Atlanta woman overcomes house fire and pandemic to launch small business

An Atlanta business owner has faced unexpected hardships this year, but she hasn't let it get in the way of achieving her goal. 

Tammy Gammon is the owner of Three Dream Designs, a business that sells handmade accessories, clothing, and paintings. 

Gammon, a former educator, started creating handmade accessories several years ago. She decided to design a new line and launch it this year, but her journey came with some hurdles. 

Gammon's house caught fire about three weeks into 2020. She and her three sons were able to escape unhurt, but the fire destroyed the home and some of her pieces. 

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"I refused to let myself be depressed because I have three boys. I have three sons that are looking up to me," Gammon said. 

But even as she and her three sons lived in a hotel room for two months, she refused to let her dream die. 

She worked in the hotel room to make sure she was making progress toward her goal. 

"Delayed doesn't mean denied. Sometimes it doesn't happen exactly when you want it to, but if you continue to press on, at some point in time it will," Gammon said. 

By the time Gammon and her boys were able to get back into their home, the country was shutting down because of COVID-19. 

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She shifted her business, relying completely on online sales, and pressed on with her new line.

By the time she launched her new line in June, she had poured everything she had into it. 

"I had $2.30 left in my account," Gammon said. 

Despite it all, Gammon says she's gained much more than she lost this year. 

Her line has taken off, thanks to support from well-known social media personality and actress Tabitha Brown and through the support of all her customers. 

She says it's a reminder of just how shopping with a small business can really impact a life. 

"When you shop with a small business, you're taking care of a family. It's my three boys that are actually benefiting and I am as well. We have put our blood sweat and tears into creating these items," she said. 

The holiday season is a great opportunity to support local businesses like Gammon's. 

She'll have a popup shop Friday and Saturday at 1541 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd in Atlanta.

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