Gina Ponzi Fornecker will be launching her brick & mortar fabric boutique ~ The Little General on Tuesday, June 5, 2012. Located at 114R Reynolda Village, Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Shop Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday - Saturday, 10:00 am - 4:00pm. Shop Closed Wednesday & Sunday.
Let’s get to know Gina a little better...
Hi Gina, I am so excited about your up & coming fabric adventure next week and thought it would be a good idea to let folks know a little more about you & The Little General..... Let's chat.
Are you originally from North Carolina? How long have you lived in Winston-Salem?
I was born and raised in NC! Some people wonder why I lack that lovely Southern drawl; my parents are both N.Y. natives. I guess that kind of makes me a mutt…I grew up in Goldsboro, graduated with from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and moved to Winston with my husband, Sam, about 3 years ago. We love Winston the best!
The Little General—tell us about the name of your shop and your adorable logo:
The Little General was a childhood nickname of mine. I was a little, um…particular. I hated that name at the time, but when I was creating a name for my business it seemed fitting. I wanted my brand to have a narrative behind it, which is why the little girl in the logo is so perfect. I’m not the Little General anymore—she is! Ultimately this little lady embodies the idea that creating can be frivolous—like playing dress up—but also revolutionary. Watch out for this one: The Little General plans to change the world one stitch at a time!
Obviously you are an amazing sewist—do you have any other crafty interests? Are you planning some fun classes in the shop in any other category other than sewing?
I love anything crafty: painting, drawing, calligraphy, jewelry making (I even had a brief stint with glass blowing!) knitting, scrapbooking—you name it! I especially love to do unexpected things with fabric, which you’ll notice when you visit the boutique. As for classes, I know an incredible embroidery artist who is itching to share her gifts with others, so we’ll definitely offer some embroidery classes. There may be other sneaky things in the works, too; I have to keep everyone on their toes!
What are you looking forward to most with your brick and mortar?
New friends! The shop is much more about relationships and community than it is about “business.” I love sharing interests, ideas, talents, and friendships.
Can you give us a sneak peek at your list of ideas for The Little General? It can be a tiny peek.
No peeking allowed!! If you want to know, I guess you’ll just have to come and visit me to find out. I definitely have a scheme or two up my sleeve.
Will you be selling fabrics online as well?
Of course! Although, if you’re in town I’d much rather see your beautiful face than your name on an order form! (;
How would you characterize your style? Where do you tend to find your creative energy and inspiration?
My style is a little bit like me: all over the place! I’m notorious for creating odd combinations that nobody else would ever think to try. Sometimes they’re a resounding success. Once in a while they’re epic fails. But they’re always adventurous and never boring! I’m totally attracted to color, (mint is my current color crush!) vintage, all things French, and sparkles. (Do I sound like a fish!?) When I need some inspiration I love to see what other artists I admire are doing. Katie Rodgers of Paperfashion does amazing illustrations with vibrant colors and patterns. Bri Emery of Design Love Fest is great with images and text. Anna Maria Horner always has a clever project in the works. Anthropologie has incredible photography and style, which I find irresistible. And of course there’s Tula, who is just genius.
When I really need some inspiration, I love to look at blogs, take a nice jog to brainstorm, and then jot down some fun ideas. Something about the combination of fresh air, hard work and beauty in nature really gets my creative juices flowing.
Do you have any pets?
I have an adorable puppy named Della. She’s wonderful. Except when she pees on the bed.
Do you prefer quilting, garment sewing, home décor sewing, or handbag construction?
I love it all, but I’m a sucker for fashion. I love it when people ask where I got what I’m wearing and I get to say, “I made it and you can, too!”
What’s your favorite holiday?
Christmas! When I was younger my 5 siblings and I always slept in the same room. We out grew that tradition, but nothing beats the nostalgia, glory, and magic of Christmas.
What kind of fabric designers will you be carrying in the shop? Currently, who is your favorite fabric designer?
Nobody short of fabulous! Included in the list will be Amy Butler, Anna Maria Horner, Denise Schmidt, Tina Givens, and Tula Pink. I like to think of her as my “patron designer.”
What kind of music do you like to listen to?
At the moment I’m listening to Chris Thile rock it out with Yo-Yo Ma. I LOVE Chris’s voice. Some of my other faves are Ingrid Michaelson, The Civil Wars, Freelance Whales, Louis Armstrong, Jon Forman and Rachmaninoff. Haha! I’m writing this and realizing what a broad spectrum this is. I like almost everything except for rap and country. But I have exceptions for everything…
How would you spend the day if you had nothing on your to do list?
Coffee in bed, a long jog with Della and Sam, grilled cheese with brown sugar in it from Simply Yummy, a new sundress, an afternoon of creating, more coffee, dinner with friends, and an episode of New Girl before bed. (With ice cream, of course.)
What is your favorite candy? Movie? Book? Cartoon character?
Candy: Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs-the ones that only come out at Easter.
Movie: Tangled. Best sound track ever.
Book: ‘Til We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis. Life Changing.
Cartoon Character: Alladin. I have a thing for good voices.
What does your fabric stash look like?
Depends on which room you’re in.
Do you have a celebrity crush?
Chris Hemsworth, Robert Downing Jr, and Chris Evens. (I didn’t just see The Avengers or anything!) But really. Who doesn’t have a crush on those guys? Their muscles are intimidating. And awesome!
What’s your vision for The Little General in the coming months and years?
My biggest dream for The Little General is that it would be a place for community and creativity to thrive and flourish. I believe there is beauty and power in creation and nothing is more inspiring or rewarding for me than to watch others feel empowered, excited and proud of what they make. Sharing in that experience—creating a space for it to happen—is nothing short of magical.
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Gina sounds pretty cool, right? Well she is. In addition to preparing to open her brick & mortar next week, Gina has been busy producing a benefit dance for Arts For Life North Carolina, a non-profit organization that provides art and art therapy to young people facing serious illnesses. Benefit scheduled to take place next Friday, June 8th. Last year David Ford interviewed Gina about her Patchwork Dance Benefit and I have attached a link to the interview... prepare to be impressed with The Little General.
What can I say? I feel grateful to be leaving the shop with someone so wonderful. I am down to my last 2 days in the shop and can hardly believe it. Stop by and see me if your schedule allows ~ I'd love to see you. Friday morning - June 1st, Gina will begin transforming the shop into her vision. I know it will be perfect. Also, I do have a few seats remaining for the Tula Pink Event I am hosting at Graylyn next Wednesday, June 6th. Call me today if you want to attend this inspiring event 336.779.6155.
Have a nice day.