Photography by Sarah Ann Photography
Meet Tracy. She is Beauty Revived.
“I met Tracy in junior high school. I hated middle school. It was full of mean girls and I lived on the wrong side of town so I was considered dirt. Tracy was nothing like the rest of the girls there. She was so friendly to me from the first moment I met her. Even though we graduated from different high schools and grew up to have families of our own, we have remained friends thanks to the internet. Her laugh is amazing and her eyes are so kind. She is so unpretentious.” -Susie Gill
Driving up the long driveway that leads to the Claussens Greenhouse where I will meet with Tracy, I am in awe of the beauty that South Dakota offers. Just beyond the property is a herd of buffalo and harvest season is in full swing. The sun is setting and I am greeted by one of the warmest smiles.
Tracy was born in Sioux City, Iowa but has been calling South Dakota home since 1997. Originally living in McCook Lake and then out to Claussens which is just west of McCook Lake. Tracy says she loves the state of South Dakota and believes it has a lot to offer everyone.
Tracy works at Claussens in the greenhouse division. When I arrived, she was busy watering the plants before she was done for the day. Tracy then showed me all of the pots and left over plants that needed to be cleaned up before Winter hits. It is a physical job and she loves creating fun flower arrangements. Her son, Stephen Jones, owns Claussens and Tracy loves working with him. Tracy said, “I have great help in the greenhouse and my sister helps me daily after she gets done working her real job.” (Love a family that works together!) The greenhouse has been a work in progress. Having the east greenhouses destroyed in a flood in 2011 and the west greenhouses taken out by a tornado a couple years back; they were left with a couple of barns on the property. A suggestion by Chris Roan had them turning the barn into a greenhouse. They ended up taking the sides and roof off the wings of the barn and replaced it with greenhouse plastic. It truly is beautiful. Tracy invited me to come back in the Spring when they have it filled with flowers.
I asked Tracy her favorite way to give back and loved her answer. “Everyone has different circumstances. I just try to be understanding and listen.” And isn’t that why Susie nominated her in the first place? “I believe in hard work and try to do my best. I don’t feel comfortable giving advice on life but will listen and try to help where I can. I don’t have any business advice or life advice. Just that you never know what someone is going through. So, try hard to just be nice to everyone.” After visiting with Tracy, it’s easy to see why a blast from the past would call attention to this beautiful woman. In an age where bullying is finally being recognized and more and more people are standing against it, Tracy knew how to combat it all along. “I don’t feel comfortable tootin my own horn. I just work hard and have faith it will all turn out.” Well, Tracy, by being a friend to a girl when she so desperately needed one, you left a lasting impression. You Impacted another human being’s life for the better and that is something to be proud of.
About the Photographer
Sarah is a wedding, lifestyle, and portrait photographer based out of Jackson, NE.