> 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

Boozy Brunch
Sundays in March at The Tavern at Keney Park
Fencing Class
Mons & Weds at LP Wilson Community Center
Anime/Manga Club
Last Mondays at Windsor Public Library
Monday Morning Book Club
Mar 25 at Windsor Public Library
Painting and Drawing 101 for Adults
Mondays at Windsor Art Center Studios
HBG Book club
Mar 26 at The Bean
Learn to Crochet
Mar 26 at Windsor Public Library
Legislative Dialogue
Mar 26 at Town Hall Council Chambers
Skin Health
Mar 26 at Windsor Public Library
Stress Reduction Discussion Group
2nd and 4th Tuesday at 107 Palisado Ave, Windsor, CT 06095-2514
Youth In Action 2018 - 2019
Tuesdays at 330 WIndsor Ave Community Center
Fencing Class
Mons & Weds at LP Wilson Community Center
Bring Your Gadgets to the Geeks
Mar 27 at Windsor Public Library
Red Door of Grace Food Pantry
Mar 27 at Grace Episcopal Church, 311 Broad St., Windsor, CT
Wednesday Happy Hour
Mar 27 at The Tavern at Keney Park.. 171 Windsor Avenue Windsor CT 06095
Taco Thursday
Mar 28 at The Tavern at Keney Park.. 171 Windsor Avenue Windsor CT 06095
Fish Fry
Mar 29 at The Tavern at Keney Park.. 171 Windsor Avenue Windsor CT 06095
Book Babies
Mar 29 at Windsor Public Library
Free Playgroup
Fridays at Clover Family Resource Center
Traditional and Modern Community Dan
Mar 29 at Windsor High School Cafeteria
Windsor Youth Theatre: Hairspray!
Mar 29 at LP Wilson Community Center Auditorium
Women's History Month Movie Night
Mar 29 at Town Hall Council Chambers
$5 after 5pm
Mar 30 at The Tavern at Keney Park
Easterseals Annual Crystal Ball
Mar 30 at Hartford Marriott Downtown
Northwest Park Concert
Mar 30 at Northwest Park Nature Center 145 Lang Road Windsor CT
What is Art
Mar 30 at Windsor Art Center
Windsor Youth Theatre: Hairspray!
Mar 30 at LP Wilson Community Center Auditorium
Boozy Brunch
Sundays in March at The Tavern at Keney Park
Observance and Remembrance Ceremony
Mar 31 at Town Hall Council Chambers
Windsor Youth Theatre: Hairspray!
Mar 31 at LP Wilson Community Center Auditorium
Fencing Class
Mons & Weds at LP Wilson Community Center
Community Garden at Northwest Park
Apr 1 at Northwest Park & Nature Center, 145 Lang Road, Windsor, CT
Painting and Drawing 101 for Adults
Mondays at Windsor Art Center Studios
Learn to Crochet
Apr 2 at Windsor Public Library
Youth In Action 2018 - 2019
Tuesdays at 330 WIndsor Ave Community Center
Fencing Class
Mons & Weds at LP Wilson Community Center
Bring Your Gadgets to the Geeks
Apr 3 at Windsor Public Library
Job Search in the Digital Age
Apr 3 at Marriott Windsor/Hartford Airport
Job Search In The Digital Age
Apr 3 at Marriott Windsor/Hartford, 28 Day Hill Road, Windsor, CT
Progressive Whist Games--55 & Older
Apr 3 at Windsor Senior Center
Red Door of Grace Food Pantry
Apr 3 at Grace Episcopal Church, 311 Broad St., Windsor, CT
Sharpen Networking/Interview Skills
Apr 3 at Marriott Windsor/Hartford, 28 Day Hill Road, Windsor, CT
Ukulele for Beginners-B
Apr 3 at Windsor High School J113
Windsor Business Connections
1st Wednesday at Bart's Drive In, 55 Palisado Ave, Windsor
Free Genealogy Support Group
Apr 4 at Windsor Historical Society
Little Picassos
Apr 4 at Windsor Public Library
Talk It Up Toastmasters Meeting
Apr 4 at 175 Addison Road, Windsor, CT
Fish Fry
