About Gabby Eckert
Personal Stylist and CEO of the Brave and Beautiful Boutique
Married to the love of my life, Mom of two rescue pups, bookworm, and life-long learner.
My mission is to help women feel more confident so they can achieve their goals and show up powerfully in the world.
How it all started!
The Brave and Beautiful Boutique is Born
It’s September 2014, and I stare into the mirror frustrated and crying. I had an important event to attend, and I had just finished trying on outfit after outfit. I look into the mirror and analyze every part of my body. I say the most hurtful things to myself—things I would never dare say to another human being. I wanted to stay home and forget the whole thing. However, this event was mandatory for me, so I dried my tears, and I picked the least terrible outfit out of my closet and headed out the door.
When I arrived at the event, I felt the strong desire to go home, and feelings of discomfort and insecurity washed over me. While there, I wanted no extra attention. In fact, I thought it would be better if I was invisible. Throughout the evening, I tugged on my shirt trying to hide and cover the areas of my body that I disliked. I struggled to hold conversation because I kept thinking about what the other person thought of me. Did they think I was overweight? Did they think I looked as horrible as I thought I did?
I wish I could say that this was a one and only experience for me. But the truth is this damaging cycle repeated itself often.
Fast forward to today, and you would think you had met a completely different person. I am no longer the girl who tears herself down in the mirror. Now I am the girl who embraces her body and looks at it with gratitude. It took many years of work (I am still working on it), personal growth, and mentoring to get to a better place. I also learned how to dress for my body shape and in a way that fit my personal style. I filled my closet with clothes that made me feel beautiful and confident. I realized the power of how you dress and how it helps you to feel better about yourself. It helps you stand taller and have more confidence. This made a world of difference for me and affected greatly how I show up in the world.
I have met many women who would tear themselves down just like I did all those years ago. Every time I heard them speak about themselves in such a negative, harmful way, I was brought back to the many years I struggled with my own body image and insecurities. I remembered how crippling this was for me and wanted to help in any way that I could.
I knew that I could share what I learned in order to help them. I started to offer free personal styling sessions. I would share outfit inspiration and quick tips that helped me in my journey.
I would style women with very different body shapes, skin tones, and personal styles. I loved every second of it, and I received a positive response. But due to limited amounts of time and resources, I could not offer the type of service I really wanted to offer.
So, I decided to offer much more in-depth personal styling services as a part of my business. These services are catered and curated specifically for the woman I am serving and her goals. I help women build confidence through body positivity, dressing for their body shapes, and aligning their wardrobes to their personal styles.
I don’t just help you create a wardrobe you love, but I teach you to see yourself in a new way and to continue the work we do together long after our sessions are over.
Recently, I was asked if fashion and styling have gotten old or frustrating since those things have now become my career. “Usually, when things you love become your full-time career, they lose their luster, and you begin to dread it,” the person said. My answer to this question is: The woman I am serving... her mission… her calling and message… that's what drives me! Sure, I love fashion and style, don't get me wrong. But my desire is to see the woman I am serving have the confidence and courage to succeed and impact the world. That's what fires me up and brings me so much joy. I know I am living out my mission when I see her grow in confidence, break free from her insecurities, chase her dreams, and look like a million bucks while she changes the world!
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I am a born-and-raised Jersey girl and daughter of Italian immigrants who know the meaning of homemade pasta, loud gatherings around the table, hard work, and grit.
Both my parents and grandparents swallowed their fears and came to America to embrace a new life. My mom was an excellent student in Italy, but all that changed when she moved to the United States and did not know English and was bullied. She would share how hard it was for her, but she never gave up.
My nonna (grandma) would share how difficult it was to have four young children in a country where she did not know the language and how both my grandparents had to work very hard to make ends meet. My family shaped who I am today; nothing was given to them, and they often preached the importance of hard work and persistence over a glass of homemade wine and an antipasto platter. Their examples inspire me every day to get out of my comfort zone, face my fears, and take risks.
2013 was a big year!
I married the love of my life on a beautiful day in August. I graduated Stockton University with a bachelor’s in Psychology, and I got my first teaching job.
I continued to teach for about six years. I taught Kindergarten, second grade, and fourth grade. I loved my students, and they taught me so much about life.
Teaching is an art form that I am very passionate about. I love taking big concepts and breaking them down into digestible pieces for others to understand.
A part of me will always be a teacher. (I love how some things come full circle, as I now teach my clients as a personal stylist.)
In 2017, I took a leap of faith and started the Brave and Beautiful Boutique. I loved fashion, working with women, and having my own business. After juggling teaching and running the boutique for a time, I left my teaching career a couple years later to run the boutique full-time.
My goal with the boutique is to serve women with clothing that makes them feel comfortable and confident in their own skin. I want all my guests to have a fun shopping experience and excellent customer service.