Hello, I’m Terry Grahl
I’m the Founder, Visionary and CEO of Enchanted Makeovers.
From humble beginnings back in 2007, Enchanted Makeovers has grown to have an amazing impact.
You may be wondering where it all began and why I felt so called to do this work. Let me tell you, I didn’t always know I was born to do this work. In fact, I grew up experiencing many of the issues the women and children in the shelters we support face. As a child, I lived through homelessness. I first encountered sexual harassment in the 1st grade. I experienced hardship early on, years of bullying, learning disabilities, but what I never lost was my imagination, self-belief and creativity to create a better life for myself. I hope my story can inspire and give hope to others.
CEO & Visionary of Enchanted Makeovers Dubbed “The Home Healer”, by the National Center on Family Homelessness.”
Dubbed “The Makeover Artist”, by Ladies Home Journal.
“Those that are touched through Terry’s organization are given a dose of Hope and Warmth as they reclaim their lives.” – Celebrity Sheryl Crow – MLB/People Magazine All Stars Among Us.
“You will be known as the Enchanted Guru.” — Thomas Moore, bestselling author of the book Care of the Soul and fifteen other books on deepening spirituality and cultivating soul in every aspect of life.
During the summer of the year we lost our home my brother and I were invited to friend’s house to swim. While on the deck someone decided I needed to try out the deep end. I remember the push and immediately hitting the bottom of the pool. As I tried to reach the top my body would not move. I opened my eyes to see all the kids on the deck looking down into the water. I immediately became still and said the words, “God I am not ready to die yet.” I don’t remember the rest. I was told later that an older boy saved me. I still don’t know who that boy was. Today I can say, HE was my angel that day. I’d like to think I was saved because God had bigger plans for me.
Re-birth and Restoration
Weeks after that terrifying experience mom packed all 5 of her children into the huge brown station wagon to go look for a new home to live. It was 1976. My mother kept the fact that we lost our house a secret. She packed all of us into the station wagon and went driving around looking for a home. We packed more than our belongings into our luggage that day; our heartaches came along with us too. The four walls changed but the trauma moved along with me for years.
Soon my mother discovered a house on the side of a road that had been forgotten, abandoned and anyone and everyone had thrown their trash in the front yard. Mom immediately saw hope and knew she was the one to restore it. Next door was a church, so mom decided to stop in and find out more about the house.
She would quickly discover that the church owned it and it used to be where the deacons of the church would live. Mom shared her story with the pastor and her need to have this house. The church said yes and shortly after mom was able to put down a small deposit and move in. She went on a journey of restoring the house. I guess that’s where my love for restoring vintage furniture and loving things back to life comes from! Now looking back, mom was really restoring herself with every wall that was repainted with clearance paint, wallpaper and the handmade curtains she made for every window. The first week we moved into our home my mother sat my brothers and sister down in a circle and spoke these words,
”We are a tribe and nothing shall break us apart.”
“A sewing machine changed my life.”
I really understood the power of creativity and sewing when my mother said to me, ‘A sewing machine saved my life.’
It turned out she had been suffering from depression for decades. Her sewing machine was her creative outlet and means of supporting her family. My mother believed we all need a creative outlet, whether it’s painting, drawing or working on an engine. We all need to keep our hands busy and our minds clear. I can think back and see my mom sitting at that machine and it was like everything is going to be OK.
This inspired our Sacred Sewing Room Program.
Learn more about it here >
How Enchanted Makeovers Began
Years later I got married, had four children and started an interior decorating business in early 2005 called Terry’s Enchanted Cottage. It quickly became an award winning business and I was so very grateful. Life seemed good. I had moved on from my past so I thought. That could have been the end of my story but it was only just the beginning.
In December 2006 I received a call from a gentleman asking for help. I was an interior decorator and he was a volunteer for a local shelter. He said, “We would be so grateful even if you just painted one wall.” Honestly, at the time, my first reaction was fear. I really didn’t know what to expect. I had never been to a shelter. I decided to make the visit, but wasn’t convinced I would actually volunteer.
What I saw at the shelter shook me:
- used prison beds
- duct-taped walls and cribs
- nursing home bedspreads so thin I could poke my finger through them
- lights hanging from wires
- 30 women in one dorm with no privacy
- cardboard boxes for dressers under the bed.
Everything internally the women were feeling: unloved, forgotten, ashamed, worthless – it was being reflected in their environment too. That’s unacceptable because you’re there to heal and rebuild. Your environment should be full of dignity. It should be sacred just how my mother provided for me and my siblings. That love in every little detail is critical in the healing. I believed the external transformation of the room could mirror a woman’s internal transformation. If she is surrounded by beauty, love and caring, she’ll start to integrate that and believe she is worthy of that too.
