BA 1982, Fine Arts, General
AAS 1982, Electrical & Computer Engineering
BS 1983, Electrical & Computer Engineering
Owner/Gretel's Fine Gifts
West Lafayette, Indiana
Gretel Kulupka grew up on a farm in Columbus, IN, where she learned to work on British sports cars with her father. She became an entrepreneur at a young age, selling strawberries along the roadside and then selling office supplies to her schoolmates.
After graduating from Purdue Gretel went to work for Caterpillar, working on portable generator sets. When she started her family, Gretel put her career on hold to raise her children. When they started school, Gretel drove a school bus, or as she calls it, the largest car pool in town. Her next job was at Bennett’s Greenhouses in Lafayette. It was there that she rediscovered her entrepreneurial spirit when she was asked to manage the floral and gift department. She credits Bennett’s for teaching her the skills needed to run her own business.
Gretel opened her West Lafayette shop in 2004 and now employs four full-time and 10 seasonal workers. Gretel’s Fine Gifts was named the Small Business of the Month for February 2011 by Greater Lafayette Commerce.