Vendor Spotlight: Tracy’s Designs 1
That dream has now become a reality and she sells at the Shipshewana Flea Market every week May through September with the help of her mother. They offer handmade 18" doll clothes that fit American Girl Dolls at her booth #237.
Recently, I had the chance to sit down and ask Tracy about her journey to becoming a successful small business owner and vendor.
When did you know you wanted to own your own business and sell at the Shipshewana Flea Market?
When Tracy was just seven years old, her grandmother started teaching her how to sew, but it wasn't until she started taking high school sewing classes when she really fell in love with it.
Tracy used her skills and talent to make renaissance clothes for people and started selling on Ebay. However, she always had a ton of scrap fabric left after making the adult clothes. A friend suggested she should use the scraps to sew clothes for American Girl dolls. Tracy was confused. "What's an American Girl Doll?" she said.
After her friend introduced her to the American Girl dolls, Tracy soon fell in love. "I have become a collector myself!" she said. "It's much easier to sew doll clothes - one size fits all!"
Tracy began to seek out markets to sell her doll clothes at because just selling on Ebay wasn't enough.
"I called Shipshewana Flea Market and asked if I could have a space, and they said, 'you're in!"
She has set up here for the summer ever since.
Where do you get your creative inspiration?
She loves to get her inspiration for new outfits by current kids' fashion trends, so she's always paying attention to what is in style. Her favorite design right now is the "unicorn outfit," complete with peak-a-boo shoulders and a colorful tutu.
When girls dress their dolls in clothes from Tracy's Designs 1, their doll can become anything from a nurse, to a musician, to a 50's housewife, to a mermaid! And there are plenty of accessories and other items to choose from too. Plus, the prices are SUPER reasonable. 10 bucks can get you an entire outfit!
Tracy's booth also has a selection of crocheted hats and deco mesh wreaths for sale.
What advice do you have for new flea market vendors?
When asked if she had any advice for people wanting to sell their stuff at markets, Tracy said, "Make sure you sell something you love and that you're passionate about. That way, you're excitement will show to the customer."
You can meet Tracy and shop her handmade doll clothes at booth 237 every Tuesday and Wednesday at the Shipshewana Flea Market (May - September). You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, or visit her online store at TracysDesigns1.com.