Monday, August 10, 2009

Hall of Fame {Gussy}

Welcome back! Grab your coffee and pull up a chair. You won't want to miss this...

Meet Maggie, the girl who has a lot to say and the talented seamstress behind the Gussy brand.

There are many words I could use to describe her lovely designs, but above all, I think that the most fitting is colorful. Not only her designs, but Maggie herself. From our chats and her blog posts, I can tell how much of a sweet and radiant person she really is. Reading her blog makes me smile - her cheeriness is contagious. Her mission? "I make all my items with the intention of them serving a great purpose: your happiness."

Maggie is a self-taught sewer! I won't give away too much. You'll just have to read on to find out more! After all, Gussy does have a lot to say...

♥ ♥ ♥
What inspires you?
Bright, fun, lively colors! Ruffles, textured buttons, colored zippers. Music is also a great inspiration -- anything upbeat and unique such as piano rock.

Where do you call home? Are you from there originally?

Let me simplify it by this: I grew up in Grand Rapids, MI, currently live in the Detroit-Metro area, and am hoping to move to Minneapolis end of August. My life is incredibly insane... It is very busy with sewing, Etsy, creating my own website and e-commerce shop, and visiting family :)
Name something unique to where you live.
When driving around town I often feel like I'm on a water slide. I know that is silly, but there are so many roads, bridges, and overpasses above and below me that swerve, curve and intertwine each other I can't help but feel like I'm at a water park. Besides, a water park sounds like great fun! :)

Share an interesting fact about yourself.
I like to do a lot of things on my own, specifically when it comes to learning. When I first started sewing I immediately went to the library and checked out about 20 books -- not kidding -- so I could study the craft. I love to talk {hence my blog name, Gussy has a lot to say} so naturally I ask a lot of questions. I like to know who, what, where, when and most importantly WHY? It helps me to problem-solve a future situation.
How did you come up with the name Gussy? And just who is Maggie Whitley?
My mom came up with the name Gussy. A couple years ago we were watching Charlotte's Web (2006) with my nephew, Collin. My mom and I have a very close-knit relationship. We're always talking to each other and so, naturally, we noticed that Gussy the Goose (in the movie) talks a lot! Then my mom found a TY Beanie Baby that was part of the Charlotte's Web character line. She saw the goose, read the tag, and bought it for me. The tag reads, Gussy always, always, always has a lot to say, say, say. Hello! That is me! My mom and I take roughly 15 minutes just to say goodbye on the phone. There is always one more thing to share before we hang up. Since then, I've been known as Gussy. And, I have to admit, I love it :)

Now on to this Maggie Whitley person ;) I think this will be a bit harder to describe than Gussy was. Let me try.

I am a 24-year-old blue-eyed girl. I never imagined myself sewing, let me start with that. It is a talent that I recently discovered, like a handful of months ago. I am a graduate of Central Michigan University and I met my husband, Zack, there. We are college sweethearts. I have two majors because one wasn't enough, ha ha. With my journalism major I have a news editorial concentration. Not only do I love to talk, but I love to research and write. My second major is in Art with a 2-D concentration in photography. Both my majors blend well together, especially with the professional side of my life. I very much enjoy life, laughter and family time. I love hugging my nephews and going on day trips with them. I also love a large city and the busyness of it. This leads me to another fact: I'm a huge multi-tasker and it has allowed me to be successful with my sewing.

I think I'll stop there. I have to leave some things a surprise :)
If you had to describe yourself in a word, what would that word be?
Oh, this is easy: sassy!

What made you decide to open up shop?

I opened up a shop mainly because I lost my job and suddenly had a lot of time on my hands. I started selling in November 2008 but February was the month it all became "official." On July 20 I reached 100 sales. That was a big, exciting day for me.

Name your favorite thing about selling handmade.

My favorite thing about selling handmade is knowing each item I make is an extremely limited, one-of-a-kind item. Also, it's HANDMADE! How sweet is that?!?!
Do you have a day job or sell on Etsy full-time?
My job is selling Etsy full-time.

