Cheers to 13 Years!

Cheers to 13 Years!


Happy birthday Flea Style! Wow, lucky 13!

I will never be able to adequately speak to how I feel about this journey. There have been so many hard days, so many tough decisions and so many amazing moments. The one thing I know I can say without a shadow of a doubt, is that I wouldn’t change a single thing.

I know that every booth I personally bent over and taped for our flea market shows, every unemployment battle I fought, every item I personally shipped when we were shut down for Covid has built the business and CEO that I am today. Every experience is a gift, learning lesson and opportunity to grow and be better personally and professionally.

To celebrate our company anniversary, I thought it would be fun to list 13 of my biggest learns so far running this business. If you’re not familiar with our story, you can read about our humble beginnings and big dreams.

Our future is so bright and 2023 will no doubt be our biggest year yet. From new stores (two possibly opening next spring!) to a custom hat line, my cup is filled to the brim and I couldn’t be more excited for the future and our team.

Brittany’s 13 Biggest Learns in Business (so far)

Listen To Your Customer: Without our customers, we don’t exist. So, it’s imperative to ask for their feedback, course-correct as needed for them and make them feel loved and welcome at all times. Because I believe this so deeply, some of our customers have become dear friends. I say it daily, but each customer is a gift and top priority!

Teamwork Makes The Dream Work: For about six years, I ran the company solo or with a couple people by my side. Our growth and success is directly tied to hiring dedicated, kind and hard-working people that believe in the same dream as I do. Hiring is the hardest part of my job, but one of the most important.

Stay Curious: As a trained journalist, I love to ask questions. There is no doubt that my fearlessness to learn more, poke holes in situations that I don’t understand and just pure curiosity about how something works or how we can fix a problem has pushed our company forward, especially during trying times like Covid.

Mental Toughness Is More Important Than Smarts: You can be the smartest person in the room, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be successful. Success comes from consistency, rising above the noise and keeping your North Star crystal clear and close. Showing up every day ready to take on whatever hits your plate is the name of the game, not a 4.0 GPA or fancy degree.

Fail Fast: You have to try lots of things – products, ideas, people, locations – to know what will work or not. So failure is just part of the game of building a business. The key to success, however, is that when you do fail you figure it out quickly and move on or pivot. With time, you learn the “failure” was a lesson and sometimes even a blessing or gift.

Try Things! To piggyback on #5, explore ideas! It’s ok if you fail. But if you don’t give your idea a chance to fly, it will never have the chance to take off. From my crazy hat bar idea to online reservation system, I test the waters all the time. A lot of my ideas fall flat. But some have been wild successes that have changed the game for our company, employee headcount and expansion plans.

Connect With Your Customer: You know how good you feel when somebody asks about your idea, compliments your shoes or gives you a good hug or free cookie just because? See how far that goes if you do it daily with every customer! Our customers are our family, and because of it we’ve learned new ideas to enhance our business and have their support through challenging economic and pandemic times.

Embrace Free Tools And Use Them Wildly! From Instagram to bartering skills with a talented friend, lean on affordable things that help build your biz. It’s imperative to keep costs lean in business and there are so many amazing apps, people and things out there to support your company on a dime.

Perfect Balance Doesn’t Exist: Period, end of story. Things will always be out of balance but that’s the dance of life. Once you realize this, the guilt goes away and you just try your best and beg for forgiveness if things ever really get off center. Some days my personal life gets the favorable hand and others my business takes the front seat. Just know it’s seasonal and that if you have your core values straight, it’s all going to be good.

Multiple Revenue Streams Are Key: We have so many revenue streams that funnel into Style Concepts from brick and mortar stores to an online shop, restaurant, private events, hat reservation system and apparel line. All these outlets offer cushion when one segment might have some dark times or world events rattle economics in others.

There Will Be Bad Days: If you own a business, especially a growing one, there are a lot of tough days and sleepless nights. You just have to know this fact so you don’t get down in the ditch all the time. The goal for me is that there are more good days than bad overall. When that ratio is off, it’s time to re-evaluate everything and see if this is the right path.

Read Lots Of Things! It’s so important to read and keep your mind engaged. From fashion magazines to learn trends to business books for work advice, I am always a sponge for knowledge, other opinions/ideas and staying current on fads and events. There are so many amazing people to learn from out there if you pick up the right hardback or dive into a good article or blog.

Find Your People: Perhaps the most important part – and one of the hardest – is building your tribe. For me, that’s the mix of employees, friends and family that surround me to lift me up, push back when needed and just bring me joy. When you have that support system in place, you have the courage and confidence to build the company of your dreams.

To all the makers, shakers, dreamers and doers: I see you, feel you and appreciate you. Keep up the good work and know it will all pay off one day if you work hard and follow your heart!

Happy anniversary Flea Style! I love this business and its people and customers with all my heart. It’s truly one of the biggest joys and honors of my life.


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