HARD-WORKING Tracie Bestford has an eye for design and creativity.
After leaving Hartlepool for London, Tracie graduated from university and started out working as a scout for a modelling agency in the capital.
Within three years she was headhunted by prestigious agency Storm Models. Five years later and she was approached again, this time by Next Models, one of the world’s biggest agencies with offices in New York, London, Los Angeles, Miami, Milan and Paris.
Tracie loved her job and was on her way to the top but two years ago gave birth to her first child Vivienne Carney.
Balancing life as a mum and working 15-hour days was tough so Tracie, 35, decided to hand in her notice at work and head back home to Hartlepool with her partner Chris Carney, 34, a resource manager for the BBC.
But it wasn’t long before Tracie put her creative skills to good use once again, using the many talents she acquired during her textiles degree so start designing and making crafts.
And although it started out just as a hobby, Tracie is now inundated with orders for her homemade greetings cards, frames, embroidery and more.
It remains a part-time role as Tracie juggles her craft designs with being a mum and working part-time at Sainsbury’s Middle Warren, on the Bishop Cuthbert estate but she is now hoping her new business takes off in the next couple of years.
“It just started out as a hobby making some crafts,” explained Tracie, who lives in Bishop Cuthbert.
“Then I had a couple of people asking me if I would make something for them and they would pay for it and it’s just gone from there really.”
One of Tracie’s specialities are nappy cakes - a collection of baby essentials - that are must have items in London and are proving quite popular in Hartlepool.
“I’ve always been really driven and I like to push myself to do the very best in everything I do and I would really like to do this full-time in the future and employ people,” she added.
“I’m just using Facebook at the minute to advertise what I’m doing and it’s already proving really popular so if it continues to grow and I can get my own website that would be great.”
To view Tracie’s crafts visit www.facebook.com/Bettysbuttonsandbobbins.