Sim Soul Sessions closed its first season on a high, as the season finale interview with social media influencer, Tanaania Tracey, did not disappoint.
The soul-bearing interview saw Tracey share candidly about her journey from nursing professional to social media fame.
A free-spirit at heart, Tracey told Simone Clarke-Cooper that on a whim she decided to move out of her parent’s home at 19-years-old in an attempt to try life on her own.
“So 19 year-old Tanaania was much more fearless than I am now, I guess because I was new to life. Basically, it held all these possibilities you know I could try whatever I really wanted to I was never bruised at the time, ” Tracey said.
“I was much more whole,” Tracey shared
While the desire to march to the beat of her own drums is deeply nestled in her spirit, Tanaania shared that though the move would have eventually happened; in hindsight it was rather premature.
“I definitely would have told her to wait a little bit. But I do believe Simone, as much as me ears hard, and me tell you say God beat me nuff times,he makes no mistakes. So, that was again my lesson,”said Tanaania.
“I needed to learn that listen, sometimes you can wait. Yeah, sometimes you’re not ready as you think you are. Sometimes take some tellin; make somebody tell yuh seh look here, ‘ not yet’,” added Tanaania.
Tanaania takes the reins, moves into the driver’s seat of life
Not having the benefit of hindsight while actively figuring out the game of life, Tracey shared that while living on her own, she realized that while she was good at nursing, it was not what she really wanted to do with her life.
Tracey explained that coming from a loving family with traditional values, she was encouraged to study nursing as it was viewed as one of the safest career paths, particularly when it comes to job security.
While understanding her parents thought process, which was rooted in love, Tanaania said she felt as though she was living in the back seat of her own life and though the decision to tell her parents that she was leaving the profession was gut wrenching, it was something that she had to do.
Freestyling life… Tanaania moves into entrepreneurship
According to Tracey, her transition into entrepreneurship felt right as she had a natural knack for sales.
“I handed in my resignation letter, alright. Not sure what I wanted to do. But I kind of always had that entrepreneurial spirit. So I was selling scrubs, you know, shoes and stuff like that. And the guy I was dating at the time said to me, let me invest in a business for you. Because, of course, I was doing nursing but I knew a little bit about fashion and about looking good, how clothes made you feel,” said Tanaania, as she explained the foundations of her store Shop NecessiT’s.
“Of course you know, I didn’t study business, don’t really know nothing – out here freestyling- I am a queen of freestyling,” she added.
Not knowing much about business didn’t necessarily hinder Tracey’s success, as she noted that the period of time when she operated her physical retail store was a good one.
However, Tracey shared that her retail store was too intimately tied to her romantic relationship and the decline of the relationship seeped into the business.
“I mean, the business was going really well. But the relationship at the time had a lot of challenges. But of course, he saw the light in me and he believed in me, and I was saying, alright, then let’s see it through you know, Jay Z and Beyonce; everybody wants to ride until the wheels fall off,” said Tracey.
“And struggling with the relationship kinda transmitted into a struggle with the business, to couldn’t focus a lot, just a lot of turmoil and I decided that I would have had to leave. I’d have had to leave and I would have started over on my own, from scratch, building everything my way,” added Tracey.
Tracey shared that after a very public end to her relation and physical store location, Shop NecessiT’s is now exclusively online, she teamed up with Quite Perry and Rushcam who helped her into the world of YouTube and online media.
On the advice of a friend, Tracey also took on a job, landing a role as Dream Weekend’s marketing manager, which helped to provide some financial stability.
Despite the end of the relationship with her YouTube brothers, Tanaania continued creating content on the platform which resonated with audiences, as she has now amassed a following that exceeds the population of Portmore.
According to Tracey, her life thus far, which has been filled with ebbs and flows, has taught her to trust the journey and have faith.
“I’ve been down and I’ve been up. And you know, it’s so funny to me because when I think about being down again, I’m not necessarily sad about being because I know I’ll come up again. I am sure of it…. That’s what life has taught me,” said Tracey.
“And I always tell people, it’s okay to try and fail. We don’t have a handbook. There’s nobody who is telling us, ‘okay, do this or do that’. And if you’re like me, you want to try on your own. And sometime you will buck your toe,” she added
Tracey’s self titled YouTube channel specializes in beauty, fashion, and lifestyle content.
Managed by talent specialist and accountant Kassandra Henry, Tracey is one of the most sought after local influencers and has secured high profile gigs with Flow and most recently Grace Foods.