Who is Gracie Jay & Co.? We are a family run, home-based business that is wild about all things handmade, and small business owned!
Co-founders Tara and Nancy (daughter and mother), have always shared a passion for all things handmade, both supporting and making. Nancy has always been a wiz with the sewing machine, making a lot of Tara's clothes when she was younger. Tara picked up sewing by watching her mom sew (she made her own duvet cover, pillow cases and Roman blinds when she was 14). The two of them together made all of Tara's bridesmaids dresses in 2001 (we will be sure to share photos on our socials!)
Named after co-founder Tara's two children (Grace is her daughter's middle name and E.J is her son's); together their names were formed to make Gracie Jay. The 'and Co.' is meant to represent all the amazing brands that will be carried on the store.
After Nancy retired in 2022 she began to return to a love of macrame - she may have dabbled in it when it was popular in the 70's and 80's ;) She is the creator of the beautiful Gracie Jay & Co macrame products available on the store.
Tara has been a long time supporter of women in business, and hosted numerous local networking events and artisan markets pre-pandemic. She was a Girly Bits Cosmetics team member from 2012 until 2019. In October 2019, Tara accepted a position as the Events Manager (aka "dream job") at a local winery, where she remained until she left in May 2023, for a part-time job that would allow her to focus on growing Gracie Jay.
When Pam (the owner of Girly Bits Cosmetics) decided she was ready to focus more on creating, Tara and Nancy suggested the idea of taking over the stockist side of the business.
With three girls that are creative and full of entrepreneurial spirit. While, Tara and Nancy handle the day-to-day business, they already have a built-in team to call on when needed.
Abigail is Tara's daughter (and one of the namesakes of Gracie Jay). She was married in October 2022 and is step-mom to an adorable little man.
Stacia and Kara are Tara's bonus daughters. Stacia has been a fixture around the house since she and Tara's son became best friends in high school. The two eventually started dating, and the rest is history in the making.
Kara is Stacia's younger sister and was an instant member of the family the first time she jokingly hollered "I don't know these people" when we were taking them across the border to see a City and Colour concert in Detroit - luckily she said it when we were in line at customs and not at the booth! (If you're Canadian, you know how serious it can be crossing the border!)
All these women are incredibly creative and are brainstorming the ways they can contribute to growing the Gracie Jay brand and business.
Gracie Jay and Co. is best described as an artisan marketplace.
All products have been carefully curated by at least one, if not all of the Gracie Jay team. Our emphasis is on supporting small, handmade businesses across Canada and the USA.
We will continue to ensure that representation and diversity is at the top of our list as we grow the list of brands that we will carry.
We are located in Kingsville, Ontario, Canada - about 30 minutes from the Windsor-Detroit border.
If you are not from the area, we highly recommend coming to visit. It is an amazing tourist destination with wineries, festivals, trails and more. With the close proximity to the border, it makes a day trip to catch a sporting event or concert in Detroit a possibility.
The website (finally!) went live on Tuesday, January 24, 2023!!
Why not!?! Seriously though, it is our love for small, handmade businesses and doing whatever we can to support them that is our drive.
For now, we are an online e-commerce store, with plans to expand into local vendor markets and eventually to host our own events. Stay tuned for what's to come ;)