Interview with Guillemette Calderwood - Owner of the Guigui Shop
I am so excited that I got to talk to Guillemette Calderwood, a fellow twenty-something that is absolutely rockin' her young adulthood! She shared with us her newly-found passion for sewing, her personal style, and discussed her adorable Etsy shop and experiences as a small business owner! Read on to learn more about Guillemette!
Tell us about yourself!
My name is Guillemette, I am 23 years old and I, like most young adults in their early twenties, am still trying to figure out my life and what makes me most happy. I am planning on going into the Medical Field (and am starting Physician Associates school this month!).
Before PA School, I worked as an EMT for a private ambulance company, testing individuals for COVID-19. Outside of work I volunteer regularly at my church and enjoy spending time outside with my dog, Dobby, and my husband, Andrew. I was looking for something to do after my work day and that is exactly where sewing comes in!
How did you get started with sewing?
I started sewing because as a wedding gift my husband and I received a sewing machine and I thought it would be practical to learn, especially to tailor some of our clothes for fun. Quickly I enjoyed sewing while watching Netflix, having something to do with Gilmore Girls in the background.
The first thing I sewed by myself was a rain jacket for my dog during a stormy day in Davis, CA. After making the doggy rain jacket I figured it would be cute to make a little doggy bandana…and then with the help of YouTube I quickly transitioned Into making my own clothes as a way of expressing myself.
Can you tell us more about your personal style and why you decided to start making clothes?
I like to think of my clothes as seasons. Not just seasons of the year (Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall) but also seasons of my life and of my mood. Each of my current pieces are associated with the weather and how I am feeling. For example, my simple floral two piece makes me feel like a late summer day. Going on a picnic with my family under the sun. Furthermore, my blue overalls reminds me of early spring. When the flowers are just starting to come out and I must tend to my garden.
The list continues with my original pieces. I decided to continue to make my own clothes because I don’t feel the same attachment to clothes that I buy from the store. I enjoy knowing no one else in this world has this outfit and people must come to me to be able to wear clothes that I create.
Pictured Above: the Kate Overall, the Normandie Piece, and the Hortensia two-piece set.
Let's talk about Dobby and your adorable pet clothes!
Dobby is my adorable German Sheppard mix that was rescued from a shelter in Stockton, CA. Dobby is very scared of the outdoors and has experienced lots of trauma in his life. Finally he has a family who loves him and he is learning to play and be a happy dog.
When I adopted Dobby and started sewing, I loved the idea of others being able to pick and choose which fabrics they loved and then be able to create dog bandanas for those furry friends! I originally posted on Facebook during Christmas time that I made dog bandanas with some extra fabric I had from some sewn Christmas pajamas I made for my family. Although my intention was to make some dogs happy, I ended up making dogs, cats, birds and turtles happy too! That is when I decided to create a business out of my fun talent.
What do you like best about taking on these sewing projects?
I have three main reasons I love taking on these sewing projects
I love turning a few yards of plain fabric into beautiful pieces that are custom made to fit whichever body they are meant for. They are made out of my own two hands for a specific person and I get to see it being created from start to finish.
The Medical field can be hard and heavy sometimes. Sewing gives me a challenge that successfully distracts me from my work life in a healthy and productive way.
The third reason I love sewing is simply because I get to be proud of myself with each stitch and have so much fun doing it!
How can people learn more about you?
I recently started an Instagram and an Etsy called The Guigui Shop (@theguiguishop). As of right now I am selling animal bandanas to the public, however if messaged via Instagram, or Etsy I would love to make a custom-made piece for whoever wishes it! I am currently selling my two-piece sets for customers and would love to see you wearing clothes from @theguiguishop!
I just received my custom-made two-piece skirt and top set from Guigui, and I absolutely love it! Be sure to check out her shop! And, thank you Guillemette for inspiring your fellow twenty-somethings to follow their passions.
UPDATE: As Guigui is busy crushing her classes in PA school, she will taking a brief hiatus from the Guigui shop! Updates to follow!