My grandmother was a weaver. When I was a child I had a beautiful rug in my room that she made.  It was black and white with sporadic red stripes and I played on it daily. For reasons I don’t recall, my mother happened to tell me that my grandmother had made the rug from my grandfathers WWII uniform. She showed me the rug up close and told me how the uniform was cut into strips and woven together with tough cotton threads. That day changed my life.

My mother had always shopped in thrift stores and I was taught to value those things that others thought were no longer useful, but I had not given a great deal of thought to the fact that in my mother’s home, clothing was frequently re-used several times before it was eventually turned into something utilitarian like a rug or a dish towel. Nothing went to waste.

I started my store, Gillsie, in 2010 with the intention of combining the thing I love most – Creativity – with the one thing I believe in most – being part of the solution.

I crochet each item from my own imagination using either 100% USA grown and made, USA post industrial or recycled yarns from deconstructed, unwanted clothing.

My ultimate hope is to see a paradigm shift from “used” to “upcycled” and for society to be comfortable with it. In the 1950’s the word “imported” was synonymous with exotic or better. I want to see a shift back to where Made in America means unsurpassed quality and craftsmanship.

We are all entitled to our little piece of the planet, the air, the water, the land and by making choices with care and thought we can collectively make a dramatic difference in the amount of waste we produce. Less waste means more beauty for EVERYONE to enjoy.

A little bit about me: I am from Piermont, New York. I have a degree in Fine Art from Lewis and Clark College. I live in Beaverton, OR with my husband and sometimes our four young adult children. We have two very interesting dogs and a cat that likes to lick all of its fur off.  Life is good!


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