gussy sews, and sews, and sews and sews…

Yes, yes…I realize, yet again a series I titled “Monday Mornings Inspiration” has not been posted on Monday.  I really need to change the name because my life is very unpredictable!  I digress…regardless of what day it is, it is a great day to meet Maggie!

Maggie Whitley is the girl behind the ruffle – the gussy sews girl – you know the one!  The girl is everywhere!

Maggie taught herself to sew not that long ago, launched a business, quit her day job and the rest as they say, is history.  She is sweet and energetic and not afraid to take risks.  A lesson that she shares so freely on her blog.  She is always a breath of fresh air and I’ve enjoyed getting to know her in blogland.

Today, Maggie is my Monday Mornings Inspiration, or Wednesday…whatever!  You’ll be inspired too – read on!

1) Since the feature is called Monday Mornings Inspiration, can you tell me what inspired you to a career in art and design?

At the time I started sewing (November 2008), it was truly just a hobby and something to fill my evenings and weekends with. I wasn’t really interested in watching TV when Zack (my husband) had to work late, so one day in November I decided I’d teach myself how to sew. As the months passed and I learned more and more I came to really love the trade. Also around this time my husband and I suddenly became unemployed. The Michigan companies we worked for weren’t doing very well, and we lost our jobs. As newly weds and recent college grads were were left thinking, WHAT do we do now?!?! It was a really crazy time and we were both unemployed for 7 months.

Around August of 2009 we decided to pursue the only job offer we received — I was offered a full-time, salaried position in Minneapolis, so we moved. We packed up the house we were renting in Detroit, MI and moved 600 miles. I was still sewing at really developing my brand and style. A few months later Zack and I agreed it was time to leave my salaried job and work full-time on my business, Gussy Sews.

In college I studied photography and journalism ~ two subjects I really love, and have for some time. Originally my dream job was to work for a magazine. I was drawn to fresh designs, new monthly page layouts. Since I love to talk and interact, working for a magazine and interviewing others for features was perfection! Even though I’m not working THAT dream job, I’m definitely working my current dream job {yeow!}. I’m really drawn to color and this job in art & design allows me to work with it, through various mediums, plus it allows me to feel inspired by completed to-do lists. Oh yes, I’m a list girl ;]

2) What continues to inspire you each day and how do you keep your art fresh?

I work a pretty strict schedule which coincidentally allows for “free time” daily. During this time I read, watch a movie {seriously — there is so much inspiration in movies}, I write guest blog posts that allow me to create using different mediums. Each day I walk our puppy, Bauer, and so I find inspiration in nature, fresh air, exercise. I need to clear my mind since I do spend a lot of time online ~ it’s very fast paced so taking short breaks outside is incredibly helpful.

Another way I stay inspired is to meet with friends weekly for coffee. We don’t have a car {Minneapolis has a fantastic bus system}, so some times it takes a little planning to get out, but it’s a must for weekly inspiration.

3) What 3 words best describe you

Sassy, vibrant, caring.

4) What could you not live without to get through each work day?  Your phone/computer, sewing machine or your coffee?

Umm, all three! :] I need coffee — yes, need — because it helps me to relax and take a few minutes for myself each day. I need my sewing machine so I can create pretty ruffles and I need my computer so I can share them with the world!

5) What is the one best part of your job as a designer?

I feel a real sense of purpose being my own boss. To take a product I’ve designed and be able to make a living selling it is so fulfilling. I feel very blessed.

6) What advice would you offer to someone when it comes to living a creative life?

I think it’s really important to know how you work best, to know what encourages/motivates you, and to be able to say “no” if something doesn’t feel right or you don’t have time. The best part about this is there’s no right or wrong answer to these things. They can be totally personalized to fit each business owner.

