> Out and About: Sheila Gasper, Manager of The Blue Dragonfly

Out and About: Sheila Gasper, Manager of The Blue Dragonfly

Out and About: Sheila Gasper, Manager of The Blue Dragonfly
Interviewed by Tracy Rotkiewicz
Photo by Michael Taylor

Sheila Gasper is the manager of The Blue Dragonfly. It's a gift shop that is part of the Family Partnerships of CT. run by the store's owner, Susan Miller. Family Partnerships of CT. is an agency dedicated to assisting individuals with special needs by providing them with job sites within shops, restaurants, and helping with the Thrifty Reminder (rebranded as Courant Community in recent years). The Blue Dragonfly is a member of the Chamber of Commerce.

Sheila, a lifelong Windsor resident, started her career at Loomis Chaffee School as an administrator in the Physical Plant Department (maintenance) for twenty years until her position was eliminated. She knew Susan Miller's sister who told her Susan planned to open a gift shop in 2014. Sheila recounts, "Would you be our store manager? And I was like, okay. It was a little scary but I said, OK, I could do it! And four years later that's where I am." Since then, The Blue Dragonfly has grown and flourished. As Sheila says "It's a gift shop with a purpose," regarding the partnership with Family Partnerships of CT. "I love the people who come to the store, our customers. You know, all of our guys who work here because this is a job site for them. They do a lot of the cleaning, help set up the displays, do all of the pricing with their job coaches next to them. They're just a big part of the store."

She meets with vendors to decide on what products to stock up and sometimes it's a personal decision before the owner has the final say. "You don't know what to order, or how much. When the product comes in sometimes you might have ten of one item and if it won't sell, then you're stuck with them or put them on sale. But for the most part, our customers are great." Displays are changed often enough to keep customers guessing what's new. "You don't want to keep coming to a store that's set up the same way," Sheila advises. Perhaps that's what keeps The Blue Dragonfly in the hearts and minds of all those who enter. It certainly doesn't hurt that the shop garnered first runner-up status in the Best of Hartford Reader's Poll.

Prices are made fair. "Some people think we're too high in some things. We're really not. We're kind of in-line with everybody else. We have to pay our guys that work here. We have to pay for the shipping. I don't think a lot of customers realize what is involved in retail. It's not about just receiving the product. It's expensive to run." Sheila notes all of the maintenance and upkeep it takes to run a business itself. In the meantime, to generate more business, the shop hosts different events throughout the year. Paint parties provided by local artist Irene Hilbert are a big draw for customers.

Aside from being a lifelong Windsor resident, Sheila raised her four children here. She refers to herself as a "Windsor girl," and her husband as a "Deerfield boy." As the community grows, Sheila is excited to see the changes and growth in town, from The Windsor Station Apartments to the renovated movie plaza theater/restaurant. On her off time, Sheila loves to spend time with her grandson.

