There is no better teacher in life than experience. We all face adversity nearly every day. Most individuals are looking for ways to avoid it ... to get around it. But as the Shoebox Sherpa, I help others walk straight through it, sifting through their broken pieces to find the magic in their mess.

Personal Branding and professional Headshot Photographer based in Louisville, KY

Loss knows no boundaries. And neither does grief. Pain loves to sit within you like an unwelcomed house guest. And shame and denial, well they are pain’s best friends. I know this because I’ve lived it. I’ve been there. I’ve carried these unwanted feelings within me for decades. I know how they love to live within scars. I know how they remind you of who you were even when you try to become who you want to be.

But I also know this. I know that power can be formed through pain. I know that purpose can be found within it. I know that change starts from within, but transformation requires you to revisit what is holding you back. I know that life is messy, but that messiness offers you opportunities. I know that your past doesn’t have to hold you prisoner; I know that you can be freed from it.

And I also know that the shoebox effect can save your life. It saved mine.

Are you hurting and lost, grieving for the lost places of your past and seeking to find a path back to joy? Let me show you.

Are you in the depths of loss — financial loss, loss of identity, career loss, family loss, etc. — and unable to see the way out? Let me help you.

Are you feeling held back from achieving your fullest potential, constantly feeling the weight of your worries and your pain and seeking a new level of clarity, purpose and drive? Let me guide you.

I had tucked my shoebox deep into the closet, hoping that if it wasn’t visible, it wouldn’t be felt either. But my life shifted when I found myself sitting on the floor of my closet, opening a 30-year-old shoebox filled with memories I hadn’t wanted to face.

My past had been filled with loss and heartache, one that kept me prisoner for decades. But when I stopped running from it — and, instead, sat with it — I was filled with a newfound clarity on how I got the opportunity to reshape what haunted me. I didn’t have to be defined by it; I could find a new level of freedom. And I did.

Since opening my shoebox, I’ve traded in my securities license to become an author where I’ve documented my own shoebox story in the book, The Shoebox Effect: Transforming Pain into Fortitude and Purpose, and a professional speaker where I inspire groups of all sizes and in any industry to unpack what is holding them back from achieving their fullest potential. Armed with a powerful, dramatic story, which has been reported globally on major networks and newspapers across America, I am now known as the Shoebox Sherpa as I help others find the freedom they desire by unpacking their own shoeboxes and stepping into truth and wholeness.

Open Shoebox

After unpacking my own shoebox, I unearthed a passion to help others, especially the adoption community, and co-founded the National Association of Adoptees and Parents. I also serve on the board of directors for Women’s Writes Publishing and Author Services and am a member of the National Association of Memoir Writers and the Non-Fiction Writers Association.

A native-born Hoosier and "Lady of Dunans," I reside on the Sunnyside of Louisville, along the Ohio River in Southern Indiana with my Golden Doodle, Murfee. I’m a personal development junkie and can be found most days with my nose in the latest non-fiction book with a tall glass of iced tea, no matter the season. I'm a firm believer that life is always better with a little Hershey Kiss.


As the Shoebox Sherpa, Marcie uses her signature platform and her own wealth of experience in overcoming pain and life's adversities to inspire, motivate and transform individuals and crowds.

Interested in booking Marcie to speak to your group or organization? Request more information about having her come and share her story.

Marcie's Signature Programs:

The Shoebox Effect: Discovering Your True Potential by Fully Unpacking Your Past.

Get Your Grief on Girl! How to Find Meaning in Loss.

Jumping Back to Your Feet After Life Has Knocked You Down.

5 Fun Facts About Me


Not only am I a grandmother but I also am a great grandmother of two beautiful boys!


I am currently owned by one sassy Golden Doodle named Murfee.


I am obsessed with McDonald's tea and will wait in the drive-through for it forever, even when I'm not McHappy.


I passed my Series 7 Securities exam in the days of the #2 pencil.



Celebrating the "Scot" in me that was discovered on, my mother had me ennobled by buying some land on the Cowal peninsula, in Argyll and Brute, Scotland. Yes, you can really call me Lady of Dunans.