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Conversations with the Inspiring Bridgette Reed

Today we’d like to introduce you to Bridgette Reed.

Bridgette, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Being a person that comes from family entrepreneurs, starting and owning my own business came naturally to me. I have always wanted to have my own business. When my daughter was conceived unexpectedly, being that I was diagnosed with two conditions that caused infertility in women, my husband and I wanted to do something in her name. We wanted to share in the joy and inspiration her life brought into our lives. We never expected to get pregnant when we got pregnant in 2015. I had recently given up on the “trying to conceive” process and decided that I didn’t want the added stress any longer. I also got off all medications and honestly just refused to go back to my fertility doctors. Three months later, we conceived our daughter Oliva. We named our company after her with the title of Olivia Sophia Stationery. That is her first and middle name and it means “anointed wisdom”. We feel God gave us the gift of her and she’s been a joy to us even now as a feisty and opinionated two-year-old. Over the course of the first year in business, our company grew very fast. Not only did we win The Best of The Knot 2017, but our Marriage & Grace Family Planner was featured on WFAA Good Morning Texas on January 9, 2017. During our second year in business in July 2018, I won the 40 under 40 Gifts & Stationery Award presented by Stationery Magazine and Gift & Home Young Executives. It was such an honor to win this award and we are still amazed at how our business has impacted the world but more importantly how we can share the story of how we got started which is our miracle baby Olivia.

My focus now is on being a devoted wife and mom, focusing on my business and inspiring and empowering other women and moms to pursue their God-given dreams. In October 2018, we will be launching a non-profit organization called The Lily Pads which will have a focus on helping women and giving them resources to launch out into the God-sized dreams. I have found that my purpose is not only to empower and inspiring women but connecting women with the people and tools necessary to accomplish their goals.

Has it been a smooth road?
No, it has not been an easy or smooth journey. I embrace challenges. As an entrepreneur, you need to embrace challenges because they will arise. When I was 10 months into my business, I had a manufacturer withdraw from our agreement unexpectedly. I actually had orders outstanding and had to give tons of refunds. I remember crying and feeling defeated like this was it for our business. Then, two days later, while wallowing in my defeat, I heard this question in my mind, “Are you built for this?” That question revived my spirit because it presented this situation as a challenge and anyone that knows me knows that I don’t back down from a challenge. I decided to use this time to manufacture a planner that my husband and I had been sitting on for a year. Our Marriage & Grace Family Planner was manufactured in-house and I was over all aspects of producing it. This planner sold out in less than a week and was the reason we were contacted by WFAA Good Morning Texas. They wanted to feature our planner! If I had allowed the issue with the manufacturer to discourage me I would have never seen the beautiful opportunity and blessing on the other side of it. We must press through. That is my advice to young women. Be strong in heart and mind, but also be centered and present. Know who you are and what you are trying to accomplish. Never forget your why and when challenges come, show them what you are made of and give it your best shot! Sometimes, it will work out and others it won’t. This time turned out great, but I also had to totally restructure my entire store. That part was hard. Just know that you will win if you don’t quit.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into your business story. Tell us more about the business.
I’m an overcomer. I help women surround themselves with inspiration and joy through my company Olivia Sophia Stationery (www.oliviasophiainc.com) while providing a fun place to get gifts, journals, and planners. I empower moms through my blog DoingLifeWithBridgette.com and share my struggles with them as a mompreneur and wife trying to grow a business. I promote stories of inspirational women through my IGTV channel “But First Coffee, with Bridgette Reed” that airs every Monday at 4 pm on my Instagram channel (@MissBridgetteM). Lastly, in October, I will equip women through my organization The Lily Pads by providing resources, tools, and connections to help them launch out and accomplish their dreams and goals.

What do you feel are the biggest barriers today to female leadership, in your industry or generally?
My industry is dominated by female leadership already but what I still see as an issue for women in business generally is access to financial resources to take their businesses to the next level. The stationery industry is a different type of business. We need banks and financial institutions that understand what it takes to run a stationery business and are willing to expend more resources to women business owners. This also applies to other industries where women are starting businesses. More resources are needed to help our businesses grow and thrive.

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