She’s a Woman on Fire! Meet Kim Dettmer

Welcome back to our ongoing series to introduce you to each other. She’s a Woman on Fire! member and we want you to know her. Please say hello to…

Kim Dettmer - headshot

Kim Dettmer

Berea, Ohio

Member: #00005

Member since: October 13, 2011

Please tell us about YOU, your family, your work, and what you are “on fire” about.

My husband, Jeff, and I have two boys, Alex, 8, and Owen, 7. We live in a small college town that is a suburb of Cleveland. I had a 12-year career as a higher education administrator at several universities including, Loyola University Chicago, University of Wisconsin–Stout, and Baldwin-Wallace College, but gave that up to be home with my boys.

Last year, after seven years as a stay-at-home mom, I began a part-time job as the executive director of the Education Foundation for our local school district. Jeff runs the family-owned printing company that his father started more than 40 years ago.

Right now I am on fire about my book, Moments Meant to Savor, which I wrote and illustrated. It is a picture book for children ages 5 to 105 and will be published in November. I am so excited to share its timeless message of remembering to savor life’s magical moments.

How did you originally connect to Women on Fire?

In April 2010, I was helping my husband with his booth at a marketing conference when I met Nile Nickel. We chatted, and he suggested that I connect with his wife, Rosemary. On her Facebook page, I saw a post about Debbie Phillips and a Women on Fire Retreat that Rosemary had just attended. I was incredibly eager to learn more.

The next day, at that same conference, I attended a session led by an enthusiastic man named Rob Berkley, who was talking about Vision Day. Again, I was interested and wanted to learn more. It wasn’t until I got home and started to learn more about Women on Fire and Vision Day that I realized Debbie and Rob are married!

What’s your favorite component of the Women on Fire membership?

I love the Livestream chats that Debbie hosts each month. During that hour, not only do I get great life lessons and strategies, but I also connect with inspiring women who are amazingly supportive. It’s great to be a part of a community where women build each other up, instead of competing against and tearing each other down.

What is your favorite city in the world?

Chicago is my all-time favorite city! I lived there when I was 23 to 25 years old. One of my biggest accomplishments was when I felt like I had “conquered” the city because I was able to get myself around without getting lost—at least not too much. Whenever I visit, I am able to relive some of my favorite memories.

Share a special Women on Fire moment or experience.

My favorite WOF moment was while I was attending a tea in New York City with a very good friend, Kate Perlman, whom I met in 1994 while in graduate school. Kate and I hadn’t seen each other for a few years, so it was awesome to get together for the weekend and attend the tea.

Name another Woman on Fire who has inspired you and tell why?

Other than Debbie, who is so incredibly inspiring, there are two other Women on Fire who have greatly impacted my life.

The first is Melissa McClain. I signed up for her “Do the Doodle 30-Day Challenge,” thinking that it would be fun and a great break from my day. It was all that and more! I found my artistic voice, which I never knew I had. Melissa and the other doodlers were so insightful and encouraging. Without Melissa’s challenge, I would never have considered doing the illustrations for my book, and I may never have even found the artist that was buried deep inside of me! Thank you, Melissa!

The second is Andrea Dowding. I met Andrea at my first WOF tea in Columbus in 2010. When I arrived, somewhat nervous about the event, I was immediately calmed by her warm, welcoming energy, which filled the room. More recently, Andrea has coached me on the business/marketing aspects of my book. Not only has she expertly guided me on putting together a business plan and a schedule of marketing events, but she has also shined a light on my strengths, talents, and gifts, which allowed me to share them more authentically. Andrea is truly a godsend for me.

What’s your big dream?

I am not sure that I have one BIG dream. Instead, I have a series of dreams, some of which have been achieved, and some that have yet to be discovered. About four years ago, while I was a stay-at-home mom of two toddlers, caught up in the chaos of the early stages of motherhood, I dreamed of rediscovering myself and having some “thing” that was solely mine.

I began a blog, In Search of Me in Mommy, and through that I began to find my voice and realize that, to be fully me, I needed a daily creative outlet. As a result, that became and continues to be a priority in my life. I next was led to the dream of writing a children’s book.

For more than two years, I have worked to turn that into a reality. I am thrilled that I will soon publish Moments Meant to Savor. I am not sure what my next dream will be or where it will take me, but I am excited to see what unfolds.

If you had the opportunity to teach a child one strategy to guide her life, what would that be?

I would teach her how to know her own truth. I would encourage her to listen to her intuition and go with her gut, even if that is scary at times.

Who cheers you on?

My husband Jeff is my biggest supporter. I always know that he has my back and will be there for me, encouraging me onward, even when he may not understand what I am trying to achieve or accomplish. He loves and trusts me, perhaps even more than I do myself. I am so thankful for him!

I am also blessed to have many friends who cheer me on daily. One of my very good friends, Leslie, has been in my life since the birth of my first child. She has unconditionally cheered me on through every one of my new endeavors. It is amazing to be surrounded by such wonderful energy!

What is your favorite “pig-out” food?

Oh, I love a good burger and yummy sweet potato fries!

What is your go-to self-care strategy?

I am a bath-aholic! Soaking in a tub of hot water is where I read the best books. It is where I have my best ideas, and it is where I am able to easily solve the world’s problems…or at least my own.

When you reflect on your life so far, what is the first word or two that comes to mind?

The first words that come to my mind are “Alex” and “Owen.” Being a mom is the most important role in my life, and it was what I always wanted to be. But motherhood is not exactly as I expected it to be. I knew that I would love my children, but I didn’t know how much I could love them.

I knew that motherhood would be hard, but I didn’t know it would be this hard. And I knew that I would be teaching them how to grow and become their best selves, but I didn’t know that they would teach me how to become my best self.

Being the mother of Alex and Owen is the greatest gift.

More about Kim Dettmer…

Kim is inspired by her two boys, good conversations, color, others who dare to dream big, crafting words, laughter, tears, authenticity, mistakes and failures, stories, and love. She is a lifelong learner who thrives on utilizing her gift of creativity.

Say hello to her at, and access her website at

You are invited to Kim’s exclusive Virtual Book Party on October 14, 2013 at 8pm EST. Attend here! (First 50 to purchase a book will received a signed copy!)

Moments Meant To Savor by Kim Dettmer