7) What can we expect to see from you in the coming year in terms of new projects and design?
Can I be vague and say something colorful? :]
Maggie you rock!  Maggie has very generously offered to share some gussy goodness with one of you – a $40 shop credit!  That could get a girl some serious ruffles!  This giveaway will be open until Sunday, May 8th at midnight.  Giveaway is now closed.  Winner will be chosen via  Here’s how to enter:
1)  Visit Maggie on her blog and leave her a comment saying hello!  Come back here and tell me you did so – 1 entry.
2)  Visit Maggies shop – come back here and tell me how you would spend the shop credit – 1 entry.
3)  Like Maggie on Facebook – leave her a nice little note saying hello.  Come back here and tell me you did so – 1 entry.
4)  You could just leave me some blog love too – a nice little comment saying, “Hi Trish!” you know, something like that would make me smile.  1 entry just for being so nice and sweet.
5)  Or maybe, be my friend.  I like to have friends too.  Who doesn’t like to have friends?  I love making new friends.  Want to be my friend?  (Oh sheez!  I’ve been inside too long with all this rain and just me and Sprout all day – my brain is turning to mush!)  Friend me on facebook and say hello.  Come back here and tell me you did so and I promise to say hello back.  Really, I will.  I love making new friends.  (hee!hee!) – 1 entry.
5 chances to win $40 smackeroos worth of shop credit from Gussy Sews!  Thanks Maggie for sharing your inspiration with us…love ya!

90 Responses

  1. I visited Maggies blog. She is very inspiring. Wore me out just reading about her schedule!

  2. Guess I already like you on facebook…thanks so much for a fun giveaway!

    Happy Mother’s Day!

  3. Hi Trish…thanks for sharing such fun information on your blog!!!

    My daughters and I love to check it out and see what’s new!


  4. Like Gussy Sews on facebook….what fun products!!


  5. Love the Peonies in Pink zippered pouch!

    Thanks for a fun giveaway!

  6. Left a comment on her wonderful blog…thanks for sharing the link to it!!


  7. Loved visiting Maggie’s shop! Thanks for the great interview too, Trish! If I were to win, I definitely would want the laptop bag for my new-to-me-laptop! Soooooooooooooooooo pretty!!!!!

  8. and HELLO to you my dear. kinda new to your blog/shop, but totally adore you work and love this giveaway as I’m also a new fan of Gussy’s!!
    Thanks to you both for the opportunity! have a great night!

  9. and I already like YOU on facebook and said hello!

  10. I now “like” Gussy Sews on Facebook!

  11. I love the Sweet Home Alabama Diaper/Wipe clutch 🙂

  12. I left a comment over a Gussy Sews and said hello (and now follow her too bc she’s too fantastic NOT to!)

  13. Love your creative ideas. One of these years, I’ll dedicate myself to creating…which I love to do!

  14. I already like Gussy Sews on facebook. 🙂

  15. I LOVE the orange floral market tote. Crush!

  16. I visited Maggie’s blog and left a comment!

  17. And I stopped by your blog to say hello…and I ended up saying Happy Birthday to Sprout so…You both got some love! Happy Mother’s Day Trish!

  18. I’m already a friend on FB and I subscribe to your blog via e-mail cause I love your blog so of course I love visiting on FB ~ and of course saying Hi ; )

  19. I visted Gussy’s Sews store and if I won, I would have to get the Fuschia Baby Blanket and the diaper wipe wristlet. (SIL is due in June & these would be fabulous shower gifts!) : )

  20. Hi Trish, I’m posting to let you know that I visited Gussy Sews Blog and became a follower. What a great blog!

  21. […] forget to go HERE and enter to win a $40 shop credit from Gussy Sews – open until midnight, May 8th, […]

  22. Something to make you smile: it’s Friday!!! Hope that it’s a great one!

  23. Trish, left you some love over on your facebook page!

  24. Left a comment on Maggie’s facebook page.

  25. Well, considering I just bought Lola, I guess I need to pick a new favorite to put on my wish list! Maybe the Sultry Damask market tote should be my next Gussy purchase!

  26. Posted in the Creating Community post on Maggie’s blog. 🙂

  27. i like you on fb and left a comment.
    christy M

  28. i left a comment under you bio.

  29. i like her on fb and left a comment
    christy M

  30. i love the pretty in taupe and the vacay tote!!

  31. i left a comment on the *new* clutch prints + studio pics post.

  32. I like Gussy Sew on Facebook! Cool Stuff!

  33. Trish, Ok…I think I got it now:) I left a comment on Maggie’s super cool blog! * Rochelle

  34. Trish, Check to all three things for entry above. The answer to number two….it is so hard to pick but maybe a clutch?? Thanks for offering this great giveaway.

