Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Tracy Porter Fascination

The Ambrosia Bud Vase

The Bohemian Luxe Bud Vase

Tracy Porter and family on their farm in Ripon, WI

I am a fan of all things designed by Tracy Porter. A few weekends ago, my friend Karen attended what was sort of like a Tracy Porter trunk show with great discounts, which was probably primarily intended for local PR in the small town of Ripon—where her business is headquartered—conveniently located only a stone's throw from Green Lake. The show, only the second ever—and advertised as perhaps the last—drew a line of hundreds of local Tracy Porter admirers to a large gymnasium at Ripon College. This made for a chaotic shopping experience, but Karen did good work. Among other items she found for herself, Karen picked out two beautiful bud vases that she later surprised me with for my birthday. Both (pictured above) feature intricate designs and details, and fabulously vibrant colors, and the vases are now prominently displayed in my bedroom. The best part is that Tracy herself was at the sale, and Karen asked her to sign one of my vases. Which just makes them all the more special and unique!

Karen and I have been quite fascinated with Tracy Porter’s story over the years. Several years ago, she and her husband traded in their big-city life, and big-stress careers, for great uncertainly and a go at small-town life on a rural farm in Wisconsin, where they intended to start a business of designing and painting furniture and other home goods, which had always been Tracy’s most treasured hobby. Relatively quickly, her creations were picked up by Neiman Marcus and featured on Oprah, and since then, Tracy Porter has humbly enjoyed great success. Anyway, I admire both Tracy and her husband for their courage, passion, humble spirit, and artistic talent.

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