So, here it goes…
P A R T 1
” B E G I N N I N G S “
Who is Gretl Crawford? I am Gretl Hovde, a local girl, the third in a family of 4 girls. Yes, no boys! I think that, that has a lot to do with who I am, and how I have made it in a mostly male industry (Construction). We did not have “girl” or “boy” roles. My dad would tell me that we could do anything that we wanted to do…. and I am certain that I truly took that to heart! We were raised on an apple orchard along the Snake River, where we pretty much ran free…with horses, 3 wheelers, raising farm animals, boating and swimming in the river, and in farm ponds. We didn’t sit in front of the TV, we were often out from sun up to sun down… building forts, digging 3 wheeler ramps, riding miles away to the Sand dunes.. and yes, mostly all with no supervision!! How did we make it??! Well, it created 4 very independent, hard-working, competitive women, with a fierce love of family.
That was my beginnings….
I left for College at University of Washington in the fall of 1991, and was ready to get out of the Tri-Cities and take on the world.. I believed that I wanted to be a CEO of a large company, or an attorney, as I loved to argue my points and always believe that I am right! I enjoyed UW, but realized quickly in my Freshman Pre-law Freshman interest group (FIG), that that wasn’t going to be my path… I decided that I wanted to go into Nutrition, or Interior Design.. neither of which UW offered. Several of my friends had gone to WSU, and my sister, Katrina was heading there, and they offered both programs, so I was off on my next adventure at WSU!
My parents have always been very supportive. My dad was a star basketball player from Selah high
school in the Yakima Valley in the 60’s, and went on to play at the University of Washington. He loves basketball and sports. Basketball, along with other activities and sports were a major part of our childhood.. my dad coached High school basketball for a while, and we were gym rats even as very young children, and a love of sports and competition is engrained in all of my sisters and our families.
Back to WSU and the concept of “What is an Interior Design Degree?” My dad never really questioned my choice of Academic degrees when I decided that Interior Design would be my major.. I would learn later that he was very concerned that he would be supporting me the rest of my life…..
I completed 3 years at WSU in Pullman, and then moved to Spokane as part of their new Interdisciplinary Design Institute, where we would be in a more Urban environment and work on collaborative projects with Architecture, Landscape Architecture and Construction management students. I had completed 5 years of college by that time, so I was able to complete a minor in Fine Arts and Business as well. I am so glad that I got the added business classes in and always wish that I had gotten more!
WSU has a great Interior Design program, but it is focused a little more on big commercial firm Design, and being a Designer on a big team, and only focusing on a small portion of the big project… I have never been comfortable not being in charge of the entire project… and the big city was not my intended destination.
I got married the summer after graduating to Scott Crawford, who had graduated in Horticulture and was getting his Masters in Agribusiness when I met him at WSU. He had a job in Yakima and I followed him there. I was born in Yakima, raised until I was 8 in Selah, and then moved to the farm along the Snake River…so I didn’t mind moving “back home” so to speak.. but trying to find a job as an “Interior Designer” to use my skills that I had learned in college in the little town of Yakima in 1996 was dismal.. I pretty much concluded that there was one position in town for an Interior Designer.. and until she died, I was out of luck!Eventually, I got a job at a floor coverings store, Modern Millwork and Design in Yakima. It offered all types of floor coverings, window coverings, and it had a subsidiary that did windows, doors and mill work. Not a lot of what I had learned in college had taught me how to do this very important aspect of Interior Design, so I relished learning as much as I could.. always asking questions.. learning all about the construction side of it as well, the sequence of construction, everything! I made a lot of connections and great friends working there and am grateful that, that was where I ended up, because that job was my first stepping stone to where I am at now… my first step in making my own way… on my own terms.. not taking the chosen path, but using everything that was put in front of me to figure out how to build upon my new knowledge to make sure that my dad (or my new husband) would not have to take care of me for the rest of my life.. I would be in charge of my own destiny!