Give us a little glimpse into what a typical day in your life looks like.

I get up in the morning and head straight to the kitchen, looking for a tasty cup of coffee with hazelnut creamer. Once I'm a little caffeinated I get on my iMac and start my to-do list: check my e-mail, read some blogs, and re-list an item or two on Etsy. I especially love when there are a few comments waiting for me on my blog. Reading peoples thoughts before I start sewing is such an inspirational start to my day. Once my computer time is done, I start sewing. Or cutting material, ironing, then sewing. However you look at it :) Late morning/early afternoon is the best time to take pictures of new products. I love the lighting that comes into my living room. The rest of my afternoon is spent sewing/creating new items, purchasing supplies, or painting my fingernails. Just kidding on painting my fingernails. Once it is evening time I put a few more hours in on my Mac. I send out e-mails, I look for new places and ways to advertise, and I work on building my website and e-commerce store. It's safe to say I put a lot of time and energy into sewing :) I want to take this new found talent as far as I can.
Share with us a favorite Etsy purchase or shop.
This is hard because I have a few favorite shops. Can I list three? OK, here I go:
The Vintage Pearl
Brooke Marton
Pretty Things By Meg

List a few of your most favorite pastimes.

Aside from having a good chat, I love to read and take pictures.

Read any good books lately?

Well of course! Nicholas Sparks Dear John.
What is your most prized possession?
My red couch! It came into our family over 30 years ago; My parents picked it up at a garage sale when they were newlyweds. They used it for a few years, then it went to the basement. When I started college in 2003 I was able to bring it with me to Central. I fell in love. It's a vintage-meets-modern couch with great big, flat armrests, perfect for doing homework or hand sewing :) I have loved that couch ever since it became mine. Just this January I had it recovered. My husband's mom and grandma did it with me. It is now a beautiful, rich shade of red with a tiny bit of tweed texture. It is gorgeous... and sassy! :)
What are three of your favorite foods?
Blueberries, kettle corn popcorn, and any Italian dish.

What would you like to learn to do?

I would like to learn HTML!

What are you listening to right now?

The washing machine spin.

Name one place you must visit in your lifetime and why.

I would like to visit Ireland with my hubby. It seems like such a beautiful, magical place...
A great big 'thank you' to Maggie for giving us a peek into her life. I can't wait to see what she comes up with next!

Maggie, it has been so much fun getting to know you. You are an inspiration!

♥ ♥ ♥


Time for a giveaway!



That's right! The winner gets $20 to spend on their favorite Gussy product from either Maggie's Etsy shop or her new website. Sweet!!

Show Maggie that you can be a Gussy, too! To enter, just leave a comment with your thoughts. It can be any random thing! Maybe you have a favorite piece from her shop. Or there's something you would like to see in there? It could be your favorite quote, a Bible verse, a happy thought, or what you'd spend the $20 on if you win. You could tell us your favorite color, or movie, or food! Maybe you have a comment on something you read in the interview... Anything at all!

Be sure to include your name and email address or Etsy username!

For extra entries you can:
Tweet this giveaway: 2 additional entries
Follow my blog and/or Maggie's Blog : 5 additional entries
Blog about this interview/contest: 7 additional entries
Purchase from Maggie Whitley: 10 additional entries

(Please include this info, if applicable, with your comment for additional entries. You do not need to leave separate comments for additional entries. Important: Don't forget to include your name and contact info!)

Contest ends Sunday, August 16th at 11:59 pm EST. Winner will be chosen by traditional drawing and will be announced Monday, August 17th.

122 comments:

Ave said...

I like Charming Gus - Sassy Floral Wallet with Mustard-Yellow Button from her Etsy shop.

Sunshinemeg said...

Just stumbled across your blog through Ms. Maggie. I am a huge fan of her work and impressed by her positivity and "funness." Yes, I made up that word = ) Great post about her!

Ave said...

I follow.

Ave @ Made In Canarias

avetaar@gmail.com

Kathy said...

