While some people move to Saratoga to enter the horse racing industry, Long Island native Tracy Stowell came here to get out of it. “When I left my last position at a horse farm, I decided to move to Saratoga because I have family here and I just fell in love with it, as many of us do,” she says. (She moved to the Spa City from Chatham.) “I really wanted to do something different, and I’d always wanted to have my own business. I felt like a retail store here would be the perfect thing, because it’s such a vibrant place to have a store.”
And open a store she did. On June 3, Into Mischief, an accessories and home goods store located on the top floor of the Saratoga Marketplace on Broadway, opened for business. (Stowell couldn’t completely leave horse racing behind—Into Mischief’s name and logo and some of her merchandise have an equine theme.) Saratoga Living caught up with the entrepreneur just a week and change into her new venture to find out more about her eclectic little shop.
Where did the name ‘Into Mischief’ come from?
It’s the name of one of the top Thoroughbred sires in the country right now. Anybody who knows the Thoroughbred world is familiar with the name, and when I managed the farm I was at, I raised two of his babies. One of the babies came to be a racehorse, and she had her first two races here in Saratoga and won, which I got to be present for. It was very exciting and just something I’ll always remember—having your baby be out there, racing and win the race. And so it just was an inspiring name to me, and I thought it was also clever because when you’re shopping, you know, you get into a little mischief of buying things. So that’s how that came to be. Although ‘Into Mischief’ might not mean the horse to someone else, it always has to mean something to you when you’re starting a business.
What types of products does Into Mischief carry?
From the beginning, I wanted to have products that I didn’t see available in town. I love all the stores in town, but I felt like there were certain things that were missing. So that’s what I honed in on as the possibilities. And one of them is handbags—I love them myself. I know there are some available in town, but I felt like it was a bigger market that people would enjoy. And also home décor, which I love. I love to find beautiful things for my home. So that’s how that sort of started. It’s really handbags and accessories; home décor and really unique, fun things in the home décor area; and gifts. Everything can be gifts, for men and women. I have some wonderful wooden watches for men that I’ve chosen specifically to be there for gifts for men.
What has opening a store during a pandemic been like?
I was actually supposed to open mid-April, so it was put on hold. That was a little bit discouraging, but I’m in the same boat as everyone else. It just gave me more time to do things slowly and gave me something to do and work on while we were in the pandemic. Hopefully things will pick up. I think right now people are tentative to really dive into getting out and about, which is understandable, and we’re trying to make sure at the [Saratoga] Marketplace that everybody is following the same guidelines of masks and all that stuff.