Three words that describe Sheila: Kind, honest, out-going

The Blue Dragonfly is located at 144A Broad St. (860)580-7928



Events

Fencing Class
Mondays & Wednesdays at LP Wilson Community Center
Hot Lunch Program-60&Up
Weekdays at the Senior Center
Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration
Jan 21 at Windsor Town Hall Council Chambers
Learn to Crochet
Jan 22 at Windsor Public Library
Youth In Action 2018 - 2019
Tuesdays at 330 WIndsor Ave Community Center
Fencing Class
Mondays & Wednesdays at LP Wilson Community Center
Bring Your Gadgets to the Geeks
Jan 23 at Windsor Public Library
Middle School Open House
Jan 23 at St. Gabriel School 77 Bloomfield Ave. Windsor, CT 06095
Networking with South Windsor
Jan 23 at Pete's CARSTAR, 459 John Fitch Blvd (rt 5), South Windsor
Ukulele for Beginners-B
Jan 23 at Windsor High School J113
Taco Bar Thursdays
Jan 24 at The Tavern at Keney Park
Yoga--55 & Older
Jan 24 at Windsor Senior Center
All Day Happy Hour Fridays
Jan 25 at The Tavern at Keney Park
Book Babies
Jan 25 at Windsor Public Library
Free Playgroup
Jan 25 at Clover Family Resource Center
Meet the Executive Director!
Jan 25 at Chamber office, 261 Broad St, Windsor CT 06095
Tai Chi for Beginners--55 & Older
Jan 25 at Windsor Senior Center
Tai Chi Intermed & Advanced-Seniors
Jan 25 at Windsor Senior Center
First Windsor FTC Qualifier
Jan 26 at Windsor high school gym
Prime Rib Buffet
Jan 26 at The Tavern at Keney Park
Downton Abbey Inspired Tea
Jan 27 at Windsor Public Library
The Breakfast Club & Brunch All Day
Sundays at The Tavern at Keney Park, 171 Windsor Avenue Windsor CT 06095
Fencing Class
Mondays & Wednesdays at LP Wilson Community Center
Anime/Manga Club
Last Mondays of the month at The Windsor Public Library, 323 Broad Street, Windsor CT 06095
Monday Morning Book Club
Jan 28 at Windsor Public Library
Tai Chi Intermed & Advanced-Seniors
Jan 28 at Windsor Senior Center
Learn to Crochet
Jan 29 at Windsor Public Library
Oscar Nominee Series
Jan 29 at Windsor Public Library
Youth In Action 2018 - 2019
Tuesdays at 330 WIndsor Ave Community Center
Fencing Class
Mondays & Wednesdays at LP Wilson Community Center
Bring Your Gadgets to the Geeks
Jan 30 at Windsor Public Library
Taco Bar Thursdays
Jan 31 at The Tavern at Keney Park
Yoga--55 & Older
Jan 31 at Windsor Senior Center
Book Babies
Feb 1 at Windsor Public Library
Comedy Club hosted by WJWC
Feb 1 at Skyline Restaurant 106 Ella Grasso Turnpike Windsor Locks, CT
Craft Beer & Tavern Games!
Feb 1 at Windsor Historical Society
Free Playgroup
Feb 1 at Clover Family Resource Center
The Breakfast Club & Brunch All Day
Sundays at The Tavern at Keney Park, 171 Windsor Avenue Windsor CT 06095
Fencing Class
Mondays & Wednesdays at LP Wilson Community Center
Learn to Crochet
Feb 5 at Windsor Public Library
Oscar Nominee Series
Feb 5 at Windsor Public Library
Youth In Action 2018 - 2019
Tuesdays at 330 WIndsor Ave Community Center
Fencing Class
Mondays & Wednesdays at LP Wilson Community Center
Bring Your Gadgets to the Geeks
Feb 6 at Windsor Public Library
National Frozen Yogurt Day
Feb 6 at 1095 Kennedy Road Ste, 7B Windsor, CT 06095
Progressive Whist Games--55 & Older
Feb 6 at Windsor Senior Center
Windsor Business Connections
1st Wednesday unless noted
Little Picassos
Feb 7 at Windsor Public Library
Yoga--55 & Older
Feb 7 at Windsor Senior Center
Book Babies
Feb 8 at Windsor Public Library
Free Playgroup
Feb 8 at Clover Family Resource Center
Grown up game night at the Bean
Feb 9 at House of Books and Games
Open Skate at Loomis Ice Rink
Select Sundays at Loomis Chaffee Ice rink
The Breakfast Club & Brunch All Day
Sundays at The Tavern at Keney Park, 171 Windsor Avenue Windsor CT 06095
Fencing Class
Mondays & Wednesdays at LP Wilson Community Center
Cut the Cord
Feb 11 at Windsor Public Library
Editing Videos on your smart phone
Feb 12 at Windsor Community Television at LP Wilson Community Center
Learn to Crochet
Feb 12 at Windsor Public Library
Oscar Nominee Series
Feb 12 at Windsor Public Library
Youth In Action 2018 - 2019
Tuesdays at 330 WIndsor Ave Community Center
Fencing Class
Mondays & Wednesdays at LP Wilson Community Center
Bring Your Gadgets to the Geeks
Feb 13 at Windsor Public Library
Business After Hours
Feb 13 at Spare Time
Alzheimer's Support Group
2nd Thursdays at Kimberly Hall N.
Lover's Lobster Dinner
Feb 14 at The Tavern at Keney Park.. 171 Windsor Avenue Windsor CT 06095
Yoga--55 & Older
Feb 14 at Windsor Senior Center
Book Babies
Feb 15 at Windsor Public Library
Free Playgroup
Feb 15 at Clover Family Resource Center
Macrame Plant Hanger Workshop
Feb 16 at Windsor Public Library
The Windsor Feud
Feb 16 at Windsor Town Hall
Open Skate at Loomis Ice Rink
Select Sundays at Loomis Chaffee Ice rink
