Staff Profile: Gwynne Mapes OR A Gosling Leaves the Nest (and Flies Next Door)

May 27, 2010

Gwynne Mapes, the new manager at Mimi's, hard at work on opening day

You know that young, beautiful, sophisticated and discerning gosling who seems to have vanished off the floor of Mama Goose of late?  That’s Gwynne, and she’s hasn’t disappeared … she’s simply flitted next door to become the manager of Mimi’s Attic.  We thought this transition was cause for celebration, and a great chance to let you all get to know Gwynne a little better!  Check out her profile below, and then stop by Mimi’s to watch her in action.

How long have you worked for Mama Goose and what do you do?

I started working at Mama Goose in September of 2008. I left in January to go to Seminary in Dallas, and then started working again this past July. I used to make a lot of signs and outfits, but now I mostly buy in clothes that end up in the “basket of shame.” Actually, now I mostly don’t do anything at the Goose, ‘cause I’m always at Mimi’s!

How did you land at The Goose?

Well, after I graduated from college I moved back to Ithaca and attempted to get a job in my major (English and Linguistics). I even bought a suit jacket with a matching skirt. But, all employers hated me. Sandy suggested I apply to the Goose. I wore bright green J. Crew corduroys to my interview and I’m pretty sure that’s what made me get the job.

What’s the best part about your new gig at Mimi’s Attic?

I love what we sell! And I love being part of something new, and helping build Kelly’s vision. I fully believe in beautifying the things around you—why not spend $10 on a bouquet of flowers every week if they bring you joy every time you see them? I want Mimi’s to be a place that can foster that sort of ideal in people.

What will you miss most about being at the Goose? 

Too many things. I’m feeling especially starved for customer interaction right now, and I really miss having awkward conversations with babies. I also desperately miss all the amazing women I work with, except for Kelly, who I’m really sick of.  Just kidding! Kelly’s my favorite.

What did you first think when Kelly told you about Mimi’s?

I was freaking out! I called my mom and all my friends and made secret plans for how I was going to weasel my way into being directly involved.

When you’re not working, what are you doing?

I eat a lot and run a lot. I also hang out with my annoying dog, Schuyler, and my annoying boyfriend, Nathan. I spend a lot of time obsessing over my sisters and how much cooler/prettier they are than me.

How many homes have you had in your life? What was special about each of them? 

I guess I would say I have had four “homes.” My main one is the house I grew up in, in Lansing. My parents and youngest sister still live there — it’s way too small for my family but it’s kinda perfect because my family really likes being together and laughing. We also really love eating (thanks, Momma!). 

My second home is my grandmother’s cottage on Lake Erie in Vermilion, OH. It’s in a place called Linwood, which I talk about all the time because it’s so wonderful. We go there every summer (I even went while in the womb), and see my extended family on my mom’s side. I get really tan…but I swear that’s not why I love it so much!

My third home is the house I lived in while attending Mary Washington College in Virginia. I lived with my best friends, and I really miss seeing them every morning and watching America’s Next Top Model marathons. The house was a little gangster with the smallest kitchen EVER. And we rarely cleaned. It was actually really disgusting, now that I think about it.

My fourth home is the apartment I live in now—this one is especially wonderful to me because it’s my first adult home! I decorated it myself, and I love it. I’m so happy to be back in Ithaca, and to be living downtown, and to be so close to almost everything and everyone that is important to me. I guess the trend I’ve noticed is that home for me is really about who I’m with, not where I am.

What’s your favorite thing about the place you live in now?  What’s something that has to go/change?

My favorite things are the hardwood floors, big windows, picture frames, and garden. I would change the color of the walls—I love the clean and crisp look of white walls but color is kinda my thing right now. I would paint the living room blue, the bathroom sage green, and the kitchen butter yellow. And I would buy all my furniture and linens from Anthropologie or Mimi’s Attic! 

What is your favorite business in Ithaca other than Mimi’s and MG?

Probably the Ithaca Bakery or Greenstar. Maybe Taste of Thai?

Do you have a group, club, organization, blog or business that you’d like to introduce and link to?

Yes! My best friend, newly pregnant, has an amazing blog. She posts pictures of decorating inspiration, JCrew finds, and delicious recipes.  Also, although she lives in Minneapolis she is an official Mama Goose customer and is planning on diapering her baby exclusively through the Goose! Yay, Katie!!!

Do you have a favorite something? 

My favorite book is Beloved by Toni Morrison.

Are you on FB and/or do you tweet? 

Facebook, baby!

Sandy on losing Gwynne to Mimi’s:

I thought I would miss my frequent reminders that it is time to feed, but as it turns out, Gwynne comes on over from Mimi’s to tell us when mid-morning snack, lunch, mid-afternoon snack, and apple-time all are. I will miss seeing her overly excited about some super cute whats-it-not that just came in, or that she just discovered on the floor.  I will miss the frequent updates on why she is temporarily leaving the floor…the ones that are usually followed by one of us with “I did not need to know that”, but somehow I suspect that we will still hear many of those.   And, as always when an employee goes from full to part-time, or part-time to frequent shopper, or from The Goose to Mimi’s in this case, I will simply miss hanging and enjoying life on a daily basis with a great friend!

Kelly on Gwynne: 

Gwynne and I have been working side by side for about a month now as we have been getting Mimi’s ready. Of course we worked together at Mama Goose, but the joined-at-the-hip-thing is a new thing for us.  As I suspected, Gwynne is very easy to be with for eight hours a day. She is funny and hard-working – two of my favorite qualities in a person.  Plus, Gwynne shares my compulsion for order and procedure, so we can both be perfectly content discussing things like paper clipping verses stapling.

We have been throwing the word “beautify” around a lot at Mimi’s, because that’s what the merchandise inspires us to do. This is a word that also comes to mind when thinking about Gwynne, because she puts a lot of thought into presentation. The Mimi’s space is raw and unpolished, and Gwynne has done a great job of creating pockets of beauty amidst the chaos.  Like a bird in Danskos (Gwynne always wears Danskos at work), Gwynne darts around the enormous store and brings order to it all.

Still curious about Gwynne and her impeccable sense of style?  Take a peak inside her apartment over on our Flickr page.  Then, get yourself to Mimi’s, post-haste! 

When she's not at Mimi's or the Goose, Gwynne spends some quality time with her canine companion, Schuyler

-Meryl at the Goose

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5 Responses to “Staff Profile: Gwynne Mapes OR A Gosling Leaves the Nest (and Flies Next Door)”

  1. Rhonda Mapes Says:

    that’s my baby!!!

  2. Becky Mapes Says:

    can we be best friends forever?

  3. Gwynne Says:

    stop embarrassing me, family members!!!

  4. julia Says:

    well, i’m not your family. but i can embarrass you!
    i’ll hold off until it really matters.

    i’m an idiot for not answering my questionare in time. i will miss so many things about our comedic partnership on the floor at mama goose…the tommyboy impressions mostly. (fat guy in a little coat.) but also the deep and emotional bond we share around the love of food. i will tempt you from the next room with my savory microwave smells. you can count on me to always share my avacado with you, friend. and my green and black’s mint chocolate bar. and my fruit cobbler. and…i’m starting to tear up.
    i love you, gwynne mapes. you’re the best!


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