We had the good fortune of connecting with Gabby Sumlin and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Gabby, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Taking risks has never scared me to be honest. I’ve always been someone who obsessives over the rewards, hopes, and excitements of life – so much so that it over shadows the fears of taking a risk or making a scary move. I’m a hopeful optimist through and through.

Risk-taking is found in almost every aspect of my life. Business-wise, starting at all was a huge leap of faith. I worked a very comfortable job, with a life to match and uprooting that to start out on a venture that I virtually knew nothing about was down right terrifying! I think what’s even more terrifying is thinking about my life had I not taken that leap. The fear of “nothing” scares me way more than the fears that come with taking big risks. Plus, it’s exciting and if there’s one thing about me – I THRIVE with excitement in my life.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Overall, I’d say I’m in a pretty crowded field business-wise, but I work hard to set myself apart from other boutiques. For example, I could curate pieces that I know sell to so many different audiences, but that’s not always me and myself. I’ve worked hard (and am still working) to establish my shop’s voice and style.

I struggled with that for a long time. I was constantly torn between staying true to myself and trying to please everyone (which is impossible, by the way). I was leaning towards an audience that I felt had more potential to shop with me, even when my personal style and heart were somewhere else.

That’s another hurdle – me as a person and my business “as a person”. I really wanted those to be to two different individuals. I wanted me as a business owner, and my business to have totally separate lives and personalities. It was a recipe for disaster and impossible! I could not be someone else when it came to my business – I was failing and I was finding no joy in my business during that time. I wasn’t being true to myself mainly because I didn’t trust myself. I used to think that I didn’t know best – that I needed to listen to the industry.

I overcame that obstacle by deciding to authentically be me. I trust myself more, I’m proud of my style, my ways of running my business, and I’m proud of the women who feel loved and safe in my corner of the internet.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I would take my BFF to get the best view of the city on top of Ponce City Market, of course! We would grab drinks there, maybe some appetizers, and then head to Inman Park for dinner at Sotto Sotto and then bar hop our way down North Highland.

I would get out of the city for a day – maybe head to the Chattahoochee and float down then river. Then grab a late lunch at Victory in Decatur. We would walk around there and grab a drink at the White Bull.

I would definitely take her over to West Midtown for some shopping and ice cream and Jeni’s! They also have amazing restaurants there so we would definitely eat too. Can’t pass up Little Trouble for a late-night cocktail!

EAV is definitely on the list. We would see a show at The Earl and hangout into the wee hours of the morning. We would sleep in the next day and get brunch at Sun in My Belly, because DUH!

I would also take her to a small business pop-up shop either at The Reverie or The Factory (or both!) so she can get a good taste of the amazing women-owned businesses in ATL.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My husband, Harrison, deserves all the credit of support. Like me, he is a dreamer and risk-taker and it’s almost mandatory to have someone like that in your life if you’re one to start a venture like this. Even though I find myself to be very brave, I know for a fact I would not have started without him (or at least not when I did).

He’s always there to pick me up when I’m feeling insecure about my business, having doubts, imposter syndrome creeping in, etc. – he’s there. to remind me why I’m here and why I do what I do.

Website: www.shoprootsatl.com

Instagram: instagram.com/shoprootsatl

Image Credits
Cait Carr Photography Briana Mink

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutAtlanta is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.