The Breakfast Club & Brunch All Day
Sundays at The Tavern at Keney Park, 171 Windsor Avenue Windsor CT 06095
Fencing Class
Mondays & Wednesdays at LP Wilson Community Center
Jan's Sewing Hour
Feb 19 at Windsor Public Library
Learn to Crochet
Feb 19 at Windsor Public Library
Oscar Nominee Series
Feb 19 at Windsor Public Library
Windsor Junior Woman's Club Meeting
Feb 19 at Union Street Tavern in Windsor Center
Youth In Action 2018 - 2019
Tuesdays at 330 WIndsor Ave Community Center
Fencing Class
Mondays & Wednesdays at LP Wilson Community Center
Bring Your Gadgets to the Geeks
Feb 20 at Windsor Public Library
Progressive Whist Games--55 & Older
Feb 20 at Windsor Senior Center
Hot Lunch Program-60&Up
Weekdays at the Senior Center
Little Picassos
Feb 21 at Windsor Public Library
Macrame Plant Hanger Workshop
Feb 21 at Windsor Public Library
Yoga--55 & Older
Feb 21 at Windsor Senior Center
Book Babies
Feb 22 at Windsor Public Library
Free Playgroup
Feb 22 at Clover Family Resource Center
Book signing David Kantrowitz
Feb 23 at House of Books and Games
The Breakfast Club & Brunch All Day
Sundays at The Tavern at Keney Park, 171 Windsor Avenue Windsor CT 06095
Fencing Class
Mondays & Wednesdays at LP Wilson Community Center
Anime/Manga Club
Last Mondays of the month at The Windsor Public Library, 323 Broad Street, Windsor CT 06095
Monday Morning Book Club
Feb 25 at Windsor Public Library
Gut Health
Feb 26 at Windsor Public Library
Learn to Crochet
Feb 26 at Windsor Public Library
Youth In Action 2018 - 2019
Tuesdays at 330 WIndsor Ave Community Center
Fencing Class
Mondays & Wednesdays at LP Wilson Community Center
Bring Your Gadgets to the Geeks
Feb 27 at Windsor Public Library
Ukulele for Beginners-B
Feb 27 at Windsor High School J113
Yoga--55 & Older
Feb 28 at Windsor Senior Center
Book Babies
Mar 1 at Windsor Public Library
Free Playgroup
Mar 1 at Clover Family Resource Center
Traditional and Modern Community Dan
Mar 1 at Windsor High School Cafeteria
The Breakfast Club & Brunch All Day
Sundays at The Tavern at Keney Park, 171 Windsor Avenue Windsor CT 06095
Fencing Class
Mondays & Wednesdays at LP Wilson Community Center
Jolly Beggars
Mar 5 at Windsor Public Library
Learn to Crochet
Mar 5 at Windsor Public Library
Youth In Action 2018 - 2019
Tuesdays at 330 WIndsor Ave Community Center
Fencing Class
Mondays & Wednesdays at LP Wilson Community Center
Bring Your Gadgets to the Geeks
Mar 6 at Windsor Public Library
Progressive Whist Games--55 & Older
Mar 6 at Windsor Senior Center
Windsor Business Connections
1st Wednesday unless noted
Little Picassos
Mar 7 at Windsor Public Library
Book Babies
Mar 8 at Windsor Public Library
Free Playgroup
Mar 8 at Clover Family Resource Center
Traditional and Modern Community Dan
Mar 8 at Windsor High School Cafeteria
RPG Sale!
Mar 9 at House of Books and Games
Taste of Windsor
Mar 9 at Loomis Chaffee School, Windsor
The Breakfast Club & Brunch All Day
Sundays at The Tavern at Keney Park, 171 Windsor Avenue Windsor CT 06095
Fencing Class
Mondays & Wednesdays at LP Wilson Community Center
Cut the Cord
Mar 11 at Windsor Public Library
Learn to Crochet
Mar 12 at Windsor Public Library
Portugal Travel Presentation
Mar 12 at Windsor Chamber of Commerce office
Social Media 101 for your nonprofit
Mar 12 at Windsor Community Television at LP Wilson Community Center
Youth In Action 2018 - 2019
Tuesdays at 330 WIndsor Ave Community Center
Fencing Class
Mondays & Wednesdays at LP Wilson Community Center
Bring Your Gadgets to the Geeks
Mar 13 at Windsor Public Library
Alzheimer's Support Group
2nd Thursdays at Kimberly Hall N.
Book Babies
Mar 15 at Windsor Public Library
Free Playgroup
Mar 15 at Clover Family Resource Center
Traditional and Modern Community Dan
Mar 15 at Windsor High School Cafeteria
Memory Savers
Mar 16 at Windsor Public Library
The Breakfast Club & Brunch All Day
Sundays at The Tavern at Keney Park, 171 Windsor Avenue Windsor CT 06095
Fencing Class
Mondays & Wednesdays at LP Wilson Community Center
Jan's Sewing Hour
Mar 19 at Windsor Public Library
Learn to Crochet
Mar 19 at Windsor Public Library
Windsor Junior Woman's Club Meeting
Mar 19 at Union Street Tavern in Windsor Center
Youth In Action 2018 - 2019
Tuesdays at 330 WIndsor Ave Community Center
Fencing Class
Mondays & Wednesdays at LP Wilson Community Center
Bring Your Gadgets to the Geeks
Mar 20 at Windsor Public Library
Progressive Whist Games--55 & Older
Mar 20 at Windsor Senior Center
Hot Lunch Program-60&Up
Weekdays at the Senior Center
Little Picassos
Mar 21 at Windsor Public Library
Memory Savers
Mar 21 at Windsor Public Library
Book Babies
Mar 22 at Windsor Public Library
Free Playgroup
Mar 22 at Clover Family Resource Center
Traditional and Modern Community Dan
Mar 22 at Windsor High School Cafeteria