I met Tracy, an agent with Koenig & Strey RealLiving, over 10 years ago. We were both working in previous jobs and worked on a design project together (a New Year card). We kept in touch when I started my business and have been working together ever since. Like I did on that first project, I work with Tracy to design a New Year card for her business every year—as well as print and online promotional materials throughout the year.
Tracy is a joy to work with, we share a creative synergy that makes projects flow very naturally. She knows what she likes, but also trusts my design expertise. Not to mention, she is a friend who provides inspiration—and always recommends a great coffee shop! What more can you ask for in a client?
Five Questions with Tracy Dillard
Tell me a little about your business.
Tracy: My eleven-year-old (a year older than yours!) real estate practice is primarily referral-based. I specialize in architecturally interesting and unique residential properties in Chicago and nearby suburbs. These properties may range from architect-owned condos in Mies van der Rohe-designed high-rises — to authentic lofts in converted institutional and commercial buildings — to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Prairie School houses.
What do you love best about your job?
Tracy: ‘Living temporarily’ in architecturally- and historically-singular spaces. The opportunity to mesh my aesthetic sensibility and business acumen. My smart, accomplished and interesting clients.
How have your past work experiences influenced your current career?
Tracy: I’ve worked with architects, artists, art collectors, corporate and foundation leaders, historians, government officials and developers in my past roles — which have included managing a mayoral committee on the arts and economic development in a major city, building public and private support for the arts in an historic community, and programming in a former torpedo factory and a zoo. My experience as a conduit or intermediary between competing interests has come in handy in real estate!
What do you like best about working with Lidia Varesco Design?
Tracy: You and I collaborate — in the best sense of the word. We come up with concepts over great coffee (key to our partnership), talk in shorthand (given our long relationship), review options via a few emails, and keep raising the creative bar on each other.
What is your favorite project that we’ve worked on together?
Tracy: Hmm. Hard to pick one. I think the New Year card with the black-and-white industrial photos you found to illustrate Carl Sandburg’s Chicago. What about you?
I agree…it’s hard to pick a favorite, but I love that one too! That project in particular had some lovely creative synchronicities: I saw the photographer’s work while browsing the Chicago Reader. I thought his style would be perfect for the card we were working on. I met with the photographer (Robert Murphy Photography) and the images he provided were truly perfect for the theme of the card.
Thank you for chatting with me, Tracy!
As she mentioned, Tracy celebrated her 10-year business anniversary last year. See the anniversary card and other pieces I’ve designed for Tracy here.
Part of our series celebrating our 10 years in business. Read more here.