Like so many, Ellen Daigle treasures the life of living in a “wonderful community,” talking about being a part of South Pasadena’s fabric over the years.
Daigle, the owner of Ellen’s Silkscreening Embroidery & Promotional Products on Mission Street in the city, was on the receiving end recently of the local Woman Club’s prestigious “Shining Star” Award, which is annually presented to a woman dedicated to public service who has made a commitment to philanthropic projects.
South Pasadena Women’s Club President Mavis Hansen said Daigle demonstrates the generosity and caring echoed in the club’s motto: “Volunteer Service from the Heart for the Community.”
Proceeds from the event at the club’s headquarters on Fremont Avenue, featured lunch, a fashion show, raffle and live music, all in support the Woman’s Club’s Scholarship Program for South Pasadena High School graduating seniors.
David S. Kim, a representative from the office of state Senator Anthony Portantino also made an appearance to present a certificate to both Daigle and the Woman’s Club of South Pasadena.
Over the years, Daigle has served on many boards and commissions for numerous organizations. Issues revolving around education, youth, business, recreation, and elections are among her key interests in town. She has served as chair of both the South Pasadena Public Safety Commission and the Parks Commission.
Daigle, a New Yorker, has been a part of many activist movements, working hard to preserve South Pasadena’s quality of life and small town image.
She worked as a registered nurse for 25 years at L.A. County Hospital before heading into the business world. “Nursing gave me wonderful tools, among them problem solving, and a love for people and an understanding of the responsibility of other people’s lives when you can make a difference,” she told the Woman’s Club audience of the noble profession. “And that is a very big responsibility.”
After a quarter century in nursing, it wasn’t long before Daigle began studying art, initially taking a painting class at Pasadena City College. Silk screening was part of the curriculum and the impetus behind a successful business venture now in its 40th year.
With help from her future husband, Joe, the art director for radio station KRLA at the time, she soon launched her silk screening business out of a garage before moving it to South Pasadena five years later. The joy of building a business has been “creative, exciting and very hard work,” Daigle said to Woman’s Club luncheon attendees.
Today, she talks about the loyalty of her dedicated staff, devoted to maintaining the company’s high respect and image. “Our greatest legacy has been following their children’s accomplishments,” she said, “which include a full scholarship to Middlebury College, a full scholarship to U.C. Riverside, a graduate of Cal State and a teacher now; a graduate of Northridge and now a teacher, a graduate of an engineering school back east. This is something that has filled me with pride and made me realize the responsibility but also the wonderment of having a business and being able to give back.”
Those closest to her know Ellen as someone who puts family first, as a friend of many, a strong community leader, and a person with deep affection for the company she has built, recognizing those at the heart of it. Married to Joe for over 25 years, the couple has three daughters and four grandchildren. Daigle said her son-in-law, Howard, daughter, Diana, and granddaughter, Vivienne, are the next generation of Ellen’s Silkscreening.
“It has been a wonderful, amazing journey,” said Daigle, moved by the high honor. “I’m thrilled to be your shining star.”
Following the awards ceremony, a fashion show featuring the latest fashions from Chico’s showcased beauties of all ages donning elegant and sporty wear.