In our latest series, we’re bringing you stories from women who are chasing their dreams and building a life that they love with NYCountry Swag’s, “Woman of the Month.”
Each month, we will highlight a different female pursuing her passions. Introducing you to women who are taking risks, working relentlessly and turning their dreams into reality. These are empowering women who serve as role models and should be celebrated.
Our very first NYCS Woman of the Month is: Gracie Moakler
Gracie, wife of country singer-songwriter Steve Moakler, runs a successful clothing business in Nashville, Tennessee. Taking the time out of her busy schedule, the Memphis-born, Nashville-raised entrepreneur chatted with NYCountry Swag about her background, doing what she loves, and being by Steve’s side to support him in his music career.
Gracie and Steve met through a mutual friend while she was finishing school at Middle Tennessee State University. The two married two years later and began their journey in chasing their dreams together.
“We had been married 2 months and I was working this sales job that was just the pits. It was horrible and I had this dream to start this handmade jewelry company where we could help women who were coming off the streets and out of recovery in Nashville,” she tells us. Something that started off as a small venture, more of a hobby, turned into something real when Steve told her to quit her sales job and pursue her newly founded company, Miriam Designs, full time. “So, I quit my job a few months into marriage and we were living on one, very new, songwriters salary. But it was awesome. I was learning how to dream and take risks. I’m happy that happened right when we got married, because that is something we live by now.”
Gracie recalls Steve’s single, “Suitcase”, as a visual for their early years in marriage. The song suggests sharing simple experiences with the one you love and not getting caught up in all of life’s distractions. For Steve and Gracie, who star in the song’s music video, the lyrics served as a form of reality when they bought a camper and took off across America, combining their passions and taking them on the road. “We did 40 shows in 50 days in a 1968 Winnebago, so that was our first year of marriage. I would pop-up my jewelry line every night and Steve would play his music. It was the first time we were able to incorporate our dreams together. It was so special,” she thoughtfully recollects.
As Miriam Designs grew, Moakler also taught the women she employed how to sew in efforts to help them acquire additional skills that could help them in the workplace. With two years in, Gracie watched Miriam Designs take on a new life after accepting an opportunity to merge with another local Nashville company, Fashionable. The merge would combine efforts to help provide jobs for women across the world including the U.S., Ethiopia, Peru, and Mexico. “They run my company under their umbrella and they’ve hired so many more women and just made it explode. I feel like a proud mom,” she explains. Moakler worked with Fashionable for a year to help with the transition before thinking about her next venture.
With a love for creating, Gracie soon co-founded her second company, Thread Co. In the company’s early phases, Gracie and her friend/co-founder, Katie, wanted to create a company that could provide effortless and quality items, while offering a custom element in each design. “We were thinking, people pay to customize clothes for a wedding, for example, a suit or fancy clothes, so why would you not want a t-shirt that fits you perfectly?” The line features basics that will make you feel great no matter your size or shape. “We have a line of clothing that you can buy as is and then we have the line that can be customized, based on height or preference,” Gracie explains. For a personalized fitting, Customers can head to the Germantown location, where they just celebrated Thread Co’s one year anniversary this past September.
Of course, Steve acts as a model for the line always wearing pieces on stage, a favorite part of this journey for the young businesswoman. While Steve is on the road, Gracie is able to run the social media and marketing aspects of the company from his side, although she isn’t constantly traveling with him. “When I am in town, I do a lot of shipping and fabric cutting to help Katie, since it’s just the two of us right now,” she explains.
Gracie’s goals for the company are to build and grow the brand, and eventually hopes to occupy a bigger showroom. She would love to be able to expand the team and watch her company flourish even more. “For me, it is kind of like dreaming again, ‘Wow, this is ours and we can make it whatever we want it to be.’ Steve and I are both in a place where we are growing our projects and supporting each other. It is just so good for the soul, I feel like it reinfused my soul!”
For more about Gracie’s other half, husband – Steve Moakler, be sure to check out our 5 Rising Country Stars You Should Be Listening To.
We are thrilled to have Gracie as our first Woman of the Month and look forward to bringing you more inspiring stories, celebrating women who are pursing their dreams and empowering others.
Thanks for supporting Country Music in NYC!
– Team NYCountry Swag