Hey Gussy! It's Mama Gus and as always, I'm SO proud of you! You are my sunshine. I love watching you unfold. You are a beautiful daughter and your Gussy creations reflect your beauty.

Jorden and Kristin said...

This interview made me happy! I love that she goes by Gussy!!

I'm following your blog and her blog both!

I've also blogged about the giveaway at my blog
jordenandkristin.blogspot.com

thanks for this! :)

Jenn said...

I'm so glad to see Gussy getting out there! I hope this contest brings her more customers and they keep spreading the word!

Magnolia said...

I heart the ruffles!

And my name is Maggie, too!

margaretekelly@gmail.com

{kara} said...

I am a two time customer of Gussy and keep on finding more that I love from her show! I love the green garden lap top bag! I love your blog too Lory! I am now a follower!

Lyndsay @ LouLouBell said...

Beautiful stuff Maggie!
I really love the accessory cases with the ruffles!

Very cute stuff!

I'm tweeting this too : )

Megs said...

I am a good friend of Maggie's and am so impressed by how far she's come with her sewing business!! she's a very motivated, creative and passionate person. she definitely deserves her success!

I'm a follower of Gussy's blog. I also tweeted this giveaway :)

Amanda K said...

I like the Shady Gus - Purple Floral with Hot Pink Ruffle Accessory Case. It's really cute!

Amanda K said...

I follow Gussy's blog.

Amanda K said...

I follow your blog.

Elizabeth James said...

I love this feature! I follow Maggie's Blog and your Blog!

Anonymous said...

random comment? I've been told to limit my caffeine and recently found a delicious herbal'fruit tea at my grocery store. It's made by tetley, and it's called summerberry. It's really delicious. it makes me very happy. and some proceeds from sales go to breast cancer research-very awesome.

gemini5757 at hotmail.com

peony paperie said...

Random comment: My husband is working late, my kiddos are sleeping, and I'm discovering new etsy shops left and right! Love how Maggies pictures are so colorful, and just MAKE her shop.
michelleharrod at comcast dot net

Anonymous said...

What a lovely giveaway I hope to win. I love everything in the shop especially the gussy d up yellow floral pouch it would go great with my handbag.Helen

malfie@care2.com

Lily said...

I love your giveaway! Your pretty pieces remind me of other happy things like the fact that I am going to see (500) Days of Summer tomorrow.

Meg said...

Kettle Corn is definitely a top 3 food! Love it!

SewSweetStitches said...

Gorgeous blog and gorgeous work!
sewsweetstitches_on_etsy*at*yahoo*com

crossborderblogger said...

Your stuff is so cute!

~Tiffany

tifani123 AT yahoo DOT com

throuthehaze said...

I like the Shady Gus - Lively Floral with Yellow Ruffle Accessory Case
throuthehaze at gmail dot com

throuthehaze said...

+5 follower
throuthehaze at gmail dot com

PixelatedMushroom said...

Hello,
I love the Apples and Pears Zipped Make-Up Bag: http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=25968848

it makes me hungry! i might just go eat an apple now :)

I follow this blog also :)

Lilly said...

Her shop is so adorable! And what a great interview! She is funny ^^
I really like the Ruffle Gus - Cream Wallet with Garden Ruffle. Cute!
Thanks a lot ^^

Eliane
eli_green22 at yahoo dot com dot br

Lilly said...

I am a follower.
Eliane
eli_green22 at yahoo dot com dot br

mint said...

wow that's cool

am a follower, i'm hoping to see more bags made with different kinds of fabrics =D

Aik said...

She's cute! XD
I love her shop too!

aikychien(at)yahoo(dot)com

Aik said...

I'm a follower.

aikychien(at)yahoo(dot)com

Aik said...

I linked this giveaway on my right sidebar. Does that count?

http://aik-friendsnfamily.blogspot.com/

aikychien(at)yahoo(dot)com

Audrey said...

This is my favorite quote:

A positive attitude may not solve all your problems. But it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.
Herm Albright.

audreyscountrycrafts at gmail.com

Alicia said...

I love those bags! I love that I just found your blog. I'm going to be following, so throw in those extra 5 entries for me :)

Thanks so much!!!

