Eeeep! I am so excited to share with you a new type of series called Handmade Shop to the blog. It’s where I will share some of the current handmade businesses that I am crushing on and I am even more excited to have Maggie Whitley of Caroline-Made as my first featured shop. You probably are more familiar with Maggie as Gussy Sews, the very popular handmade shop that sold adorable totes and bags with her signature ruffles. Maggie has recently embarked on a new sewing adventure and I couldn’t be more excited for her. Maggie recently launched her brand new shop called Caroline-Made, pretty accessories for the modern sophisticated gal and let me tell you, it’s totally swoon worthy. If you loved her before, you will totally love all her new products. Here is a little background on how Caroline-Made came about:
Caroline-made is the newest chapter to my sewing adventure, and just so happens to be my middle name. The inspiration for this shop is gathered from color, texture and interesting patterns. The fabrics used on our products are high-end designer fabrics with exclusive availability. I’ve incorporated a bit of metal and leather with our product embellishments (zippers, pulls and labels) to add a bit of sophistication to our products. But the fabrics take the lead, definitely. They are so gorgeous and have the perfect weight to them.
And of course, all of this glory goes directly to God who gave me these talents and has blessed me a thousand times over with this community.
In order to fully share what Caroline-made is about I should back up to a few years ago. In the fall of 2008 I found myself on Etsy.com and was literally fascinated that women my age not only knew how to sew, but they had an online store and were selling their handmade wares. I loved this idea and quickly wanted to become a shop owner. I borrowed my parents sewing machine and spent the following month learning the trade. At the time my husband and I were living in Detroit, MI. I went to our local library and checked out about 30 books to continue my studies. Just a few months prior I had started my blog and I began building a loyal community through my blog posts.
I soon tagged the products I was sewing “Gussy Sews” and my sewing adventure began! I’d also like to add that both my husband Zack and I were unemployed during our time in Detroit. That was such a crazy awesome time for us, learning how to set big goals and chase after them with open hands. Most of the products I was designing & sewing had our signature ruffle on them, and the Gussy brand quickly exploded.
Since 2008 we’ve moved to Minneapolis and then Los Angeles, where we’re currently living. We’ve also traveled to Tanzania, Africa with Compassion International in 2012. That trip obviously changed our lives, but it’s been nearly 2 years since we visited and I’m still experiencing how great our God truly is. My favorite post from our trip? This one.
Southern California life has challenged me in big ways, including how the Gussy Sews brand would continue. In December 2013 we transitioned the Gussy Sews shop to The Gussy Club, our monthly subscription service where our handmade products are shipped directly to our members mailbox. It’s so fun, and honestly an exciting change with how the Gussy ruffles reach our customers.
My goal with transitioning to the Gussy Club was to open a brand-new handmade shop, one that would not only continue to challenge me creatively but would allow me to fully embrace who I’ve become. When I started sewing in 2008 I was barely 23-years-old and sans kiddos. Since then Zack and I have moved four times (Michigan to Minnesota to California) and our first baby was born in 2013, a son named Maxwell.
I feel very blessed to have experienced all of this, and I’m practically sitting on the edge of my seat in anticipation of our next adventure.
Thank you for being a part of my story.
“Inspiration is all around you.”
These pencil and basic pouches are probably my favorite of them all. I have a slight obsession with small pouches and at any given moment, I can have 4-5 pouches in my purse that carries anything from my credit cards to my many sticks of lip gloss. I am so happy for Maggie’s new adventure and I am getting more excited because I get the honor to finally meet her in person at Hope Spoken at the end of the month.