“But, I just don’t find myself that interesting!” That’s what we heard when we asked Gabby to be our Flourishing Friend for May. Excuse us, but we beg to differ and you will too, when you learn how this amazing woman turned one of her life’s saddest moments into a vision that is truly making a difference for women everywhere. Her business is booming these days – Go girl! – but she took a few minutes to chat with us about what makes her a flourishing woman.
Growing up a Military Brat really helped Gabby understand “we are all in this together!” It takes all kinds to make up this world and that, for Gabby, is what make’s the world a more interesting place.
Born in Germany, she lived most of her life in Georgia until making the move to Oregon several years ago. And, by the way, she thinks Crater Lake is the most beautiful place on earth. Gabby worked many less than inspiring jobs, but when she took a real estate course as a college elective, she was immediately hooked. “I could not believe you could buy a home, live there and enjoy it, write off the interest on your taxes and then sell it and keep the profit (most of the time). I thought why isn’t everyone doing that? I need to help people do this!” That was the beginning of her real estate career and Gabby has never looked back! Sixteen years later she owns her own successful company, Realty Solutions and the profits helped fund her true life passion, the non-profit she started, Jessica’s Hope.
Jessica’s Hope was founded in honor of her mother who lost her life after a 5 year battle with Ovarian Cancer . Her focus is on raising awareness and money in the search for a test for ovarian cancer. Gabby wants everyone to know that there is currently no definitive test for ovarian cancer. Therefore most women get diagnosed in the late stages of the disease. There is a 90% survival rate with early detection. Her passion shines through when you talk with her – she’s a woman on a mission! Gabby funds all administrative costs for Jessica’s Hope through her real estate company so that 100% of donations go to The Ovarian Cancer Institute at Georgia Tech where they are looking for a test.
The Jessica’s Hope website is a great resource for information, inspiration and support. They also have a very creative on-going fundraising program. Make a purchase through the online store from one of their great partners and a percentage every purchase goes directly to support the organization. You can also use the portal to shop at places like Amazon.com and they will give a portion of your purchase price back to Jessica’s Hope. We all love to shop and this is an easy way to do something good at the same time!
Who is your hero? Cliché but true – My mother is my hero. Although she is not around physically, her spirit is with me every day. She had a great work ethic and was very independent. What makes her my hero though, is her kind soul. She always found the good in someone. I don’t remember a time when she said cruel or mean things about anyone. Her favorite saying was “you make your bed, you lie in it”, but I always knew that she would always be there to help get me up again. In her mind it was the right thing to help other people when you could.
What is your favorite quote and why? My favorite quote is “if you continue to do the exact same thing, you will continue to get the exact same results”. I am not sure who came up with this quote, but it can apply to your personal life as well as your business life and if something is not working in either, I look for something I can do differently.
What keeps you flourishing? I enjoy life. I work hard, but I play hard also. As I have gotten older I’ve learned to take time for me. It truly is the secret to keeping your sanity.
If you were a pair of shoes, what kind would you be and why? I would be a pair of Michelle K.’s They are comfortable with a subtle style. This describes my personality. I am often told that I have a unique style. I like to call it comfortable and honest. Michelle K’s are comfortable with a simple, honest style.
I can’t wait to… Wake up tomorrow and see what adventures the day brings. “The only day you have is the one in front of you, so choose wisely what you do with it!”