To Top

Life and Work with Debra Corley

Today we’d like to introduce you to Debra Corley.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Debra. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
As a young girl, I’ve always been a high-spirited, serial entrepreneur and a creative. Although I always been high-spirited, I garnered my creative spirit through my hardships. It was a way for me to escape the domestic violence that was happening in my home. Being creative was self-soothing for me. I found solace in continuously being creative no matter what and it was the one thing that no one couldn’t take away from me. Now, at the age of 60, I am a model and an owner of two businesses – Shop Embrace and Tulifts.

I have suffered from severe scoliosis my whole life, so I’ve always found ways to look more “even” or modify clothing that would be more flattering on someone like me. When I was young, I modified clothing to hide my body, but now I embrace it and make clothing that flatter woman at any age!

At age 60, I don’t want people to think you have to dress a certain way or have a certain look, I am creating one of a kind items that might be ‘out there,’ but you will feel empowered and look good. Additionally, both my businesses donate to Laura’s House, which is a domestic violence prevention resource center in Orange County.

The more I wore the clothing that I designed, the more conversations I had with people around me. I quickly came to realize that most women at my age would say, ‘I couldn’t wear that,’ or ‘I couldn’t start a business at my age.’ I think you can do anything you put your mind to. Don’t let age restrict you from starting your dream. I never thought I would be modeling my own clothes at the age of 60, but here I am!

Has it been a smooth road?
It definitely has not been a smooth road, but I didn’t expect it to be easy either. I think modeling and starting a business at the age of 60 has its ups and downs but every minute has been worth it. The biggest changes happen outside of your comfort zone, so spend more time there!

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Shop Embrace – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of and what sets you apart from others.
I’m a business owner of a brand named Tulifts and Shop Embrace. Additionally, I am a model!

Tulifts is a patented bra insert company to help women support their breast tissues while working out. Shop Embrace is a fashion business that focuses on upcycling clothing and creating new fringe and feather clothing designed by me. My designs have walked in Orange County Fashion Week and appeared in various magazines like Joli Magazine in Orange County. All my businesses donate a part of the proceeds to Laura’s House, a domestic violence prevention resource center in Orange County.

My dream has always been to model so I started out with modeling my own creations. Since then, I’ve walked in Grayse Fashion Show, Orange County Fashion Week and I will be walking in New York Fashion Week in February.

I think what sets me apart is my positive attitude. No matter what I do, I always try to be very positive – you can’t go wrong with that!

There’s a wealth of academic research that suggests that a lack of mentors and networking opportunities for women has materially affected the number of women in leadership roles. Smart organizations and industry leaders are working to change this, but in the meantime, do you have any advice for finding a mentor and building a network?
Be vulnerable – it’s okay to be vulnerable and ask questions and reach out! You don’t have to feel ashamed if you don’t know anything because that’s how I felt when I first started. Now I have an amazing group of women and business partner who help me along the way all because I asked the right questions!

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Crystal Reed, Studio Salty (Instagram: @_studiosalty)

Suggest a story: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

More in