Tracy’s Treasured Keepsakes is a local business that transforms sentimental items, such as clothing, into beautiful keepsakes that can be kept forever. Tracy also creates special keepsakes in memory of loved ones, and is offering those who have lost their baby the chance to have special items of clothing made into an elephant, with a donation from the proceeds going back to CHUMS.
Winner of ‘Most Thoughtful Sentimental Gifts Business 2023 in Bedfordshire’, we caught up with Tracy to ask what inspired her to start the business, and the impact her keepsakes have had on those who have been affected by the devestation of losing a baby.
Hello Tracy, could you explain what do you do?
At Tracy’s Treasured Keepsakes I create memory bears, cushions and blankets from those items of clothing that hold sentimental value. Whether it be those old baby clothes, school or work uniform, clothes that belonged your loved one and even you wedding dress.
I specialise in creating memorial bears.
Often these clothes are tucked away in a cupboard because the person requesting a keepsake can’t part with them. My business helps to upcycle those precious clothes and provide a way to display them in their home.
They also make great heirlooms to pass onto generations.
Why do you do this?
I love helping my customers to display the wonderful memories that are tied up in their clothes. My passion is most definitely with the memorial keepsakes as I love how my work brings so much comfort to families whilst they grieve.
How long have you been doing it?
I have recently celebrated 5 years in business, having started it when my youngest daughter was just 8 weeks old.
What got you into it?
I started the business as a hobby in 2018 when I was on maternity leave after my 2nd child. I created a Keepsake Bear from my eldest’s daughters old baby clothes. After sharing on social media, the idea of my business came to life with friends and family asking me to create one for them.
My initial thoughts were to help other parents turn their old baby clothes into Baby Clothes Keepsakes, but after I was approached by a grieving mum who had lost her son and asked if I could create some keepsakes for her and her family I discovered the power of my work, the comfort that my creations could provide. This is when I found my passion. I wanted to be able to provide comfort to families during their grief journey.
I always feel so honoured and privileged when I am asked to create a keepsake from customers sentimental items of clothing. After all they’ve kept hold of them for a reason and they are willing to trust me, quite often a stranger, to cut up their clothes based on the work they have seen online.
The idea that my work can bring such comfort to families that are grieving the loss of a loved one is second to none. The feeling of handing back a bear or cushion and seeing their face when they see what I have created is the most amazing feeling. Knowing that my work can help them on their grief journey and provide them something to hold when they miss their loved ones is truly special.
Could you share a success story or client testimonial?
Julie sadly lost her baby girl over 20 years ago, Hannah was born prematurely at 26 weeks due to pre-eclampsia but sadly passed away at 16 weeks old. Julie had kept hold of her clothes for all these years and felt ready to finally have something made from them. During a consultation call we spoke about Hannah, the clothes and what Julie was hoping to achieve.
Julie wanted to bear to be weighted to Hannah’s weight when she passed so she could remember holding her in her arms again. The duck T-shirt was what Hannah was wearing when she passed away so Julie asked if I could make the bear wearing the T-Shirt. She also wanted a bear for her daughter to have a keepsake of her big sister. After completing the bear I saw Julie at her place of work, she had taken her bear in to show her colleagues. She had wrapped the bear in a blanket and was cradling the bear like a baby. It’s moments like this as to why I love what I am able to give my customers.
Why did you decide to partner with CHUMS
When I heard about CHUMS I loved the support they provided, it seemed to align so well with my own work. But when I heard they also provided a baby bereavement service I knew I definitely wanted to partner with them. In 2016 & 2017, sadly me and my husband suffered 3 early miscarriages. We had already had a successful pregnancy with Elizabeth (now age 10) and never thought we’d hear those words “I’m sorry there is no heartbeat”. It was the hardest time of my life, I love that with my work I can help raise vital funds for other families who are experiencing the same thing.
I’m so proud to say I will be partnering with CHUMS for a year.
One of the designs to have your special items of clothing made into is an elephant. For every Elephant ordered, whether it be from baby clothes, school/work uniform or clothes that belonged to your loved one 10% will be donated to CHUMS.
You can see more of Tracy’s work on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok and place orders through the Tracy’s Treasured Keepsakes website.
Find out more
If you have been affected and wish to find out more about the services being offered to bereaved families, visit the Baby Loss section of our website
to find out more.
Photography: Tigz Rice