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Alexis Brown

Business Consultant
Creative Strategist
Professional Opportunist
Intentional Writer
Lover of Local

I have many names. I have been known as Alexis my entire life. I chose it as the name I would be known as because it is a more commonly known diminutive form of my birth name - and easier to pronounce. I chose it and so it represents my individuality. It comes from the Greek name Alexander, which means "defender, protector of people" or "helper of people."  

The deer has economic and spiritual significance in both Choctaw and Scottish cultures. It is the deer that provides sustenance, clothing, and a means of trade.  For the Choctaw, the deer also signifies compassion. And both cultures see the deer as a reminder of cyclical patterns, regeneration, resilience, restoration, healing, growth, and guidance.

I am also a tribally enrolled citizen of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, of the Watonlak Oshi “White Crane” Clan. It is through this family that I was given another name - Issi Chunkash. It means Deer Heart. The Choctaw believe these names were given to us by our ancestors and that, similar to Socrates, our name has always been ours and it is intrinsic to who we are. 

I was born Alexandrina Imma Irene Isabel Brown. This includes family names on my mother's side. It connects me to my Scottish ancestors. I am from Clan Ross, from the highlands north of Inverness. Clan Ross has a lineage that can be traced to the 10th-century Gilleon na h-airde, a Celtic-speaking Pict. It is said that, to the Picts, "ross" meant "noble steed" or stag.  

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I try to follow in my ancestors' footsteps by having my work begin from a place of compassion. My intent is to help small business owners find resiliency and develop strategy that allows them to adapt to change. I want to help members of my community overcome the struggles they face, restore their passion for their work, and develop the tools they need to not just survive dark times, but come out of it stronger.

And though both cultures hold these ideas of the deer, I chose the name Deer Heart for my consulting business specifically because the Choctaw people embody these ideas. They walked the Trail of Tears knowing they would face hardship and death but they had a vision of health, balance, and rejuvenation for the Choctaw people. They show us what is possible when you are resilient through dark times and develop an ability to quickly adapt to change. A mere 4,000 people survived the walk. But the Trail of Tears did not destroy them. It made them more compassionate and giving. And now they are the third largest tribe in the United States, with over 200,000 enrollees located around the world. Their resilience and adaptability, combined with compassion and love of fellow man, allowed the Choctaw Nation to thrive despite the great adversity they faced.

 

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About the name "Deer Heart"

My business consulting is comprehensive. You'll get more than advice because I am a writer, researcher, and strategist who can see both the forest AND the trees.

I have over 20 years of experience working in support of nonprofits, artists and arts organizations, entrepreneurs, and local businesses. I have done this as a Director of Development, volunteer, board member, activist, and ally.

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A Wide Range

In 2021, I was accepted as a member of Design Corps, a collective of individuals who see design as a strategic force and catalyst for change. It's an honor to be among such an exceptional cross-section of professionals whom all share the core values of designing for social impact and systemic change, tackling issue areas as diverse as economic and workforce development, affordable housing, social and environmental injustice, arts & education, and health and human services.​

Skills & Qualifications

I was born and raised in Santa Fe. I stayed after high school to go to St. John's. I stayed after St. John's because of my love for the land and the people here. I love how our connection to this place becomes such a major part of our stories. 

I studied music for 20 years. This enhanced my ability to plan, make decisions, process multiple things at once, and develop solutions to complex problems. It is through music that I learned patience, perseverance, abstract reasoning, creativity, and self discipline. And, studying music is where I learned how to work well with a team or be a leader.

My entire life I have loved to read, learn, and write. It started as escapism, and grew into how I expanded my understanding of the world and a way to connect and empathize. I’ve maintained youthful curiosity and a love of books. That's what got me into St. John's College, where I earned a B.A. of Liberal Arts and an M.A. in Eastern Classics. My studies taught me to think critically, analytically, and creatively, to speak and write clearly, and to truly listen to others.

I had many great mentors and supporters while I worked at St. John's College. 

 

​Stef Takacs taught me the core methods of fundraising and showed me a level of encouragement not shown by my direct supervisors, both of which sent me on the path that became my career.

