Saturday, February 2, 2013


Meet The Artists ~ ~ ~  Gabrielle


Artist ~ Creator ~ Designer ~ Entreprenuer
     Shop Owner ~ Seamstress ~ Teacher
         Wife ~ Mother of Four ~ Friend

Complex?  Yes and No!  We all have talents, skills, creativity; quite often it just has to be explored and expressed.


     Gabrielle has been an entrepreneur all her life!  As a small child she took her art work to her parents workplace, selling her art work to fellow co-workers. Was her art work exceptional?; not necessarily but the people appreciated her verve. Lemonade stands were constant attractions as well as front yard sales featuring her current do-dads. As a teen she was a proficient seamstress which led to making harnesses and dog booties for every condition of ice and snow making items for Iditarod mushers.  She made thousands and thousands of them and had quite the living as a junior and senior in high school.

     Once in college she floundered from biology to writing, to college sports and then finally realized that she was an artists at her core.  She got her BFA in sculpture, headed towards a Masters in Industrial Design.  This was interrupted by nine years of traveling with her professional athlete husband and having four children within five years.  This left little time for personal creativity.

     About 14 years ago they settled in Idaho and her desire to create was set on fire!  When the grocery bag business reared it's head a little over five years ago she knew she was back in business.


     Wanting to be a part of the 'green movement' she tried using the hodge-podge of free bags which were usually left behind in her car.  Then an inspiration struck - she grabbed a paper bag and the next 5 hours she was designing and making herself some really cute grocery bags. A friend popped in and saw the bags and screamed, 'where did you get these???'  Informing her friend that she had made them the friend spent the next 5 hours convincing Gabrielle to sell them and go into business.  Nine days later the business was up and running, with orders from 5 boutiques (one in San Francisco), a website and all the other details.  It was crazy!!!



     As the years have passed Gabrielle's items have changed and developed but her goals and vision stays the same ...  Find a need and fill it ...

       It has been a slow and arduous climb and she has not made a 'ton of money' ...  but she does make enough to supplement their income, etc.  It's worth all the thankless hours.  After running their business from her garden studio for the last 5 years, they have opened a boutique this year featuring the 65 or so items that she makes and there are also several other artisans selling in the shop to fill in the gaps.


      Gabrielle shares that the hardest part of  any of this is believing that you deserve getting paid for what you utterly love.  As with anything in life , "if you value your time enough to charge for it, others will believe in that value and willingly pay you for it."

         This is a dream come true.  "Every time I set foot in my shop (daily) tears come to my eyes.  I love this life, I love what I have been gifted to do and I love that there are so many resources available to make my business better.  There is no end to my creativity, therefore my business will just continue to grow and change with the needs of our customers."


          For anyone considering a similar path:  if you are not money minded (bean counter) find a good bookkeeper.  Regardless of the level of your sales, if this aspect is not tracked very closely you WILL loose money, over spend or simply burn out because you are not getting paid.  She has a rule for herself that if she does not make $15 per hour plus materials to make something, then it does not make it beyond the exploratory phase.  Anyone, even the most passionate will get tired of their business more quickly if they are not making money.

Where Gabriele can be found:   (e-mail)

You may ask why did I choose to share Gabrielle's story with you?

Well, she is unique, she is special, she is one of a kind ... just like all of you!    Enjoy,  Corline













Gabrielle said...

Thank you so much for the article, I truly appreciate the community of woman on the internet that can help, encourage and help one another!!

Over The Top Aprons said...

You are most welcomed, Gabrielle ... such a delight to know the Artist behind the scene!