{the Whitley’s are moving… to California!}

For months now Zack + I have been chatting about moving to California. We’ve been together for over eight years, and pretty early on in our relationship I knew Zack wanted to work in the Los Angeles area. He studied film production at Central Michigan University {where we met} but even before college, this has been a dream of his. When Zack talked to my parents about asking for their blessing to propose, the three of them talked about how important it is to support your spouses dreams. Zack + I have seen early on in our marriage how truly important this really is.

Just 7 months after we were married Zack lost his job, the following month I lost mine. We were living in Detroit at the time and somehow found a way to pay our bills on time during those crazy months of unemployment, until our lease was up on the little house we were renting. A friend of mine was living in Minneapolis at the time and was able to get me a freelance position at the ad agency she was working at. This freelance position turned into a salaried position and in one weekend Zack + I traveled back home to Michigan to get our things and the following morning we were back on the road to Minnesota. We were moving. WHEW! Within two weeks of moving to Minneapolis Zack found salaried work too. I wasn’t surprised, he is such a hard worker and has fantastic people/communication skills. Plus he’s passionate about the film industry :)

We were living in Minneapolis for a couple of months when I really started pursuing Gussy Sews on a more serious level. About eight months after moving here I left my 9-to-5 to focus on my handmade business. I taught myself how to sew while we were still living in Detroit but once we moved to Minneapolis I got pretty intense about learning about the handmade industry + community. There was never a day when Zack doubted this passion and has always found value in sacrificing here and there when it comes to following dreams. Zack + I talk constantly about how to make dreams into something tangible, how to be smart when it comes to investing our money into them, and then our future — what will chasing our dreams now do for our future?

I feel so ridiculously blessed to be Zack’s wife. We met when we were about 18 years old, freshman in college, and have been passionate for each other ever since. We took our time dating, we had a two year engagement, and this past June we celebrated four years of marriage. Our marriage has always been full of adventures, starting with that fancy “unemployment” word just seven months in, to becoming a self-employed lady, to traveling to Tanzania together, and then about a year ago wanting to start a family but finding out God had some delayed plans for us. We have always been a team, starting with our dating years, and because of this solid start we always will be a strong team :)

A couple months after moving to Minneapolis Zack started talking about moving to California. Moving 12 hours away from family, about 600 miles, was way harder than I thought it would be. Once we were settled in to our new apartment Zack caught some brave air and used it to share his desires to {still} move to California one day. At the time, having our big move so fresh on my heart, I couldn’t even process thinking about this. I remember running into our bedroom and crying on our bed. Of course I slammed the door, haha. I wasn’t ready to talk about this let alone think about it. Zack + I decided we would talk about this again, but now wasn’t a good time.

A couple years passed, Gussy Sews had been in full-force for just over a year and once again we started talking about a potential move. We weren’t ready to do anything just yet but this new adventure was starting to seem possible.

And now that our lease is up on the house we’re renting, once again we feel now is the perfect time to move. We’ve lived in Minneapolis for three years but we are being called to a new adventure. Zack has made some incredible contacts in the film industry and is so ready to chase after this childhood dream of his, and I’m his number one cheerleader. Zack was a huge source of motivation for me — he always has been, actually, and I am really excited to be able to do something this big for him.

All this to say we are moving to the Los Angeles/Santa Monica area the end of August. We are doing the craziest thing: moving out there with just our Jeep, our pup + a handful of personal things. Everything we have here in Minneapolis will be sold or sent back to our parents houses for later use.

Our goal is to really downsize in space once we’re in California. Our house here is about 1500 square feet, we can really live in much less. We’ve got three beds, three desks, a bedroom dresser/nightstand set, a headboard, a kitchen table/chairs set, and the quirkiest, colorfull-est home decor items you can imagine — all for sale!

If you live in the Minneapolis area send me an email (gussy at gussysews dot com) with a link to your Facebook profile + I’ll send you the details of our giant garage sale, being held at our Minneapolis house on Saturday, August 18th. I’d love for you to come, and bring your friends ;D We need to sell everything in order to move.

Our official California-bound date is Tuesday, August 28th!

