Deborah Fisher, of Meyersdale, was content with her job in marketing, but she still wanted to own her own business.
Fisher realized that goal in February, 2017 when she became the new proprietor of the Levi Deal Mansion in Meyersdale.
"I asked myself, 'What do I know how to do?'" Fisher said. "I know how to cook and clean."
She took the first step toward this goal when visiting Ligonier with a friend.
"This friend suggested that I buy a bed-and-breakfast," Fisher said. "I decided, why not?"
Fisher discovered the Levi Deal Mansion in September while on a road trip from Virginia to New York state, during which she toured a number of bed-and-breakfast locations.
The Levi Deal Mansion immediately caught her eye.
"It was head and shoulders above the rest," Fisher said. "It had a unique charm. Many bed-and-breakfasts are Victorian; some of them are overdone. The Levi Deal Mansion had a mix of Victorian charm and contemporary flair."
The Newton Falls, Ohio, native attended Hiram College in Ohio and then Kent State University, where she earned bachelor's degrees in English and education.
After graduating from Kent State in 1984, she moved to Atlanta, where she would work in marketing and advertising for the next 30 years.
Fisher brings that expertise in marketing to her current job.
"Meyersdale needs more commerce," she said. "Many businesses here are seasonal and have limited hours. If we bring more business into town, the local businesses can extend their hours."
Fisher credits the previous owners for their work in promoting the mansion.
"They built an amazing brand," she said. "They had a good rapport with the community."
She wants to continue that trend by reaching out to the leaders of Meyersdale Borough, the Laurel Highlands Visitors Bureau and groups affiliated with the Great Allegheny Passage.
Fisher said the community has been very supportive.
"I'm impressed with the pride that the people of Meyersdale take in this mansion," she said. "Everyone has a sense of ownership. It's a source of pride in this community."
She said she takes a customer-oriented approach to running the bed-and-breakfast.
Deborah, Connie and Deborah's son Ian are pictured. Deborah and Connie live on the premises.