Tracy Fox had the entrepreneurial spirit early and took her father’s lead. Although he owned a seat on the New York Stock Exchange, Tracy’s father became one of the first chefs in Manhattan to open a gourmet take out shop. A cookbook followed and he helped Tracy open a restaurant on the upper east side called Tracy’s. When they closed the restaurant, Tracy founded a jewelry company and within 5 years and she was offered a buy out she could not resist. Then life stepped in with kids, a move to the suburbs and ailing parents. Tracy’s search for spiritual guidance began through a weekly bible study. Her mom a minister for St. Bartholomews church on Park Avenue for many years, was one of the first women ministers to be ordained by the Episcopalian Church, so a look at religion came naturally.
For four years Tracy was a regular attendee of the bible study group until the leader decided to move south. She asked Tracy to take over. Not believing she had what it took to be the leader Tracy needed time to think, but once she committed, the bible study grew from about 8 women to a group of more than 30. She has been leading the group for more than 8 years. Her approach is to read and interpret the bible for everyday women’s lives. She feels the bible says it all and holds every answer for any concern, problem or question a person might have.â
Positive Impact, a column in the local paper gave Tracy a voice where she brought in her spiritual opinion every so often with her musings. A website and daily devotional followed. But the turning point was a chance meeting at the parking lot of the local Trader Joe’s when a friend said, “you love what you do, so why not give 100% of this to God.” Tracy decided to try it. She went all in and gave this new venture a year to in her words “make an impact.” Offering morning spiritual retreats was a natural outgrowth. They are held at the St. Birgitta Convent, a beautiful nunnery on the Long Island Sound. Tracy says “It’s such a spiritual place, ideal for reconnecting with yourself and finding your spiritual balance.” The retreat consists of a morning filled with meditation, teaching, contemplation, discussion and a chapel service with the sisters. The purpose is to allow women to take the time to discover their spiritual selves. “We live in such a go, go, go world, that we need time to slow down, get quiet and reacquaint ourselves with God. Women come again and again, it’s amazing how three hours can change your life.” Tracy now offers these retreats twice a month.
Three boys, ages 8, 11 and 13 keep her busy but Tracy loves the fulfillment she finds in her venture called Having a Heart for God. With more than 1000 followers of the site, Tracy is not sure where this will lead but she’s working on an annual Lenten Luncheon featuring a prominent Christian woman speaker to be held in April of 2011. The luncheon and the site are starting local but gathering a wider national following. She’s also working on her first book, called “Better Than Having It All“ 10 Biblical Principles for An Extra-Ordinary Life”. Combining the entrepreneurial spirit she got from her father and following her mom’s lead, Tracy feels this is what she was called to do.
VentureMom Tip Look at the skills and instincts that you received from your parents to build a venture that you feel called to do.