We had the good fortune of connecting with Trayc Claybrook and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Trayc, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
As a child, I had the wonderful experience of living with my grandparents every summer. I had just turned 13 when my Pappaw said to me one day, “You will never make money working for someone else.” That message stuck with me. As an adult, I had worked as a college professor at a private art school for 18 years and while that job was very rewarding it was A LOT of work I was doing for someone else. When I turned 50 I decided it was time to work for myself. I had some money to invest in a business, an enormous work ethic, and I knew a lot about vintage clothing from years of collecting and wearing them. It felt like a now or never situation. Needless to say I went for it.

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Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I have always been a funny, quirky, independent person. I started painting with the Bob Ross show when I was 6ish. I knew at a young age I wanted to make my living being creative. I went to art school and learned so much about the art world, creativity, and myself. I spent the next few years trying to figure out what to do with my creativity that could earn me a living. I tried so many things but always maintained my studio practice. I got a degree in computer animation and worked as a VFX artist for a few years until I fell into teaching. I taught for 18 years and was laid off due to declining enrollment and terrible management of the school. That was a tough time. But I realized I had gotten comfortable and complacent in my everyday life. That was eye opening. So I took a teaching residency in Iceland for a short time. When I returned to the states I had no plan for what was next. Ran into a friend who had a vintage clothing store and we became business partners and that is how The Frocksy Vintage Vogue was born. I believe no path is easy. But if it’s worth it, you do it no matter what…my creativity haas always kept me going from one thing to the next. I think it helps I’m a risk taker and fear of the unknown is not something that concerns me. Now, The Frocksy was created to provide me with something to do for a living. But it has become so much more. It is not just a vintage clothing store that helps preserve the history of fashion and keeps the life cycle of clothing in peoples closets and not in the landfill. It’s an explosion of my creativity. The store itself is a wonderous sensory experience that envelops you as soon as you step into the shop. The Frocksy is quirky, colorful, and VERY INCLUSIVE. I work hard to help my customers cultivate their personal style and have a great experiencing along the way.

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If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
The Downtown Garland Square has become quite the destination. This is where my shop is located so this is where we would start our trip. We would have a coffee and a pastry at Latham Bakery and walk to Alston’s Antiques to look at all of the amazing treasures my friend Richard has on offer. For lunch, we have our choice of BBQ, pub food or a delicious sandwich from Mainstreet Deli. Then we can take a nice walk around the downtown Garland square and pop into Roach Feed and Seed for some plants and baby chic browsing. Dinner, and this is a no-brainer, is at Fortunate Son Pizza and Beer Garden. Delicious! Since I am a micro business owner, I would only have one day to spend with my friend. But I would highly recommend getting to know the people who own the businesses in Downtown Garland. They are wonderful, creative, resilient and usually on sight.

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Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My first shout out is to my grandparents and my mom. They taught me valuable lessons about believing in yourself and your ability to do amazing things. Secondly, to my former business partner. She taught me soooo much about vintage clothing and the business of owning a vintage clothing store. She passed away a few years ago so I won’t mention her name.

Website: https://www.trayclaybrook.com

Instagram: @theofficialfrocky

Facebook: The Focksy

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