1,000 COSIGN’s: Meet Brittany B, Blogger & Founder of TheBrittanyB & Accustomed
Meet Brittany B, blogger, travel expert, supreme Baddie at Baddie Brunch, and overall go-getter. She describes herself as an introverted extrovert which has helped her become a faux serial socialite. Being fairly new to the city of Dallas, she’s managed to build organic relationships that not only have built her brand, but her passion for helping others has increased brand awareness for some of your favorite entities such as The Baddie Brunch Series and COSIGN Magazine.
When she’s not blogging or telling you about the hottest events, she’s creating travel content to help millennials see the world and save a few dollars in the process. Check out our Q & A below with Brittany B and follow her journey at @thebrittanyb_.
Where are you from and how did you begin your career?
I was born in Terre Haute, Indiana and grew up between there and Nashville, Tennessee. I started my career in consulting right after college, working in business development roles with small businesses.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I knew I wanted to do two things: wear fancy suits and help people. I also was very opinionated, still am, so I at the age of seven, I decided I wanted to be a lawyer. I don’t wear fancy suits daily but I do get the opportunity to help people make smart businesses choices and grow.
Growing up what were you into and when did you know that you were creative?
I loved to read. My grandpa was superintendent of a school system and would send me boxes of books. My grandma taught me how to draw and use a camera at a young age. To this day I still color and half-way paint. My dad loved the Temptations and Too $hort, so music was always being played. I picked up instruments and took dance classes.
I had a mix of reading, writing, and music that always left me fascinated with figuring out how stuff worked and how it worked together. I became interested in mixing creativity with knowledge.
What was the path that you took that lead you to TheBrittanyB.com and your travel brand Accustomed?
I had contemplated making a blog for years but never knew about what. It kind of just fell by the wayside because I didn’t think anyone would listen to what I had to say. Life caught up with me and all the creative stuff that I did got put on hold after changing jobs, moving to Chicago and finally ending up in Dallas. I found my bag and said hey here are two things you are good at: being a faux socialite, because I’m honestly an introvert, and traveling. I took my experiences and made it work.
Who inspires you the most in your industry?
Because consulting is so broad, I pull inspiration from other people in other places because that’s how I learn. Outside of the obvious: Michelle Obama, Tracy Ellis Ross and other well-known women, I look up to Amy Hillard, who is the former president of Fashion Fair Cosmetics. I had the pleasure to meet her when I lived in Chicago and she gave me advice that I still hold on to until this day in regards to my career and personal life.
What has been your biggest struggle in getting to where you are now in your profession?
Being young and being a female. I’ve always been the youngest person on my team, the only girl, and typically the only minority. I have to fight to get my voice heard or even for respect at times, which is fine. I’ll prove people wrong until I get what I have earned.
Did you have a “leap of faith” moment, and if so, how did you decide to make the leap and what were the circumstances around it?
Moving to Dallas was my biggest one. I was unhappy with my job and where I was in life. I wasn’t’ eating. My hair was becoming thin. I had a panic attack while driving one day and I think that was my sign from God that my life wasn’t just my career. I was under pressure every single moment of the day. My best friend Jeff had recently moved and said, “Hey, come to Dallas.” I applied for jobs over a few months and finally got an offer for where I am now. I sold or donated everything in my apartment and only took what I could fit in my car to make the 14-hour drive to Dallas. It’s hard being in your mid-20s starting from scratch again. I left the people I had grew close to, my safe space, and some people I really cared about, but I knew it was my time. When I moved to Chicago, I had prayed that I wasn’t there more than two years and during that time I learned lessons that would mold who I was supposed to be. I moved to Chicago April 2014 and left March 2016. By that alone, I knew if I had the faith it would work out, and so far it has, I think.
What makes you unique compared to the rest in your field?
I think it is my genuine concern to help people in no matter what I do; inside or outside of work in addition with my perspective. I grew up as the result of two parents with addiction issues. I didn’t always have the best circumstances or situations but I had to use it as my floor and not my ceiling. I didn’t take my first trip out of the country until I was 22, working in Corporate America, because my family couldn’t afford it and also their deep fear of something happening to me. Having the disability fueled my ability to do things. There were a lot of things I wish I would have learned, someone would have told me, or helped me figure out. I’ve had to take life and take it as it comes and just pray I’m doing something right. If I can take anything that I learn or do and help one person, I am satisfied.
How does your brand improve the industry you’re currently in?
I love that young black millennials are traveling. I get hype scrolling through Instagram and travel groups, seeing people take dope pics and doing amazing things. For people who grew up like me that now have the means to do it, we don’t always know how. That’s who I love working with. I see companies charge people $3,000 plus for basic trips for a few days. Business is business but doing it for the culture is so much better.
How has social media improved your business or brand?
Of course exposure. People hit me up and ask me questions or thoughts about things. “Hey, I saw your pic, can you tell me about this?” or “My friend sent me your blog and it was great. I want to work with you.”
Being an extroverted introvert it is also hard because I like living in a shell majority of the time. I’m very much a shy person. When I say that most people laugh, but it’s actually the truth. I actually hate taking pictures of myself, and I am a true homebody, so with social media it is as good as you make it, but it also has its downside. It’s really only small bits and pieces of me and who I am. I’m a nerd. I love to cook, watch documentaries, and dance around my house to music. I have bad days where I want to disconnect from everyone. It’s getting people to see both sides that can be challenging, and balancing that with my brand, because it is about going out, doing things, and going places.
What has been your biggest accomplishment to date?
One of my friends who I look up to a lot and who I learn from told me I inspired them and it meant the world. It was very humbling. I was sitting there and in my head I’m saying, “Me? I inspire you?” It may seem like it’s not a real accomplishment or it’s something really small, but to me it meant a lot.
How do you deal with adversity?
I’ve been through a lot in life, both great and some not the best. With that has come struggles with my faith but for the past few years, I turned my relationship with God into my rock for everything. I also have a very amazing support system. I talk to them daily; share scriptures, devotionals, thoughts, laughs, tears, etcetera. They remind me that the best parts of my life are yet to come and that is how I keep going. Things happen, but how many things have happened that haven’t stopped me from who I am today? Not much.
I’ve also had to learn how to de-stress and say “no.” It’s okay when I am being faced with a lot to take a break and focus on me and not everything or anything else. I do things I want to do and take time for me.
Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
God willing, I will still be running the globe. My goal is to actually stay in Corporate America and move into a role that focuses on development and training. It would allow me to work remotely the majority of the time and travel. More so, I just want to look back years from today and see progress and growth. Everything else is secondary.
What does success mean to you?
It’s finding that intersection between God’s plan for my life and what I want from it. I believe it’s in that area where I am able to live my best life. I may not have all of the material things, but I have joy in what I do. That’s hard to beat.
When it’s all said and done, what do you want your legacy to be?
I want my legacy to say that I didn’t use my talents selfishly. I know my gifts aren’t my own. My story isn’t my own. I don’t want to impress people with the things that I do, but I am to impact them instead. If it’s me or someone I can put them in contact with, it’s happening.
Last but not least, who does Brittany B #COSIGN?
Brittany Applegate- @bee_aye
Julian Gilliam- @juliangilliam
Johnnie Lovett- @johnniefresh
Danielle Richardson- @fierceclarity
Gabrielle McBay- @gabriellemcbay
Alexander Webb- @alexanderxgreat
Yusef Ali- @ye_ali
Kevin Reed- @reedbefresh
Marte Currie- @marte4real
Brandon-Walker Roby- @robyisblessed