We had the good fortune of connecting with Brittany Polk and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Brittany, what’s the most important lesson your business/career has taught you?
There are a lot of lessons that I have learned on this journey. However I think the most important one has been to keep going. It’s tough out here and oftentimes we can start to doubt or compare our skills and talents when we don’t see the results we want right away. I have started and stopped so many times, but when I look back on those moments, I realize I could be a lot farther ahead if I just stuck with it from jump. The irony is when you start again and realize the things that stopped you initially were not as bad as you made them to be originally. It’s really just getting out of your own way because if you can see the vision, it exists already and it’s not a journey without the trials and tribulations. Moral of the story, stick with it because the best is yet to come.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Just a few years ago, I was working in a law firm and had been there for 11 years. I just knew deep down that wasn’t where I was supposed to be. I would be at work drawing sketches on my desk calendar just to pass the time. I got more joy out of that than the actual job and that’s when I knew it was time. I had been going back and forth with leaving, then at the end of 2018, I had made the executive decision to put in my notice at the top of the new year. Terrified wasn’t the word. Here I am leaving a job that was part of my world for so many years, not to mention the stability and consistent income. But I went ahead and slid that 2 weeks notice to my boss and never looked back. Now, to be honest looking back, I would not recommend everyone do this because listen, there is a certain hustle you have to have inside of you when you make a decision like that. To add, I’m also a single woman with no kids, so I was willing to take the risk now versus later. Once I made the decision, everything lined up. I was building my business and at the same time receiving creative opportunities that contributed to what I wanted to do. The reality of branching out on your own is that you are now responsible for you. There’s no hr, payroll, or any of that you can take your issues up with. It’s solely you. That might be the biggest challenge in itself. You’re managing yourself, your schedule, etc. I was working for a business owner that ran his own law firm and used to look at him crazy when he did certain things, but now I understand why he did the things he did. My brand has always been about trailblazing your own path. I design and repurpose clothes with that in mind because I believe we are all unique and meant to stand out, not look alike. Like honestly the best thing you can be is you, so why not stand in that?
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
There is so much to do in Chicago so the possibilities are kind of endless. When friends come into town they pretty much already have it in mind that I will take them thrifting/antique shopping which some of my faves here are Village Discount for thrift finds and Broadway Antiques which has some really good pieces at a good price point. Follow that up with just exploring the city and grabbing dinner at a spot in the West Loop. Most of my friends are real chill. The partying days and kicking it super late ended a long time ago for me and my crew lol. Having fun is always a little bit of shopping combined with great food and we good to go.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
If anything, it’s really been my family and friends. My friends are technically my family at this point lol. Having a solid support system has been one of the main reasons I’m where I’m at today. When I’ve started, they have been full of support and encouragement. When I’ve felt like throwing in the towel, they gathered me together real quick and encouraged me to get back up and try again. And most importantly when they see I need space to recharge and get my mental together, they allow me the space to do that. When you have that kind of support system, you begin to understand that it’s bigger than you.
Instagram: @brittany_cheri_ & @stylehousetuesday
Robbie Johnson Marcus Ivory