Tracy Garley is Setting Trends in DetroitBy Yvelette Stines on June 10th, 2015 /
When Tracy Garley Owner and Founder of Zarkpa’s Purses & Accessories was a child she always thought of America as the land of opportunity. Originally from Liberia, Garley came to the states at eleven years old.
“My Grandaunt was sick with cancer and we came to visit her in December of 2000. She passed away in March and my family stayed to start a better life,” she reminisces.
As a graduate of Western International High School and Michigan State University, Garley spent her educational years focusing on business. It was then she saw the life of an entrepreneur first had through her aunt.
“I always wanted to be in business particularly international business, but I didn’t know at the time I wanted to be an entrepreneur until I was 16 years-old,” she says. “My aunt owned a catering business and I had a job following her and this experience made me more interested in owning my own business.”
Garley then started to take high school elective classes in business, working in the school store, and shifting her social circle to hang around more like minded people. Due to her unique personal style Garley also had an interest in fashion. Her store Zarkpa’s Purses & Accessories in Detroit shows her passion and style in one as her business is thriving and she is excited to be in the city.
“I want people to know that Detroit is a great city full of diversity and it is very welcoming to new people and ideas,” she says. With her store she feels she is part of the entrepreneurs in the city who are building a strong community.
With an entrepreneurial spirit, Garley originally sold purses at parties, from her trunk, and other events. While she was in college she opened her first store in Inkster, MI.
“I went to school, on the weekends I would come home and work in the store, and during the week I would sell purses from my car, host events at my apartment. The events and response grew I had to move them to the apartment lounge and other locations,” she says.
The store in Inkster was doing well but Garley knew it was time for a change. Approaching her 25th birthday her parents asked her what she wanted, and she said a store in Detroit.
“I felt like it was time to bring my business downtown. One day they were walking past The Merchants Building and saw the space,” she said.
With the change Garley has seen a lot of support from the citizens of Detroit. In the future Garley would like to see her business grow and open locations in Lansing, Los Angeles, and Liberia.
“It is all possible with hard work, goals and faith,” she says.
To be a successful entrepreneur Garley suggests that one know their niche, focus, and hang out with supportive and like-minded people. To learn more visit www.zarkpasboutique.com and check out their upcoming event on the Rise of Retail in Detroit this June at Bamboo Detroit.