Adore Design Studio said...

Wow, I just stumbled across your blog and I love all the GUSSY bags! I hope I win!

Breanna
Adoredesignstudio@gmail.com

janil said...

I love
Mini-Gus - Green Garden Coin Purse with Slate Gray Ruffle!!!

cal_rubies at yahoo dot es

janil said...

I follow!
cal_rubies at yahoo dot es

Trish said...

Hi Lory!

I am a follower of both your blog and Maggie's blog. Both of your blogs make me happy :) Some randomness for ya: I have recently become addicted to Dansko shoes... *sigh* :)

TiLT said...

A random thought...well, it's not random, but I had to giggle when I read her blog & profile...we are neighbors! I keep finding crafty people that live practically next door, but so many of them are moving. Well, if I am lucky enough to win, maybe she can save on shipping & hand deliver it down at Java Hut or something, lol :) And I've got my eye on a baby blanket :)

-Theresa
tiltcreations.etsy.com

TiLT said...

I tweeted the giveaway also...http://twitter.com/tiltcreations/status/3244845104

-Theresa
tiltcreations.etsy.com

bnewma4 said...

I subscribed to your blog

and I have to say all the fabric pattern choices are great!

Cherry Blossoms said...

I love love love her shop! My favorite product is the Ruffle Gus - Green with Pink Ruffle Wallet (and orange button)

CherryBlossomsDesign AT hotmail

Cherry Blossoms said...

I follow Gussys Blog!

CherryBlossomsDesign AT hotmail

Entry 1

Cherry Blossoms said...

I follow Gussys Blog!

CherryBlossomsDesign AT hotmail

Entry 2

Cherry Blossoms said...

I follow Gussys Blog!

CherryBlossomsDesign AT hotmail

Entry 3

free indeed said...

I'm listening to the washing machine as well. I LOVE LOVE LOVE to hang laundry..is this sick or what? I will let the laundry pile up with rainy weather rather than do it and have to use the dryer. In the winter I hang it on racks over the furnace vents...I only use the dryer for towels and when the kids were little, on the baby clothes. On the other end of the spectrum on the chore list is the bathtub...nuf said!
Would love to win this little bit of sunshine from your shop!

Cherry Blossoms said...

I follow Gussys Blog!

CherryBlossomsDesign AT hotmail

Entry 4

Cherry Blossoms said...

I follow Gussys Blog!

CherryBlossomsDesign AT hotmail

Entry 5

Cherry Blossoms said...

Tweet! Tweet!
http://twitter.com/CherryBlossBaby/status/3245949880

CherryBlossomsDesign AT hotmail

Entry 1

Cherry Blossoms said...

Tweet! Tweet!
http://twitter.com/CherryBlossBaby/status/3245949880

CherryBlossomsDesign AT hotmail

Entry 2

Phil and Jen Singer said...

It's so nice to see people being successful running their own business. I'm new to Maggie's creations, but I'm totally inspired by her work ethic and her creativity.

JJ said...

Her work is so cute! I love the lovely gus purses and the baby blankets...

Cabootique said...

Cute shop. I liked picturing the roads as a big water slide when I read that part ;]

carethediva[at]hotmail[dot]com

Jingle said...

I love the Mini-Gus - Nature Coin Purse with Orange Ruffle (and dull yellow button)

CurlyfrySC's Collage said...

I love the bright colors of this blog and the music makes me smile!

ZaftigDelights said...

Her bags are so cute! I would love to have one in teals and aquas (my fav colors)!

Thanks for the great giveaway!

Sandie
zaftig2k at yahoo dot com
http://zaftigdelights.blogspot.com

ZaftigDelights said...

I just twittered your giveaway.

http://twitter.com/ZaftigDelights/status/3251482673

Sandie
zaftig2k at yahoo dot com
http://zaftigdelights.blogspot.com

ZaftigDelights said...

I just twittered your giveaway.

http://twitter.com/ZaftigDelights/status/3251482673

Sandie
zaftig2k at yahoo dot com
http://zaftigdelights.blogspot.com

♥Andrea♥ said...

