May 3, 2011

An interview with Maggie of Gussy Sews

Today we have a lovely interview with Maggie of Gussy Sews. Maggie has a strong passion for sewing and ruffles, and writes one of the sweetest blogs in the blogosphere. She also runs the very successful Gussy Sews online shop where she makes and sells the prettiest handmade ruffled bags and accessorizes.

Meet Maggie:

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

-My name Maggie Whitley ~ a lot of people know me as Gussy, it's a nickname from Charlotte's Web and also the name of my blog and handmade shop. My husband, puppy and I live in Minneapolis and we love to walk around our neighborhood and spend time outside. My blog is filled with handmade inspiration and my shop is bursting with ruffled accessories. I've been blogging for almost 3 years and I've been working on Gussy Sews solely for almost an entire year. My 1 year anniversary is mid-May!

2. What got you interested in blogging, and how long have you been blogging for?

-I started my first blog in July 2008, just a month after Zack and I got married. Zack actually started it for me, and look at where it got me *wink*

3. Can you tell us about your style?

-My style is influenced by color, comfort and simplicity. I'm very comfortable skinny jeans & a boyfriend sweater - or a pretty floral dress - Lisa Leonard jewelry and a ruffled tote bag.

4. You started the very successful "Gussy Sews" online shop. How did you find your passion for sewing, and what do you love most about working for yourself?

-My passion for sewing really was accidental. In November of 2008 I decided I was going to learn the trade, so I checked out 30 library books and spent the next few days reading them, discarding any tutorials or articles that didn't make sense. Sewing is a backwards, upside down, inside out process. It got very confusing at times, so my main focus was finding a teaching style that fit my learning style. Once I "found" my signature ruffle, my love for sewing got a little out of control :)

Sewing is something I never thought I would love, but I do. Definitely.

The thing I love most about working for myself is that I can fill my design, social and family needs at once.

5. What are your favorite trends for spring?

-Polka dots :)

6. When you're not busy blogging, what can you be found doing?

-Reading a book. Drinking tea. Playing with my pup. Watching a movie with my husband. Taking a nap :)

7. With regards to fashion, as well as your handmade goods, what do you draw inspiration from?

-Color ~ it's my favorite "accessory" and something I wish I was more bold with.

8. If you had to pick one outfit to wear the rest of your life, what would it look like?

-I would wear leggings with a cute floral, cotton dress, and a colorful necklace.

9. All of your handmade goods have your signature ruffle on them. How important do you think it is to establish a sense of style and consistency in your work?

-Very important!!! Most of the time a signature design element is what customers (and soon-to-be customers) notice first. My friend recently told me that she was wearing one of my wristlets at the park and someone called out to her, Is that a Gussy? ~ yes yes yes :) having a consistent style to your brand is super important.

10. Do you have any advice for aspiring small business owners? What about someone interested in learning to sew, but isn't quite sure where to start?

-Three tips: pick a business name that will grow with you as your business grows (don't narrow it down to something too specific); make sure you love the process of what you're making/selling; make sure your spouse is 100% on board. You'll need their support.

And advice for someone interested in learning how to sew ~ read the book Bend the Rule Sewing. It is one of my favorites! Some tips for newbies would be to have a lot of patience (take breaks when you get frustrated, don't try to work through it.); know it can take time to perfect a straight stitch; learn the basics of your machine, including the tension settings.

Thank you so much for doing this interview Maggie! Don't forget to check out Maggie's blog, and the Gussy Sews shop for your daily dose of cute ruffled accessorizes!



  1. I've always really enjoyed Maggie's work! She has fantastic bags and the like! This was a great interview, thanks for sharing!

    xo S

  2. I love my Gussy bag. I'm so glad you did a feature on her. :)

  3. Gus is awesome - I've had the pleasure of meeting her several times and stare at her freaking long eye lashes! Can you tell I'm jealous of them?