Recognising Exceptional Women Entrepreneurs
Debbi Fields (September 18, 1956 - current) is an American entrepreneur, best-selling author, and founder of the Mrs.Fields chocolate chip cookie franchise. ... By the time she was 18, Fields was known locally for her delicious cookies, which were richer and doughier than the classic recipe.
“The important thing is not being afraid to take a chance. Remember, the greatest failure is to not try. Once you find something you love to do, be the best at doing it.”
Debra Jane Sivyer was born in Oakland, California. Her father was a welder for the Navy and her mother was a housewife. She is the youngest of five daughters.
In 1968, Oakland Athletics owner Charles O. Finley introduced "ball girls" (young girls who would sit in foul territory near the baselines to retrieve baseballs grounded foul by batters) to major league baseball. Sivyer, with the help of a sister who at the time was a secretary at the A's offices, was one of the first ones he hired.She was paid five dollars an hour and would use the money to buy ingredients for what would become her famous cookies. She instituted a "milk-and-cookies" break for the umpires
In 1974, Sivyer graduated from Alameda High School, California at the age of 17. She was also voted homecoming queen her senior year.She attended Foothill College for two years, a community college in Los Altos Hills, California.
In 1976, at the age of 19, Sivyer married 29-year-old Stanford graduate Randall Keith Fields (MA, Political Science, 1970), founder in the early '70s of the financial and economic consulting firm Fields Investment Group, taking the name she would soon use for her business.
Fields began her business in 1977 in Palo Alto, California, and since it has grown into over 650 retail bakeries in the United States and over 80 in 11 different countries.
Fields and her husband had five daughters, Jessica, Jenessa, Jennifer, Ashley, and McKenzie, but divorced in 1997. On November 29, 1997, she married Michael Rose.One of her five stepchildren from her marriage to Rose, Gabrielle Rose, swam for Brazil at the 1996 Summer Olympics.
Fields began franchising in 1990, and, though she sold the business to an investment group in the early 1990s, she remains the company's spokesperson.