Design Superstar and Entrepreneur Behind the Largest Celebrity Brand in Canada
Debbie Travis is a design superstar, a television icon and producer, a best-selling author, and the center of a business empire. Equipped with a brilliant sense for both design and business, Travis is a highly sought-after public speaker. She talks about how she grew her business and found phenomenal success—all while juggling a busy family life. With few peers, Debbie Travis is a sterling example of business growth that is completely in line with personal happiness.
Today, Travis is the exclusive retail style guru at Canadian Tire. Her product line is sold in over 400 of its stores across the country and contains more than 1,000 items. As an Executive Producer at her production company, WAM, she produces award winning lifestyle series for a variety of networks—including Food Channel, Global, CBC, HGTV, Oxygen, and W—and has garnered over 40 Gemini nominations, including four wins. She is also the author of Not Guilty: Working Hard, Raising Kids, and Laughing Through the Chaos, a humourous account of how she coped with juggling a busy career, building a successful business, and raising her children. On top of all this, Debbie Travis is the proprietor of a women’s retreat and an 800-tree organic olive farm in Tuscany. She has appeared on Oprah, The Today Show, Regis and Kelly, and countless other venues.
Dream it. Do it. Live it: How to Make It Big
Dream It. Do It. Live It. That’s the essence of Debbie Travis’s success: and there’s a lot to learn from this deceptively simple approach. In this powerful keynote, Travis lays all her cards on the table. Want to make it big? Well, you’re going to have to work hard, she says. You’re going to have to make sacrifices. You’re going to fail, at least sometimes. But if you keep pushing forward, and if—above all else—you have passion that you believe in, you can get there.
With great humour and depth, Travis shares her rags-to-riches life story. Going from working-class England to one of Canada’s most recognizable brands—just walk into any Canadian Tire store to see the walls of Debbie Travis merchandise—has not been an easy journey. But her relentless entrepreneurial spirit continues to push her into farther and newer territory. There’s no possible limit to success, she says. But there are no shortcuts: you have to put in the hours and chase every opportunity with passion, gumption, and creativity. You have to find your happiness. You have to create something. Including hands-on advice on building relationships, branding, and marketing, this talk is not only exceedingly inspirational, it’s practical, too. And, it’s an absolute joy to watch Travis—a hyper-charismatic, buoyant speaker—on stage.
Not Guilty: Working Hard, Raising Kids, and Laughing Through the Chaos
Why do we always feel like we have to do it all? Why are working parents always struggling to juggle their priorities? And why do we, in setting our impossible standards, forget to take care of ourselves? In this frank and funny keynote, Debbie Travis describes the rollercoaster ride of raising a family at the same time as growing an internationally-renowned brand. There are meltdowns and there are successes. There are survival strategies and reality checks. Most importantly, there is one major lesson every parent needs to learn: nobody’s perfect. In her down-to-earth, charming way, Travis convinces audiences to lose the guilt and enjoy the ride. Because guess what? Even if you screw up at times—even if you miss bedtimes or boardroom meetings—you will survive, and so will your career and your kids.
The Art of Communicating in an Increasingly Connected World
Debbie Travis is a gifted communicator. In her various roles—as a TV executive, international design superstar, author, and now proprietor of a Tuscan retreat and olive grove—she has had to communicate effectively with people around the world. Drawing on her cross-cultural adventures, she relays her best—and worst—stories in this instructive and entertaining keynote. She describes the power of body language, tone, and personality, and shares tips on how to negotiate and come to a harmonious agreement. Whether you’re working with a farmer in the sunny Tuscan hills or a corporate executive on an overseas Skype call, Travis’ anecdotes and experiences, coupled with her sound advice, will help you build—and maintain—important business relationships.
I also wanted to let you know what a true honour it was to work with Debbie Travis. She is so personable, inviting, engaging and friendly and she went above and beyond. She was at her best for every single interview, even after early mornings and flights. Her Woman’s Post interviewer asked many questions about women in business and I was captivated while listening to her talk about any advice she would have. I look forward to attending one of Debbie’s speaking engagements in the future as I feel there is still so much I can learn from this woman who built her empire and continues to grow it.
Regina Women's Network
Your suggestion of inviting Debbie Travis as our guest speaker was brilliant. She was the perfect fit for our audience. The attendants found her presentation inspiring, engaging, and refreshingly humorous. Debbie is smart, charming, and witty. As the chair of an event that took much in the planning, it was clear to me after 30 seconds of hearing her speak, that we had hit a home run. Everyone was drawn into her stories and laughter filled the room repeatedly. We have also received multiple messages from our members and guests, congratulating and thanking us for a wonderful event and for bringing Debbie to Regina. Everyone was happy and we considered the event a success. I would also like to say that working with Debbie was easy. She was kind, personable, and grateful towards our efforts of making her feel welcome. Her assistant Jen Jones was also very helpful when it came to planning/organizing a few of the details related to Debbie’s presentation and traveling schedules etc. I think The Lavin Agency and Debbie are mutually lucky to have each other.
Professional Development Institute
Debbie Travis was very well received as the closing keynote speaker at PDI’s Women in Business Conference. She was a delight to work with—easygoing and professional, which made it easy. Debbie delivered the perfect amount of humour and insights. It was great to hear her insights and life lessons—everyone connected with her. Debbie is a true success story and was one of the highlights of the day.
"I want this book to read like you are getting together with your best girlfriends over a glass of wine to let loose about life and, most of all, to laugh about it all" -Debbie Travis
Debbie Travis, the beloved home decorating icon, launched her hugely successful career when she had two kids at home under two. When women get a chance to talk with Debbie, yes they want to know what colour to paint their living rooms but most of all they want to know how the heck she did it! In Not Guilty, Debbie describes in frank and hilarious detail the rollercoaster ride of raising two feisty little boys at the same time as working with her husband to create two thriving TV production companies and three TV series of her own.
Full of laughter and tears, survival strategies and reality checks from other moms who've also had their total meltdown moments, Debbie's book will help you lose the guilt, enjoy the ride and stop being so hard on yourself. Guess what? Even if you screw up at times, you will survive the emotional ups and downs, the incredible highs and impossible lows—and so will your kids.
- Business Strategy Heather Payne at 99U: The Importance of Creative Side Projects [VIDEO]
- Science How to Grow a Bone Without a Body: Nina Tandon's New TED Video
- Exclusives Shaping Discourse: Five Lavin Speakers Named to "100 Global Thought Leaders"
- Big Data Live at Lavin: Douglas Stephens on Big Data's Retail Revolution [VIDEOS]