Patti has lived in Gainesville since coming here to attend college at the University of Florida in 1978, where she earned a degree in Tourism and Recreation. This degree lead to an unanticipated career in public health working at the Alachua County Health Department as a counselor, tester and educator for over three decades. While considering life after retirement, she decided she wanted to rediscover a fascination with building and woodworking and started apprenticing with Master Woodworker, Ron Sabetta. Out of that was born PattiCan! Handy Ma’am, and its motto: Because every woman should have her needs met.
Patti loves all things outdoors: gardening, camping, fishing, and boating. She is the co-founder of the Gainesville Glamping Girls along with Amber, and this love of outdoor adventure led to Andrew Bennett of Trekker Trailers, who built Patti and Amber (her wife and business partner) a custom teardrop camper. This camper (available to rent for your own adventure) began a wonderful friendship with Andrew - one which led to a revelation on Patti’s part that would change her trajectory drastically. Even though being a handyman was fulfilling in a lot of ways, it wasn’t a passion; PattiCan! Gypsy Wagons has provided a new outlet for that passion.
Amber has had a life full of creativity and self-expression, so helping clients design their wagons is a very natural fit for her. She is married to Patti, and this is the second business endeavor they have started in the 24 years they’ve been together. Amber also owns The Tease in Gainesville, where she does hair, sewing alterations, sewing lessons, and other cool stuff. In her spare time, she helps run Sirens and Strings, a business which provides guitar lessons and songwriting classes for women and which Amber co-founded with her song sister Kim LaCouteur.
For Amber, PattiCan! Gypsy Wagons is an opportunity to tap into her creative side and also share her love of camping and traveling. Amber has been camping since childhood and has done it all, from sleeping on docks in bean bag chairs, waking up covered in dew and seagull poop, to traveling in a Winnebago and getting it stuck in a dead end parking lot for a couple of hours. At this point in her life, she no longer sleeps in bean bags on docks and is a very proficient, if not expert, backer upper. She relishes bringing both her outdoor experience and her robust understanding of style and design together in every PattiCan! Gypsy Wagon.
Despite some brief sojourns to other states, Stormy has been a Florida girl her whole life, and is the member of the team least likely to find herself sleeping anywhere but a pillow-top mattress. Stormy has an AA in history from Santa Fe College, and is currently enrolled there to pursue a Bachelor’s in Accounting. Although the rest of the team doesn’t understand exactly what is exciting about numbers, it’s a great fit for Stormy, who is the kind of person who often has the answer to a question before you finish asking it. Although camping isn’t her forte, Stormy’s background in human resources and management are pivotal in keeping the front office of PattiCan! Gypsy Wagons running efficiently and effectively.
Kevin started with Patti Can in 2016 as a worker bee and moved up to foreman pretty quickly. His attention to detail is a huge asset to building gypsy wagons. He has a great eye and is a great problem solver, as well as a first-class bass player. Kevin worked for many years with his dad, Keith, starting at age 15 doing kitchen and bath renovations, including tile work, during the day while playing gigs with bands such as Big Bison, Aural Eyes and Big Boat at night. At present, he is Patti’s right hand in the warehouse, and happy to be working on a new project that he hopes to help grow into a great business.