If you’re not able to come to our Minneapolis garage sale, but want to help, we’d love your prayers! There is so much to be done in just 4 weeks, yeowwwww! Getting ready for the garage sale, selling as much Gussy Sews product as possible, a job for Zack, a house for us. We are definitely above to journey on our biggest adventure yet! :)

Also, Zack is currently in California job + house hunting!!! He left Sunday the 29th and has been in Los Angeles all week. He’s leaving Friday morning (tomorrow) and we’re praying hard something exciting comes his way, soon! And do you know what? I couldn’t be more proud of him. About a month ago Zack asked if I really, truly, for-real was ready to make this big of a move. I told him, “Baby, if you’re ready, I’m ready.

Last Saturday we shopped for some new things for Zack to wear on his trip. We had a gift card to Starbucks so of course we used it, and while we were there we noticed this Tanzania sign — totally a sign for God, right?? We went to Tanzania and the LORD blessed our family a hundred times over. I can only imagine what going to California for a couple of years is going to do for our family.

In preparation for our move we are having a GIANT buy more/save more sale in the Gussy shop. Yes, the sale continues on. You can see all the details here:

I would be so so grateful for any promoting you can help us do. We are trying to get all current items sold so we can open the shop back up once we’re settled in September/October with fresh items. I am so excited but know I need your help, we have quite a bit left in the studio here. Would you please consider helping us to share this post? The more we sell now the less we have to move later this month.

We really truly are able to embark on the biggest adventure ever, thank you so much for joining us + sharing in our excitement :)

More details to come, as they come. Yeow! xoxo


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  1. 1


    Maggie, I am a silent reader but have been so blessed by your blog, your story, your passion and faith. I pray God blesses you and Zack as you embark on this new adventure in your lives. Everything you need both now and in the future may HE provide and may He also grant you your heart’s desires.

    Stay Blessed – will be praying for you guys.

  2. 3


    Oooh I am so happy for you both !

    What a great tea, you two trully make, I a wishing you all the very best on your new adventure, I know you will rock California !!


    Claire x

  3. 4


    How exciting!!! My hubby was born and raised in California and loved every minute. You guys will too! I met my hubby when I was 16 and after long dating/engagement period we got married at 21yo. 15 years later, 3 boys later(and big time challenges getting pg) and 6 moves later we are wonderfully happy. Our first move took us from our home in FL to PA. 4 months ago hubby had the chance with his job to move back to FL and we jumped at the chance and now are back to where we started. So I totally understand and appreciate what you have been through as I have traveled a similar path. God works in mysterious ways and just think, the fabric stores you’ll have access to will blow your mind!! Congrats and best wishes! Cindy

  4. 6


    I’m so happy for you guys. You will love it! My husband is Army so we move tons with tons of short notice. I loved being in Cali. God has such big plans for you guys! You two make such a great team. I’ll be sure to pray daily for you two, your move, finding a house & job, and everything else you two face. This will be such a great adventure for you.

  5. 7


    I hope everything goes great for you guys as you get ready to move! I am so excited you are coming out to CA!! I just know it will be awesome for you both!

  6. 10


    I’ll be thinking only the happiest of thoughts for you two! Downsizing can be a very good thing. My husband, myself, and our two crazy furballs made the decision 5 years ago….and haven’t ever looked back! We live in 400 sq ft of fifth wheel and travel the US. I still paint and sew…I just pared down my supplies, only buy What I need, When I need it! We learned to live simple and we couldn’t be happier! Life’s Adventures are so wonderful….wishing you all the best!

  7. 12


    Can you see me clapping my hands for you guys? Good luck with the move! So proud of you both for following your hearts and your dreams…you are truly an inspiration!

  8. 14


    Maggie that is SO exciting! I grew up in the LA area and lived in Santa Monica about 2-3 years ago for a year! If you need ANY help or tips Don’t hesitate to ask! I will also be out there in September to visit fam and would love to meet up and take you to lunch :) it’s always fun to see old friends {even though we only met once lol} in a new city! Best of luck and I will for sure spread the word for you! way to go to follow your dreams!
    ps- my uncle and gma own apartments in santa monica if you can’t find a place I can make a call and see if they have any openings! ;) xoxo

  9. 16


    Good luck, sweetie!

