Peacock Alley and Founder Mary Ella Gabler
Mary Ella Gabler is a woman before her time. She is an entrepreneur, branding genius and author who can teach us so much about growing a business while learning the balance. I am lucky to know this talented woman who is passing the wand to the next generation of her family. Peacock Alley is a brand that is synonymous with quality and classic design, which never goes out of style.
Get to know the founder of this fine American brand….
Mary Ella Gabler of Peacock Alley
What is your training or background?
Mary Ella Gabler, Founder of Peacock Alley, has been designing elegant, top-of-bed furnishings for over 40 years. She turned a chic boudoir pillow, created on her home sewing machine in 1971, into a multi-million dollar luxury linen business.
“I grew up in Pennsylvania Dutch country and started buying and selling antique quilts in the 1960s”. After marrying and moving to Dallas to raise a family, Gabler built her passion into a business and founded the Peacock Alley bedding line after a buyer at Neiman Marcus spotted her home handiwork.
Gabler predicted the bedroom would become a multipurpose space for living, working, relaxing and sleeping, and developed Peacock Alley’s product line with that in mind. Peacock Alley continues to use that concept as its inspiration for its luxury linen line.
What inspires you and your designs?
My inspiration has always come from the consumer; designers and our retail customers…listening and learning about what they wish they could find in the market.
What is your favorite piece/ collection?
Coverlets and Matelasses have always been my favorite because they are easy to use, very functional, decorative and show personality!
How has your area influenced your work?
Dallas has influenced my work greatly because the consumer here is very sophisticated, has great taste and access to so much of everything. We are constantly trying to meet the demands of this fast-paced, fashion-conscious consumer!
What is your favorite restaurant in Dallas/ Ft. Worth?
Right now, my favorite restaurant is Grace in Ft. Worth. I love going there for the food, but go back for the hospitality and customer service.
What is your favorite cocktail?
You’re going to laugh, but it’s called a Pink Panty Pulldown ~ In 1990 we hosted a “pajama Party” at our store here in Dallas and served this cocktail which quickly became a favorite of everyone who sipped this refreshing cocktail! It is a combination of pink lemonade, vodka and Soda (or Sprite).
How do you balance personal life and work?
I believe this is something that everyone has to figure out for themselves – you just do it. The answer to this when I was a single, working mother is very different than it is now. Today, with cell phones, email and social media, we can get a lot more done on the go, in a shorter amount of time and still carve out the time alone for our families. Either way, no matter what stage of life you are in, it is about finding the balance and sticking with it.
I am been so fortunate to travel a great deal in my life, that right now, my dream trip would be one where I could take my entire family with me…the destination does not matter.
To create a small boutique hotel in Peacock Alley’s name…and cover every bed in our linens!
Your favorite host / hostess gift to give?
I love to give personalized gifts. Monogramming our guests towels or throws, allows me to create a unique gift just right for that person!
Who is your style icon?
Lauren Bacall…strong women with a presence.
They made the Little Black Dress a statement. At Peacock Alley we layer our linens to create the Little Black Dress of the bedroom…a foundation from which to grow.
Your favorite up and coming artist/ designer or brand?
A local Dallas artist, David Bates. He has a very distinct, abstract style and his subject matter has a great deal of southern influence.
What is your most treasured possession?
What are you reading?
I always read two books at a time, so they can balance each other out. Currently I am in-between two very large reads;
and Somerset, by Leila Meacham.
What are you listening to?
I never tire of classic Country…Hank Williams,
What are your favorite blogs / publications?
I am still old-school. I love my reading to be in paper and I regularly read Elle Decor, Veranda, Architectural Digest, Milieu and Flower magazines…of course, I have now discovered The English Room’s blog and think I might be a convert!
In September of 2013, Gabler released her book, Uncommon Thread: A Woman, A Brand, A Legacy: the Founding of Peacock Alley Fine Linens. This deeply personal narrative details Gabler’s sacrifices and subsequent successes over the last 40 years, as she has built her venerable brand. In addition to continuing her work in product design and launching her book, Gabler is a lifelong member of the CEO Club of New York, the C200 Organization, and the International Women’s Forum of Dallas. In 2001, Gabler was chosen as “Entrepreneur of the Year” from the Southwest by Ernst and Young.
Don’t miss our Summer Sale going on now thru August 23rd at our Atlanta Design Studio, ADAC West! Up to 70% off!!!
Here are a few Peacock Alley favorites….
What a great story! We’d love to meet her one day.
Katherine Corrao Nicholson
Fabulous Holly! Big thanks from all your fans at Peacock Alley for this fabulous feature on our favorite lady!!!
I love Peacock Alley and this is a great story. Wish I could do something like this……………………….
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