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Deborah Ford is the founder of GRITS, Inc., a merchandising company specializing in women’s apparel. In 1995, Ford—then a high school volleyball coach in Alabama—began printing T-shirts emblazoned with “Girls Raised in the South” to inspire her players. The response she received was so overwhelming that she quit her teaching job and took her products to an apparel trade show. Her multimillion-dollar business sells GRITS books and merchandise worldwide to southerners and wannabe southerners. Her first book, The GRITS Guide to Life, was a New York Times bestseller and SEBA Award winner, and spurred the series of lifestyle books that include GRITS Friends Are Forevah and Puttin’ on the GRITS.
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