    I’ll probably be in your shoes in 4+ years, when my mister graduates from college. Right now he’s moving towards his dreams by making a huge career change & starting his college journey. While I’ve been a gal that has always had close family right around the corner, I know that I could live my dream just about anywhere…so I’ll gladly go where he wants. It took me a while to be able to say that & mean it with all my heart, but now I do. And any bits of nervousness have 4+ years to go away!

    You’ll have to share all about new life in Cali, because that’s one of the places my mister has been dreaming of moving to.

  10. 18


    Wow this is so awesome! What a fantastic adventure and what great faith in God! This makes me feel so excited for you! We live really close to that area! So if you ever need any ideas on restaurants, churches, etc let me know!

  11. 21

    Claire says

    Good luck, good luck, good luck! Your blog is a constant source of inspiration and motivation for me, and I wish you and Zack every happiness on your new adventure and in your future.

  12. 22

    Kiristie says

    What a big, exciting opportunity! It’s amazing to see the give and take in your marriage, through the stories you’ve shared on your blog…supporting each other through the different chapters in your lives! We’re on the brink of some changes in our family, too, including a new job for the Hubs, and it’s hard to step forward, not completely knowing what’s ahead (especially for a planner like me!) Thanks for sharing these words… they were a blessing to my heart.. May you be blessed in your new adventure! (MN will miss you, though…I’ll have to come and check out the super garage sale!)

  13. 23


    So excited for you two!!! When we moved from Portland to Seattle it was the most exciting but scary thing ever but God has been right there every step of the way! I know He’s got great things for you in California! What fun you’ll have and it will be so much warmer in the winter too. :-) Bonus.

    I especially I like that you are going to be on the West Coast :-)

    Congrats !

  14. 24



    Good for you M! What an adventure! I admire you guys being so carefree and willing to follow the dreams…if only we could all be so brave! Good luck!

  15. 25

    Cath says

    As a longtime Gussy fan and one truly inspired by your spirit (as colorful and gorgeous as your ruffled creations!), this news just LIFTS me into that blazing blue SoCal sky! Congratulations! To Zack, to you, to supporting each other’s dreams and courageously pursuing them while giving back in the mentoring, the volunteering, the loving you do so effortlessly. Cannot wait to continue reading about this glorious new path and the journey that will, undoubtedly, be one that boldly paints an unfolding season of your lives. Congrats, congrats, congrats! :)

  16. 26


    I love hearing about adventures. We rented out house…put everything in storage to move to hawaii this last year and look…
    here we still are. Loving it.

  17. 27

    Nicala says

    Maggie, I have sooo loved reading about all of your adventures over the last few years. You are such an inspiration to us young handmakin’ women! I am so excited for you and this new journey God is leading you on!! I have lived in So Cal my whole life–I grew up in the South Bay, which you will soon come to know {Redondo Beach}, and now live in a suburb of Long Beach with my hubby and 2 young girls. If you need any advice, {or even a new friend to take you to the LA fabric mart?!}, please, don’t hesitate to ask! Good luck and congrats! xoxo

  18. 29

    Danielle says

    Good luck on your adventures. My husband and I just celebrated ten years and we’ve lived in two countries and four different states during that time. When you go where the Lord wants you are blessed. :) DH’s in the post production end of the film business and we love it. When you get sick of crazy LA come to Albuquerque!

  19. 31

    Lisa Mac says

    We welcome you with open arms to Ca. Unfortunately, I’m in Northern Ca, in Sacramento. Praying and trusting that the Lord, who is always faithful, will guide each of your steps. Trusting Him to find the perfect job for your husband and s great place to live. Also praying for your future kiddos, in the Lord’s timing. Blessings to both of you!

  20. 32


    So excited for you guys (but sad that you will no longer live in MN!). What an exciting adventure, cannot wait to ‘follow’ along on the exciting new adventures and experiences you guys will have and the ways God will bless your family! What wonderful advice to always support your spouses dreams.

