Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Columbus Women Encourages Kids

Columbus Businesswoman Encourages Kids

By Shelly Burke, Editor

As every mom does, Tracy Buzynski wanted her daughter to become a well-rounded, happy child (Tracy gives her mom credit for her own happy childhood). Tracy saw the pressures her daughter Shannon, age 11, and her friends faced every day at school, and wanted to find a way to encourage them. “We are all given positive and negative labels throughout our lives,” Tracy says, “so why not give kids positive labels to encourage them? How would a positive label make a difference in kids’ school and personal lives?”

Tracy prayed to find a way to give her daughter and her friends positive labels, as well as build character and instill life values. Her prayers led her to combine her background as a graphic artist and her experiences owning an advertising agency, and start her business, Encourage Me Kids. The Encourage Me Kids website features products kids will see and use every day—bookmarks, refrigerator or locker magnets, posters, book-bag tags, and agenda markers. All items are personalized and carry a positive, value-filled message for that child related to his or her interests.

For example, the True Friend line reinforces three values:
• Be Yourself! GOD made the one and only perfect you!• Be a Friend! The only way to have a friend is to be one.• Be Forgiving! No one is perfect, forgive and you will be forgiven.

The Cowboy series, perfect for little boys, encourages:
• Cowboy Up! Be courageous and do what’s right.• Be Honest! Tell the truth partner, honesty is absolute.• Show your true grit! Stand up for what you believe in. A cowboy worth his salt lives by the golden rule.

Shannon helps her mom come up with wording and design ideas, which they then present to Shannon’s friends for input. Tracy says, “They are the best critics.” The kids have approved lines featuring Kool Cat, Monkey, Patriot (with sayings from George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin), and a Penguin. The items are appropriate for children in grade-school.
Tracy’s future plans include expanding her line to include products for middle-school age kids.

Tracy’s husband, Mark, has supported Tracy in her business. “I couldn’t follow my dreams without his love and support,” Tracy says. As all business owners do, Tracy has faced challenges. Keeping up with doing business through the ever-changing Internet and the social media craze (including Facebook) are a challenge, as is finding the time to get ideas from the design stage and on to the web site (www.encouragemekids.com).

Tracy has seen God’s hand at work throughout the process of building Encourage Me Kids, from product design to getting funding. Tracy says, “The Lord is my business partner. I have started a journal of all the great things that have happened along the way. I am tithing with all the proceeds. In the Bible, God tells us to test Him in this (Malachi 3:10), so with every order I take His portion off the top.”

May God bless your business, Tracy!

For more information e-mail Tracy at: info@encouragemekids.com, or contact her by phone at 402-562-8255 or by mail: Celebrating Design, 2804 8th Street, Columbus, NE, 68601

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