  35. Oh- and forgot to say I’d love any of her Market totes!

  36. Hi Trish- I liked Sew Gussy and commented on her blog. Cute stuff!

  37. I told you “HI!!” on FB!!

  38. Hi Trish!! LOVE following your blog!! THANK YOU for a chance to win a GREAT giveaway!!

  39. I “LIKED” her on FB and said Hi!!

  40. I would have to get a Market Tote if I won!! Probably the Turquoise Grid market tote but it is HARD to choose!!

  41. I left a comment for Maggie on her Blog!!

  42. I was already your FB friend but I did leave you another comment. thanks again

  43. If it is any consolation. Today felt like a Monday lol

  44. I “liked” Maggie on FB and left her a comment

  45. If I won, I would buy my daughter and I a pouch for our phones. Certainly not matching…that wouldn’t be cool hehehe

  46. I visited Maggie’s blog and commented on her cute shoes.

  47. I said hello on Facebook.

  48. Hi ❤ Trish! I love your new banner. Very cute. 🙂

  49. I love the girl purse and wrist pouches.

  50. I dropped by and said hello!

  51. I’m a new friend on facebook. Yay!

  52. I’m so sorry that you’ve been bogged down by the rain. We’ve had a few days of it ourselves here in Hawaii, so I feel your pain. I hope it brightens up for you soon 🙂

  53. I’m already a fan of Maggie’s on facebook.

  54. I have a Gussy bag on the way, but I would love to have a Sweet Alabama diaper/wipe wristlet to go with it.

  55. I commented on Maggie’s post about her new clutches. 🙂

  56. Hi Trish! How about some corn for today:

    May the 4th be with you today!


  57. I like Gussy Sews on FB and said hello.

  58. On Gussy Sews, I would have a hard time choosing between a headband to give to a friend or a laptop/vacay bag for myself!

  59. I said Hi to Maggie on her blog – and told her how cute I think Bauer is.

  60. Hi Trish 🙂 Hope you have a wonderful day!

  61. I think my favorite would have to be the Pretty in Taupe Laptop bag

  62. I left Maggie a comment on her fabulous blog!

  63. gorgeous bags there

  64. She doesn’t have much in her shop right now. 😦 I would want one of her totes/purses. They are beautiful.

  65. I left a comment over at Maggie’s. I am looking forward to returning when I have more time to look around.

  66. HI 🙂 Have a great day!

  67. already your friend on FB!

  68. Roses are red.
    Violets are blue.
    Honey is sweet.
    And so are you!

  69. Liked Maggie on FB!

  70. I like the Spring Blue Headband. But in the picture above there looks like there is some great Joel Dewberry aviary coming along….. 🙂

  71. Visited her blog and commented!

  72. and i thought i was your fb friend already – but just remedied that!

  73. already liked maggie on fb 🙂

  74. and it would be really hard to choose just one thing – but right now I’m loving the sultry damask market bag.

  75. visited maggie’s blog (as usual) to comment (not always something i manage to do 🙂

  76. I left you a comment on your FB page. 🙂

  77. I love your blog! I just happened upon it through Maggie, actually, on Twitter, and I’m now a follower! 🙂

  78. I left Maggie a comment on her FB page!

  79. I’d love to put it towards a Daniella vacay tote 🙂

  80. I love Maggie’s products! They’re just so beautiful! 🙂 I left her a comment!

  81. Oh my gosh! I LOVE that purse. It’s amazing.

  82. Trish, you are absolutely and completely wonderfully amazingly awesome!

  83. I left Gussy Sews a comment on her blog.

  84. I love the spring wristlet and since I’d have money leftover, would HAVE to get a headband as well.

  85. If I won I’d use the credit towards a market bag. Something fun and summery…cuz here in Wisconsin we NEED fun and summery to come!

  86. And I like you on facebook.
    I’d like people on twitter but I tried that once and got confused.

  87. I already like gussy sews on facebook! Love love her bags

  88. Can I get one entry for you being nice and sweet? 🙂

  89. Hi! I follow both of you guys on Twitter, just “liked” you both on Facebook and love both your blogs! 🙂 I agree – Trish – Maggie is very inspiring! As are you!! 🙂

  90. Hello 🙂

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