Brit Morin

Brit Morin

Founder & CEO of Brit + Co, author of Homemakers

THIS CHAT HAPPENED ON August 19, 2015

Discussion

Hi everyone, Brit here! I'm the founder & CEO of Brit + Co, an online media and e-commerce company that provides tools to teach, inspire and enable creativity among women and girls. From traditional crafts to high-tech manufacturing, Brit + Co connects millions of users with makers, designers, chefs, and inventors, together in one place. My best-selling book, Homemakers, was published in March of this year, and is available for purchase now. Ask me anything!
Jimmy Mackin
Jimmy Mackin@jimmymackin · Partner at Curaytor
@brit It's a bit of a big question but I'd love to learn more about how Brit.co content strategy has evolved over the last 24 months?
@jimmymackin Great question. We are a very data-driven culture, but also have a solid mission of inspiring and enabling people to be creative. So our content must wrap up to that mission at all times, even though we have scaled the quantity of content we put out. At this point, we're very much mobile-driven (70%) and have a ton of social traffic, so we also think about programming content in ways that are useful for the on-the-go and social user.
Melissa's Tripping
Melissa's Tripping@girltripping · Creator of GirlTripping.com
@jimmymackin I second this. Specifically... brit.co is one of my favorite sites and part of my inspiration, in a similar yet different niche. Has your website always covered such a broad array of topics or did you start smaller
Erik Torenberg
Erik Torenberg@eriktorenberg · Former Product Hunt
Hey Brit - Thank you for coming to Product Hunt LIVE! What's something you've changed your mind about recently? Also, for anyone who missed it, Brit did an awesome podcast with us recently: https://soundcloud.com/product-h...
@eriktorenberg Something I changed my mind about? That happens every 10 seconds! :P Hmmm on the silly side, I just decided I'm way more into chocolate fro-yo than vanilla. And on the serious side, I recently changed my mind about our employee meal perks at Brit + Co.
Erik Torenberg
Erik Torenberg@eriktorenberg · Former Product Hunt
@brit tell us more! employee meal perks is something most people don't think about - what decision did you make + how did you think about it? (i'm curious about the day to day decisions CEO make that most people never see...) also, agreed on chocolate.
Emily Veach
Emily Veach@editemily · writer @Feedly
@eriktorenberg @brit and does it now include cold brew? :D
@eriktorenberg We're starting to use EatClub.com --- super pumped about the customization options it offers employees in addition to a reasonable cost structure.
@editemily Coffee, no. But beer, yes! Well, at least we include a class for that on brit.co/learn ;)
Harry Stebbings
Harry Stebbings@harrystebbings · Podcast Host @ The Twenty Minute VC
You have built this amazing ecommerce business but how did you get your first customers that were not friends and family? Do you have any tips for scaling a business? So appreciate your time!
@harrystebbings Hi Harry! First, thanks for the compliment. Commerce is a beast, but the long-term rewards can definitely pay off. Just as in the media business where "content is king" in the commerce business "product is king" -- you have to find the product/market fit in the same way. What are things that CAN'T be found on Amazon and have unique stories behind them or unique functionalities? Focus on that first, and people will naturally share with others to promote organic growth of traffic to your site.
AJ
AJ@alanaut24 · Engitrepresigner
@harrystebbings this a great question - would love to see it answered.
Mike Coutermarsh
Mike Coutermarsh@mscccc · Code @ GitHub
@brit 😃how do you start your day? any special routines?
Jacqueline von Tesmar
Jacqueline von Tesmar@jacqvon · Community at Product Hunt ⚡️
Hey Brit! Great to have you here. What's the biggest weakness of yours that you've turned into a strength?
Priyanka Sharma
Priyanka Sharma@pritianka · Co-founder, WakaTime
Hi Brit - how did you get your initial team together for Brit + Co?
@pritianka The first two employees (an engineer and an editor) came from my personal network. The next 2-3 were actually sourced from AngelList. I'm a HUGE fan of that platform for finding great employees. We've since hired many more.
Priyanka Sharma
Priyanka Sharma@pritianka · Co-founder, WakaTime
@brit Thanks for this. Would love to know what qualities you looked for/prioritized in the first two people. A skill set match is the first obvious, but beyond that. Appreciate your time here!
tmgstudio
tmgstudio@tmgstudio · Sr. Dir. of Operations, Plan Left Inc,
@brit I would be interested to know what you see as sought after wood products in DIY furniture and home decor market over the next 6-12 months? Have you noticed trends in the design patterns, shapes, or other design styles that are resonating with the buying market for handmade goods.
Alan Braverman
Alan Braverman@alanb42 · CEO & co-founder of Textline
@brit I heard you talking about exercising creativity on the Product Hunt podcast. How do you do that, specifically?
@alanb42 How do you NOT? Sort of joking, but really, there is literally a muscle in your brain that responds to doing creative projects or work. The more you do, the more you strengthen it. The benefits have claimed to be as therapeutic as meditation or exercise. I, for one, would much rather paint for an hour than run for an hour :P
Radner Reyes
Radner Reyes@radnerreyes · Business Development Executive
@brit I'm in the middle of developing a website but find I run out of ideas or creativity. Do you recommend methods of improving a creative mindset or ways to find inspiration?
Corley
Corley@corleyh · COO @ Product Hunt
@brit what is the hardest thing about running Brit + Co? And where/how do you find the inspiration to push through the tough stuff?
@corleyh There's a new hard thing every day. But I suppose the *hardest* is knowing that the vision in my head for the business can't be achieved for several years. It's an iterative process that takes a step at a time. Andy Dunn, founder of Bonobos, claims that most great brands take 10 years to build, which I think is true. You have to put in the time and learn every step of the way to truly build a community that lasts.
