Tracy Gonzalez is the owner of Tutu School, a collection of ballet studios throughout Northern California for children ages 18 months to 8 years old. “We believe that every child must know what it feels like to dance!” Learn about Tracy Gonzalez…
Hometown: I was born and raised in the Philippines before migrating to the US.
First job: I was an events coordinator for a large television network and organized concerts, parties and conventions. It was the best job that a new grad could ask for!
Favorite ways to spend your free time in CA: I love going to wine country! The food, the wine and the scenery immediately transport you to a more laidback and relaxing place. It’s crazy how Napa and Sonoma are less than an hour away from us, while so many people have to travel from so far away to get here.
Your biggest accomplishment and why: My biggest accomplishment is creating careers for others. Most people who go into business do it because of a passion for what they do or to be financially independent, and I was the same way. I never thought that being responsible for the people I employ would overwhelm me in the most surprising and positive way. I am extremely proud to see how my staff have grown from part-time teachers to managers and mentors. Some of them started teaching for us when they were barely out of high school, and now many of them are getting married and having babies. Being able to give them the career and livelihood to be able to pursue their personal goals means so much to me.
The biggest obstacle you overcame: Like most businesses, 2020 has been my biggest obstacle. That said, nothing good ever comes out of wallowing in your sorrows, and feeling sorry for yourself does not help at all. We tried our best to keep things moving and to move with (if not ahead of) all the changes, whether that meant virtual classes, outdoor classes or private in-home classes. We never stopped evolving and many of our students and families stuck with us until we made to the other side.
Someone who inspires you and why: My children inspire me. I want them know that a mother can be anything and everything she wants to be, that being a mother does not limit a woman. I hope this inspires my daughter to be anything and everything she wants to be, and for my son to see that women are capable of anything.
Advice to someone pursuing a career path in what you do: You are only truly successful when the people around you are successful with you. It was only when I realized that I needed to take care of my staff — to coach and mentor them, to see them grow and have more responsibility, to lead and help others — that I saw my business grow. I couldn’t do it on my own; I needed my team. And if it so much more fulfilling and rewarding that way!
Favorite quote: My dad once told me that “to forget means not caring enough to remember.”
Something someone would be surprised to learn about you: I love to eat, and I will eat anything! If you see anything weird and exotic on the menu, I’m ordering that.
What makes someone fabulous: Confidence makes someone fabulous. It doesn’t matter what you look like, where you’re from, or what you do. Celebrate who you are!