By Chris Olsen
Brittany Travis and her mom, Debbie, were talking in the car on the way to an event. Both were disenchanted in their careers. Brittany worked for a top advertising agency. It was the job she’d envisioned for herself since mapping out her career in college. She was an account supervisor managing big brands like Horizon Organic and LÄRABAR. But something felt off. While the role required her to tap into her creative side on a regular basis, Brittany would rather be using her creative skills to bring her own ideas to life.
Debbie had worked for a national health care provider for a decade. Her entrepreneurial nature made her want to contribute in ways that weren’t conducive to a corporate environment where everyone was expected to stay in their own lane. So she joined her parents and four brothers in their family business and moved it into the modern world—bringing sales and other systems online. After helping the company achieve significant growth over two decades, it was time for her to bring her strengths to a business of her own.
For years Debbie suggested to Brittany that her do-it-yourself décor could make a profitable venture. Brittany had been creating one-of-a-kind wall hangings, letters and signs as gifts she’d lovingly customize for each recipient. Her modern aesthetic made the pieces stand out from other home accents on the market. And Debbie wasn’t the only one who appreciated Brittany’s talents. Receivers of the gifts raved about them. As they chatted in the car that day, the two women realized they could combine their skills and passions and build a business together.
In 2017, the mother-daughter duo launched B+D Custom Crafts. The company offers all of the decorative objects Brittany specializes in, ready to display or give as a gift. Popular items include word art and framed stacks (word art and other shapes layered in a frame). Custom décor is also available. B+D works closely with customers to create the perfect keepsake. For those who prefer to personalize items on their own, kits include all the supplies needed to create a handmade gift.
B+D Custom Crafts is more than a retail venture. The women are particularly passionate about collaborating with other women-owned small businesses. Brittany shares her joy for crafting and elevating other creatives through a number of workshops and events. Crafters of all ages and abilities are invited to join her and guest makers for virtual demonstrations with B+D’s Craft of the Month Club. A different craft is featured each month, and projects include everything from macramé to candle making.
Brittany and Debbie’s partnership is ideal because each woman focuses on what she does best. Brittany thrives in her customer-facing role and working on the creative aspects of the business. Debbie is energized by ensuring the business is running smoothly, sourcing materials and making operations more efficient. They couldn’t be happier they’ve chosen the path to entrepreneurship together.
For more information about Brittany and Debbie’s business, visit BDCustomCrafts.com.
Photo: B+D Custom Crafts
About the author: Chris Olsen is a radio veteran turned communications consultant, educator and author of “Whyography: Building a Brand Fueled by Purpose”. Through her work as a consultant partnering with startups, Chris realized her WHY—to support women-owned businesses in confidently communicating their purpose and impact, setting them up for entrepreneurial success. She created My Founder Story and Publish Her as platforms for doing so.