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Deborah Ann Shaw was born Thursday, May 8, 1952, to Flossie and Marshall Smith in Barnesville, Georgia. Ms. Deb, as she was lovingly called by all who knew her, was the eldest of four children. Deborah had a flair and spice for life at an early age. She began making clothes for her dolls, eventually developing the skills to design clothing for herself.
Her immense love for all things fashion grew while she was a student at Glenville High School. She became widely known for her style, creativity, and eye for striking pairings of clothing. Deborah went on to receive her degree in fashion design in 1986 from Cuyahoga Community College.
This gift Deborah embodied would eventually take her to heights one could only dream of, affording her many opportunities to work in the fashion industry. She performed alterations for Sunbright and Gilberts Clothing on Chagrin Boulevard, which launched her career. This work stirred in her the thought that later became her slogan: “Clothing isn’t bought to fit; it is tailored to fit.” From this precept Chagrin Tailoring was born July 1, 1991.
Deborah’s business acumen in building her exceptional brand solidified her status in Greater Cleveland and its surrounding suburbs. She would then go on to graduate with a degree in Interior Design and a certification from the State of Ohio Nursing Assistant program from Cuyahoga Community College. She recently laid a brick patio for her family to enjoy. Deborah committed to doing all things with excellence. She was skilled in many different areas, including cooking, plumbing, and painting. She was also a phenomenal and accomplished woman.
Deborah found great pleasure in life and often encouraged others to “live life while you have life.” Her love for travel took her to Aruba, Cancun, Mexico, Jamaica, and other places throughout the Caribbean. Deborah sought adventure. She immersed herself culturally, frequenting museums, jazz concerts, wine tastings, and the arts. She also loved rollerblading and the great outdoors — hiking, skiing, and being with her beloved dogs and many animals.
Deborah would often offer jewels of wisdom such as “we didn’t come here to just be here; we are here to experience and enjoy life.” She loved God, His creation, and lived her life relishing the life she was given.
She also believed in speaking truth to power. Deborah was a woman of grace, dignity, strength, and wisdom. Many would say that Ms. Deb possessed a PhD on life and lived to its fullest extent.
As an entrepreneur and mother, she strived to instill a dynamic work ethic in her two sons, grandchildren, great-grandchild, and in the lives, she was afforded the opportunity to encounter. She taught her sons Julian and Deryck to aspire to soar to higher heights while being kind to others. Deborah took care of both of her parents until her untimely passing.
Deborah was preceded in death by her father and eldest brother, Charles Smith. Among those she leaves to cherish her memory and legacy include her mother, Flossie Mae Smith; sons Julian T. Shaw and Deryck Cleveland; four grandchildren, Julian Shaw Jr., Deryck Cleveland Jr., Ethan Ivy, and Gerald Allen; one and only great-granddaughter, Jalia Shaw; two brothers, Michael Smith (Linda) and Marshall Mosley (Zena); and a host of aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, friends and customers.