’s easy to get caught up behind your computer but I’ve a point this year of trying to slow down a little and get out more with my girlfriends.” I’m so with her there!

She adds “One thing I really enjoy is walking. It’s my meditation. I live on the shores of Lake Ontario and about 4-5 times a week early in the morning I love to take a walk with my good friend on a tree covered path along the waterfront. It’s very relaxing and I get to connect with nature. It’s my favorite way to start the day.”

Deborah says that as she’s got older she’s become less of a worrier. In her twenties, she would fret about everything but as time has gone by she’s let that go – I think that is one of the great things I’ve found about being 50, you stop “sweating the small stuff”. She adds “I see now that it doesn’t matter what path you take as long as you keep your eye on where you are going. I’m trying hard to teach my children this. At 50+ I see that things always work out. I’ve also gotten better about owning my power. When I was younger I would sometimes be in a powerful position and give that power away out of guilt or not knowing how to handle it. Now I’m more comfortable with it all. I had a wonderful mentor during my career, an older woman in her 50’s and now I too enjoy mentoring younger women to achieve their dreams.”

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I asked Deborah why this campaign was important to her and she told me “the Fierce 50 is exciting because our demographic has been shut out of fashion and so many other things. It’s as if advertisers think that once a woman turns 50 she is a fading flower and no longer has an interest in style or anything else. It’s wonderful to come together as a unified group and make our voice known. We’re are 50+, we are fabulous and we’re going to make the world start paying attention!” I couldn’t have put that better myself.

If you would like to catch up with the other fabulous Fierce 50 women check out the Fierce 50 page on my site to see them all listed.

We have had some fantastic support for this campaign from these generous sponsors:

Onzie  @onzie
Madison Reed  @madisonreedllb
HSI Professional  @hsiprofessional
Awe Inspired  @aweinspired_

If you have enjoyed reading this blog post and learning more about The Fierce 50 Campaign, please visit this page  to see an archive where you will find each of the women that are participating in The Fierce 50 along with their blog posts. If you or someone you know is interested in either joining or supporting the movement, please contact info@catherinegraceo.com for more information. We have lots more planned for this year and beyond so, stay tuned everyone.

2 Comments

  1. February 22, 2017 / 12:53 am

    Great interview, Maria. Like Deborah, I was a worrier until I discovered I’d been worrying about the wrong things. To my shock and horror, my husband unexpectedly died Christmas Day several years ago. Now I’m seizing life as it comes. I’m off to read what Deborah wrote about you. Brenda Coffee, a fellow Fierce 50 member.

    • Maria
      February 23, 2017 / 6:49 am

      Hi Brenda, Thank you for your comment. I am so sorry about your husband what an awful shock. It is so easy to worry about the little things I think we just have to keep reminding ourselves what really matters, I must check out your post to get to know you better. The Fierce 50 has been such a great way to meet women I never would have otherwise 🙂