“Human trafficking survivor, widow, former executive turned fashion designer, influential podcaster, Nationally Syndicated On-Air Personality”
I was born & raised in the Chicagoland area. I studied Business & Accounting at Harper College. Prior to meeting my husband I had a small event planning business & offered personal training services. I have an extensive background in being an entrepreneur & leader. I was VP of Key Accounts & Business Operations for a $20million dollar transmission remanufacturing facility with 150 employees simultaneously running 4 other entities (3 commercial real estate holding businesses & 1 installation arm for our manufactured transmissions) for 10yrs. Prior to a life-changing event I closed one of the largest contracts in my career with the State of South Carolina for 5yrs, estimating at $20million. In one contract I doubled the size of the business. I have many multi-million contracts/Key Accounts under my belt (FGA, Verizon, AER Dhamer Powertrain, and more). All have given me stellar recommendations.
In 2016 I was forced to start over. I always had a passion for Fashion (still do, I think Fashion will always be my first love). I engaged a design company out of Soho NY to start me on that journey. I founded Deanna Marie Label in 2017- I designed, produced and launched 3 collections over the course of a few years. I successfully fulfilled a Kickstarter campaign raising over $5k to produce my first collection. I was on the runway in Rhode Island at StyleWeek. I was a finalist for StyleChicago for the Cadillac Design Challenge and ended my fashion adventure with my last collection at a large runway charity event (I organized with my team) against Human Trafficking at Stan Mansion in Chicago. During that process I single handedly sourced all of my fabric, Chicago-based pattern makers, Chicago-based manufacturers, fit models etc. It was FUN! I also rolled out a skincare line in conjunction with my label and still successfully have a steady client base with that to this day.
In 2019 I read an article on how to start a podcast. I thought to myself I don't know who the heck I think I am, but I'm gonna do it! I am a person that has overcome much abuse & trauma so I decided on the name Label Free with the help of my best friend Julie Bryant. I truly live my life free of any kind of labels. I focus on talking to mainly entrepreneurs that are living life on their own terms and can offer insight or a piece of wisdom for the audience. Since then it has been such a great experience as I grow and extend my reach around the world. I am currently in the top 2% globally as a host on several platforms. I am streaming on 15 audio platforms and YouTube. I am finding that the podcast space is on fire & essential to the growth of all types of businesses and brands.
I am also the Head Coach & Founding Partner of the Female Podcasters Network with over 2000 members and nationally syndicated personality on top NBC affiliate news/talk radio.