Ellen Herr (who is the best graphic designer I've ever worked with) showed me the Art of graphic design. And she showed me that the graphic arts are rooted in strategy - every decision is intentional.

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And there was Jeff Bishop (d.). He was VP at St. John's College, Annapolis MD. I didn't see it or understand it at the time, but what a blessing that my career started with a professional of his caliber choosing to mentor me. He taught me valuable lessons in fundraising and business development. 

1. Marketing is an essential component to making money.

2. You become successful at fundraising and business development when you realize it's all about fostering relationships... and you can find a meaningful way to connect with anyone you meet.

Connection to Place

Music Developed My Skills

St. John's Gave Me Direction

St. John's Shaped My Thinking

Jean Bransford saw my aptitude for understanding relational databases and gave me specialized training on the college's Unix Database. It was then revealed that my nerdiest attribute is a love of databases. Even I was surprised by that!

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The first lesson was not an intuitive idea for many fundraisers, because marketing was often the first place they would make budget cuts. The second lesson catalyzed my thinking that strategy, branding, marketing, human resources, customer engagement, networking, partnerships, investors - EVERYTHING about business is about relationships.

Background & Influences

  • Advertising

  • Branding

  • Budget Development

  • Business Plans

  • Campaign Planning

  • Copy Editing

  • Copywriting Writing

  • Crisis Communications

  • Crowdsourcing / Crowdfunding

  • Customer Profiles

  • Customer Roadmaps

  • Database Development

  • eCommerce Websites 

This is what I had to learn in order to achieve that:

  • Email Newsletters

  • Event Planning

  • Grant Strategy & Grant Writing

  • Graphic Design

  • Graphic Design Oversight

  • Infographics & Fact Sheets

  • Internal Communications

  • Inventory Control

  • Market Analysis

  • Media Relations & Press Releases

  • Pitch Decks

  • Print Newsletters

  • Problem Solving

  • Process Management

  • Project Management

  • Relationship Building

  • Research

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

  • Secondary Market ResearchSmall Business Systems Development

  • Social Media

  • Storytelling

  • Strategy Creation & Strategic Action Plans

  • Trend Analysis

  • Website Content Writing 

  • Website Design

Diverse Skills

The face of my work has been fundraising. The heart of my work has been telling stories and connecting with people. This is how I sold ideas and emotions to the tune of over $7,000,000 (an average of $375,000 per year.) And, the work I did generated revenue for those organizations long after I was gone.

I bring creative ideas and over 20 years of experience to help you grow your customer base, increase your profit margin, and save time with efficiency and intention.

Deer Heart Consulting's mission is to help small business owners, entrepreneurs, & microbusinesses overcome the odds by equipping you with new ideas, tools & skills - all part of a kick ass business plan - so you can achieve success.

I'm Alexis Brown - principle consultant of Deer Heart Consulting (a trade name for Deer Heart Solutions Ltd. Co.).

I am a strategist and writer with a background in finding opportunities, getting things done, and effectively communicating to the right people at the right time.

Deer Heart Solutions Ltd. Co. is a New Mexico-based limited liability company under which Deer Heart Consulting operates as a DBA. There are two sister businesses: DHSolutions is focused on website design as a Wix Partner and Deer Heart Solutions creates custom essential oil blends for skincare, haircare, and aromatherapy. For the business plans to work we have to have targeted and intentional websites as well as balance in mind , body, and environment!

The Kinds of Plans I've Written

  • Plans for people looking to branch out on their own & established freelancers

  • Independent artists, performers, arts organizations, and musicians

  • Non-profit organizations

    • Grassroots and underground groups with little to no budget

    • New nonprofits & well-established agencies (40-years+)

    • Affiliates of national organizations

  • Start Up Business Plans, Investor Ready Business Plans, & Growth Business Plans, including budget forecasts, partnership opportunities, marketing plans, and more for:

    • financial advisors

    • restaurants & caterers

    • farmers & food producers

    • bookstores

    • writers

    • jewelers

    • photographers

    • massage therapists

    • interior designers

    • art galleries

    • travel & hospitality industry

    • retail - brick & mortar and eCommerce

    • medical practitioners

    • sports therapists, gyms & personal trainers

    • mechanics

    • landscapers

    • and more

Experience