  21. 33


    You and Zack are the perfect team to take on this new adventure, a new chapter in your life. The fact that you are downsizing is a great idea, after living for 11 years in San Diego {SoCal} and 8 years in the same home last Spring we too decided to downsize {A LOT!} and take on a new adventure in Northern California {Silicon Valley to be exact} with 2 kids in tow {2 and 6 years old} I can honestly tell you that the best support a spouse can give his/hers other half is by being 100% supportive. It is not that easy, I know but you will both be happy and love your decision. California is a beautiful State and it is a little like living life in the fast lane, however each family/couple/person lives they way they are accustomed. The LA area is where I was born and lived part of my life and there is so much to see and do specially with your handmade business Gussy Sews. Plus so many boutique shops! If you need any guidance I’d be happy to help and congratulations on your move! Praying he finds a job soon! :) and you both are always happy! because that is the priority: being together, happily and with love! :D

  22. 34


    WOW girlie, that’s fast! I can’t even imagine…… but you are going to do it & everything will work out in one way or another. If there’s a bump in the road, it will only allow you to grow through the experience.

    Bless your ruffley heart!

  23. 35


    I am SO excited for you, girl! :) What a step of faith but it’s clear that God’s fingerprints are written all over this, even down to that sign in the ‘Bucks. Praying with you and for you! <3

  24. 36

    Sue says

    I’m so happy for you guys (even though we will miss you in Minnesota!). I’m not gonna lie, I’m a little jealous when I think about not having to deal with winter ;). Anyways, I love your blog and products and have been ordering a lot this past month~I’m happy I have been able to support you guys on this exciting journey. God bless!

  25. 40


    congrats on the move! My now husband and I moved 6 years ago from the midwest to California. We are up north, though, in San Francisco. It took some adjusting for sure, but we love it! There is nothing like having a 65 degree sunny day in January when everyone back home is under 3 feet of snow!

  26. 41


    Congrats on your super exciting news! I seriously love California and am sure you will too :) just came back from a weekend away at the beach and am reminded of how blessed we are to live on the West Coast, quirks and all ;) can’t wait to hear how the Lord provides for you in every detail!

  27. 42

    pamela says

    Congratulations on going full force to fulfill a dream. This is the time to do it. You are young, energetic and only responsible for your small family. We are finally moving from CA to the east coast–a dream of ours for years. We had to wait for kids to finish school, kids to have breaks in school, etc. Yes, it will be an adjustment but we knew we would always regret not giving it a try.

    California is the place to be for the film industry. My daughter is an art director for film and TV and having connections and being young and in touch is what it’s all about. My husband works in Santa Monica and you will love it . It is a lovely area. Best of all you will love the weather I’ m sure!

  28. 43


    I will definitely be praying for you! My husband and I just moved ourselves, so I know how stressful it can be (especially if you’re like me and struggle with worry!). Those 99cent ICEEs from the gas station are the BEST after a whole day of packing :)

    Also, have you ever considered making diaper bags?! Your totes are so cute, I could just imagine how adorable diaper bags would be!

  29. 44

    Cathy Kelemen says

    Such a huge leap of faith. I love how you both support each other. Oftentimes nowadays that does not happen and you see young married people go their separate ways! I know the Lord will bless you both for how you STAND together! My sister in law just moved to California a month ago….she has never been away from her family and quite honestly went from one coast (small town Vermont) to the opposite US coast. Wish I lived close….I’d definitely be at your sale! Blessing to you and your Husband!

  30. 45

    faith says

    How exciting! You guys are living the dream~

    Praying the details continue to come together seamlessly:)

    If you have anything left you don’t want to take after the yard sale, ship it to PA;)

  31. 46


    Yay! You two sound like you have something pretty amazing! Can I say I am just a little bit, okay, MAJORLY jealous that you found such a great guy. Seriously though, I am happy that you did!

    Enjoy your new adventure! I can’t wait to hear more about your California living. Moving to a new place with a few things, no family/friends except your husband will be sooo amazing. It will be like a totally fresh start and everything around will be new.

  32. 47


    I also studied broadcast & cinematic arts at Central Michigan University and moved out to Los Angeles in August 2006 shortly after my graduation! My boyfriend (now fiance) and I spent 5 years living in the Sherman Oaks area before moving back to Michigan (now in the Metro-Detroit area) last May.

