Margie’s story of time well spent in the Christmas Shoppe

Ethan Brogan photo
Margie Gray stands next to the sign for the Christmas Shoppe Dec. 15. Gray has been selling her handmade goods in the Christmas Shoppe since its opening three years ago.

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By Ethan Brogan ethan@glenrockind.com

If you walk into the Glenrock Christmas Shoppe you will notice all of the holiday decorations adorning the walls. Handmade jewelry, glass sculptures and, in the center, racks of unique clothing all made by sewing sensation Margie “craft lady” Gray.
When Gray turned 18, she dropped out of high school and moved to Missouri.
“I hated it. Worst high school in Denver in 1956,” she said. “(I) turned 18, quit school and went to work.”
When Gray got to Missouri she started to learn to sew clothing to save money. She would find store catalogs, buy the materials and make them herself at a fraction of the cost.
Once, she walked into a JC Penny and found a beautiful dress. She asked the clerk if they had it in white instead of plaid. The clerk told her no, so Gray bought the dress, went and got material and made one herself.
She would sew all of her children’s clothes. All nine of her kids would pick something out of a catalog and ask her to make them their very own. Gray made clothes for all of her kids well into their adult lives.
“I take pride in what I make,” Gray said. “When I make stuff for my kids at school, they looks like they’re from the store.”
Gray moved around the country throughout her life, spending 17 years in Nebraska and even two years in Germany when her husband was working as a helicopter pilot. Eventually, she returned to Missouri.
“I love to travel,” Gray said. “Get in my car and just go.”
While Gray was living in Missouri her husband passed away and her daughter suggested moving closer to family.
“(I was) living in Missouri and my husband died,” Gray said. “My daughter said ‘mom, why don’t you move to Glenrock.’”
Gray packed up her sewing kit and moved out to the rock in the glen, and has been making clothing for her family from Wyoming ever since.

LIFELONG PASSION
When the Christmas Shoppe opened three years ago, Gray jumped at the opportunity to showcase her clothes and earn some extra cash.

“I like the idea of the Christmas Shoppe,” she said. “Everybody helps.”
Gray’s favorite pieces and one of the best selling items she has in the shoppe are baby sets.
She makes matching sets of blankets, burping cloths and bibs as well as clothing sets for newborn sizes and up.
“I like making the baby sets,” Gray said. “I love babies.”
And she has her work cut-out for her. Gray has 25 grandkids around the country that she makes clothes for and sends out. 
“I enjoy doing it. If it’s a job, I would have to fire myself. I quit,” she says with a laugh.
When Gray isn’t spending time working on cloths or traveling, she attends every session of bingo she can get to. She travels to the Glenrock Senior Center, Douglas Senior Center and any place offering a night of bingo in Casper. Gray teams up with her two sisters and travels to Las Vegas and Denver to get in as much bingo as they can play.
“I love to play bingo,” she said, with a laugh.
Gray will work her remaining shifts in the shoppe until it closes at the end of December. As for her Christmas plans? She has a new great-grandson to bring a Santa outfit.

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Glenrock Independent

Physical Address:506 W. Birch, Glenrock, WY 82637 Mailing Address: PO Box 109, Douglas, WY 82633 Phone: (307) 436-2211

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