Random comment: My most favorite fabric is the pear fabric in the last interview pic.

-I tweeted about this.
-I blogged about this on originalandrea.com.
-I followed both your blogs AND added both your buttons to my blog.

Danielle L said...

I love wallets and pouches, especially ones like these with beautiful fabrics!

craziedee3@aol.com

Danielle L said...

I tweeted-http://twitter.com/DanielleLo/status/3252531329

craziedee3@aol.com

Salad for Breakfast said...

so glad to be introduced to a new seller! i love pinks and reds so i'm bound to find something in her shop that i will love. :)

Tickleworm said...

I love her shop! My thought...I love the colors and textures, slightly irregular with the straight lines of the wallets/pouches. Thanks!
rachelherzog@bellsouth.net
www.tickleworm.com

Tickleworm said...

I follow you!
rachelherzog@bellsouth.net

Jessica said...

I love the Ruffle Gus Green and Pink wallet! All of the fabrics that she uses are AMAZING!

Jacky said...

Okay, I just have to say that I think Maggies is so much fun! I found her shop only recently and then started reading her blog, and it is certainly enjoyable. I always wished I could be a fun person (like her!), but I'm a little shy and reserved. Maybe I'll loosen up a little someday! Thanks sooooo much for the chance to win!

thesweetestpetunia@gmail.com

Jacky said...

Tweeted!
http://twitter.com/petuniasays/status/3264338389

I follow the Gussy blog!

And I blogged about the giveaway here: http://petuniasaysgiveaways.blogspot.com/2009/08/gussy-giveaway.html

Thanks very much! =)

...fairyland said...

hello! i do like the ruffles too!!
ur cases are so chicky beautiful that makes me feel happy and positive! thank you for this chance~
neraidodhmiourgies at gmail dot com
www.neraidodhmiourgies.etsy.com

Julie said...

http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=27895023 the mini gus green garden coin purse :)

aunteegem@yahoo.com

Julie said...

1 follow your blog

aunteegem@yahoo.com

Julie said...

# 2 follower

aunteegem@yahoo.com

Julie said...

# 3 follower blog

aunteegem@yahoo.com

Julie said...

4 blog follower

aunteegem@yahoo.com

Julie said...

# 5 follow blog

aunteegem@yahoo.com

Wehaf said...

You seem like the type of person who would appreciate this joke: What do you call a lazy baby kangaroo? A pouch potato!

haha!

urchiken at gmail dot com

Michelle said...

If I win, I think I would choose the Mini-Gus - Green Garden Coin Purse with Cream Ruffle. Thanks for the chance to win!

Swaddle Babies said...

I love the story behind your name :)

Priscilla@myswaddlebabies.com

Swaddle Babies said...

Following The Sunshine Studio and Maggie's blog :) #1

Priscilla@myswaddlebabies.com

Swaddle Babies said...

Following The Sunshine Studio and Maggie's blog :) #2

Priscilla@myswaddlebabies.com

Swaddle Babies said...

Following The Sunshine Studio and Maggie's blog :) #3

Priscilla@myswaddlebabies.com

Swaddle Babies said...

Following The Sunshine Studio and Maggie's blog :) #4

Priscilla@myswaddlebabies.com

Swaddle Babies said...

Following The Sunshine Studio and Maggie's blog :) #5

Priscilla@myswaddlebabies.com

Swaddle Babies said...

Twitted giveaway

http://twitter.com/SwaddleBabies/status/3281146433

Priscilla@myswaddlebabies.com
Etsy, Twitter: SwaddleBabies

anninja said...

I love, love, LOVE the Ruffle Gus - Red and White Wallet!!! So adorable!

annasgarbage@yahoo.com

anninja said...

#1 - I tweeted http://twitter.com/sophierigalv/status/3283958886

annasgarbage@yahoo.com

anninja said...

#2 - I tweeted http://twitter.com/sophierigalv/status/3283958886

annasgarbage@yahoo.com

anninja said...

