From her vantage point on the corner of Church and Main Streets in Moscow, Gina Franceschelli can watch the world go by. Gina’s Workshop now occupies the corner room of the building at 100 S. Main St. that houses Dave’s Market on the ground floor, and Gina, who spends hours each day there immersed in her creative endeavors, is happy she was able to find such a bright, spacious, and centrally-located site from which to conduct her business.
Her business, Gina’s Workshop, opened in late December. But before talking about the business, a little background about Gina is order.
The daughter of Deacon John and Mary Franceschelli of Madison Twp., Gina graduated from North Pocono High School in 1995. After high school, Gina spent time traveling with Up with People, then went to Germany where she attended college and made her home for twenty years.
While in Germany Gina had many interesting experiences, each of which enabled her to learn new skills and to showcase her many creative talents. During her time abroad, Gina worked as an au pair, joined a circus, worked on a city farm, worked in a store selling organic products, played in a band, and started a newcomer band festival. She also gave birth to her two sons, Sam and Malin, in Germany.
Gina decided to return to the United States last year, and is happy to report that her children love living here and have fully integrated into their classes in the North Pocono High School.
Gina, who is both creative and skilled with needle and thread, started making custom designs for people who either didn’t have the time or the skills to create unique, personalized items. She also reconnected with Geri Featherby, the drama teacher at the high school, who was looking for a costume coordinator for a last’s year’s production of West Side Story.
That experience led to Gina being asked to work with the costumes for other groups’ productions, something she really enjoyed doing. Her creative drive pushed her to do more, though. “I decided I wanted to do more than just costume design. I wanted to do things that are unique and inspiring, and I wanted to bring this inspiration to others,” explained Gina. When she spotted a space available for rent, she grabbed it, and Gina’s Workshop soon opened its doors.
Gina’s Workshop is a multipurpose space, serving as a place for Gina to work on projects for customers, to host workshops for children and adults, to exhibit works of art created locally, and as a space to work on costumes for the upcoming production of Pinocchio at the high school. The projects Gina works on for customers often involve quilting and needlepoint, and combining the two allows her to use the customer’s ideas and inspirations to create unique items that folks like to give as gifts or keep for themselves, in which case they are sure to become treasured family heirlooms.
“Right now, I’m working on a children’s take-away quilt (a quilt that folds into a pouch sewn right onto the back). The customer said she liked owls and turtles, and I gave her some choices of colors. I work with the client to choose what they want, letting them inspire me,” Gina said. She explained that most people don’t have the time or know the techniques to create their own items, since a large quilt can take around ten to twelve days, with Gina working six or more hours per day, to complete.
Other items Gina offers for sale are collars, leg-leads, and leashes for dogs made from paracord. The collars incorporate amber beads rumored to be effective at keeping ticks off pets and feature two metal rings, one for the dog’s tags and one to attach a leash to. Gina also makes and sells unique pieces of beaded jewelry and a “go purseless” collection offering a hands-free way to carry items with you.
On Thursdays from 7 to 9 p.m. Gina’s Workshop hosts a quilting club aimed at beginners or at those who haven’t quilted in a long time. People can bring in an existing project they’d like to complete, or they can start a brand-new project. Gina will also be starting a Kid’s Workshop in the spring, and hosts birthday and other parties where guests can complete a project to take home.
She is also available to give one-on-one sewing instruction to people who’d like to learn some basic skills or even some new techniques.
Gina also plans to start showing the works of other artists at her workshop, hopefully within the next couple of months. “What I’m planning for the spring is to have other artists come and display work. I want to show people that art is more than just paintings. I want to showcase all of the accents and styles of things that get lost because often as soon as someone thinks of art, they think of paintings,” remarked Gina.
Right now Gina is still in the process of determining which hours and days to keep her workshop open to best meet her clients’ needs and to allow her to devote time to her sons. She’s generally at her shop during normal business hours, with the exception of Mondays when the shop is closed. Gina emphasizes that clients seeking custom quilts don’t need to come to the shop to plan their project since everything can be handled through emails or text messages. For more information about Gina’s Workshop, call 570-468-5660 or check out the Gina’s Workshop Facebook page.