Gifted was born in 2006 out of my need to heal and restore my life, through work and creativity, after the death of my husband, Joseph Gullickson, on Sept. 11, 2001 in the World Trade Center. Joe was a Lieutenant in the NYC Fire Dept. He was my best friend, a loving father to our two little girls, a wonderful son to his parents, and a close brother to his siblings.
Opening the gift shop was a creative endeavor that helped me enormously; the undertaking was a release for the tangled stresses and anxieties of becoming a sudden widowed mother of two little girls, they were only ages one and three when their father died on 9/11. I delved into the creation of the gift shop full heartedly and worked endless hours to create a pretty little store reminiscent of the small shops that I grew up with in Park Slope, Brooklyn where I was raised.
Gifted got the attention and support of the local community. The creative and social aspects of opening the store were helpful to me, but the most personally rewarding motivating factor, was the opportunity to teach my young daughters, by example, to dream, achieve and persevere in the face of adversity. My little girls were suffering the trauma of losing their father, and our lives had changed forever, but I wanted them to know as children, that there was hope, and the opportunity of fulfillment in life even when bad, inexplicable things happen.
Through a string of coincidences, or perhaps by divine plan, in 2014 I was afforded the opportunity to move Gifted from its original location, to a small brick and stone cottage that my late husband Joe admired for years as he was growing up on Staten Island. The little cottage was locally known as the “Roy Cutter Cottage,” where for many years, Mr. Roy Cutter operated an insurance agency. The property had been in the Cutter family for decades, and when Joe and I were dating, he always pointed it out to me when we drove past it. The day that I stood in the vacant cottage, available for rent for the first time ever, I was filled with happiness, peace, and the sense of Joe's warmth and presence in the room. I feel blessed to have the opportunity to forge new hopes and dreams in the little cottage that Joe loved.
In the fifteen years since I opened the doors in 2006, Gifted has grown into an established small business where local residents and online customers from across the country can buy, order, pickup and ship lovely gifts for any occasion. We love gifts, and love being part of the good feelings that they bring.