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37 Oaks' Small Business Spotlight Meet Brittany Washington

Shining a light on the amazing small business owners that power the communities we live, work, and play in.

37 Oaks has the opportunity to work with some of the most amazing small business owners around the country. They start off with a passion or a hobby, then we guide them towards growth. Let's take a moment to shine a light on the rock stars!

Brittany Washington, My Beautiful Fluff

| 1. Tell Us About Your Business

My Beautiful Fluff is a body-positive plus-size brand that exudes beauty in every way. Our brand passionately celebrates the allure of natural hair and embraces the charm of plus-size bodies, offering a diverse range of products, including journals, accessories, and shirts.

At My Beautiful Fluff, we believe that beauty knows no bounds, and we aim to inspire confidence and self-love in individuals of all shapes and sizes. Our full line of journals serves as a canvas for your thoughts, dreams, and aspirations, encouraging a positive outlook on life.

Embracing the power of self-expression, our accessories are designed to complement and enhance your unique style, letting your personality shine through. Each piece is crafted with love and care, recognizing the beauty that resides within.

Our shirt collection is a testament to embracing individuality. With designs that showcase the essence of natural beauty and body positivity, they make a bold statement while empowering you to feel comfortable and confident in your own skin.

My Beautiful Fluff is more than just a brand; it's a movement that embraces diversity, inclusivity, and self-acceptance. Join us in celebrating the beauty of every individual, empowering one another to be unapologetically ourselves. Together, let's redefine the standards of beauty and spread the message of love, positivity, and confidence.

| 2. What Makes Your Business Unique?

Our uniqueness lies in our innovative approach to showcasing the beauty of our communities. Through our creative vision, we turn these vibrant and diverse communities into artful caricatures, which proudly take center stage in our product line.

By celebrating the unique features and characteristics of our communities in this artistic form, we aim to break free from traditional beauty standards and challenge societal norms. Our caricatures serve as a bold representation of the authentic beauty that exists within every individual.

In doing so, we foster a strong sense of inclusivity and representation, ensuring that everyone feels seen, valued, and celebrated. Our caricatures reflect the essence of our communities, offering a visual reminder of the richness and diversity that defines us.

| 3. What Inspired You to Start Your Business?

The catalyst that sparked the creation of my brand was a lifetime of exasperation in my pursuit of finding clothing that fit my size. The persistent disappointment of admiring a stunning piece of clothing, only to realize it doesn't come in my size, weighed heavily on my heart. After giving birth to my son, I faced postpartum shedding, which led me to make the courageous decision to embrace a big chop and return to my natural hair.

Throughout my journey, I encountered yet another source of frustration - the lack of availability of beautiful natural hair t-shirts beyond 3XL. It became evident that there was a significant gap in the market, and I saw this as an opportunity to create a brand that not only addressed this issue but also celebrated body positivity and the beauty of natural hair.

Motivated by the desire to empower individuals of all sizes and hair types, my brand was born. We strive to provide an inclusive and diverse range of clothing that caters to all body sizes and shapes. Our dedication to offering a wide variety of sizes ensures that nobody has to feel left out or excluded.

Moreover, our brand's focus on natural hair represents a celebration of authenticity and self-expression. We believe that every person should feel proud of their natural hair and embrace their unique beauty.

In summary, my brand's inception was fueled by a lifetime of frustrations with finding fitting clothing, a transformative journey to natural hair, and the realization that there was a need for more inclusive and empowering options for everyone. Through our brand, we hope to make a positive impact and spread the message of self-love, body positivity, and the beauty of embracing one's true self.

| 4. Describe The Challenges Faced In Taking Your Business From A Hobby Into the Early Growth Stage.

In the early stages of my journey, one of the most significant challenges I encountered was sourcing suitable t-shirts for my brand. Surprisingly, despite the fact that 60% of women are size 14 or plus, finding appropriate t-shirts for women in the US proved to be an almost impossible task. Undeterred, I ventured into the online marketplace to find our very first set of shirts.

Unfortunately, our initial encounter with online sourcing posed unexpected hurdles. The first box of t-shirts turned out to be cut in centimeters instead of inches, resulting in kid-sized shirts that were far from suitable for our target audience. Then, to add to the frustration, the second box of t-shirts arrived in a perplexing green color, completely different from the promised white with a colorful design.

Despite these initial setbacks, I pressed on and eagerly awaited the third box, only to find that it contained a limited selection of 4XL shirts, falling short of the range of sizes we had specifically requested.

These challenges taught me a valuable lesson in the world of business - the paramount importance of clear and effective communication. Properly conveying our requirements and expectations to suppliers and partners is crucial in ensuring the success and smooth operation of our brand.

As I moved forward, I understood the significance of establishing open lines of communication, being precise in my specifications, and fostering strong relationships with suppliers who understood and embraced our vision. Learning from these early experiences, we continued to grow and thrive, ensuring that our brand now offers a diverse and inclusive range of t-shirts that cater to the needs and preferences of all our valued customers.

| 5. How Did 37 Oaks Help You Overcome These Challenges?