Apr 5 at The Tavern at Keney Park.. 171 Windsor Avenue Windsor CT 06095
Book Babies
Apr 5 at Windsor Public Library
Free Playgroup
Fridays at Clover Family Resource Center
Traditional and Modern Community Dan
Apr 5 at Windsor High School Cafeteria
Windsor Chamber Cares Auction
Apr 5 at Maneely's, 65 Rye St, South Windsor
Artifex Custom Gallery Art Showcase
Apr 6 at Nomads Adventure QUEST
Windsor 1942-1962 with Herb Hallas
Apr 6 at Windsor Historical Society
Art Opening Reception
Apr 7 at Town Hall
Boozy Brunch
Sundays in March at The Tavern at Keney Park
Fencing Class
Mons & Weds at LP Wilson Community Center
Painting and Drawing 101 for Adults
Mondays at Windsor Art Center Studios
Young Artist Watercolor Bootcamp
Apr 8 at Windsor Art Center Studios
Learn to Crochet
Apr 9 at Windsor Public Library
Stress Reduction Discussion Group
2nd and 4th Tuesday at 107 Palisado Ave, Windsor, CT 06095-2514
Youth In Action 2018 - 2019
Tuesdays at 330 WIndsor Ave Community Center
Fencing Class
Mons & Weds at LP Wilson Community Center
Bring Your Gadgets to the Geeks
Apr 10 at Windsor Public Library
Business After Hours
Apr 10 at Sheraton, Windsor Locks
Red Door of Grace Food Pantry
Apr 10 at Grace Episcopal Church, 311 Broad St., Windsor, CT
Alzheimer's Support Group
2nd Thursdays at Kimberly Hall N.
Fish Fry
Apr 12 at The Tavern at Keney Park.. 171 Windsor Avenue Windsor CT 06095
All Day Art
Apr 12 at Windsor Art Center Studios
Book Babies
Apr 12 at Windsor Public Library
Free Playgroup
Fridays at Clover Family Resource Center
Semi-annual Special Game Sale
Apr 13 at House of Books and Games
Boozy Brunch
Sundays in March at The Tavern at Keney Park
Semi-annual Special Game Sale
Apr 14 at House of Books and Games
Fencing Class
Mons & Weds at LP Wilson Community Center
Finding Your Dream Job
Apr 15 at Windsor Public Library
Painting and Drawing 101 for Adults
Mondays at Windsor Art Center Studios
Instagram for Small Business
Apr 16 at Windsor Community Television at LP Wilson Community Center
Jan's Sewing Hour
Apr 16 at Windsor Public Library
Learn to Crochet
Apr 16 at Windsor Public Library
Windsor Diabetic Support Group
Apr 16 at LP Wilson Community Center, All Purpose One Room
Windsor Junior Woman's Club Meeting
Apr 16 at Union Street Tavern in Windsor Center
Youth In Action 2018 - 2019
Tuesdays at 330 WIndsor Ave Community Center
Fencing Class
Mons & Weds at LP Wilson Community Center
Bring Your Gadgets to the Geeks
Apr 17 at Windsor Public Library
Progressive Whist Games--55 & Older
Apr 17 at Windsor Senior Center
Red Door of Grace Food Pantry
Apr 17 at Grace Episcopal Church, 311 Broad St., Windsor, CT
Windsor Lions Easter Plant Sale
Apr 17 at Windsor Town Green
Little Picassos
Apr 18 at Windsor Public Library
Seat of Our Pants
Apr 18 at Windsor Public Library
Talk It Up Toastmasters Meeting
Apr 18 at 175 Addison Road, Windsor, CT
Fish Fry
Apr 19 at The Tavern at Keney Park.. 171 Windsor Avenue Windsor CT 06095
Book Babies
Apr 19 at Windsor Public Library
Free Playgroup
Fridays at Clover Family Resource Center
Easter Brunch
Apr 21 at The Tavern at Keney Park
Boozy Brunch
Sundays in March at The Tavern at Keney Park
Hot Lunch Program-60&Up
Weekdays at the Senior Center
Fencing Class
Mons & Weds at LP Wilson Community Center
Monday Morning Book Club
Apr 22 at Windsor Public Library
Painting and Drawing 101 for Adults
