Updated: Apr 22
Welcome to Goddess Directory's interview series! If there's anything you're looking to see, feel free to send over your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org or let us know on Instagram at @goddessdirectory.
It's pretty obvious at this point that I haven't been doing a great job of keeping this site up. I've had this interview in my drafts for about a month now, but between working full-time and getting a dog (!), Goddess Directory has taken a backseat. I'm finally feeling up to it again, and after pulling up this interview with Britney Drotleff, it immediately reminded me why I started this site and why I want to keep it going.
Britney runs The Brit Drot Shop, a shop filled with fun cards, prints, stickers, and more. Everything in her shop is so cheerful, and after talking with her, it's clear how passionate she is about her work. I loved learning more about her journey to creating this side hustle, her hopes of turning into a full-time gig, and how she's focusing on creating things that are unique to her. She's obviously having fun with her business, and it really comes through in all of her items. Enjoy!
My pick: I have never been a baseball cap person, but I 100% need the Lazy Daisy Baseball Cap in my life.
Q: Let’s start from the beginning. Can you tell me a little bit about the process of starting your business? What made you want to do this and how did you turn your idea into a reality?
A: I started TBDS in 2016 after I had just graduated and moved to Boston from Florida! In the beginning I sold prints of designs I made from a 52 Weeks of Type project I did during college. They were mostly hand-lettered quotes and some illustration pieces. Looking back, it’s insane how much my skills have improved 😅 I cringe looking at some of my old designs.
But overall, I’m so happy I did it! Since then, I’ve added a ton of new products to my line-up and have gotten to a place where I’m proud of what I’m making.
Q: Was there a moment when you felt like this was something that was going to take off and become a success for you?
A: In all honesty, I’m still kinda searching for that “big” moment, haha. But all the little wins definitely add up: like introducing new products, maker markets that go well, nice reviews from customers– it all helps to keep me going!
Q: What were your friends' and family’s reactions to you starting to creating your brand? Were you nervous to share it?
A: Not at all! I’ve got such supportive friends and family and I go to them for pretty much everything (and probably annoy them with it at this point, haha). One of my best friends from college is my go-to for all things TBDS– she’s my biggest cheerleader but also helps me constructively think through things, which is so helpful! 💕
Q: Is this your full-time job? If so, how long did it take you to transition into full-time?
A: No, I have a more “traditional” 9-5 job as an art director at an ad agency. But I’m hoping one day I can make TBDS a full-time gig!
Q: What do you wish you had known when you first started your brand?
A: Hmm, this is a tough one– there’s so many things I was clueless about! 😂 I think overall, I wish I had known that being unique and having your own perspective makes the work so much more fun. When I started off, many of my prints were hand-lettered quotes that I had found online, the design was my own but the thoughts really weren’t. Because of that I don’t think I ever felt truly proud of them because as a whole they weren’t 100% original.
I’ve definitely made a shift recently to make content and products that are more unique to me and, as a result, I’ve been so much happier. Basically, finding your own voice is important, it takes time but it happens when you don’t even realize it!
Q: Obviously, we’re in strange times right now so I have to ask everyone I talk to - how has COVID-19 affected your business and what are you doing to keep everything going during this time? What can people do to support you and others during all of this?
A: I’m ✨incredibly✨ lucky to say that I think COVID actually affected me (from a business standpoint) more positively than negatively. I mostly mean that from a time-standpoint. When my 9-5 made the decision to have all of us WFH it gave me so much extra time to focus on TBDS.
Consistency and all the small tasks that go into small business life have always been hard for me to keep up with. With more free time working from home and staying socially distant from others, I was able to be more consistent with my shop and it was a huge turning point for me. As hard as this past year has been, it helped me find my voice and the things that are important to me.
Q: What do you wish more people knew about shopping small?
A: That you really are making an impact in someone’s life and, in most cases, in their community. Shopping small involves so much more care and love compared to larger retail stores and a lot of SBOs re-circulate funds right back into their community.
Q: Favorite item in your shop currently?
A: Ohhh, this is hard! I have so many new things and I feel like new things are always my favorite 😂 But I’m going to say the “Chuggin’ Along” mug which is launching in early April!
Q: What goals do you have for your business going forward?
A: My most immediate goal is to launch a project I’ve been working on behind-the-scenes for yearssss. I’m super excited about it and I’m planning on getting it out in the world by this summer! A more long-term goal of mine is to have my shop/freelance career to grow profitable enough that I can leave my 9 to 5 one day, fingers crossed!
Q: Lastly, let’s spread the love. What are a few of your favorite small shops owned by women that you personally shop from?
A: I’ve already said this twice but this is officially the hardest question!! I first have to shout out the shop that started my love of supporting small businesses: Lulu’s in Fort Myers, FL (my hometown). As for some of my local Texas faves: Jollie Ollie Designs, Sugardoh, Paper Craft Pantry and Happy Place Candle Co. I could go on for days about this but I’ll leave it here for now!
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