Tracey Byron: More than a Cinderella story

Tracey Byron isn’t a fairy godmother but for as long as she can remember, she has enjoyed turning the ordinary into the extraordinary.

We all know the story of Cinderella; a wicked stepmother and a couple of stepsisters keep the poor girl enslaved in rags. Then, out of the blue, her fairy godmother appears and magically transforms her into a beautiful princess. She meets her prince and lives happily ever after. Tracey Byron isn’t a fairy godmother but for as long as she can remember, she has enjoyed turning something perhaps quite ordinary into something extraordinary.

Tracey was born and raised in Abbotsford and is proud of her Fraser Valley roots. Her father owned his own trucking company while her mother was a hospital system administrator. Tracey was very social and for as long as she can remember, she always wanted to be a party planner. “In high school, I was the school activity coordinator on student council. I was known as the party ring leader,” she chuckled. What she enjoyed most were the social gatherings and seeing happy people enjoy themselves.

After leaving high school, she went onto what was then Fraser Valley College to take business administration and after two years there, received her business diploma. To put herself through school, she worked as a manager for Kinney Canada who at that time owned Foot Locker, Lady Footlocker and Canary Island.  Tracey also got an agent and began working in Vancouver’s thriving movie industry where she was an extra for four years.  “I got a chance to meet Ethan Hawke, Samuel L. Jackson and Miguel Faro from NCIS. In 1992, I also met Robin Williams, who happened to be in town shooting a movie. I can’t even remember what the movie was but we chatted for about half an hour about this and that. He was a very gracious person and a really funning guy,” she said. He also said something that she remembers to this day. Before he left, he turned to her saying, “Life is so short – make sure that you laugh.” His words were prophetic and quite profound and Tracey will never forget them as long as she lives. Eventually, she met her future husband, Greg, and ended up leaving show biz behind because the commute from Abbotsford to Vancouver was a rather difficult one.

Tracey took on a job with Costco, working in the photo lab and as a merchandiser in their clothing department. “I did that for 14 years; I started in the Richmond store then I helped open up the Abbotsford store.” She left Costco in 2004, after having started her own company two years prior.

At that time, there was a need in the Fraser Valley for a solid, decorating company. “I started Cinderella Slip-Ons and the company took off. First, we started off renting chair covers. Then, I bought out a décor company that was struggling a bit and in morphing both companies, Cinderella was born. I went from chair covers to décor to event planning. I would say that 80 per cent of my business is wedding business. Our philosophy is quite simple; we do it for you so you don’t have to. We can do very large weddings or a simple, small wedding, she said.

In January 2014, in addition to her Cinderella business, she took on the role of Director of Sales at the Coast Chilliwack Hotel and has done so with much success. In fact, she has been the top group sales manager four of the last five weeks. “I very much appreciate relationships that I’ve made. The Coast is a wonderful company and Chilliwack is a very warm community.”

In addition to her role at the Coast and running her own business, Tracey is also on the Chilliwack Film Commission Board, is part of the Mt. Cheam Rotary Club and is part of the Downtown Chilliwack BIA. There is no doubt that she is a busy lady but she still manages to live a balanced life.

“I don’t know how I do it but I do. I’m not missing out. It’s a life balance. Greg and I have date night once a week. I’m there for our two boys, Connor and Joel, and I still get to do those things that I enjoy most like shopping and travelling with family,” she smiled, gratefully.