    Congrats on taking the leap to a new adventure! There are actually quite a few CMU alum out in LA working in the industry. Hope you get a chance to connect with them. Wishing you all the best!

  33. 49


    this post melted my heart. not only because i can truly feel how much love and respect and admiration you have for your hubby, but you are chasing your dreams. how exciting you both must be! i wish you the very best of luck and will definitely keep you in my thoughts and prayers. blessings, xo

  34. 51


    Congrats on the impending move! I’m a relatively new follower, but I live in West LA so feel free to email if you have any questions about apartments, shopping, food, vets for your pup, etc.!

  35. 53

    Andrea says

    How wonderful!! I too am originally from Michigan, but live in California north of LA. Taking that leap of faith can be the scariest most rewarding thing. Looking forward to following your adventures out here.

    P.S. you will have to go the the fabric district. I’m dying to go but have never had the chance to make it over there.

  36. 55


    I love reading your posts!! I feel like we have so much in common and I don’t even really know you! Crazy right? I recently started my own blog and I am so excited to see how God is going to use me (my blog) to inspire others. I know that I am inspired everytime I read your posts and I hope that someday, others will say the same of me. It can be so overwhelming at times, because there are so many other amazing blogs out there. I get discouraged and think I will never have that many followers. Then I go back to your blog and read how you started off the same as me and the same goes for all those other amazing bloggers! Everyone has to start somewhere. So I guess what I really want to say is, thanks!!! You are a true inspiration!! Best of luck with your move!!
    Philippians 4:13

    • 56


      @Erin Kessler, YES you are totally on the right track — we all started somewhere and honestly, I am still learning. Learning keeps it exciting. And when I start to feel all “ho hum” I make sure to take a break from the internet. xoxoxo

  37. 57


    Sorry I entered my website address wrong and didn’t know how to delete the last comment to fix it, so I’m just replying to myself, lol!

  38. 58


    My sweet, sweet friend. I am so happy, so excited, so thrilled for you. And I’m PROUD of you for not letting fear keep you stuck right where you are. You have taken such amazing strides over the past couple of years, and I’ll be watching and reading to see what God will be doing in your life in LA. I truly hope we can meet up again at a conference somewhere, some time. Sending lots of love to you!!! Shelly

  39. 60

    Renee says

    Just this morning I was listening to the Simple Mom podcast with you and Tsh and I heard you talking about wanting to move to CA to get away from the midwest weather extremes and I was really hoping that your dream could come true someday! I decided to check out your blog for the first time and what do I see but plans to move to CA! I’m a CA girl, born and raised, and I’m so happy to welcome you to the West Coast! Living in the West is the best and I hope you enjoy it. Do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of Sunset Magazine for a great peek into living in the West. Blessings on you and your hubby in this new adventure!

  40. 62


    Well that’s such a fun journey!! I’m a big fan of cross country moves. We’ve made 4 in the last 10 years and I think I’m ready for more =) You should come to the SoCal Social in October to meet other bloggers!

  41. 65

    Gweny says

    OMG I am so blessed by your blog. I am a mom empty nester and I sew make jewelry , metal smith, craft you name it. The funny thing is I have been asking God for guidance as to what I should do job wise and I got the vision of purses and things items to sew and sell online as well. Your young enough to be my daughter but what an inspiration you have been to me. I need to not say” I am” but more” I will”. I am a single mom so I need to get going on this vision that God has given me.. BTW you might consider commuting from the Santa Monica area to a place more inexpensive like the Inland Empire. As the area your talking about is very expensive for housing etc. You pay for being around the beach and close to L.A. If you have any questions please feel free to email me.
    Blessings, Gweny

  42. 67


    Can i ask you something? Are you plyanig the game on Game Cube? Because i have downloaded the game for PC and it gets stuck! Reply me if you are plyanig on computer and give the site where i can download it! THX

  43. 68


    What an adorable custome! so sorry to hear that Ben missed out – that’s so sad. Happened to us a couple years ago, and is still being lamented every Halloween. We missed Milky Ways too – what is up with that?

  44. 69


    It seems that you love each other a lot which is the most important in this story! I am moving to LA too, next month because of my job and I am extremely excited about everything. I want to see the ocean and the beautiful beaches right now. Good luck for you two!


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