Today we’d like to introduce you to Tracey Sykes Ambrose.
Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
I began crocheting at a very young age of seven or eight years of age. A family member showed me basic chain link stitch which led into many blankets and hair accessories.
My interest in the art of Crochet was sparked again about 15 years later while working part-time at a local library in the audiovisual department. During my early college years and working part-time, a supervisor showed me how to Crochet a scarf. This introduced me to wearable fashion through the art of crocheting. I discovered it wasn’t the lack of interest but the lack of vision. Although I always appreciated the teachings of this folklore art, I didn’t really feel a connection until I BELIEVED in the VISIONS of fashionable patterns given to me. Footnote… I did not have the skills to read patterns; I created my designs by sight or visions I would receive out of “nowhere”.
Tracey Ambrose W.R.A.P. (with revelation and purpose) began in the summer of 2004 when I crocheted an oversized scarf/wrap as a going away gift to a former supervisor… and the rest was history. From 2006 to 2009, my hand-crocheted items were showcased and sold in three boutiques in Los Angeles County. In addition to designer showcase opportunities, I participated in multiple collaborations as a vendor and in-store Fashion Show & Runway Coordinator for local boutique owners.
Several chains of events including receiving 2 degrees (BS/BM & MBA) human hiccups, divorce from a 15 years marriage, and youngest son diagnosis is Aspergers/high functioning Autism/on the Spectrum, this mompreneur mother of two young boys (Kirk Jr and Kerrington) took a well-deserved designer hibernation during 2011 to 2018. Seven years later (the number 7 spiritual definition is COMPLETION) in November 2018, I suffered a panic attack from corporate bullying and systemic racism in February 2018 (diagnosis to include anxiety and panic attack DISORDERS). Through therapy, psychiatry, and time away from my corporate/local government position, I not only became an advocate for anti-corporate bullying/systemic racism ( Dressing The Wounds) & advocate for Autistic black boys (Colors of Confetti), I emerged from my designer hibernation with a vengeance introducing a new hand-crocheted item strategically named “Showin’ Out” Tote. Therapy specifically rerouted my dormant crochet creativity to blossom again by using it as one of my grounding tools. To my surprise, friends, customers, and boutique owners were happy for my return.
Presently I am looking forward to adding to my designer sheet teaching how to crochet to the people in my community (hopefully inspiring my community to rise above strategic systemic distractions) as well as marketing and selling my item in major cities globally.
My organic, nonpatterned, hand-crocheted items are classy, chic, slightly bohemian eclectic, and runway ready. I am forever grateful and do not take for granted the vision God has given me. The visions are the patterns of each item. Galatians 6:9
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
By no definition of the word easy has it been a smooth road to this present day. From 2018 to present, the saying “starving artist” is ever so real. Early 2018, I was diagnosed with major depression, anxiety/panic attack disorders, and complex PTSD (stemming from years of systemic racism and corporate bullying in my private sector profession. During this year, I was not crocheting and as a matter of fact, had no desire to even touch yarn. In addition, I developed stuttering and uncontrollable shaking which resulted in illegible handwriting and decreasing typing speed. However, therapy helped me realize how crocheting helps with my mental health and rerouting my thoughts towards a healthier path. As I continue to allow crochet to be my “lifesaver”, it reopened the doors of creativity I had not experienced in about eight years. Crocheting also helps in my previous loss of concentration/memory and shaking. Although I am still a work in progress, I’ve come further along with rebuilding my brand and collection. Presently, my struggles are still active as I have to mentally pivot behind the scenes to continue to market my brand not as a trend but a legitimate black-owned business historically not recognized in the mainstream.
Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I am Tracey Ambrose W.R.A.P. a crochet designer. I specialize in crocheting eclectic and non-traditional hand-crocheted accessories and wearable fashions. I’m known for creating visually patterned hand-crocheted items that are show stoppers. I’m most proud of my handbag/purse collection as these items set me apart from your “typical/traditional granny square” bag. I use big and thick blanket yarn to design my collection.
Dedicated to my children Kirk Elijah Ambrose and Kerrington Ray Ambrose; and my mother Wanda V. Wilson (1948-1990)
So maybe we end on discussing what matters most to you and why?
What matters to me is integrity, character, and personality behind the brand to provide excellent customer service.
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: shoptraceyambrosewrap.com
- Instagram: @traceyambrosewrap
- Facebook: @Tracey Ambrose WRAP
- Other: tiktok @traceyambrosewrap