This month we had the pleasure of learning more about Brittany Wilson, founder of the branding and creative agency, The Idea Girl. In the early stages of her career, most of her roles were within retail as a sales associate and visual merchandiser, and later more administrative and operational positions within the fashion and automotive industries.
Feeling unfulfilled, she joined an event marketing group that hosted experiential parties in New York City. Witnessing the behind the scenes design process for event collateral, she took strong interest in graphic design and began exploring it on her own. This led to designing event collateral and moving on to designing smaller projects like logos and websites for friends. From here, she begin furthering her knowledge in the field of design. This paired with her background and education in Business Management led to the start of a new journey - The Idea Girl Agency.
What inspired you to pursue your current work? Did you always know you wanted to do creative work or eventually start your own agency?
Back in my junior year of college, I took an Africana Studies class that explored the different kingdoms within Africa. It was compelling to learn of the abundant kingdoms that flourished financially and academically like Timbuktu, Kush, and even more present Black American communities such as the Black Wall Street in Tulsa, OK, and Rosewood, FL. It was during this time I realized my purpose, which was to contribute to the empowerment of People of Color (POC) into entrepreneurship, but more so particularly Women of Color (WOC), one of the most underserved classes throughout American history.
At the time I was also working at a luxury fashion powerhouse on the project management team and dealt with racial microaggressions and a team that didn’t fully embrace my culture. After having my afro touched by a passive-aggressive co-worker who didn’t understand “how my hair did what it does,” I said to myself “I wish I could work at an agency with creative people who looked like me.”
I knew that a creative path would be more fulfilling as opposed to the job-hopping for a paycheck I grew accustomed to. At that point, I was tired of betting on a paycheck and decided to bet on myself. I took my knack for business and paired it with my creative abilities to launch The Idea Girl, a branding agency that focuses on emotive design approaches for female-led businesses. What started off as passion manifested into purpose as my clientele grew, as did the workload. After being a solo-preneur for about 2.5 years, it was time to scale, which led to the expansion of the agency.
Tell me more about your agency. The work, the name, projects you’ve worked on, etc. What is it like to start your own agency?
The Idea Girl is a branding and creative agency that provides strategically styled brands for creative women in business. I came up with the name during a revelation I had when realizing that I was the go-to person for my circle when it came to anything related to aesthetics.
We work with businesses and turn them into personalities and lifestyles that evoke emotion and engage their client’s target audiences, transforming prospective customers into loyal clientele through a multi-sensory brand experience.
Our services include: naming, brand strategy, visual identity, package design, product development, content creation, and social media management. We work with women-owned businesses within the fashion, lifestyle, beauty, and wellness industries that have an impactful mission towards solving a problem, while cultivating community during the process. In addition to being an agency, we also host events, provide business tools and resources, and host an IRL and online community for creative women in entrepreneurship or interested in it at the very least.
I had no clue that this small team of one would grow into a small team of 12 women (and one guy!) where Black creatives could feel valued and experience a work culture that shatters toxic corporate culture paradigms. Everyone on the team is an entrepreneur and we all work together collaboratively to manifest our mission into fruition.
What are some of the reasons why you’re passionate about your work?
I am passionate about my work because it comes from deep within. It wakes me up in the morning and keeps me up late at night. Just knowing that I am helping POC create generational wealth by empowering them into entrepreneurship drives me to put my blood, sweat, and tears into this agency.
The Idea Girl is here to level up the playing field in the business world so WOC can compete with industry heavy-hitters while delivering viable solutions for their communities.
As a business owner and in your personal life, how do you stay fresh, creative and innovative?
By taking care of myself spiritually, emotionally, physically, and mentally. Self-care is a part of my daily ritual whether it’s having a session with my therapist, strategizing with my business coach, going to a yoga class, getting a massage, or simply just speaking to God, praying and meditating. Taking care of myself allows me to be the best version of myself for myself and for everyone around me.
If you could identify 2-3 steps you took to start your own agency, what would they be?
Three steps that I took to build my agency were:
Finding a business mentor or coach that can provide leadership guidance and structure while scaling.
Constantly tweaking and improving my project management and client relations management processes and systems.
Building a solid team of people I could rely on and delegate tasks so I could actually focus on growing the business.
What are some challenges you’ve faced starting your own agency? How did you overcome these? What have you learned?
The biggest challenge was running an agency and not knowing exactly what went into doing it successfully, and managing a team of people after working independently within the first few years of operating. It came with many challenges, however it presented a great opportunity for growth as a leader.
What is one golden nugget of advice you could share with someone looking to start their own agency?
I would definitely recommend taking it easy on yourself. It’s okay to not have everything figured out and it’s okay to screw things up. You learn from failure and get closer to success each time you attempt it.
What’s been your spotlight moment? One moment where you felt the most proud-- of yourself, your craft, your work?
My spotlight moment was witnessing my first product design get developed and seeing it for purchase on a shelf. It was amazing to see something go from an idea to the palm of my hand. In all, every moment is a highlight for me as The Idea Girl is shifting history for WOC and their futures as we know it.
And we’re so glad it is. We’re so thankful for women like Brittany paving the way for future generations. Brittany Wilson and the birth of The Idea Girl is a reflection of all the good that can come from simply taking a chance on yourself and believing in the value you have to contribute. It’s also a reminder of the possibilities that remaining curious and pursuing our interest can offer us - a future that is our own.