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Uncommon Thread: A Woman, A Brand, A Legacy


Most entrepreneurs can understand and identify with this month’s Institute program leader, Mary Ella Gabler Bitzer when she says, “I have been in the hot seat almost as many times as I have been in the catbird seat.” This month, Mary Ella, founder of Peacock Alley, was joined by Institute founder, Ann Dugan, to share the lessons she learned as she built her distinguished brand of bed linens. Her full story is captured in her recently released book, “Uncommon Thread.”

Mary Ella  has been designing elegant, top-of-bed furnishings for more than 40 years. She turned a chic boudoir pillow, created on her home sewing machine in 1971, into a multi-million dollar luxury linen business, contributing to changing how Americans view their bedrooms.

So what is the secret to her success? Simple: Love what you do.

“Throughout life’s twists and turns, I’ve held close to the blessings of family and friends, good food and health, fulfilling work and life’s unexpected moments of joy. But the common thread between them – what makes me feel happy, secure, warm and at home, no matter where I am in this world – is something as simple as this; beautiful textiles sewn with love and care. Pure, luxurious, homespun comfort.” (Uncommon Thread)