Our Humble Beginings

After many years in the corporate world as an engineer, manager, and executive, Deb finally began really listening to that inner voice inside her head saying "Follow your dream…stop thinking, wishing and talking about it…just do it...open that cool gift shop…DO IT!" So, while maintaining her corporate position, she began devouring how-to books on entrepreneurism, specialty retailing, and following dreams. She started out small and cautiously, working with a family-owned silversmithing business in Bali to import and sell handmade sterling silver jewelry at shows. She took classes on jewelry making and repair, read more books and started making her own jewelry as well. She started doing home shows and became a “closet carny”, traveling to do shows on weekends. She experimented with other hand-made projects and began crocheting again, a craft she learned as a child from her grandmother – this time making tiny adorable wool animals. She bought her own cement mixer and started making concrete and hypertufa stepping stones, small bird baths, planters and other garden ornaments. All with the idea that someday…if she had that cool store…she would also be able to sell her own hand-made items and those of other artists and craftspeople. She started reading books on antiques as well…as her shop would certainly contain vintage and antique items from hers and her parents collections.

Her honest hope at that time was that she would find some reason NOT to listen to that crazy little voice in her head. Some way to prove that it was insane to leave a comfortable, successful, lucrative corporate career to try something she had never done before. But that wasn’t happening and the voice was getting louder. Plus she was REALLY enjoying the new things she was learning and the new work she was doing.

So, in one last ditch effort to find out FOR SURE if this was her calling, she took a part time job at a seasonal specialty gift shop in the mall before Christmas…surely that rat race would curb the desire! However, yet again, it only made it grow stronger. She loved it and had never been happier at work (even though it was in the mall…it was still a small locally owned boutique)! So, in her mind she really had no choice but to take that leap of faith. Now the hard part…breaking out of the "golden handcuffs"…and this part overwhelmed her, so she dragged her feet…knowing that fate would take over at just the right time.

And, as all things meant to be, it did…and a miracle occurred…Deb was laid off from her corporate job. It felt like a kick in the stomach at first, but in no time, she felt like she had been completely liberated! It was the best blessing in disguise she could have ever dreamed of, and she took it as a DEFINITE sign of things to be…

The rest is history. Today Zak's is the coolest gift shop in town. You will find Deb in the store just about every day, enjoying her career and living her dream! Stop in, say hello, and let her help you find the perfect gift for that special someone!