We had the good fortune of connecting with Macy Gilson, M.S. CCC-SLP and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Macy, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
By education and profession, I am a pediatric speech language pathologist and have the privilege of working with children with a multitude of diagnoses on a daily basis. These diagnoses include autism spectrum disorders, speech/language disorders, hearing loss, physical disabilities, intellectual disabilities and other developmental disorders. In working with so many amazing families, I have cultivated a passion for not only treating their impairments but sharing their stories. In June 2019, I began Macy Gilson Co, an online community that is committed to providing resources and support for families with children with disabilities. In just one year, we have grown to over 20,000 people and I believe our strength is in our willingness to encourage one another through both trial and triumph. In addition to supporting special needs families, my goal is also to equip parents to talk to their children about disabilities by educating them on topics such as awareness, inclusion, and character development. I do this by providing resources for parents and educators to instill character education and inclusion in their homes and classrooms. I am also proud to announce that the first book in my inclusive children’s book series, Kindness is Golden, is coming in August 2020. Each of the books in this series follow a first grade class from Golden Elementary, which sets the gold standard for disability awareness and inclusion. In Kindness is Golden, the class, which is made up of children both with and without disabilities, goes on a field trip to the aquarium. During the field trip, one of the students, who is in a wheelchair, is unable to participate in one of the exhibits, so all of his classmates problem solve to bring the exhibit to him! I believe literacy is the foundation of education and one of the best ways we can teach our children how to be inclusive is to read inclusive literature with them!

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
When I first became involved in the disability community, I noticed the lack of personalized gifts and products committed to awareness, inclusion and kindness. So many people don’t know how to respond when a family member or a friend has a child with disabilities. I wanted to create products that helped address this issue, and also served as a way to raise disability awareness and inclusion. Differences are not something to be feared – they are not bad, or scary, or ugly – they are what makes our world more beautiful – and the more people that we can educate, the less people will be afraid. The mission behind Shop Macy Gilson Co. is the same as the community we have built – to continue to support families with children with disabilities, to spread awareness and inclusion, and most of all, to remind others of the importance of kindness.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
As a former TCU athlete, I’m a bit biased toward Fort Worth! I believe no trip to DFW is complete without stopping by TCU to attend a football game – and by “game” I mean arriving at least 4 hours early to tailgate! After a good Horned Frog win, I love to grab a drink and some BBQ at Woodshed Smokehouse, which almost always has a live band and tons of people and is located alongside the Trinity River, just minutes from TCU’s campus. If you’re more of a city person, downtown Fort Worth is a great place to eat, drink and shop but is small enough to navigate by foot or bike. My favorite casual bars/restaurants are Salsa Limon and Flying Saucer, but if you’re looking for a fancier night on the town, Reata and The Capital Grille are great options! You can’t leave Fort Worth without a trip to the historic Stockyards – from the original cobblestone walkways, to cattle drives and the largest honkytonk in the world – it’s a must see! Fort Worth truly has something for everyone and it’s the perfect mix between a small town and a little big city!

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I grew up in Orange County, California and was in high school in 2010. At the time, my friends and I loved to dream about our future weddings and were constantly researching the best wedding photographers in OC. I came across a photographer by the name of Jasmine Star and was instantly in love with her work and stalked her blog every week to see the wedding she shot the weekend prior. Fast forward a decade to the beginning of 2020…I was desperately trying to figure out a way to grow my online community to be able to reach more families. I wasn’t having much luck and was convinced my “hobby” would never become my “business.” A Facebook ad from none other than Jasmine Star popped up on my feed. Jasmine was hosting a free masterclass to help business owners and entrepreneurs to get a clear vision for 2020. Of course, I remembered her as the amazing wedding photographer from my high school days and signed up for her class, which led to joining Social Curator, her online business community. Although we are only halfway through what many would consider the worst year in a long time, I have been able to double the size of my online community, publish a children’s book, and open an online shop. Without Jasmine’s guidance, wisdom and unrelenting support, I have no doubt my business would still be my hobby and I am so grateful for entrepreneurs like Jasmine who have paved the way for those of us wanting to create the life of our dreams.

Website: www.macygilson.com
Instagram: www.instagram.com/macy.gilson
Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/in/macygilson
Facebook: www.facebook.com/macygilsonblog
Other: SHOP: www.macygilson.com/shop

Image Credits
Laci Villarreal

Nominate someone: ShoutoutDFW 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.