Happy Sunday everyone!
Just back from a lovely walk along the beach with mi amor and ready to continue where I left off on Fridays blog telling you all about my (ahem) diverse and colourful career path that has led me perfectly to this moment.....
So if you remember......
we left off with me as Ranger Tracy with a slightly offensive fruit bat named Stinky hanging from my arm..... (see here if you missed it)
Just as my career with National Parks amped up, and it seemed I was about to be offered a regular stint on TV, Marco and I made the huge decision to sell our property and take off overseas for a couple of years before settling down to have children...
Always the entrepeneur, and with my creative spark beginning to rear its head, I had begun to dabble in creating dried flower arrangements using native Australian flora. A few large orders had seen me sprawled out on our loungeroom floor with baskets, florists foam, dried flowers and seed pods spread from one end of the house to the other, and before we left for the US to spend a few months with Marco's family, I decided that it would be a great idea to take my new idea with me!
Using my skills gained as a Tupperware lady I decided I would sell my basket's via party plan and came up with the fabulous name of "Australia by Design" (kind of makes me cringe now:/)...
the next thing you know I was presenting my dried flower parties to small gatherings across Portland AND taking custom orders for Thanksgiving and Christmas table centrepieces!!
Gumnuts and tea tree bouquets, with all their exotic wonder graced the tables of the Pacific North West...well a few tables anyway.
and then we were off!!
we headed to Tijuana first to say goodbye to Marco's grandmother (abuelita) and great Aunt Toto.
Toto prayed beside our Chevy truck, with its camper perched on top, blessing us for our trip ahead into the wilds of Mexico.
Abuelita gifted us with a sum of money to travel which converted to millions of pesos at the crazy early nineties exchange rate. We stuffed peso notes under mattresses, inside pillows, in containers and off we headed for our Mexican adventure!
Along the way we fell in LOVE with the various indigenous arts and crafts of the Mexican and Guatemalan people and an idea was hatched to start an import company and bring these beautiful items back to Australia. After 7 months of wonderful travel throughout most of Mexico we returned to the US and trialled our idea, setting up stalls in markets and college campuses to see which items would be popular.....
1993~ We headed home to Australia with a new biz and a new baby on the way.
I was pregnant with Santana, right on cue ♥
For 4 years we ran two stores and a wholesale company specialising in arts and crafts from North to South America. We loved our stores but after one year of flourishing, the economy took a downhill slide and we struggled for the next several years.
To make a few extra dollars I began to run Mexican cooking classes from home when Santana was about 18 months old. This was bundles of fun until everyone went home happy and full on enchiladas and wine and I was left with a kitchen packed with dirty dishes and a night of broken sleep with a toddler who liked to wake me up several times a night!
1997~ pregnant with Sienna we made the decision to close one store and, luckily, found a buyer for the other. I reverted back to the party plan system (again) and started a business called Tribal Collections in which I took the goods to people homes and regaled them with stories about the culture and folklore of the various items for sale. The teacher in me was emerging....
This business was much more successful than the stores but I found myself becoming more and more stressed and burnt out as I presented 4-5 demos per week in the evenings, did all the ordering, packing and delivering, with a new baby and a 4 year old.
Add to the mix a brush with melanoma and new baby Sienna in and out of the hospital with asthma attacks and I was heading for a meltdown....
2000~ the beginning of a new millenium and a time for making BIG new decisions. With my health suffering, physically and emotionally, I closed Tribal Collections down and took a breather.
After a severe bout of panic disorder I noticed an ad in the paper for a local once weekly art class.
At 35 I had found the thing that lit me up!
Almost immediately I wanted to share what I was learning. It was a revelation to me!!
All my life I had thought that art was some magic thing that only SOME people could do and here I was finding out that it was within me the whole time and better yet inside everyone!!
How awesome is that!
Gathering a small group of kids I started a weekly art class for kids which I called ArtzSPARK;
For the next 11 years I taught these classes, branching out to adult classes too and in 2004 I began working within the school system as a Teachers aide with Special ed kids.
I worked on my own healing, learnt a whole bunch more about people and art and family and relationships and then.........
when the time was right
and I was ready
BIG things began to happen
you all know what happened next..... :)
until tomorrow beautiful ones
lots of love Tracy xoxox