Recently we got to converse with Amy – mother of two, budding entrepreneur and the Founder of an eccentric clothing brand that literally ‘speaks’ for itself – Brazen Ginger.
After carving an illustrious career for herself in hospitality and settling in with the subtleties of motherhood, all in the middle of the pandemic — Amy opened up about what it was like to find her own middle ground and build a T-shirt brand that attests at it’s core – the value of personal style.
Read through to know more about her journey.
The start of something new, in Amy’s words –
I worked in hotels/hospitality/tourism from 2004 through 2017. After I had my first baby, I wanted to stay home with her, but needed a part-time job to feel like myself. I found an amazing job at a luxury travel agency and did that for two years until COVID-19 hit.
Once it was here and I lost my job, I was “just” a stay-at-home mom to my (now two) toddlers and I was going crazy not working. After much thought, I decided to start my own funny t-shirt company, Brazen Ginger, in April 2020, that launched to the public in June 2020.
“I still reminisce and wonder what I was thinking – I had no right to start this business!”
The initial days were a real challenge. I didn’t have the first clue what I was doing, but I set my mind to it and made it happen. My biggest challenge is lack of time. I have less than two hours during the day to work while my kids are napping. Sometimes I work for a little bit at night after they’re in bed, but most days I’m just too tired to focus. Sometimes I get really down on myself because I have lofty goals that I’m not always hitting. But when I think about it, if I was working on my business 40 hours a week, I’d be a year in. But with the two to maybe three hours a day I’m actively working, I’m about three months in. Still a beginner! I have to remind myself of that a lot.
Not just words, but deeds of encouragement –
My husband, by far, is my biggest supporter. I was so afraid of failing, most people in my life didn’t know I even started this business until very recently.
I still haven’t announced it on any personal social media, so unless you’re a very close personal friend, you don’t know I Brazen Ginger is my third baby. One of my “mom friends” turned out to be my biggest not-related-to-me supporter. She was my first sale and keeps buying. Not because she feels like she has to, but because she genuinely likes the products. It’s not only monetarily supportive, but it really helps ease my worries by assuring me that people really do want my products.
“My kids soak up everything I do and they get so excited when they hear my phone ‘cha-ching’ when I make a sale!”
My two girls, ages 2 and 3, don’t get to watch a lot of television. If I need to desperately get something done that can’t wait until nap time, Sesame Street saves the day. Luckily my suppliers have been able to schedule time with me during nap time and my husband takes on extra chores around the house at night so I can get a little more work done.
Even though I’m not physically working for many hours each day, my mind is always going and planning and analyzing. I typically work seven days a week and rarely take a day off, just because I don’t get a chance to work on Brazen Ginger that often.
I like that I’m showing my kids to work hard effectively, and still be present for your family.
Where does the idea behind a message – inspired apparel business come from?
I love a good graphic tee. Right before I was laid off from my part-time job at the luxury travel agency, I had custom ordered a few shirts because I couldn’t find anything with the saying and/or layout I wanted. When I was racking my brain trying to figure out the next job I could do, I realized I could make my own shirts and sell them. And here we are!
Brazen Ginger : The bit behind the name, and the clothing.
My little girls and husband are both redheads so that’s where the Ginger comes from. I have to thank the thesaurus for the Brazen part. I was trying to figure out something sassy to go with Ginger since most of my shirts are funny, snarky, sarcastic or sassy. The thesaurus suggested Brazen and the domain and all social media handles were available, so it was a done deal!
Simply put, Brazen Ginger sells funny shirts. We have funny, snarky, sarcastic and sassy shirts for both women and men. We also have a very successful line of funny sports shirts for football, hockey, baseball and basketball fans. In addition, we have funny coffee mugs and a few children’s shirts.
Selling personal style – One shirt at a time.
My personal style most definitely plays a role in the options I have at Brazen Ginger. I’m my biggest promoter, so most days you’ll find me in one of my shirts. If I wouldn’t wear it, I won’t have it in my store.
Good or bad, Brazen Ginger is very personal. It might not seem like it from afar, but every single product description has a personal comment, story or quip from me. You won’t find a generic product description about each shirt, but you’ll read a little story about why I made the shirt or a shout-out to a friend that inspired that shirt. Read those and you’ll know me very well. In many ways I’m a really private person, but in others I’m an open book.
You get the open book on me on brazenginger.com
“Had the pandemic not hit, I never would have started Brazen Ginger.
So for my family, the pandemic turned out to be a blessing in disguise.”
Because my kids were, and are young during the pandemic, it didn’t alter our lives too much. The biggest change for our routine was not being able to go to our normal places whenever we want. We changed our daily schedule around to be more focused on parks and playing outside rather than running errands and going to public places like zoos and libraries. My husband worked from home for the first few months of the pandemic so it was really nice to have the extra time with him since he didn’t have to commute and could have lunch with us each day.
I most definitely would not recommend a pandemic to anyone (laughs) but I’m not sure if there is ever a great time to start a business, so you just have to jump in and do it.