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Gabrielle's Profile

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First and foremost, I absolutely must give credit to the creative genius who breathed life into Little Secrets, Little Secrets2 and Hunters Secrets. It is with immense pride and gratitude that I thank my son, Kevin, for his creative genius, infinite patience, ability to capture and express my visions, and countless hours invested in the creation of logos and web pages for all of my sites!

Over the years I have been asked many times how the name "Little Secrets" came about, so I thought I'd share that story here. Many years ago, during a life-changing crisis of personal and professional direction, I became a Special Education teacher in a small, rural town in Mississippi. My students were adolescents and young adults who had been diagnosed with severe and profound mental retardation, and Autism. After a few months of working with them, I decided that it would be nice if they…

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  • Female
  • Born on December 2
  • Joined October 15, 2007

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About

First and foremost, I absolutely must give credit to the creative genius who breathed life into Little Secrets, Little Secrets2 and Hunters Secrets. It is with immense pride and gratitude that I thank my son, Kevin, for his creative genius, infinite patience, ability to capture and express my visions, and countless hours invested in the creation of logos and web pages for all of my sites!

Over the years I have been asked many times how the name "Little Secrets" came about, so I thought I'd share that story here. Many years ago, during a life-changing crisis of personal and professional direction, I became a Special Education teacher in a small, rural town in Mississippi. My students were adolescents and young adults who had been diagnosed with severe and profound mental retardation, and Autism. After a few months of working with them, I decided that it would be nice if they could learn a craft, and possibly make some money to take trips and buy much needed supplies. As I had been making jewelry, soaps, bath salts, perfumes, etc for decades, I decided to introduce my hobbies into the classroom environment. The response from my students, their families, and the administration was humbling. I had everyone's unconditional support. Not only did my student's put forth their absolute best efforts, but they dedicated themselves to mastering the crafts. Every day they gave me their best. We were in business. One old Psychologist turned Special Education teacher and nine severely and profoundly mentally retarded adolescents. We were a motley crew to be sure.

As the years passed we grew and became a well oiled team. My young ladies and gentlemen demonstrated creativity and skill beyond all possible expectations, and with this proficiency came a new found pride that was a marvel to see. Within a year we started selling our products at trade and craft shows, with my students directly manning the booths and selling the products themselves. They loved it! However, as would be expected they would often be asked by patrons and family members how they made the soaps, salts, jewelry, etc. Because of their exceptionalities explaining was either not possible, or terribly difficult for them. So one day when one of my students with Down Syndrome was feeling very frustrated because he couldn't answer the questions to his satisfaction, I told him to tell anyone who asked that it was "our little secret"; thus, Little Secrets was born.

During my time with those exceptional young ladies and gentlemen, one of my ladies with Down Syndrome won High School Homecoming Queen, and went on to win the title of Miss Congeniality in both Mississippi and Louisiana, and the International "Yes I Can" award. Those delightful ladies and gentlemen taught me that anything is possible; even when faced with obstacles we can neither see nor understand.

When I finally said adieu to my role models, we had danced the night away at every Homecoming and Prom, with the hottest dates anyone could ever want, and always arriving in style in a private limo! With the profits from our little classroom business we had taken field trips to the New Orleans Zoo, Dixie National Rodeo, Jackson Planetarium, Mobile shipyard, and Gulf Coast to name a few of our "hot spots." Every one of my ladies and gentlemen had held down real jobs in addition to our entrepreneurial endeavors, and were saving their money for things that were meaningful to them.

As the years passed I was honored to walk every one of them across the stage to receive their High School Certificate. When I walked the last three across the stage, I knew it was time for me to move on. They had done their job, and thanks to them I was now ready to move on with my life.

So with that said, I'm a native Southern Californian who was so very fortunate to have grown up during some of the most important and exciting years of our recent history, the 60's. I was at Woodstock, saw Joplin, Hendrix, the Doors, the Who, and most of the greats of that era in concert many, many times. I made the cover of the Free Press when Bear of the Canned Heat called me on stage during a concert.

I was also an oxymoron. I was a hippie who believed that my brothers and sisters who served our country in the Vietnam War deserved respect and support.

Now, across the span of 6 decades and through a series of very strange twists of fate, I have ended up in the Deep South. I am a Psychologist, entrepreneur, strong advocate for the rights and protection of animals, retired mother of 2 amazing sons, and proud grandmother of 7 perfect grandchildren. I live in the country with my husband and six rescued dogs.

Somehow, amid the confusion, we make it all work out. Other than my small businesses and photography, which are more for my own mental health than profit, I enjoy a simple, quiet life.

I have finally found peace in my Golden years!

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