37 Oaks instilled in me the vital lesson of the significance of having excellent, clear pictures on my website. They graciously provided me with high-quality product photos, which have remained an integral part of my website to this day. These visuals have not only enhanced the overall aesthetics of my brand but also played a pivotal role in attracting and engaging customers.

Through their exceptional product photography, 37 Oaks showcased my offerings in the best possible light, enabling potential buyers to get a true sense of the product's features and details. This attention to detail and commitment to quality imagery not only elevated my brand's professionalism but also built trust among visitors.

The lasting impact of their contributions is evident in the continued use of these images, which have become an essential asset for my online presence. Their expertise and dedication served as an inspiration for me to maintain a high standard of visual representation across my website and other marketing platforms.

Thanks to 37 Oaks' valuable lesson, I now understand that investing in good-quality product photos is not just an aesthetic choice but a strategic move to attract and retain customers. By providing a clear and appealing visual experience, my website continues to thrive, leaving a positive and lasting impression on visitors, and ultimately contributing to the success of my brand.

| 6. What Is Your Greatest Win So Far As A Small Business Owner?

Among my significant achievements, graduating from the Sunshine Enterprises Community Business Academy stands out as my proudest moment. This remarkable program has been instrumental in propelling me forward by igniting a thirst for knowledge, driving me to put in the hard work, and reaffirming my dedication to business growth.

Throughout my entrepreneurial journey, the Community Business Academy challenged me to expand my horizons, pushing me beyond my comfort zone to acquire new skills and insights. The program's comprehensive curriculum and hands-on approach equipped me with essential tools and strategies, enhancing my abilities as a business owner.

Beyond the invaluable knowledge gained, the most remarkable aspect of this experience has been the invaluable network of like-minded individuals it provided. Surrounded by a supportive community of peers and mentors who share the common desire to see each other succeed, I found encouragement, inspiration, and motivation.

The connections forged within the Sunshine Enterprises Community Business Academy have proven to be an enduring source of guidance and encouragement in my entrepreneurial journey. Together, we celebrate triumphs, navigate challenges, and celebrate each other's growth and accomplishments.

The sense of camaraderie and support from this program has been a driving force, propelling me toward further achievements. With the skills, determination, and empowering network gained through this remarkable experience, I am now better equipped to face the challenges and seize the opportunities that lie ahead on my path to success.

| 7. What Advice Would You Give An Early-Stage Entrepreneur Working To Grow Their Business?

The most valuable piece of advice I could offer to early-stage entrepreneurs is to embrace and understand your numbers. Though it may not be the most exhilarating aspect of entrepreneurship, having a firm grasp of your financial data is essential. This knowledge empowers you to assess the health of your business and make informed decisions to adapt and evolve as needed.

Being well-versed in your numbers enables you to gauge the overall performance of your venture, giving you a clear picture of its progress. You can identify areas of strength and areas that may require improvement, allowing you to pivot and adjust your strategies accordingly.

By delving into the financial details, you gain a deeper understanding of the factors driving your business's success or potential challenges. This knowledge empowers you to proactively address issues and seize opportunities for growth.

Remember, being comfortable with your numbers does not mean you need to be an accounting expert. It means understanding the key financial indicators, such as revenue, expenses, profit margins, and cash flow, among others.

Ultimately, embracing your financial data is a fundamental step in building a strong foundation for your business. It sets you on a path to make well-informed decisions, respond effectively to changes in the market, and maximize the potential for success in your entrepreneurial journey.

| 8. What's Next For Your Business?

Over the next 6-12 months, I have set ambitious and meaningful goals that revolve around promoting body positivity and empowerment. My vision encompasses three distinct projects, each aimed at making a positive impact in various ways:

  • Body Positive Coloring Book: I am excited to develop and publish a body-positive coloring book. This artistic creation will celebrate diverse body types and foster self-love through beautifully crafted illustrations. The coloring book will serve as a creative tool to inspire confidence and encourage individuals to embrace their unique beauty. By promoting body positivity in this interactive and artistic manner, I hope to reach a wide audience and make a lasting impression on people's self-perceptions.

  • Affirmation Deck for Plus Size Women: In recognition of the power of affirmations, I am dedicated to creating an affirmation deck specifically designed for plus-size women. Each card will contain empowering and uplifting messages that cater to their unique experiences and challenges. This deck will act as a source of daily inspiration, instilling confidence, and fostering a positive mindset. Empowering plus-size women with affirmations catered to their journey is a key part of my mission to promote self-love and body positivity.

  • Book on Body Positivity for Elementary-Aged Students: I am passionate about spreading the message of body positivity from a young age. To achieve this, I am committed to writing and publishing a book on body positivity tailored for elementary-aged students. The book will be both informative and engaging, addressing body image in a relatable and age-appropriate manner. My goal is to equip young minds with a healthy perspective on their bodies, helping them develop a positive self-image from an early age.

With these three projects, I aspire to touch lives and make a difference in the way people perceive themselves and others. Through creativity, inspiration, and education, I aim to create a ripple effect of body positivity, ultimately contributing to a more accepting and compassionate world for all.

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