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Peacock Alley's Gabler pens autobiography with inspirational messages

Dallas - Courage sums up, in word, what Peacock Alley founder Mary Ella Gabler says took for her to get her business started 40 years ago.

She chose words from the late British Prime Minister Winston Churchill to further explain her sentiments.

"Success is not final; failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts."

That is how Gabler starts her new book, "Uncommon Thread. A Woman, A Brand, A Legacy: The Story of Peacock Alley Fine Linens" - which is being self-published. The 265-page autobiography, written by Gabler with Denise Gee, will be sold starting Sept. 1 by Peacock Alley via its stores, website and trunk shows. Gabler said she is also planning a brief tour for book signings at key retail partners around the country in the coming months.

The book is a first for Gabler, who has spent the nearly two years working on the project.

The idea for it started out as a coffee table book. But that plan changed before she even put pen to paper.

"I started looking around and realized that there were already many pretty coffee table books out there," she told HTT. "I discussed it with my sons, who are now both running the business, and they said, ‘Mom, just tell your story. We have a 40th anniversary coming up this year, we know some of the things you've been through, and it could be inspirational to a lot of people to read about your story.' So that is what got me started thinking about changing the format."

The result: An inspiration-inclined first,-person account about Gabler and her self-started company - from its origins to the present day.

Almost as soon as she got started, Gabler realized her task would not be easy.

"It was difficult, I will tell you," she explained. "And it was a journey. Writing this book and putting it together proved to be a real journey of my life while I was living through the whole Peacock Alley part of it."

The hardest part of the effort was reflecting on the many different decisions she confronted and made over the years in building her brand and business.

"I felt it was a soul-searching exercise," Gabler went on. "As I put it together, I remembered different things, and different decisions I had to make over the years, and it got me thinking more deeply about why I had made those decisions made those choices. At the time, I had pressures and had to think about matters more quickly. Now I have more time to consider them. And it has been hard in some respects going back."

That's not to say she isn't proud of the outcomes, and that the experience of writing her book about her career was not "truly terrific."

"As I say in the book, when you are a positive person and you try to look at situations in a positive way, it is hard when you are involved in negative situations. But you put that behind you, learn from it, and go on, which is what I always tried to do in my life," Gabler explained.

"But when you have to write about it years later," she added, "it is almost like you are going to a psychotherapist. Upon reflection, you wonder why you thought the way you did back then. You think more about decision you had made in a different way than when you made it."

Peacock Alley - "Forty years and still dreaming," as the company notes on its logo - is one of the most recognized and respected luxury linens brands and suppliers in the industry, thanks to the dedication and hard work of Gabler and more recently, her two sons - Jason, ceo, and Josh, vp of sourcing and product development.

It is to them that she has dedicated the book.

And it is to her future readers that she hopes to pass on some inspiration not just professionally but also personally - just as she did to her two sons.

"I want it to be particularly inspiring to women," said Gabler. "They have such a challenge today, juggling all that they do - their work and their families. But there is a way to juggle it all and still have a successful career. It just takes passion for what you do, and I feel very lucky to have found my passion and lived it."

As she quotes in the words of Virginia Satir at the onset of the seventh and final chapter, dubbed "Continuity":

"Feelings of worth can flourish only in an atmosphere where individuals' differences are appreciated, mistakes are tolerated, communication is open, and rules are flexible - the kind of atmosphere that is found in a nurturing family."



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