{Maggie Whitley} orange heels and a white dress

Maggie is the cutie behind that signature Gussy ruffle.

She has an infectious personality and a huge heart for helping others in the handmade community.

And have you seen the darling stuff in her shop?!

If you’ve been reading along with the other guest bloggers, I want you to remember that your life can be rearranged in a million different ways.

It doesn’t require kids, a tragic story, or medical needs.

Life can take on an entirely different path…for all of us.

{If you are new here, check out the FAQ for more information}


Hi, I’m Gussy — the girl behind the ruffles.

This November will be my second anniversary of becoming BFFs with my sewing machine.

Zack and I were married at my home church on a lovely day on June 2008. The birds were chirping, we were both recent college grads, I was wearing orange heels under my sparkly, white wedding dress… See? it was a lovely day :]

A few months after we got married, Zack was offered a job in a new city so we moved to pursue that. Soon after we were settled in I decided I wanted to learn how to sew. The public library and I became good friends, and fast!

I checked out about 30 library books and each night would read through a few. Some books were amazing and just my style of learning. Others, not so much. But that’s OK! I felt it was important to focus on my learning style, especially because it’s hard to see how to thread a sewing machine when you’re LOOKING at a piece of paper. {Dear YouTube, thank you for existing…}

I had borrowed a sewing machine, and so for the next few months it was just me and my parent’s sewing machine. I loved sitting at the kitchen table as I figured everything out.

I had zero experience when I started {is that OK to admit out loud?!}, but I had a determined spirit and a big heart for the trade.

I continued to learn the trade and soon enough found myself with ruffled accessories that I tagged “Gussy”.

Then in January 2009, about 7 months into marriage, Zack lost his job. It was a shock, but about 3 weeks later I lost my job. Now we were really in shock.

We were unemployed for the next 7 months. When we looked at the math, the income we were suddenly bringing in wasn’t enough to cover our bills, but God was faithful and through Him we made it work.

August 2009 came and we finally saw a break in our unemployment. One of my friends had recently moved to Minneapolis from Detroit, so Zack and I drove out and stayed with her while I freelanced at the company she worked for. We were in the Twin Cities for about two weeks. I was offered a full-time job, so we drove back to Michigan Friday morning, packed up the house we were renting, and drove back Sunday morning with our families in tow.

We arrived in Minneapolis, our families helped us unpack, and I soon started my new job. Two weeks passed and then Zack had a full-time job {whoaaaaa, money!}

It’s now September 2009, and I’m still sewing and learning a ton. I was putting in about 80 hours of work each week as I sewed in the evenings and on weekends. Week-by-week I was building up my blog and finding my way in the handmade community. A few months later, in February 2010, I attended Blissom and seriously, it pushed my business in a new direction.

Blissdom changed the direction of my life.

I came home from the weekend-long conference and shared everything with Zack. We both knew it was time to pursue Gussy on a more full-time level, so started saving our money so I could quit my day job. In about 8 weeks we saved nearly 3 months of my salary. YEOW!

{To read how I quit my day job, click here.}

It’s been almost 5 months since I quit my day job — May 17, 2010 is a day I’ll always be celebrating. I love what I’ve learned, the people that I’ve met, and that I have been blessed to find my passion in life at such a young age. {I was 24 when I became self-employed.}

Is this the life I had planned for myself? No, absolutely not. Up until January 2009, I was very set on working for someone else so I didn’t have to worry about “business things.” But then my husband and I lost our jobs, and suddenly we had a big issue in our hands.

I’m very proud of myself and the things I’ve learned, and I love to encourage others to write down their goals. Goal-making is a huge part of my business plan.

I have learned so much even though I am so young…

Faith, love and passion — these are the “things” God is teaching me right now.



Maggie learned that sometimes the things you never dreamed of…can be a GREAT thing!

And with great things, helping others is like the icing on the cake.

So, Maggie has chosen St. Jude Children’s Hospital as her fundraiser.

I am so excited by this!  St. Jude’s is such an amazing organization and one that I hold near and dear to my heart.

This is how it works:

Consider giving to St. Jude’s through our Life.Rearranged page HERE.  For every dollar you give, you will get one entry to win…

A $40 shop credit to Gussy!!!

Oh the ruffled goodness you can get!!!

So, if you give $5, you get 5 entries to win.  $14 gets you 14 entries.  Get it?  :)

You can also get an entry by subscribing to Life.Rearranged and leaving me a comment in THIS post letting me know you did! (1 entry)

Fundraiser will run for 2 weeks and end on October 25th.

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I'm a mom to four. A wife to one. I believe in story. I love telling you about mine and would love to hear yours. There's really no sense in wasting our suffering and not sharing in each other's joy. We're all in this together...even if it doesn't always feel like it.

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  1. 1

    I subscribed! jmls09@aol.com

  2. 2

    I’m a subscriber!
    Stephanie C.´s last blog post ..Full House

  3. 3

    Like a breath of fresh air. She is so cute.

  4. 4

    Stalker…err, subscriber/follower.
    Jenni Carlisle´s last blog post ..Life Made Lovely with my Sissy

  5. 5

    Love Gussy & St Jude’s. Donated, woot!
    Jenni Carlisle´s last blog post ..Life Made Lovely with my Sissy

  6. 6

    I just subscribed! :)
    Rachel´s last blog post ..I Love It All


  1. […] Want to help out St. Jude AND enter to win $40 Gussy shop credit? I guest blogged over at Life.Rearranged — click over and send some love? […]