Mondays at Windsor Art Center Studios
Learn to Crochet
Apr 23 at Windsor Public Library
Stress Reduction Discussion Group
2nd and 4th Tuesday at 107 Palisado Ave, Windsor, CT 06095-2514
Youth In Action 2018 - 2019
Tuesdays at 330 WIndsor Ave Community Center
Fencing Class
Mons & Weds at LP Wilson Community Center
Bring Your Gadgets to the Geeks
Apr 24 at Windsor Public Library
Red Door of Grace Food Pantry
Apr 24 at Grace Episcopal Church, 311 Broad St., Windsor, CT
Book Babies
Apr 26 at Windsor Public Library
Free Playgroup
Fridays at Clover Family Resource Center
Local Author Festival
Apr 27 at Windsor Public Library
Boozy Brunch
Sundays in March at The Tavern at Keney Park
Fencing Class
Mons & Weds at LP Wilson Community Center
Anime/Manga Club
Last Mondays at Windsor Public Library
Painting and Drawing 101 for Adults
Mondays at Windsor Art Center Studios
Healthy Eating Tips
Apr 30 at Windsor Public Library
Learn to Crochet
Apr 30 at Windsor Public Library
Youth In Action 2018 - 2019
Tuesdays at 330 WIndsor Ave Community Center
Fencing Class
Mons & Weds at LP Wilson Community Center
Red Door of Grace Food Pantry
May 1 at Grace Episcopal Church, 311 Broad St., Windsor, CT
Windsor Business Connections
1st Wednesday at Bart's Drive In, 55 Palisado Ave, Windsor
Talk It Up Toastmasters Meeting
May 2 at 175 Addison Road, Windsor, CT
Free Playgroup
Fridays at Clover Family Resource Center
Boozy Brunch
Sundays in March at The Tavern at Keney Park
Fencing Class
Mons & Weds at LP Wilson Community Center
Painting and Drawing 101 for Adults
Mondays at Windsor Art Center Studios
Business Expo
May 7 at GE, Belcan Corp & Quest
Youth In Action 2018 - 2019
Tuesdays at 330 WIndsor Ave Community Center
Fencing Class
Mons & Weds at LP Wilson Community Center
Red Door of Grace Food Pantry
May 8 at Grace Episcopal Church, 311 Broad St., Windsor, CT
Ukulele for Beginners-B
May 8 at Windsor High School J113
Alzheimer's Support Group
2nd Thursdays at Kimberly Hall N.
Free Playgroup
Fridays at Clover Family Resource Center
Windsor Lions Craft Fair
May 11 at Windsor Town Greene
Boozy Brunch
Sundays in March at The Tavern at Keney Park
Fencing Class
Mons & Weds at LP Wilson Community Center
Painting and Drawing 101 for Adults
Mondays at Windsor Art Center Studios
Art Demonstration by Kara Bigda
May 14 at L.P. Wilson Community Center.
Stress Reduction Discussion Group
2nd and 4th Tuesday at 107 Palisado Ave, Windsor, CT 06095-2514
Youth In Action 2018 - 2019
Tuesdays at 330 WIndsor Ave Community Center
Fencing Class
Mons & Weds at LP Wilson Community Center
Red Door of Grace Food Pantry
May 15 at Grace Episcopal Church, 311 Broad St., Windsor, CT
Talk It Up Toastmasters Meeting
May 16 at 175 Addison Road, Windsor, CT
Free Playgroup
Fridays at Clover Family Resource Center
Kiwanis Shad Derby Road Race
May 18 at Windsor Center
Boozy Brunch
Sundays in March at The Tavern at Keney Park
Fencing Class
Mons & Weds at LP Wilson Community Center
Painting and Drawing 101 for Adults
Mondays at Windsor Art Center Studios
Hot Lunch Program-60&Up
Weekdays at the Senior Center
Youth In Action 2018 - 2019
Tuesdays at 330 WIndsor Ave Community Center
Fencing Class
Mons & Weds at LP Wilson Community Center
Red Door of Grace Food Pantry
May 22 at Grace Episcopal Church, 311 Broad St., Windsor, CT