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Chester County Press

Homestead Studios: The finishing touches

02/28/2024 03:29PM ● By Ashley Pierce, WCCCC
Homestead Studios: The finishing touches [7 Images] Click Any Image To Expand

“Home is the center of the family,” said Tracy McClaskey, owner of Homestead Studios. Born and raised in Chester County, Tracy is a Downingtown High School graduate and an Air Force veteran. Along with her life fiancé, Tag, she has three beautiful children and three lovely grandchildren, with another one on the way. Family is a driving force behind Homestead Studios. “My family is very close and is at the heart of everything I do.” Tracy said. 

In 2016, Tracy McClaskey and Tag Martin started Homestead Studios in their spare bedroom. Tracy, who had a previous career in the construction and trucking industry, had a passion for decorating and antiques and that passion lead her to Homestead Studios. They began by hosting seasonal Open Houses in their home, meeting some wonderful customers during these events; many of whom are their best customers to this day. The business began to grow beyond a part-time venture, and it was then that they knew they wanted to make this their next chapter. “We included a few other creatives to set up with us and the company started taking shape. We took baby steps, from having a booth at Pheasant Run Antiques to then taking over a small outbuilding. Quickly outgrowing that space, we took a huge step and moved into the Paxson House, a large brick farmhouse.” From there, Homestead Studios really took off. However, when COVID hit, many of their artisans had to pull out. The business didn’t qualify for federal funding, due to lack of employees. Under those grim circumstances, Tracy and Tag decided to move the business back home and online. While it was a challenging time for Homestead Studios, their loyal customers stuck by them and eventually, it was time to give the business another new beginning, on Main Street. Tracy said, “Our friend Tom owns the building we are currently in here in Parkesburg and I had a vision of bringing it to life, as the locals know, it needed a lot of love! Together we made it happen, there is still much to do, but we have created a welcoming corner for Main Street.”

They are two businesses in one – Homestead Studios, Tracy’s business and Homestead Studios Candle Company, Tag’s business. “Tag and our friend Jenny Alexander, owner of The Painted Lily, make the candles and I manage the shop along with my helpers, Laura Ross, Jenn Maley and Ashley DeStephano.” Tracy said. Homestead Studios is a mix of old and new, of history reclaimed. They offer a large variety of gifts and home goods, including “including reclaimed barnwood farm tables, gourmet market items, specialty gift baskets, our own hand poured candles, jewelry, clothing, plants, books, baby gift items, soaps, party and entertaining supplies, balloons and more.” Part of Homestead Studio’s purpose is reclaiming and handcrafting their pieces. “Besides the obvious environmental advantages to re-using and repurposing whenever you can, we love the history that goes along with our reclaimed barn wood pieces. Our slogan is History Reclaimed, because each piece has a story, and we love that you will take it home for its next chapter. The quality of our reclaimed barnwood pieces is far greater than anything you’ll find in the large furniture market. Each piece is unique and handcrafted to last a lifetime.” Homestead Studios has a special presence in this area; carefully curating their products, to create an individual experience for each customer that walks through their door. Local and one-of-a-kind pieces that are thoughtfully picked out are on display for sale. “I love the charm of old and weathered pieces blended with functional, high-quality decor. But we are so much more than just decor, our shop has grown into its space by listening to our customers,” Tracy said. “We have evolved over the years from antiques and decor to a high-quality gift shop, with our gift baskets being the center of the gourmet market area. Customers love to come in and choose things for their loved ones for us to put together a gorgeous, personal gift basket. We want our customers to find things here that you just can’t grab at any big box store. Shopping at Homestead is a relaxing, comforting experience. We offer a cozy, welcoming environment you’ll want to return to. We are always happy to help choose a gift or find the perfect piece for your space.”

At its heart, Homestead Studios is about home. It’s about creating a beautiful space for yourself and your family, no matter the style you choose. After a long day at work, a fun night out, or time spent traveling, everyone deserves to come back to their place of comfort; we want it to feel good to be home. Home is a place to celebrate holidays, birthdays, to cherish both our loved ones and our time alone. Homestead Studios’ goal is to elevate your space: “We help our customers create that, whether it be with time worn furnishing, artistic touches, candles and florals or the perfect additions to a gathering, we want to bring you the elements of a good home.” Tracy said. Home and family go hand in hand. Tracy has always had a passion for creating a comfortable living space, both for her family and yours. Homestead is a reflection of the very people she loves so much. “Family is everything to us, we include family in our business as much as possible. When you’re a small business working seven days a week, the support of your family is vital. I credit my love of ‘home’ and collecting things I love from my mom, Jill, who has always inspired and encouraged me. She always made our home a place of beauty and comfort.” 

The local artisans that Homestead Studios has showcased have become family to them, as well as their customers. The relationships formed on both sides of the business have given Homestead Studios its purpose and unique hold in western Chester County. Tracy said, “We feel it’s very important to have as many locally made items as possible in the shop, it’s our way of supporting our local community and bringing our customers unique, high-quality products. When you buy from a maker, you are not only getting a work of art and heart, but supporting some else’s dream. Every purchase makes a difference on many levels.” 

Some of the local artisans include:

Regularly featured artists: Jenny Alexander, The Painted Lily, Italian tile coasters. Her daughter Roxy, at Beatrice Honey Ceramics, hand thrown pottery. Melissa Erin King, hand-lettered signs. Laura Ross, at Owl B Creating, handmade cards and papercrafts. Tracy’s dad, Chuck McClaskey, welder, and fabricator of our iron and barnwood counter stools. Shelby Patterson, at Shelby’s Squad, handmade dog collars and several others.

Featured in their market area are local products from: The Kake Lady, artisan cookies (Kirkwood). Swarmbustin’ Honey (West Grove), Lancaster County Coffee Roasters, The Coffee Barn (Parkesburg), D’Orzos Peppers (West Chester), Farmgirls Kitchen, BBQ sauces (Lancaster), Righteous Felon Jerky (West Chester), PC Organics Teas (West Grove) as well as many other local candies, jams, popcorns and more. 

Homestead Studios has formed long-standing, authentic relationships with their customers. Between custom furniture, home-installs, and individually picked gift baskets, a personalized, one-on-one customer approach is vital to the everyday work of Homestead. Tracy said, “Our customers know that they can give us a few notes and leave with the perfect gift.” Settled in Parkesburg, Tracy is proud to be a go-to for locals, as well as a spot for new customers to find what Parkesburg has to offer. As Homestead Studios continues to flourish, Tracy is looking forward to adding additional inventory and services and bringing more growth to Parkesburg. 

Whether you’re planning a large family gathering, with loud laughter and music, or enjoying a quiet night in, snuggled on the couch watching movies, Homestead Studios can turn your house into a home; your favorite place to be.