HI everyone! As a apart of gearing up for Building a Creatively Made business 2.0, I am going to be sharing interviews with different creative and talented women who have built amazing businesses from their passions. I am so super excited to share my interview with today’s guest today, Tracy Porter! I have been a long time fan of Tracy. I have her books,Dreams from Home and
Home Style: Creative and Livable Decorating Ideas For Everyone. They are still favorites of mine and I read through them for inspiration on a regular basis.
Tracy has grown her business like a lot of us. She took a creative passion and let it organically flow into the success it is today. And, after talking to her on the phone, I can tell you she is an amazingly warm and wonderful person too with an amazing heart and I am so happy to have her here today!
Hi Tracy, Thank you so much for being here today! I have been an admirer of your work for a really long time, and I know yous tarted out like many of us with limited space and resources.What gave you the courage to make a bigger leap?
That was a long time ago in 1991,in Wisconsin. We bought a small 21 acre farm and handmade everything out of our chicken coop.We had just gotten married and when you star tout, you don’t really know what’s going to come or where it was going. We were so motivated, but we started small. When we started everything was handmade and very expensive because of the labor. We knew if we wanted to sell on a bigger level and make a living we had make that leap.
Was it a hard move to make?
We applied for all of the gift shows and were actually turned down for ever single one except one in New York.They said “Yes! Please come out!” It was really the way we put ourselves out to retailers. It was a good way to see if this dream we were trying to live had any legs. The response was amazing and the feedback was good, and that’s a great thing. It gave us the courage to do this thing. The No’s were good for us too.
How do you feel that getting told NO sometimes is a positive thing?
I always believe that you do your best evaluation when when you are told NO.Then you tend to think better. You glide along when everything is good,but when rejection comes it’s a time to re-evelauate. Most people take it personally,but we think it’s a time to look at it and evaluate what we are doing. You have to find a nice, happy medium.
What was your next step after the gift shows?
When we wanted to go to even the next level and grow, we knew it was time to go to licensing. There weren’t many licenses at that time, but everything we made was handmade and really expensive to make and sell. Our next step forward with out adding employees was licensing. Luckily for us along the way we found great companies.
Where do you tend to draw inspiration from?
Inspiration has always been easiest for me.It’s really in everything, Nature is always my starting point. Constant inspiration is in front of me, vintage fabrics or doodling,I love historical and global references,tipped with bohemian goodness.It’s layers and layers and layers. it makes it usual and playful.You have to be willing to keep your mind open.We try to live as enchantingly as possible.
How do you juggle your family life and creative work life?
I have workaholic genes.I love what I do so much.Our company has changed a lot . We live on small ranch in California with our kids who are ages 8-13.It’s the best scenario because we work out of our home and that’s the greatest gift.I think time with family brings clarity to your life. We have very different roles that work for us. My husband loves errands, I am not so much a lover of errands. It is about balance.’
Where does your real creative passion lie?
I don;t know if I could pick one thing, they are so hand in hand.The art is always my starting point.I like to live in a world of creating with out rules.When I am super free with my creating,it is the best selling stuff.I like to be fearless just jump in and go.
What do you feel every new person starting out should know?
Keep your eye moving forward…You have to trust yourself in this interesting time with all of the changes an ups and downs with the economy.It’s important to jump in and move forward first.When thinking about the direction you want your business to take, you also have to realize how precious your time is, and think about how you want to spend you time
Tracy, thank you so much for taking your time with us today! To se more of Tracy’s amazing work you can visit her site Poetic Wanderlust
You can also follow her instagram feed here.
If you want to see more amazing interviews like this one and get inspired to grow your business even more you can sign up