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Conversations with Deanna Silverman

Today we’d like to introduce you to Deanna Silverman.

Deanna, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
As a Social Worker, I had noticed over the years that there weren’t any impressive options for gifts or fun little presents for professionals working in my field. I had always dreamt of opening my own online gift store to give people a space to shop for items that are light-hearted, fun but also have messages of hope, self-growth and community. I knew that my Instagram @HilariousHumanitarian would be a jumping-off point for my gift store since my Instagram page is a place where I have curated posts that make people feel good, safe, loved and gives them a reason to smile. When opening up my shop I wanted people to feel that positive transfer of energy from my online space into the items that I have available to purchase. Additionally, I also wanted my gift store to be inclusive and for it to be a place for anyone to shop. You certainly don’t need to be a Social Worker to appreciate what I have in my store but I do hope that Social Workers, Therapists, Counselors and other Mental Health professionals do find my shop a fresh take on meaningful gifts they can purchase for themselves or someone else.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Is anything smooth? (enter nervous laughing here.) For me, what I have struggled with most was leading up to actually launching my shop. I had many moments over the years wondering if I could do it if I should do it, I had many questions wondering about the logistics of it all in terms of how I would wear so many hats running my own business that operates out of my home while I am also raising my two young children. Ultimately the pandemic offered me a lot of time to sit and think about my goals and organize how I would actually open my shop. We have been opened since October 2020 and so far so good! It’s my sincere hope that my shop continues to grow so that I can bring on some employees and expand my office to an off-site location which will also be nice because then I wouldn’t have to be chasing my four years old around the house asking for her to return items that I sell that of course she believes are her’s for the taking.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I believe that I am most known for (at least to the public) for being a Licensed Clinical Social Worker that runs the Instagram page @HilariousHumanitarian which is filled with six years worth of funny memes and motivational posts turned gift shop owner. What sets me apart from others would probably be the fact that I am an LCSW posting memes. Generally speaking you don’t see a lot of Social Workers posting funny stuff online because I think a lot of us went to schools that scared us away from having any kind of internet presence outside of marketing our professional services. That’s not to say I am the only one doing this. Some of my favorite Instagram pages are run by mental health providers like @psycholobees and @socialtwerkers. I will also always be proud of putting myself through Graduate School at USC many, many moons ago. People like to jokingly say that USC is the “University of Spoiled Children” but I will quickly correct them to know that I put myself through the Masters of Social Work program and spent years of blood, sweat, tears and dedication to helping others while paying back my school loans. I believe education of any kind is crucial for our personal development and I love how a degree is forever. No one can take a degree away from you once you earn it. In regard to Social Work (when I was practicing) I spent years in and out of Emergency Departments in Los Angeles and Ventura County providing crisis intervention, stabilization & psychiatric care. Eventually, I made my way into working in a Psychiatric Hospital treating patients who were oftentimes placed on involuntary psychiatric hold due to a mental health emergency. I have also worked in hospice care and the foster care system. Each field had its unique challenges but each setting taught me so much about humanity, the importance of treating others with compassion and kindness and taught me a lot about myself and the way I move in the world.

How do you define success?
Success to me is measured by not only reaching your goals but by actively pursuing them each and everyday. Striving to feel “successful” is a daily practice for me and often boils down to productivity and balance. I have to be careful though about burning myself out or biting off more than I can chew because I am a person that can get overwhelmed and then question everything I am doing. I think it’s important for us to take time to celebrate the little wins along the way because it’s those little wins that keep us motivated to continue forward to our bigger and more ambitious goals.


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