Deaf Entrepreneurship: There’s Strength in Numbers

There’s power in collaboration.  Not competition.  This collective strategy is the key to business growth and the Deaf community benefits from this partnership.  Sharing business leads, making referrals and promoting other Deaf business owners to Deaf people will achieve growth and prosperity.  For instance, Convo Relay just released a new feature: the Deaf Ecosystem Directory on Saturday night.  I believe in the alliance model and I practice that in my networking.  This blog will focus on three deaf owned businesses – Chaya Fotography, WynneWood Haven and Celebrate Souls.


Chaya Selzer is a Brooklyn, NY-based photographer who evokes integrity in the professional headshot she captures.  She understands that the faces of entrepreneurs and business owners are the window to our brand and doesn’t underestimate that power.  Behind a camera, her attention to detail is what brings vulnerability, beauty and soul to her images.  I had a stress-free and enjoyable experience getting my headshots for Deaf Roots & Wings done with Chaya at Wynnewood Haven –  Every entrepreneur and business owner should have a professional headshot which will help promote their brand, and I highly recommend everyone to use her!  Contact her at  She is also part of Sofia Seitchik’s Dream Big, Get Paid program and which has helped her wonderful business bloom!

Del Wynne owns a gorgeous & Zen-like house in Lake Anna, VA.  For information and to see photos, go to  I visited her home for the Dream Big, Get Paid retreats TWICE.  The place is absolutely beautiful and incredibly relaxing; the perfect place to escape for serenity.  I’m looking forward to host a Deaf Yoga Retreat with Del at her lake house in April – I’m quite excited about this!  If you are looking for a place to unwind or to host a retreat, I can’t recommend Del’s lake house enough!!!!  There are so many things to do at the place that will leave you feeling refreshed and restored!


On a personal  note: I met Del at RIT (Rochester Institute of Technology) when we both were studying as biology majors.  We became great friends and still are to this day!  We actually lost touch for a number of years but delightfully reunited two years ago when Del contacted me about coming to the Power of Me retreat!   We were like old friends meeting again and it was wondrous!  Our connection grew and deepened during the Dream Big, Get Paid program.  I now consider her a wonderful dear friend!

Lori Maynard, Tree Whisperer, is one of the members of Dream Big, Get Paid Program and the owner of Celebrate Souls.  It was great to see Lori’s dream come to life!  I attended her workshop at the Dream Big, Get Paid Retreat.  It was magnificent to feel the connection with trees that were at the backyard of WynneWood Haven.  It is also amazing how the trees were there before we all were born, and they will be there after we’re gone.  Trees are older than us and they  have more experience in life even when we all combine our experiences together.  Go to and her website,



On a personal note:  I met Lori through her wife, Jean Gordon, who was one of my classmates in the graduate program at McDaniel’s College (former name: Western Maryland College).  I have reunited with her as well!  Life is sweet!

Deaf business owners often find themselves in industries traditionally dominated by their hearing counterparts, so finding their way among the hearing population can be a challenge.  Who understands better of the struggles of a Deaf business owner than another Deaf business owner?  Using this empathy, we could direct the way we do business together and help each other succeed and prosper by forming a referral alliance.  In order to maintain a profitable efficiency through collaborations, we must get to know each other, build trust and strategize to grow.  Let’s empower the community’s economy together!  Are you with me?