Hey all! Tracey here, I'm the owner of ByTracey- clever...right? So since it's been about 8 years since we've opened up shop I figured it was time to introduce myself and talk a little about what goes on behind the scenes.
We started this little biz in 2014 after deciding to try to start our family. My husband and I knew we weren't super keen on the idea of daycare etc etc so it was time to find a creative outlet for me while out of work and if I made a little extra cash along the way...well, that wouldn't hurt either. Within a year we took off pretty well and also had a baby on the way, I guess you could say things were really going as planned (insert laughing crying face emoji). The baby came and ByTracey kept getting busier and busier. I definitely started to question whether or not this was a good choice...after all I did start this to spend all of my time with baby not stuck in my basement working all the time! Within another year or so things got a lot easier to manage and I really started to grasp the mom life/business owner life.
In 2019 my husband and I got permanent custody of our now daughter which added just a little more chaos (and SO MUCH LOVE) into the mix. Our cute starter home was certainly bursting at the seams with 2 kids and a home business. The hunt for a new house began and it needed to happen QUICKLY before the next school year started. We ended up buying our dream home in the next town over. It has 5 bedrooms, a huge basement and garage for lots of workspace.
We finally settled in and of course got right back to work making all of my coffee mugs and ornaments. With both kids in school I definitely started to have a little bit of extra time..okay maybe not extra time but I at least wasn't running as ragged as I'd been for years haha! I started to think about what was next for us..the business, our family..everything. My kids HATED my husband always being out of the house for work or sleeping from working overnight. Of course he hated being away too...on top of it there were so many crazy things that went on with his work behind the scenes (that's another story for a different day)..It was definitely time to get him out of there. We decided to purchase a commercial embroidery machine which was pretty scary because it was definitely the price of a car..but it was the beginning of something so awesome. My husband took classes and self taught himself so much with that machine, I was SO impressed. I knew he was serious about making something work out for our family to provide any extra income to supplement our income from ByTracey. Probably about 6 months after we bought the embroidery machine he saw a post with an entire screen printing setup for sale. He knew he had to have it, so day after Christmas of 2021 he took a leap of faith and bought all of this equipment that he again had no idea how to use. After countless YouTube videos, podcasts and so much trial and error he figured that out too! Again, I was like holy shit, you can do this! It's been just over half a year with his new equipment and he's literally kicking ass. He's officially gotten a business license and goes by SuperStitches...which I came up with- so funny because he came up with my business name all those years ago.
As two small business owners life definitely has more "unknowns" now but the time we get to spend together and as a family overpowers any question at all. With almost 90,000 sales on my Etsy shop alone, I think it's safe to say "WE MADE IT!"...we'll never stop learning and ebb and flowing, pivoting to make this work for US...it's been a journey, for sure!
That was fun, right? Definitely put things into perspective for me at least, it's so easy to forget where you started. I know i'm not the only one who thinks that way...what's that saying? I used to dream about the life i'm living now? Okay maybe I butchered that but either way it's true.