gayle martzAbout Gayle Martz:

Gayle Martz is a former airline hostess, fashion photographer, and handbag designer. Her unique vision for pet travel led her to create the SHERPA Bag, the first officially approved soft-sided pet carrier. She revolutionized pet travel by successfully, persuading airlines to allow dogs and cats in the passenger cabin. Gayle was the founder and CEO/President of the Sherpa Pet Trading Company from 1989 to 2016. From 2000 to 2005, she was president/CEO of Crouch & Fitzgerald. She is currently president of GMInc. (

Gayle believes there should be “No Pet Left Behind,“ which is also the title of her first book, No Pet Left Behind: The SHERPA Guide for Traveling with Your Best Friend, published by Thomas Nelson in 2008. Her new book, It’s in the Bag: A Revolution in Pet Travel, published by New Voices Press on Feb. 14, 2021, is a candid recounting of her journey, including sage advice to budding entrepreneurs on how to recognize and hopefully avoid many of the pitfalls she encountered. It’s advice she is well-qualified to offer, given that Gayle started her business with nothing—literally no home, no job, no money—and went on to build a global brand that provided people everywhere the means to take their pets with them wherever they go—safe, comfortable and stylish in their iconic SHERPA Bag.

A graduate of Long Beach City College, Gayle currently resides in San Clemente, California. She continues to advocate for all aspects of pet travel, animal welfare, and honoring the precious human-animal bond.

About Elves Up North – A Family for Castor:

The “Elves Up North – A Family for Castor” – NEW Illustrated Chapter Book – where the readers are part of the story! Come meet a magical wizard named “The Maestro” and help save Christmas this season for Santa Claus:•Soar through the clouds•Bounce along with your new friend, Misty the mouse•Meet the “Elves of Table 12″•Discover why Castor the Elf is feeling down this year•Search for all the “blue” presents he has wrapped to save Christmas•Help him find a family and learn that sometimes they don’t always have to be related•Just don’t get hit in the head with the Cod Fish Biscuit whizzing through the air as you go past! (EWWW!!!)Mildly interactive, this story can be read as a bedtime tale with chapter breaks to stop for the night, or as a read out loud for groups to make new yuletide traditions, as even the elderly can participate and get involved. “Elves Up North – A Family for Castor” offers a unique way to enjoy the holidays, while making smiles and new memories along the way with your family and friends.

About It’s In The Bag:

A Determined Woman. A Little Dog Named SHERPA. A Remarkable Story.

It’s In the Bag: How to turn a passion into a new business is an inspiring business memoir. Entrepreneurs will find invaluable business advice in this remarkable story of how a flight attendant turned an idea into a product category that didn’t exist and created a multimillion-dollar global brand—the iconic SHERPA BAG, the world’s top selling, soft-side pet carrier. Pet lovers who fly with a dog or cat, have Gayle Martz to thank for revolutionizing pet travel on airlines, and for making pet travel in every mode, safer. This is her story.

Gayle’s journey to becoming one of the top successful women entrepreneurs, is not a fairy tale in which everything went smoothly. Her story began in 1987, when she was furloughed from the job she loved as a TWA hostess (now known as a flight attendant). Shortly after, she lost the man she loved, her fiancé, who died in his sleep. Her saving grace was her little dog named SHERPA, who became her life. It was on a cross-country car trip with SHERPA, that the idea of a soft-sided pet carrier came to her.

With a $5,000 loan from her mother, and no real business experience, she started what would become the SHERPA Pet Trading Company from her 600 square foot apartment in Manhattan. She designed the first line of bags, found a manufacturer, a warehouse, and then successfully started to sell the pet carriers to high-end department stores in New York City including Bloomingdales, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Macys. She had joined the ranks of women business owners and became a one-woman company— designer, distributor, salesperson, CEO, and advocate for pet travel.

She was determined that pet owners should be able to fly with their dogs and cats. She took on the challenge of convincing the major airlines to change their policies. By 1994, the Sherpa Bag had been officially approved by most major airlines, opening up a world of freedom for pet owners

Anyone who has ever been in business for any length of time knows that competition always jumps in. Sometimes the danger of being ripped off is not only without but within. Gayle’s story is filled with trials, tribulations and challenges, and is a page-turner as well as a cautionary tale to help entrepreneurs. Pet lovers will be enthralled with her story as well, and grateful for her advice on pet safety and her animal advocacy. Learn more at