The Story Continues…
A week had passed since my first visit to the shelter. I hadn’t given it much thought. All I knew was that I had this lingering feeling of despair knowing the living conditions of the women and children. As I downloaded the pictures I had taken to my computer, there it was, THE picture. There amongst black metal used prison bunk bed, a stained mattress and an unfinished sheet-rock wall was an answer. There amongst the harshness was something dear to my heart: polka dots!
Polka dots prints have been my favorite since I was a little girl.
There on that seemingly ordinary pillow was an answer. It was an answer from within me but not directly from me. When I saw the polka dots in that picture, I heard, “Trust me”. I raised my right hand in the air and said, “YES”. From that moment, I knew I was prepared to do whatever I could to bring hope to the women and children. We went on to completely transform that shelter and many others!
Enchanted Makeovers Today
Fast forward over a decade now and I’m so proud of what we have all accomplished. Enchanted Makeovers projects and programs have impacted thousands of lives. Our volunteers have made over 48,000 of Capes, Pillowcases, Dolls, Quilts and Handmade treasures. The biggest surprise of all was how it wasn’t just the women and children in the shelters who were transformed. Each and every volunteer, school-child, nursing home resident, sorority sister, company employee and shelter staff member has changed the way they see their community and serve others.
In 2018, the restoration of the 1920’s Arts and Crafts home, gifted to Enchanted Makeovers, was completed! So many donors and volunteers worked tirelessly to transform this once abandoned property into our new national headquarters. We are so thankful to all in the “Village” that support our mission. See more pictures of this special place here.
Meet the team that works tirelessly to make a difference in our community.
Chief Operating Officer
Ellen is responsible for overseeing the overall business operation. She brings over 30 years of business experience in various sectors such as sales, marketing, operations, and contracts. Ellen began her career with Prudential Financial and over her 20 years with that firm, she held a number of key positions. As the Director of Operations, Ellen was responsible for over 300 employees and a 20 million budget. She was promoted to Account Executive where she had overall responsibility for Prudential Healthcare’s largest customer. Ellen then joined Aetna in 1999 as the Director of Sales and Service for their number one Metro NYC market. She and her team were responsible for the Group Insurance Plans of many Fortune 500 companies. Ellen holds a Business Degree from Centenary University in New Jersey and also served as a member of their Board of Trustees for 8 years. Ellen immigrated to America as a child with her parents and three sisters from the Netherlands. She now lives in Northeast, PA with her husband Harry.
Allie brings both her experience in marketing and passion for illustration & design to the Enchanted Makeovers team, assisting in creative projects and helping to tell the EM story. Allie graduated with a BFA in Advertising Design from Syracuse University and went on to work as a brand strategist in several consulting firms and advertising agencies in Boston and NYC.
Today Allie balances life as an independent marketing consultant and an illustrator/designer. She is also the creator of Mak & Ruby, a collection of colorful, playful art & decor for kids.
With the desire to make a difference as Enchanted Makeovers’ Project Coordinator, Nicole is responsible for coordinating a multitude of assignments. She assists the CEO and COO with event coordination that includes activities and programs scheduled at the National Headquarters. Nicole currently works at Atlas Oil Company in Taylor, MI (EM’s National Headquarters) as a Property Tax Analyst and comes from a Finance/Accounting background which included a variety of project coordinating responsibilities. Through this process, she is also raising community awareness of Enchanted Makeovers’ mission. A very important component is also to ensure Town/EM relations are strong. Nicole also assists the organization with facility needs assessment and researches the best opportunities for Enchanted Makeovers in this area. “Hooked” from the moment she met Terry and feeling that every woman and child deserves a feeling of self-worth, happiness, unconditional love, and hope Nicole knew she had to be involved! Nicole holds a Corporate Finance degree from Wayne State University.
Jack of All Trades
Terry’s sister, Tracey, is responsible for driving the team to out of state events, helping with volunteers and making sure things run smoothly. She spent 17 years as an executive board member for the Taylor South Little League Baseball and V.P. for the Ladies Auxillary, and has been by her sister’s side with Enchanted Makeovers since day one.
Inspirational Artist & Photographer
Britni is responsible for capturing the essence of EM’s programs, makeovers, and events through photography. She also assists with developing logos for programs, makeovers, and events. She is an Inspirational Artist, Mentor, Free-Lance Photographer, Speaker, Writer, Graphic Designer, and Mentor Coordinator. She is also the founder of Inspire Somebody Art and Photography. Britni thrives on delivering happiness and joy to the lives of others. Since she was a young child, she has had a passion deep within her soul to inspire and enlighten those around her through the power of positive words and actions. Through her art and photography, she intends to bring comfort, peace, hope and encouragement to the hearts and minds of people all around the world.
Jack of All Trades
“DJ” has been a part of the Enchanted Makeovers’ team since the very first project back in 2007! Her giving heart and spirit has been so important to our organization and the women and children we serve. She is the type of person that is always willing to jump in wherever she is needed like transporting items in her car for shelter makeovers. She will happily iron things for the makeover or put things together; whatever is needed! She has even traveled out of state to support Enchanted Makeovers’ activities. We are grateful to have DJ as a part of the team!
