Brittany Robins: Reflecting On Business, Female Empowerment & Becoming A Better Human

Republished with permission from Make Lemonade an Evio Community Partner

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Interview conducted by Chanèle McFarlane
Photography by Julia Park

When it comes to leaving your 9-5 job to pursue full-time entrepreneurship, many would say that it’s certainly easier said than done.

Often, it takes an unexpected incident to put things in perspective - a layoff, an illness, an injury, etc. - which we then take as much-needed confirmation that it’s time to take the proverbial leap. In the case of Brittny Robins, Founder of Flawless by Friday, her confirmation, unfortunately, came in the form of an accident during a charity run - leaving her with both a few injuries and the courage to finally go all in on her exciting new venture: Flawless by Friday.

Built on speed, simplicity and self-confidence, Flawless by Friday is a beauty brand that combines proven natural ingredients with Korean-inspired gel technology. Their first product, The 5 Day System is a simple yet powerful set of face masks that will have your skin looking flawless by the end of the week. Most recently, Flawless entered the makeup category with an incredible 22-piece collection, including face palettes, eyeshadow, lipstick, brushes and so much more. With products in over 100 stores in North America, a recent pop-up in Yorkdale Shopping Centre and plans to expand across borders, Brittny and her company show no signs of slowing down and we can’t wait to see what she does next.  

Keep reading as Brittny reflects on the power of consistency, empowering other female founders and why she’s not just focused on being a better business owner, but becoming a better (and happier!) human being:

Tell us about a time that life handed you lemons. Did you make lemonade? 

I had been spending a lot of time working on my business idea while working a full time job.  I couldn't find the courage to leave my comfortable job even though the only thing that was really exciting me at the time was my business development on the side.  One day I went on a run for charity. As a "non-runner" and fatiguing near the end of the run, someone ended up crashing into me on a 10km run - I fell right on my face and needed 8 stitches above my eye, had a serious black eye and a concussion. It forced me to slow down and made me feel dispensable at my job. This gave me the push I needed to leave my job and move out of my apartment into my grandparents house and run Flawless full time.

Describe your ideal work environment to get sh*t done.

A collaborative passionate environment. I like to be surrounded by people who come to me with ideas they are excited about. My office is great because the energy is high all of the time - I need to surround myself with people who aren't just working to fill time but people who are working to see results.

After that first year, how did you scale your business and continue to grow?

I think it continued to grow because there was never a day that I didn’t do SOMETHING to move the company forward.  There wasn't a single day where I decided that I just didn't "feel like it" anymore. I think that with anything, consistency is key to reaching your goals.

“NONE OF MY SUCCESS CAME FROM PLAYING IT SAFE. I HONESTLY BELIEVE THAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PEOPLE WHO WANT TO BECOME ENTREPRENEURS AND NEVER DO AND PEOPLE WHO MAKE IT HAPPEN.”  

How much of your success as an entrepreneur has come from taking risks versus playing it safe?

None of my success came from playing it safe. I honestly believe that is the difference between people who want to become entrepreneurs and never do and people who make it happen. I've always been a risk taker in my personal and professional life and I believe it's what has put me ahead of someone who may have had a stronger background when it came to the skill set/educational background necessary to start a business.

If you could attend a dinner party with 3 women of your choice - past or present - who would they be?

1. My grandmother Irene - I never really knew her cause she passed when I was young but I can tell that she shaped my mom and as a result me as well.

2. So cliche but Oprah Winfrey - I think that she is on a journey to better herself everyday which I find super inspiring

3. Estee Lauder - my forever hero in the cosmetic space

Do you have a mentor? What role have they played in your success?

I have several people who have shaped the path of my career thus far and have made me a much better business owner.  However, my main mentor is a woman named Bonnie Brooks (the former CEO of Hudson’s Bay and all around business badass) - she has been a huge advocate for me and the company.  She has made introductions and is in constant contact with me to challenge me and make sure that I'm bettering myself constantly. It has made me tougher, smarter and more business minded.  

What impact are you making through your work?

Recently, we have been the curator of Concept x Flawless by Friday - a Canadian female founders market at Yorkdale Shopping Centre.  We negotiated with Oxford to give women the opportunity to showcase their brands at Canada's top retail property. We also are donating a portion of the proceeds from this concept to Opportunity Intl. which helps fund female founded businesses in the developing world.

What is one book and/or podcast that you believe every woman should read or listen to?

Instead of reading and listening to things that make me a better business owner, I like to do that with things that make me a better and happier human being - which I believe in time can hopefully continue to make me a better business owner as a result.  I listen to Oprah's Super Soul Sessions and I recently read the Happiness Track which is about applying the science of personal happiness to increase your company's success.

What is something on your bucket list?

To be able to properly expand Flawless beyond North American borders and to be able to have an even bigger impact on women worldwide.

What's next for you? Can you tell us a little bit about something exciting you're working on?

We are working on expanding our reach further into the U.S. and giving as many people as possible the opportunity to feel like their most flawless self - easier, faster and more accessible.