We had the good fortune of connecting with Brittany Garman and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Brittany, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
Work life balance is a very, very hard lesson for every entrepreneur I’ve ever known, including myself. In the early stages of co-founding Mina & Vine, I’ll admit, there was no work life balance. As an entrepreneur you feel a tremendous amount of pressure to build your business quickly in fear someone might beat you to market or put you out of business even before you start. Taking time for yourself just isn’t a priority when you have a mile long to-do list and despite best efforts, you become obsessive. This was not a pattern I could sustain over time and after months of battling migraines and fatigue I realized there was little enjoyment in my life and things had to change. Last year I committed myself to sewing for fun again and practicing yoga. These are two things I absolutely love where my focus is completely on the task at hand and not on work. In taking this “me” time I enjoy my work again and have found I am far more productive.
What should our readers know about your business?
Designed for and made by mompreneurs the patent-pending Mina & Vine Nursing Scarf provides style and versatility before, during and after nursing. The first and only of its kind, our product successfully solves the top three concerns of breastfeeding women: an increased body temperature for both mom and baby, the visibility of a baby and style/function limitations. But, designing the perfect nursing scarf was no easy task. We interviewed hundreds of women across the nation, tested dozens of prototypes, then launched our idea with a Kickstarter campaign. After a successfully funded campaign we were thrilled to begin the first round of production of our scarf. Full disclosure, this was not an easy process. I’ve been sewing and designing clothing for much of my life but nothing could have prepared us for this. Even with tons of research and preparation on the manufacturing process the old saying “you don’t know what you don’t know” held true. Being the first of its kind our scarf ended up taking three times than originally planned to be produced. As stressful as it was, it was a necessary exercise to really understand the process and how to better prepare ourselves for the growth of the company. The only thing you can do is learn and move forward. With the positive response to our scarf we have plans to further expand our line which is extremely exciting. As a 100% women owned business, we want to continue to introduce sustainable, forward thinking clothing and accessories that can adapt to any stage of life.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
The great thing about Atlanta is you are never short of things to do. First order of business for any great weekend is to check live music options at Variety Playhouse, Buckhead Theatre or the Fox and plan around that. Next, I am a mega shopping deal hunter as are many of my friends so we always hit up estate sales, Labels Boutique, Westside Market and the Treasure Mart in Chamblee. Another great go-to spot for out of towners is lunch and an afternoon strolling around Krog Street Market. There is a little something for everyone there and you can spend hours bouncing between the shops and restaurants. For dinner, I absolutely love sitting at the oyster bar at the Optimist. It’s super cool to watch the food prep process, chat with the cooks and on occasion, score a sample of something off menu. It’s the perfect place to have a great cocktail, amazing food and catch up with friends.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Very deservingly, I’d like to give a shoutout to my husband, Will. In our ten years of marriage he has been my pillar of strength with every step of my career. Starting a business takes a tremendous amount of sacrifice both professionally and personally. Will shares in my joy, pain and everything in between. A very savvy business person himself and quite possibly the kindest person I know, he offers practical advice and encouragement to help guide me through the rollercoaster of owning a business.