Our Founder - Gamze Ates
My Beachy Side was conceived by entrepreneur Gamze Ates to bring sustainable, fair trade practices to her creative vision; sparked by a love of the traditional crochet made in her native Turkey.
The company’s strategy focuses on responsible business practices across all functions: from enriching individual artisans to reducing industrial waste. My Beachy Side's model provides financial stability, independence, community-building and leadership skills to the artisans it employs.
Gamze came to the US to get her graduate degree and has found herself at home here ever since. After school, Gamze started, built and ran an international shipping company that was later acquired by DHL Worldwide. She was a senior executive at DHL for 10 years where she ran 82 countries for the Global Customer Solutions Division. In addition, she was instrumental in DHL’s Corporate Social Responsibility Program, where she worked with UNICEF and local NGOs. After leaving DHL, Gamze was involved with a number of activities including serving as the New York Editor of Turkish Vogue and the board of trustees for Turkish Philanthropy Funds and the Endometriosis Foundation of America.
In her spare time, you can find Gamze hunting down the best frites and fashion in Paris, traveling with her family or relaxing at home with our Director of Recreation, Coco.
Our Managing Director, Rebecca Thomas, started out with a BA in English Literature and Poetry from Hamilton College, worked as a consultant for MNCs in emerging markets, and ran her own successful customized jewelry company for ten years. Charming clients with her open personality and great sense of humor, she is our biggest asset for our wholesale business, all while managing day to day operations of our New York office. She loves shelter animals, exploring nature, and has a weakness for psych rock.
Our administrative coordinator, Frances Puerner, is the glue that holds My Beachy Side together. A consummate multitasker fluid in social media, design, and everything else in between, Frances can help us get it done. She's a native Wisconsinite, and her degree from FIT is in sustainable fashion, which is not just a field of study or work to her, but a way of life and a lens through which she views the fashion industry. When she isn't at work, you can find Frances at an impromptu Bushwick dance party, cuddling with her cat Juicebox, or enjoying any live music she can find.
Emrah, our Istanbul Production Manager, started his journey in textiles as early as high school, where he studied design. He then went on to study at Thracian University and the Aegean University textile engineering departments and continues to be involved in every step of production, from the very thread we use to the finishing touches. Emrah is the liaison between our Turkey and New York offices and his optimism and tireless work ethic is a benefit to us all. If he's not in the office, you can find him playing tennis or relaxing with his two adorable, slightly crazy cats at home.
Muazzez is the head of our Diyarbakir office, the team leader for our artisans and is responsible for all the magic that happens in handcrafting our pieces. She has been studying crochet for all of her life, and has mastered many complex and intricate styles. A long time leader in her community and a devoted reader, she has worked with Syrian refugees for a decade, teaching adult literacy classes for women, as well as educating women in a non-profit organization for human rights in Turkey. Muazzez’s joy and generosity of spirit is infectious, and her favorite place to be is lost in the pages of a good book.
Ahmet is our lead sewer and is from the town of Sanliurfa, where he graduated from primary school. He has been involved in textiles and their production for over twenty-five years, and been working directly making them for over six. Ahmet’s first love, however, is his wife of fifteen years and his two beautiful children.
Sevil, our design assistant for our Istanbul office, hails from the northern town of Ordu. She studied at Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, where she focused on Clothing Production Technology and has continued to work in the sector since graduating. Sevil enjoys the design aspect and hopes someday to be able to teach younger generations all that she has learned.
Coco is our Director of Recreation and brings much needed levity and humor into the work day. When she isn’t napping in the sunshine or convincing us to share our meals, she can be found hard at work crunching the numbers, or fiercely protecting us with all of her fluffy five pounds.