Welcome to #HOMETOWNHUSTLE – a SweetwaterNOW exclusive series where we highlight hardworking individuals at local businesses in our community.
Recently, I had a chance to catch up with Tracy Hafner, owner and operator of Save the Date Flower & Wedding Studio in Downtown Rock Springs.
Being a florist is Tracy’s passion and for 30 years she’s found ways to keep that passion in her life.
Tracy remembers making her first floral arrangement when she was around 10-years-old. She found a log from a creek and added dried flowers, grass, moss, etc.
When I was younger, I wanted to be a teacher or floral designer. I love creating arrangements for people to assist them in expressing their feelings. An anniversary arrangement, birthday flowers, or just an ‘I’m thinking of you bouquet.’ Life’s moments like these happen only once, you don’t get a do-over and it is important that I make them as special as I can for my clients.Tracy Hafner
Save the Date was established in 2018 and was run from Tracy’s home as she mainly focused on weddings while working another full-time career. In October of 2020, Tracy moved to her current location at 157 K Street!
The new retail location allows Tracy to offer fresh flowers for all occasions such as; birthdays, anniversaries, as well as sympathy tributes, plants, balloons, artificial flowers, and gift items. Tracy also offers custom design. She is able to go to a person’s home or event location to assess how to best customize her designs.
In the past, Tracy has worked at other flower shops. Opening up her own shop has allowed her to offer her design and outstanding customer service for her clients. “I want people to feel like they come to see a friend when they come to my studio. It is so much more than just making a living. It’s about building relationships, offering information on plants and flowers, sitting with a family to provide them with comfort as they order flowers for the loved one who has just passed while making that final expression of love and memories,” said Tracy.
Tracy’s favorite moments are when she receives phone calls or emails from brides and other clients expressing how much it meant to them to receive their flowers or a bride that is crying because she has just seen her dreams come to life.
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Finally being able to move Save the Date to a retail location did come with its challenges, especially during the year of 2020. Tracy had everything on track to launch at an event in Rock Springs to announce her new business. She had checked all of her boxes by reaching out to the Small Business Development Center, hired a business coach, had her website built, established a brand and logo, put together a marketing campaign, all the things to launch a new business.
…Then COVID-19 hit! The weddings Tracy had scheduled for the summer were cancelled, events she had planned were cancelled. Understandably, Tracy and her husband decided to push the opening date back and she got a part-time job while still working out of her home.
“It was a learning experience for sure but I am a firm believer everything happens for a reason and the delay was just to make me stronger, more driven, and more prepared.”
For Tracy, not giving up during those tough first months has paid off ten-fold and she is now living out her dream. Tracy has always had a strong work ethic and gives 110% to her career and her family and owning her own business gives her the flexibility to do just that.
“It’s about balance; being able to attend hockey games, band concerts, go hunting with my husband, as well as assisting a bride to make her day magical. I am one woman, the bucket washer, the head designer, the order taker, account receivable and payable, delivery driver. But first I am a wife and a mom. Being a business owner is no easy task, some days are harder than others, but the hard work is worth it,” explained Tracy. “I want to show our children to follow their dreams and never give up.”
If Tracy could give one piece of advice to aspiring business owners/managers/entrepreneurs it would be:
Follow your dreams and do your research!Tracy Hafner
Tracy realizes what a large part the support of our community has contributed to the success of Save the Date and other small businesses in the area. “We have an amazing community that offers so much to our residents, we come together when it matters most. Supporting local sporting events, group activities, outdoor events, fundraisers, bake sales, and so on. We are all in this together. We must continue to support small businesses in our community in order to grow and see continued growth in our area.”
With that, Tracy would also like to extend a thank you all who have helped her along this journey.
“I want to say a huge thank you to my husband, family, and friends for supporting me and my dream, and to my clients as well. I appreciate your continued support and encouragement. I have been open for a little over 6 months and I am so grateful to those who have placed orders for delivery, stopped by my studio and my brides who I’ve had the opportunity to work with. Everyone has been very positive and encouraging. I have received awesome feedback from clients and other business owners. I look forward to assisting clients with their floral needs, wedding and event planning.”