Our Board of Directors
Intellectual Property Attorney
Tracy is an intellectual property attorney that has been affiliated with EM since 2011. Tracy’s expertise includes domestic and international trademark prosecution and contentious matters, trademark counseling, advertising/ marketing, copyrights, design patents and registered designs, domain name disputes, rights of publicity, trade secrets, unfair competition, and counseling/ IP evaluations/due diligence, enforcement, licenses and agreements in these areas. In addition, Tracy has knowledge in the fields of corporate formation, mergers and acquisitions, trademark holding companies, non-profit entities and associated tax implications, and she provides pro-bono legal advice to a number of charitable organizations, especially those focusing on animal rights and the creative arts.
Co-Owner/Director of Operations – Shay Design
Brandy Shay lives in Ogden, Utah, USA with her husband, two sons and two dogs. Brandy is co-owner and Director of Operations for Shay Design, a marketing/graphic design/book packaging company (shaydesign.com). The company has been in business, successfully, since 2002. It has packaged several books with many of the top publishers in the U.S., as well as working on several marketing campaigns nationally and internationally. In 2016 Brandy also added published author to her list of accomplishments. In 2007 Brandy became the Director of Operations for the Where Women Create publications. In the 10 years she was with the publisher, she helped grow the publication into three extremely popular quarterly magazines. Brandy was also the Director of Operations for The Creative Connection Event, a very successful three-day women’s conference, in 2011. The event was sponsored by Sterling Publishing, WWC, Stampington & Company, McDonalds, Starbucks, and many more. The event partners were BlogHer, VogueKnitting, and MaryJanesFarms. There were over 700 attendees, 60 instructors, vendors, pitch slams, and more! Brandy has a Bachelor of Science Degree from Weber State University, Ogden, UT. Brandy is excited for the opportunity to sit on the board for Enchanted Makeovers. She loves giving back to the community, meeting new people and being part of a team.
Award Winning Singer-Songwriter
Jill Jack’s magical connection to her audience is the result of her generous artistry. By combining her gifts as a conceptual visionary with a warm gathering of musical influences, Jill touches that secret heart of ours with her melodies and lyrics. In her hometown of Detroit, Jill needs no further explanation. She’s been lauded in equal measure to her talents: Since 1997 she’s won 33 Detroit Music Awards in every conceivable category that applies to a singer-songwriter. Much of this provincial success is due to her charming stage presence and emotive songwriting. It’s simply called connecting, and it’s the bounty of a true songwriter open to all of life: her own defeats, victories, hopes dashed, dreams fulfilled, her muse, her loneliness, her misplaced love and her romantic successes. Jill has built her audience with her whimsical, genuine live performances. Genuine is the defining term here. Propelled by her musical exemplars Joni Mitchell and Emmy Lou Harris, there are few performers with less conflict between who they are on stage and off than Jill. She extends the tradition of the confessional (i.e. achingly open, unafraid of intimacy) singer-songwriter, and is proud of that style and its continuation.
Founder & Owner of Indygo Junction & The Vintage Workshop
Amy was lucky enough to grow up immersed in the sewing and crafting business, as her mother owned a creative arts shop in West Des Moines, Iowa. Even in high school she knew the direction her life would take – running her own Teddy Bear business. After graduating from the University of Kansas (Go Hawks!) with a degree in art and design, she knew she wanted to make craft and art her life’s work and founded Indygo Junction, a fabric arts publishing company, to showcase the talent of leading sewing and craft designers. Over the years she has teamed up with innovative artists to publish over 800 pattern titles and write over 80 books. Her mother also passed on her “collector gene”,” bringing her to local flea markets, tag sales and antique shops. She instilled a life-long love of the hunt for vintage treasures. Over time, she amassed a vast collection of period artwork, especially vintage images. In 2002, she founded The Vintage Workshop so she could share her favorite images with other crafters.
Founder and CEO of Pink Ladders
Angela Newman, Founder and CEO of Pink Ladders® created the business out of her desire to inspire women to reach their personal and professional goals so they can live a fulfilling life. She is proof of someone who started her climb up the pink ladder later in life first by completing her B.S. in Business Administration followed by her MBA in Healthcare Management. Newman is the author of upcoming book, The 5 Rungs to Career Success: A Woman’s Guide to Climbing Her Professional Ladder. In addition to Pink Ladders®, Newman holds the position of Vice President of Supply Chain at Renal Advantage Inc. an outpatient dialysis company located in Tennessee. She is an avid supporter of charities and enjoys spending time with her family and friends including traveling. She held the position of Board Chair for Nashville RBI (reviving baseball in the inner cities) for two years and was a volunteer for five. She now focuses on “Pink Ladders Gives Back” non-profit organizations; Enchanted Makeovers and Wreaths Across America.
It takes a Village!
Learn how you can get involved and change your life in the process!