Miss Tracey grew up in Stockwell and Herne Hill, London. She started her working career as a florist in the Elephant & Castle. Not being a lover of working in the cold environment she moved to being a caption writer for the Keystone Press Agency. “Phew, what a scorcher!” was one of hers.
Tracey had always had a love for making things, and after winning a small amount of money playing the Football Pools, she invested in a sewing machine and used her spare time making clown dolls, or “Clown Babies” as they were known and then sold them in Covent Garden Market.
One day she had a call from her sister who was looking for someone to help a friend out for a few days making hats. Tracey, who was an excellent seamstress, was an obvious choice to ask.
Tracey went to work for Jane Smith Straw Hats, a theatrical milliners for a just couple of days. This couple of days stretched out to 10 years and Tracey became business partner to Jane Smith and using her entrepreneurial skills helped to develop the milliners into a thriving business.
A few years later, Jane Smith semi-retired and Tracey found herself the head of a firm named after Jane. This caused a little confusion so with the help of two of her then employees, Lucy Hodges and Robyn Allardice she formed a new partnership and renamed the business Herald & Heart Hatters.
Herald & Heart were launched onto the fashion scene with the help of the late great Percy Savage, the innovator of PR and key player in the Christian Dior empire. The new team debuted their new collection at the Berkeley Dress Show and became one of the founder exhibitors of London Fashion Week.