Cece DuPraz gets creative in a crisis
The all-women company now makes personalized signals and burgees
published in Marblehead Reporter, Nov 9 2020
If there is one thing that Marion Greely has perfected over the last year it’s learning to pivot.
The founder of Cece DuPraz, a personalized gifting company launched five years ago, had no sooner moved into a larger space on Front Street when COVID-19 landed in town with a thud.
Greely launched her business on the first floor of 89 Front Street but outgrew the space due in large part to her popular events aimed at both kids and adults.
Still, Greely insisted, "I was not looking to move.”
Until she saw a third-floor space, once home to Doyle Sail. The long bright, airy room with the original wood floors had “amazing energy,” that she could not resist.
“We moved in the last week of February,” she said. “Insert pandemic here.”
Almost immediately upon settling into her new space, Greely had to pack up her sewing machine, embroidery machine and other equipment and move base operations home.
Greely said she had no choice but to make the best of the situation and she was determined to succeed and hang onto the new space.
“I started looking at all these canvas bags we had,” Greely said.
She had that in mind when she ventured out to Whole Foods where people were tentatively joking about now having to wear face masks.
“I left there in tears with these surgical masks in my hand,” she said.
Then the light went on.
Greely cut up one of the bags making a crude prototype of a mask with a set of ruby red lips and took it to her head clothier, Nutty Murray, and asked if she thought she could produce them.