#1 - I am a follower on your blog!

annasgarbage@yahoo.com

anninja said...

#2 - I am a follower on your blog!

annasgarbage@yahoo.com

anninja said...

#3 - I am a follower on your blog!

annasgarbage@yahoo.com

anninja said...

#4 - I am a follower on your blog!

annasgarbage@yahoo.com

anninja said...

#5 - I am a follower on your blog!

annasgarbage@yahoo.com

bFlat said...

I absolutely love the Ruffle Gus - Organic Mum Wallet with Yellow Ruffle!

lensimpressions AT gmail DOT com

Ashley said...

I would love to win this because I suggested to Gussy that she make a hobo bag and if she just so happens to to that then I would use this towards its purchase. I love Gussy's stuff!

Anonymous said...

I keep this quote at my desk & after I read the interview with Gussy, this just felt perfect...

"Success..to laugh often & much, to win the respect of intelligent people & the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics & endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others, to leave the world a little better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition, to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is the meaning of success."

Laura- ll.hoppe@hotmail.com

Laura said...

<3 i've posted on Twitter as well.

http://twitter.com/iloveyourheart

Laura- ll.hoppe@hotmail.com

bison61 said...

I would get the Mini-Gus - Striped Coin Purse with Green Ruffle

tiramisu392 (at) yahoo.com

RNJen said...

I am thrilled to see that Gussy did a custom order for diaper bag and baby wipes. It is soo cute! I want one! I am a follower of Gussy, follower of you. AND...I blogged about it.
http://peachykings.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

I think it's wonderful that we as a nation are getting back to things made with heart and soul!
I love using items that someone has crafted with love and ingenuity!
Zoe0825@verizon.net

sharkasattack said...

gussy diaper bags make me want to procreate. just sayin'!

b.reiner@hotmail.com

DramaCity said...

Beautiful things! I'd love to see a diaper bag with 2 outside pockets, a zipper pocket on the inside in a cute fabric1! :) (You asked and I'm just sayin':) )

sabrita said...

Great Etsy shop! I liked so many things-one of my favorites is the Charming Gus Apple Wallet with Geometric Red Button. Thank You!
sabrita@juno.com

Lyssa said...

What a creative little mind you have there!
I love your diaper clutch...having a boy in Oct and it's such a fun thing :)

Lyssa said...

I follow your blog!

Lyssa said...

I blogged about the giveaway!
http://stufflyssamakes.blogspot.com/2009/08/gussy-giveaway.html

amanda said...

I love the grass wallet!
oheeyore at hotmail dot com

amanda said...

blog follower 1
oheeyore at hotmail dot com

amanda said...

blog follower 2

amanda said...

follower 3

amanda said...

follower 4

amanda said...

blog follower 5
oheeyore at hotmail dot com

✖Kenny Ding✖ said...

Sweet!!! I love her shop!

darkkennyding@gmail.com

✖Kenny Ding✖ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
✖Kenny Ding✖ said...

I twitter about this giveaway.

http://twitter.com/kennyding94

darkkennyding@gmail.com

✖Kenny Ding✖ said...

I followed your blog.

darkkennyding@gmail.com

f.sarah said...

her creations are lovely!
thanks for the giveaway!

fsarah09 at gmail dot com

f.sarah said...

i follow your blog

fsarah09 at gmail dot com

Heather said...

I wish I could make cool things like this. I love the fabric.
jswandrn @ gmail.com

Ľubaša said...

My fav is Charming Gus - Gray and Yellow Wallet from her new blog. Thanks.
lubaska dot k at gmail dot com

trixpixel said...

I love the song on your site. It makes me smile. :)

trixpixel said...

I follow your blog! trixpixel(at)gmail.com

trixpixel said...

I follow your blog! 2 trixpixel(at)gmail.com

trixpixel said...

I follow your blog! 3 trixpixel(at)gmail.com

trixpixel said...

I follow your blog! 4 trixpixel(at)gmail.com

trixpixel said...

I follow your blog! 5 trixpixel(at)gmail.com