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 ya!