Priyanka Sharma
Priyanka Sharma@pritianka · Co-founder, WakaTime
@brit Apologies if this was answered elsewhere but, what is your vision for the Brit + Co brand 10 years from now? Also, do you find yourself tweaking how you visualize your company's future as you progress or have you put a stake in the ground?
Russ Frushtick
Russ Frushtick@russfrushtick
@brit Any hidden talents we should know about?
@russfrushtick Where do I start!? 1. I have bionic legs. (ACL surgery in each knee) 2. I can touch my tongue to my nose. 3. I can wiggle my ears. 4. I do a seriously on-point Britney Spears impersonation. Get me in a karaoke bar and I'm gold.
DAVE MORIN
DAVE MORIN@davemorin · Entreprenuer
@russfrushtick It's true. Her Britney Spears impersonation is scary good.
Ryan Hoover@rrhoover · Founder, Product Hunt
Welcome, @brit! I was just browsing Brit + Co and found some rad wall art (I might have to buy this one). What's the favorite thing on your wall right now?
Ryan McCready
Ryan McCready@ryanmccready1
@rrhoover did you notice that their branding & colors are extremely consistent? That is one thing that I think they do better than most, always know when something came from them.
@rrhoover Product request: photo uploads so I can SHOW you what's on my office wall right now! (Spoiler alert: it involves a lot of hand-lettering and creative quotes.)
@ryanmccready1 You are my new favorite commenter of the day ;) Thanks.
Ryan Hoover@rrhoover · Founder, Product Hunt
@brit you can actually paste a direct link to a png or jpg in the comments and it will appear. We need to add a WYSWYG feature for this! 😀
Mackenzie Wilson
Mackenzie Wilson@mackenziewilson · Lifestyle TV Reporter, Zolo Media
@brit Productivity-wise what's the #1 APP you can't live without? How does it help you keep your professional/personal life in check?
Hi Brit, it’s great to have the opportunity to chat! I’m really interested in startup culture. How big is your team now? And what has been your toughest challenge in building an organization that functions well for Brit+Co (apart from hiring great people)?
@willooz What up, Willem! Thanks for hanging out here. Our team is 60ish-70ish depending on if you count interns and contractors etc. The biggest challenge is for sure communication. As we scale the team and start having sub-teams, some things can get taken out of context or might not make it all the way through the org at all. I've been loving Slack to keep our team centralized and to ensure communication is rapid and easy to participate in.
Catherine Goetze
Catherine Goetze@catherinegoetze
@brit Brit!! As a rising female sophomore at Stanford, I look up to you a TON. Just knowing you might get to see this message is so cool. How long did it take for you to realize Brit + Co was going to be a huge success?
@catherinegoetze Hi Catherine! Can I start by saying I'm pseudo intimidated by the fact that you go to Stanford? That was my dream school growing up! But to your question -- I wanted to build a successful business, yes, but more importantly, I cared about changing the way that people perceived their creative confidence. And on that point, I still think there's a lot of work to be done... but we'll get there!
Catherine Goetze
Catherine Goetze@catherinegoetze
@brit Wait so freaking out right now.. per what I just tweeted lol (https://twitter.com/CatherineGoe...) But actually, I love that term: "Creative confidence." I keep thinking the world would be a better place if people felt more comfortable creating content and putting it out there for the world to see, but it can be daunting. I have a blog and every time I post a new video, I literally can't look at my computer for the next hour, I'm so scared of whether people will like it. It's silly I know... I'm curious to get your thoughts on what influencers and entreprenuers do to change that? To change the way people perceive their creative confidence? xoxo
Mike Coutermarsh
Mike Coutermarsh@mscccc · Code @ GitHub
@brit Also, any advice for people writing their first book? What was the day-to-day experience of writing like for you? How'd you stay organized, motivated? 😃
Sung Cho
Sung Cho@sungmoon
@brit You've built an awesome brand and great product. It is such an inspiration. You began with an online shop, and now built online class platform. Where do you see more growth?
@sungmoon Thanks Sungmoon. (Cool name, too.) You're right -- we have 2 businesses at this point (or even 3 if you break apart online classes + commerce). The commerce/classes business is still in its infancy and we're looking forward to scaling it substantially in the next year and onward. The media business is seeing a lot of amazing growth and we want to continue to scale that business as well, but are specifically also focusing on how to create even better, high-quality content that is truly engaging. I think the digital media world has focused a lot of user reach, but not enough on engagement. That's a big concern of mine if we want to build a brand with a true community.
Lukas Fittl
Lukas Fittl@lukasfittl · Product Hunt
@brit Thanks for taking the time to answer questions here! :) What are some of the biggest challenges you've tackled in the last few months at Brit + Co?
Sam Evans
Sam Evans@samueljevans
@brit Hi Brit! How do you curate the sponsored content that is embedded on Brit + Co? Any tips on how to roll out advertorial material whilst protecting editorial integrity? How involved are brands in the creation of content such as this: http://www.brit.co/fruity-garnis...
@samueljevans First and foremost, the brand has to be a fit with your brand/mission and your audience. We've turned down advertising relationships that weren't right for us. It's so hard (especially as a startup that needs revenue to survive) but necessary to keep the authenticity of your voice and community. Second, we generally ALWAYS ask the brand if we can have the final say on the project or idea for how to incorporate them into our voice and content in a way that makes sense for our audience. Generally 99% of them oblige... because naturally we know our audience better than them and understand the type of utility they're expecting from any brand integration.
Sam Evans
Sam Evans@samueljevans
@brit Thank you for the insight!