Marrying New and Old at Red Daisy

The art of combining old and new is no easy task, though you’d never know it walking around Red Daisy.

On every shelf and surface, elements of years gone by coexist peacefully with their shinier, newer counterparts. Rusted cheese graters long out of commission find new purpose as a display for colorful rows of earrings; grandma’s china lives on, reimagined as a necklace. Around here, owner Tracy Raymond makes sure everything gets a second chance at life.

Self-described as “always selling something”, Raymond started her first business when she was 16. A cocktail cleanup crew called ‘The Party Slaves’, they tidied up after the soirees of family and friends. From there, her path led her through various ventures: sales associate, travel agent, caterer, florist and stay at home mom— when at last, Red Daisy was born.

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To find out what goes into running such a cool business, we chatted with Raymond about antiques, being your own boss lady and more:

Q: When did you decide to venture out and open you own store? What was the process like?
A: The decision to open my own shop was kind of made for me. I had put in an offer to purchase an existing gift shop and that fell through. My current space became available and Red Daisy was born. The process was so exciting! How could it not be-- I was shopping for my favorite things! And I knew the location was special. The Courtyard at 200 First Street is the perfect spot for Red Daisy because of its location and surrounding retail businesses.

Q: Where did your love of vintage kitsch come from? How do you make these items current and fresh for a modern clientele?
A: My love for antiques and vintage came from my maternal grandmother and her sister-in-law. While at a family reunion in Missouri and Kansas, Grandma and Aunt Marge took me on a "Huntin' and Gathererin’" trip. I learned so much-- how to smell furniture, china markings and furniture styles... Those two gals opened a whole new world for me and I was only 23 at the time!

I don't think it's so much about keeping the vintage items current, after all they AREN'T current... they're old. I think it's about balance and combination. The mix of old with new is something that surrounds us daily. I try to educate our customers about antique and vintage items. And then incorporate a fresh new item that compliments their vibe. A vintage tobacco tin canister is a great planter or a sleek, modern glass decanter filled with antique beads is piece of art. Old family items have "soul" and I feel, make your house a home.

Q: When it comes to being a successful businesswoman, what traits are a must-have?
A: Dedication and a positive outlook. I have always been a "glass half full" kind of person. There are always going to be pitfalls in any business, but how you interpret them determines the outcome.

Q: What do you love most about being your own boss and calling the shots? What's the most challenging part?
A: What I absolutely love the MOST about being my own boss is the TIME I get to spend with Red Daisy's customers. I love spending time getting to know our clientele. Our customers are what drive me to find new items. Making the call that I've found the perfect gift a customer has been searching for is the biggest perk. It's why we spend the time getting to know our shoppers.

The most challenging part is finding the TIME to do the dirty work-- the NOT so fun part of the business. The paperwork, back office stuff, heck...finding time to clean out the storage room is hard! Red Daisy is open 7 days a week and some evenings, so the re-arranging and "fluffing" has to be done way after or before hours. Most Sundays you'll find me in my shop at 6:30am doing all the dirty work, but I still love it and wouldn't have it any other way!

Q: If you could travel back in time, what advice would you give yourself when Red Daisy was just getting started?
A: Going back in time I would have listened and paid more attention to people. You can learn so much if you just listen. My father used to always say “listen louder”.

Q: What do you hope to achieve with Red Daisy in the future? What's your vision?
A: Going forward I hope to add to Red Daisy's charitable giving, be able to give all my awesome Red Daisy Gals yearly raises and continue meeting and helping customers find unique and treasured gifts.

My vision is to go global! Franchise Red Daisy! Make it a household name! Have a Red Daisy reality show! Anything is possible... I just need to find time to vacuum the shop!

You can catch Tracy and her menagerie of new and old at Red Daisy
Mondays through Saturdays, 10am-6pm or Sundays 12pm-5pm
For more info, visit their Facebook page here or call (904) 339-0137

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