It's hard to talk about boss ladies in Whatcom County without hearing this lady's name. SPRUCE is a beautiful collection of joyous celebration. Everything from gifts to gift wrapping, from stationary to the famous SPRUCE balloons, Brittany has somehow rolled everything into one sparkling cohesive package! So, why in the world have we waited to long to have her on Streets of Gold? Honest moment here. We were scared. (insert sigh here) She's just that legit people! Luckily she is also incredibly gracious and was more than willing to play along with us!
SPRUCE | Brittany
Please tell us a little about your business, what inspired you to begin it, and what your focus is!
I own SPRUCE which is what I’ve dubbed “a celebration shop.” It’s a creative community for celebration focused brands and people. We’re a party + paper shop, and a design + workshop studio. SPRUCE was founded in 2013 after I had spent 10 years on my own as a freelance graphic designer.
The decision to the open the shop came pretty organically. My three daughters were all school age and no longer needed me at home all day, every day. I put it out into the universe through a few trusted bosslady friends that I might be ready to embark on a design/retail space outside of my home office. A few weeks later, I received a phone call from a downtown building owner asking if I would come look at a space that was about to become available. And that’s where we are today!
How do you balance being a #bosslady with having a family/life?
As much as I’d love to wax poetic about how I balance it all, it’s really only through constant adjustment.
And family dynamics are constantly shifting as kiddos grow and schedules change. I’m also married to an entrepreneur and wonderful guy who volunteers his time on several committees. As a family of 5 we’re all busy and juggling a lot. We give each other grace, we try to laugh a lot, we have dance parties in the kitchen and we understand that we’re a team.
What is a hardship or challenge you have had to overcome and how did you handle that?
Early in my design career (15 years ago) <—— wow, that was hard to type, haha, I told my male boss at the design firm I was working for that I was expecting my first daughter. His exact response was that I was ruining my life and his.
If you’ve made it this far into the blog post it’s pretty clear I quit that job and subconsciously decided I could make it on my own.
During the first year SPRUCE was open the Bellingham Business Journal awarded me Entrepreneur of the Year. The shop was pretty different than anything in Bellingham both for it’s offerings and it’s aesthetic. It was an incredible honor to be recognized and appreciated in that way.
If you could give someone starting their own business any advice what would it be?
Find your tribe. It’s invaluable to have people to lean on, bounce ideas off of, and to help you put in long hours when you need to.
If you could grab coffee with ANY #BossLady, alive or dead, who would it be?
Oooh, this question would definitely change each time I was asked, but in this moment, it’d be Busy Phillips. If you’re not following her on Instagram you’re really missing out on some authentic boss lady mama vibes.
Thank you to Lisa of Meraki Photography for the beautiful photos! Lisa is a fantastic bridal and family photographer located right here in Whatcom County, check her out!