Today we’d like to introduce you to Brittany Brown.
Can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Last April, I launched 20 SOMETHING shortly after one of my sisters encouraged me to start a blog to help out millennials. Instead of a one-sided blog, I decided to tweak her idea and create a safe space for millennials to come together in a Facebook Group to share stories, advice, and resources geared toward lending a helping hand to each other as we navigate this crazy millennial life.
Never in a million years did I imagine it would be what it is today, a little over a year later. Since launching, we’ve raised well over $15,000 for different community outreach initiatives that matter to us. We’ve done toy drives and back to school drives, we’ve established a government shutdown assistance fund for some of our group members, we’ve recently raised over $3500 to give out in college scholarships and we are now working toward funding teacher’s classrooms for the upcoming school year (school supplies).
A lot of people have asked me to explain 20 SOMETHING, and truthfully, that is extremely difficult to do because it encompasses so much. I will attempt to give a short summary, though (I hope). Group members submit topics anonymously or as themselves for the group to discuss. Sometimes the submissions deal with current events, but most of the time the submissions are real issues group members are currently going through. The entire group then is able to give insight on the issue at hand through open, criticism and judgement-free discussion. We post three different major topics a day, and it’s pretty enlightening to see how we all relate or go through similar things in life. We also push each other to think differently or consider the other side of things. Some of the best moments have come from 2 or more group members completely disagreeing and respectfully debating each other’s point of view. We’ve learned to be more open, honest, and our truest selves through these discussions. We recently rented an Airbnb in Dallas and shared weekend of fun, and during one moment one of my group members shared that the group makes her feel like she’s not going crazy and that she’s not the only one going through crazy things in life.
Earlier this year after some strong encouragement from my group members, I launched an online boutique Shop20something.com. This is a way for me to put my Fashion Merchandising degree to use and really do something I’m extremely passionate about. A few months after launching the boutique, I reached out to one of my group members, expressing my gratitude to her for being one of my top customers, and she replied(paraphrasing) “It’s the least I could do. The group has helped me so much; I was dealing with depression before joining, and coming to the group every day gives me an outlet and has helped me through those darkest times.”
That moment was a full-circle moment for me because I’ve always been passionate about my community, fashion, and helping people. This exchange just confirmed that I had started living in my purpose.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
No, absolutely not. Lol, I wish I could brag and say everything has been roses and daisies, but that wouldn’t be me being authentic to the process. My biggest struggle has always been anxiety and self-doubt. What if I do this, announce this and hundreds, if not thousands of people see me fail? That alone scares the crap out of me every morning when I open my eyes.
Another struggle has been understanding my audience and my customers. What are their triggers, likes, and dislikes? Even though my boutique has a platform of 7000 people, I still struggle with feeling that I am not doing enough. Another issue for me is wondering if the amount of work I am doing is being returned to me in some form of profit or appreciation. For me knowing that my work is valuable not only confirms what I am doing but it affirms it as well.
Burnout is another very real issue. I started all of this while having a full-time job and finding the right balance to do so many things I love at once can be challenging. I’ve always been a multi-tasker and have always enjoyed doing multiple things at once. However, finding a way to structure my time in the most efficient manner has been a challenge I’ve been trying to overcome daily.
No matter the challenges, I find a way to make it work because what I am doing is important to me. Because, hey, anything that comes easy isn’t really that fun after all. My mantra is, “If this comes easy for me, I’m not going to enjoy it as much and If I don’t enjoy it my audience or customers won’t enjoy it either.”
So, as you know, we’re impressed with 20 SOMETHING/20SOMETHINGBTQ – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
My business is different in the fact that it started from a social media platform first and grew from there. I wouldn’t have considered being where I am today two years ago. I’ve been told I’m a one-stop-shop. You can come to me for advice, fitness, love, support, financial assistance, and fashion.
I have a knack for having my hand in a little bit of everything, so my business is just an outlet of my social platform.
Yes, I sell apparel for women and so do thousands of other people in the world, but what makes the experience different for my business is that I literally know about 80-90% of my customers on a very personal level, even though I haven’t met over 80% of them in person yet. I knew about them and who they were before they ever purchased one thing from me, and that is special to me.
I also literally talk to them all day every day on Facebook through my group as well. So it’s definitely a different type of business relationship-I know I can shoot them a DM and check on them if they’ve been absent lately. If I notice their mood has changed, I can shoot them a DM and say “Hey, I know you’ve been buying everything I’ve offered in yellow lately, here’s what’s coming in this week. Do you want to get your size now before I put it on the site?”
I wouldn’t have it any other way.
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
I will be a vendor at 2 Pop Up Shops in September.
Date: September 14, 2019
Location: La Villita Apartment Homes
Time: 1:00 pm-4:00 pm
Date: September 15, 2019
Location: The People’s Last Stand
Time: 1:00 pm-4:00 pm
I am working on relaunching my website to a better platform. I started off on Big Cartel because I was just selling tees for my group, and then here I am running a full boutique a year later! I need a platform that will fit my customer’s needs and improve their shopping experience.
I also plan on expanding other things within the group. We hosted our first retreat a few weeks ago, and it was just an amazing experience. Everyone that came is already excited for the next one. We’ve had about 7 or so different offline events since launching, but I plan to increase that number we can meet and interact offline more.
I also want to grow the community outreach portion of our group as much as possible, I have a soft spot for the community and doing my part while I’m here, and I am most excited to see what we accomplish next.
Also, so many people in my group own their own businesses, so I am always thinking of ways to assist them with getting exposure through my platform that serves their businesses best. I have a few ideas I’m toying with, and I’m excited to see how they go!
- Website: SHOP20SOMETHING.COM
- Email: 20SOMETHING.BB@GMAIL.COM
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/20somethingsquad/