Meet Brittany Darrington ! Local gal who thrives as an entrepreneur owning her own clothing line, and is an inspirational and motivational speaker world wide!
I walked into Cenote, a local Austin coffee shop with my life in hand (a giant purse, my briefcase, Mac Book, etc), my hair tied up into a giant top knot. To the right of the brightly lit room I see Brittany on the couch, legs crossed and a giant white smile. She is like the girl I aspire to be, you know polished, organized… an adult. You know in romantic comedies there is sometimes that main female character who is a beautiful power woman, running around New York City getting shit done in sky high heels? That is Brittany. We greeted each other with a hug.
B: I brought my mom, is that okay?!
A&C: Uh of course it’s okay. This is super rad! What a treat. Let’s talk about your background. Where did Brittany start?
B: So I actually had no idea what I wanted to do when I got out of high school. I thought to myself…what am I good at? And I love fashion, I decided to go to the Art Institute of Houston. And I was like ah! What’s next?
A&C: What was your first project? We know you are doing like 4 different things (amazing!) So let’s kinda like go through one thing at a time. Chronologically… What was first?
B: So, I LOVE motivating people. and I didn’t know how to get on the platform that I wanted. I started out informally meeting with individuals and speaking with them about their endeavors. At this time I hit my “rock bottom” in my life. I was dating someone who I was in a bad relationship with, upset about my student loans, addictions and I felt like there was no good that was coming out of my life. I decided that a way to get out of this was to help other people. So many individuals are are struggling to find themselves, and love themselves. I wanted to tap into that and help make that happen. From working one on one I decided to get some training on professional speaking. I found the John C. Maxwell program, he is a certified motivational speaker who teaches others to become speakers.
A&C: Wow. So how did all that work?
B: It’s based out of Florida and basically you go thru an interview where they decide if you would be a good fit for a leadership coach. I did that and I was accepted. I went thru the training I started talking at churches, and then it moved to speaking at big corporations.
A&C: What was it like being accepted to this program?
B: I was like oh my gosh! I can’t believe this! Also, at the time I was one of the youngest people in the program. I think I called my mom 100 times!
Her mom smiled next to her. You can tell she is so proud. How could you not be?
A&C: Who are your mentors?
B: Definetly my mom! Also this woman who was an entrepreneur who took me under her wing and taught me so much — one of the things she told me was if there is anything you want to do, just go for it don’t stop. and no matter what obstacles just go for it. And seeing my mom be a single mom raising us and getting a masters degree along the way was also really important to me.
A&C Super cool! How did you get into your clothing company, Oil Digger Tees? How does one start such a big project like that?
B: A really good friend of mine who I used to work together with in fashion together wanted to start a project together. We wanted to get back to our roots. She has a really big creative side, and I have a really great business mind set. We decided to start something that is fun and represents who we are. I love wearing t- shirts, t -shirts and heels! That is where it started.
A&C: Yeah! Like the femme and tough look put together.
B: Yes! So we came up with this rustic t shirt design, that we wanted to fit well on everyone. We wanted to use sayings that are fun and don’t go together. Like champagne and queso!
A&C: How cool so you guys talk all the time?
B: Yes! like, hours a day.
A&C: Sounds like me and Aimee and Madeline!
A&C: So we have to ask. We saw some photos with some celebrities wearing your shirt. Jamie King? Like, whoa! Mind blown.
Brittany: Yes Jamie King Prestley. So cool, that was a huge moment for us. Just to have that happen was an Ah-Ha moment, very exciting. There was also a celebrity- named Constance haha! from House Of Cards that was wearing one of our shirts.
A&C: I can’t even imagine how exciting that was. What do you feel like was your biggest challenge throughout your journey?
B: I was so focused on trying to be like other people. I wasn’t being true to myself. And I realized that once I let my uniqueness come out I started to feel like my own person.
A&C: We know your mentors were a big part of where you are, but what else gets you through all your hard work and busy schedule?
B: I journal all the time!
She pulled out a huge journal that had inspirational words all over it.
B: I go to church, talk to my mom a lot, like all the time! One thing I like to do is work on changing negative thinking. If I have a negative thing I am thinking about myself I will write down the opposite, positive thought 17 times. It’s really important to get rid of that negative thinking. I also like to write down my goals and set dates for them. And on their I have accomplished about 50% of my goals, and I believe it’s because I tell myself over and over again, DON’T LET ANYTHING STOP YOU. Sometimes there are setbacks but I just keep going.
A&C: You have no idea how much that resignates with us, for sure. What is a typical day for you?
B: I have no typical day! For me I spend my mornings…I’m a 4 or 5 a clock girl. I like to go to the gym, and call my mom and tell her about what I’m working on. After that I usually jump on the phone with my business partner and chat about our events coming up, and new designs. Then I will study for my next speaking engagement- like how I am going to customize my speech to the place I am going to. After that I meet with aspiring entrepreneurs. On the side I also work with women who were recently incarcerated and I help them get back on their feet and find jobs.
A&C: That’s a lot! What do you feel got your company off the ground?
B: Social media is key, networking, and talking to as many people as possible. We found that when you reach out to the media, they are pretty receptive. They always need stories! We talk to a lot of bloggers too.We used to go into stores and ask if they could carry our brand and we got turned down a lot. I think once we gained our audience, we went back to those stores and many of them said yes. Having the people that told us no and then changing their minds feels really great.
Kim Bartel Photography
A&C: That is all great advice. What do you do for fun?
B: Binge watch Shark Tank, hanging out with my family, my nieces especially. We have dance parties! In addition to that I love to read. I also like to be outside.
A&C: How do you handle shopping? Are you an addict?
B: I don’t! I am looking at clothes all day and at the end of the day I don’t really think about it! My advice to controlling your spending…open up a fashion line!
A&C: Where can we find you on social media?
B: Instagram: @oildiggertees.
A&C: Last question… I’m sure you saw this coming. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
B: I see myself doing more international speaking. I want to go to South Africa to speak, for sure. And also to see my shirts on pretty much every celebrity. And maybe opening up an Oil Digger Tees coffee shop. Shirts and coffee!
A&C: Wow, just wow. Everything you have said is really powerful for us. For us, starting Ruby Wolf we have been thru some pretty rough times individually. And to take that and impact other people who are going thru a tough time is also really important to us. We want to empower people too. Any last words?
B: Be confident and successful. If I could go back and tell my younger self that “You are great” I wish I could.
A&C: That’s another thing. We talk to people and we are like WOW. You need to know that you are awesome. And everyone’s story is so different, it’s really exciting to hear it and we are so excited to share <3