A new podcast episode!

I recently recorded a podcast with Jen & Danielle of She Percolates and we had a great conversation chatting about the various ways my businesses have changed over the years, including unemployment, childcare help, starting a book club, and future projects! It is a great episode, and it was so fun to reminisce over the last seven years.

We also talked about success, including what defines success for me personally and why it’s important to not compare yourself to your neighbor. Click the play button above to listen, or click here for a direct link to the podcast & show notes. Oh, and here’s a list of previous She Percolates podcast episodes. Have a great weekend!

Pin It

The difference between Gussy Sews & Caroline-made.

caroline made gussy sews maggie whitley

I received a really great question on Instagram the other day about my two shops, and I thought it was so good that I’m going to answer it here on my blog.

What is the difference between Gussy Sews & Caroline-made?

Gussy Sews is my original handmade shop, the one I started almost seven years ago when we were living in Detroit. Nearly all of the products under this name include our signature ruffle, something I added back in the early stages as a way to set my handmade products apart from other shops/designs. I love the softness the ruffle adds to each product and that they are hand-ruffled (meaning I don’t use a Ruffle Foot on my machine to gather the material). Gussy Sews is an outward example of “you can learn and do hard things” inspiration. The fabrics I use are mostly quilting cotton, are full of color & vibrancy, and carry a cheerful vibe. Gussy Sews’ tagline: bright, colorful tote bags & accessories.

Caroline-made is the “big sister” shop to Gussy Sews and began in 2014. I had a vision for this shop for years prior to launching early last year, so it was a real dream to bring it to fruition while still living in Los Angeles. My goal with CM is to create a product that carries sophistication in it’s designs, while continuing to embrace my love for color. Simple differences, like stitching a suede label to the front side of each product and using (gorgeous) metal YKK zippers have been so fun. I use exclusive designer fabrics, something I absolutely love offering. Caroline-made’s tagline: pretty accessories for the modern, sophisticated gal. By the way, Caroline is my middle name and holds much of my inspiration for opening this shop.

caroline made gussy sews maggie whitley

The differences between the shop are small but mighty, for sure. I’m so glad a reader asked for more information because I totally agree, what sets Gussy Sews apart from Caroline-made may be unclear at first glance, but the overall aesthetic is hugely different.

Here are two more Cliff Notes differences: Gussy Sews features ruffles and a crazy (fun) amount of color, Caroline-made is a gorgeous mix of sophistication and style.

And in case you’re curious, I’ve written even more about my handmade story here, including how I learned how to sew, the moves my family has experienced (MI, MN, CA), and traveling to Tanzania, Africa with Compassion International in 2012.

PS. One of the products featured in this post will be released exclusively to my email newsletter community — exciting! To learn WHEN and HOW to buy, along with general Gussy Sews & Caroline-made shop updates, join here:

Pin It

New products inside the Gussy Sews shop!

gussy sews maggie whitley

There are three new medium zip pouches inside the Gussy Sews shop! All are ready-to-ship, and all feature our signature ruffle :)

gussy sews maggie whitley

I found some great colors to work with: midnight blue, mustard, coral; cherry red, blush pink, lavender; vintage flowers of blue, pink, green & yellow.

gussy sews maggie whitley

But, this one might be my very favorite.

Gussy Sews products are handmade in Los Angeles in small batches. Click here to shop >>

PS. A few weeks ago I decided it was time to start sewing again, and this one small (big?) change has been just what I needed as a creative mama. I’m so glad I listened to my intuition and re-joined the handmade community.

Pin It

Yesterday’s sewing accomplishment.

gussy sews maggie whitley

I’ve shared here & there how I’m sewing more, but all of this is possible only because I have a dedicated “work day” each week. This has been a fairly easy transition for me as a mama, mostly because I have so much peace knowing the kids are going to daycare together as a pair, but also because I adore where they’re going. And then there’s this (which has been so critical to me personally): in terms of general Maggie-ness, I feel a million times better having reserved time each week to pursue my creativity. I didn’t realize how much I had been missing sewing and challenging myself with details of handmade until Zack and I began talking about re-opening one of my shops. Suddenly an hour of conversation had passed, and plans had been made to re-arrange our furniture so I could sew in front of our large picture window (amongst other family/home changes).

It’s been AMAZING for me to track on paper how much work I’m able to get done during a single “work day” when I put my focus entirely on WORK. That means no phone calls. No texts. No social media/app checking. No laundry. No home tidying. No stopping at [X] on the way home. No.

Instead, it’s simply, work. I use a daily planner (similar) to jot down work ideas and to-dos throughout the week, which helps me later on know exactly what to focus on (there’s no guessing or time wasting happening over here, folks!). It’s been so good.

Yesterday was a hugely productive sewing day. I finished 17 Gussy Sews pouches, complete with ruffles and my favorite embroidered twill tags! And yep, this batch of Gussy Sews zips will be listed shortly, so stay tuned :) Looks like my action plan is treating me well — hooray!

 

Pin It