How many of you have had a makeover? Perhaps a hairstyle, makeup, or wardrobe makeovers are all common sought-after updates. It makes us feel better and gives us a positive outlook. Did you ever think of being involved with a shelter or rescue mission makeover? Transforming physical spaces into inviting retreat centers gives hope and encouragement. Terry Grahl, made shelter makeovers her mission,and gave her mission a name—Enchanted Makeovers. As my Sewing With Nancy guest, she shared with us how volunteers transform often sterile shelters and rescue missions into inviting surrounding. Plus, she explained how we can help by creating pillows for the residences. You can learn how Enchanted Makeovers began by reading Terry Grahl’s “Me and My Journey”.

Terry Grahl and Nancy Zieman

Here are a few before and after photos of what Enchanted Makeover volunteers have been able to accomplish. Heartwarming!

Enchanted Makeovers before-after

Enchanted Makeovers before


Enchanted Makeovers after


Enchanted Makeovers after photo

Since I only had a little over five minutes to interview Terry on Sewing With Nancy, I’m sharing a few more questions and her answers.

Please tell us about your professional background.

I started a decorating business back in 2005 from what my mother taught me growing up. ”Decorating didn’t need to be motivated by money and that by relying on your own creativity and vision – each home improvement could be a selfless act of love. For my mother, making a home where her five children felt safe and where our spirits could soar was as important as keeping us fed and clothed. I remember telling my mother I’m going to start a decorating business to give women hope. WOW! I would have never thought the grander plan would be me closing my business down and turning it into a non-profit organization. It’s amazing what can happen when we just listen to our heart and not our checkbook.

How do you recruit volunteers?

Many volunteers find EM through our social media sites: facebook, twitter, youtube, Martha Stewart’s Dreamers into Doers, Craigslist and national magazine articles. We have hundreds of donors and volunteers from all over the world. ”It takes a village.”

Note: When watching the online interview, you’ll learn how you can be involved by simply stitching and donating pillowcases.

What have you learned from the residents?

I’ve learned that I’m no super hero but a student in life. The women and children have taught me about courage, faith, and living an authentic life.

 I know you organize fund-raisers, please give us some insight into this important part of Enchanted Makeovers?  

We have many wonderful donors/companies from across the country who give a percentage of their sales to EM. We also have groups who raise funds by having parties and passing the hat around. There are also donors who like to click on our PayPal button on EM’s web site and donate to the mission. We’re open to many ideas so please feel free to email EM at [email protected]

What has moved you the most?

What has moved me the most to continue EM’s mission is the personal emails and private letters I receive from donors, volunteers and women and children in shelters. I see a common thread among all of us. ”We all want to feel worthy, loved and be heard.”

Please share any personal stories that might inspire/motivate others.

Here’s a letter a that touched my heart:

The gift of love that Enchanted Makeovers gives to shelters is nothing short of amazing. Several years ago, I was a shelter manager and I know first-hand what a difference a warm and loving environment means to women and children in crisis. Enchanted Makeovers helps shelters create a welcoming space that seems to wrap its arms around you with the message — “You are important. You are worthy of love and respect. You are safe and with people who care what happens to you.”

The handmade items made by investors practically shout “Love” and that is something everyone needs. What Enchanted Makeovers does is so much more than just transforming a building. EM gives hope to residents that their journey to rebuild their lives will be successful. Thank you, Terry Grahl and Enchanted Makeovers for making a real difference!

All the best to you and EM,


And then, an email


Thank you for exceeding all expectations. Being the true visionary that you are sometimes others cannot see in advance how wonderful the outcome will be. The Enchanted Makeover experience has taught me an important lesson. The lesson being; that it’s ok to have faith in the dreams of others. I want to thank you and your team for everything that you all have done. Your organization has been a blessing to our girls. Your gift of love will offer the girls an opportunity to set their expectations for the way they live and think to a higher standard, they can now see before them how wonderful it feels to be loved and to live beautifully. I pray that you continue to “be the change that you see the world needs”. (Mahatma Gandhi)

Many thanks,

Samantha at Basic Center, Emergency Shelter & TIL Programs

The below three statements are posted on the Enchanted Makeover website. Knowing that many of you volunteer your time and talents for a variety of organizations, you might find additional encouragement to continue your quest to help others.

  • Use the word investor rather than volunteer. When you invest in another human beings life you’re investing in yourself.
  • An investors story is woven into each handmade item that is donated.  It’s amazing the strength of threads when woven together and intertwined.
  • In Serving – The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others. –Mahatma Gandhi

Terry was my Nancy’s Corner guest during 30-Minute Doll Clothes 2-part series. Watch online: 30-Minute Doll Clothes Part 1 and 30-Minute Doll Clothes Part 2.

Sewing With Nancy watch online at

Winner Thanks you for your comments regarding the Designer Handbags collection. The random winner is Vicki T. She said, I just love these designer bags. They look like you’ve spent a lot of money but really, the addition of embroidery goes so far in helping to make them look so rich. I’d love to make a purple bag with another accent color depending on the fabric I chose to use for the main fabric.

The gift is in the giving,

Content in this feed is © copyright 2011 by Nancy Zieman and may not be republished without written permission. You’re welcome to forward the email to a friend or colleague but it’s not okay to add the RSS feed automatically as content on a blog or other website.