Deb Waterman Johns founds Scout, Fifi, Get Dressed
It's hard to miss Scout bags.
The bright, lightweight and moderately priced purses, totes and more have made a splash nationwide. And they are the result of Deb Waterman Johns creative designs.
“Women have stuff, they like to take their stuff, move their stuff, hide their stuff, make it prettier stuff, and that's what we do,” Johns says.
Johns started her career working for Vogue right out of college.
She says The Devil Wears Prada had nothing on her experience, calling it “sensational.”
She went on to start three businesses - Scout, Fifi, a seasonal boutique, and a wardrobe consulting company called Get Dressed. But Johns says her greatest accomplishment is her family.
She and her husband have four children. Her middle son, Bo, was diagnosed with large B cell lymphoma when he was in the sixth grade.
“He said, ‘mom, do I have cancer?’ I said yes. Now you have a choice, are you going to get it or is it going get you. And he said I'm going get it, and I said, ‘then let's do this,’” she says.
Bo's cancer was highly aggressive, but highly treatable. During his time at Georgetown Hospital, the family realized many young patients come from out of town, and struggle to pay for family visits, or even groceries. So they started the "Go-Bo fund."
“It was a goal for him to raise that money and to let other children see their families, have a quality of life that they might not otherwise have resources for,” she says.
Now, 10 years later, Bo is healthy and the Go-Bo Fund continues to raise more than $50,000 a year to help children undergoing treatment at the Georgetown Pediatric Oncology Center.
Johns says it's one more way her busy life is so fulfilling.
Johns raises money for the Go Bo Fund, in part, with a huge theme party every year. Her next endeavor is to write a book.
“You have to know if you love what you do you are ahead of the game, absolutely,” she says. “That's what we hope for.”