Hi, my name is Pam Riley, I own and operate a small gallery and gift shop in Wyandotte, MI. My story, our story, is a unique one with a focus on family, community and of course, MICHIGAN. First and foremost I must admit that I bleed MAIZE'n'BLUE, no disrespect to Sparty or any other college, we all have our loyalties and some of my fondest memories are in Ann Arbor.
I was was born in South Dakota and moved to Michigan when I was in elementary school. My parents chose Rochester Hills as the place to raise our family, it was a GREAT CHOICE. I graduated from Rochester Adams in 1977.
FUN FACT: I actually attended school with Madonna and we had a Geometry class together!
After high school, I attended U of M Ann Arbor and graduated with a degree in economics in 1981. I was an Alpha Phi and made life long friends and many great memories. My senior year, I met my future husband, and father of my three great children, at a bar called The Village Bell where he worked. The Village Bell has since closed but obviously has a special place in my heart.
The next logical step in life was getting married, which in 1985, is exactly what we did. We moved to Brighton and started our little family. Alex (Alexandra was born in 1988, Blaine in 1990 and Brie in 1996. In 1991 we moved to Grosse Ile, and have been here ever since.
In 2013, two of the kiddos had graduated from high school, college, started their own life and flew the coop. That left only Brie at home and some extra time on my hands. It was then that I decided to start Abundant Living Gallery. I have always loved street art fairs and similar events and I had the idea to create an indoor art fair. I chose Wyandotte as the place to put our storefront because of the unique business environment and deep rooted art culture.
Almost immediately, I realized that our best sellers and most frequently requested products were small Michigan memorabilia and nostalgic Michigan and Detroit themed gifts. We subsequently changed our name to Abundant Living Gallery and Gifts to make sure the public knew we carried great gifts in addition to wonderful, local art.
ANOTHER FUN FACT: Our family is full of super die hard Michigan fans (I know, I already mentioned this), season football tickets have been in my family for three generations (though I prefer to watch on tv). Brie, my youngest daughter, titled her college essay "There was a block "M" in every room."
Some additional fond memories of Michigan include one of our favorite vacation spots at Higgins Lake in northern Michigan. I love that we can travel just a few miles in Michigan and get an entirely different scenery and culture.
THE ABUNDANT LIVING CHALLENGE TO OUR READERS: We thank you for taking the time to read this article AND we would kindly ask you to share your stories, memories and favorite things about Michigan. Over time, we hope to capture enough of these stories and memories to make a collage of everything Michigan.