Who are you? & can you tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Brittany Sherman and I co-lead a non-profit with my husband Mark called Mosaic International Ministries where I run a boutique called Mosaic Collective. We have two beautiful and independent girls Zoey (5) and Grace (3). My family and I live in Colorado Springs, CO after living in Tanzania for 3 years working for a non-profit doing community development. My passions are to see others empowered and living a life of hope + dignity + purpose.
What exactly is Mosaic Collective?
Mosaic Collective is an artisan boutique partnering with social enterprises and organizations around the globe to empower makers to have dignity + livable wages in their jobs. We currently carry beautifully handmade products from 7 different groups in 7 different countries. We desire to see the humanity back into our products in the U.S. and to connect the consumers to the makers.
What inspired you to start Mosaic Collective?
12 years ago in college I learned about the dark side of our consumerism, the sweatshops, and how slavery or nearly slavery drives our purchases and lifestyles. Fast forward 10 years, while living in Tanzania I had my Berks stolen so I went to a local business to buy some new sandals and discovered BEAUTIFUL products in a business with smiling faces and singing while babies napped. This was what I have always desired to see a workshop look like. So the light bulb sparked and I began seeking out other local businesses in Tanzania and expanded to other countries once I came back to California (where I’m originally from).
How did you come up with the name?
My husband has always been drawn to the name Mosaic because its meaning represents diversity coming together to create something beautiful. We decided to name our non-profit after this because we believe that empowerment comes from working together. So the name Mosaic Collective was birthed out of this concept, seeing artisans around the globe + the consumers as creating a collectively beautiful MOSAIC!
You help artisans overcome poverty, can you tell us about that?
While we do feel that there are seasons and circumstances that require aid to help people rise above poverty, we believe that #businessisbetter. Supporting small businesses around the world leads to sustainability rather than dependency.
Is there a favorite product?
ALL OF THEM! I love them all and choose my products based mostly on my style. Honestly, I curate a certain look in my shop and try to keep things “on trend” to not only sell beautiful products, but also to teach people that supporting artisans doesn’t have to be a pity purchase for little trinkets, but that quality + beautiful products can be purchased ethically.
What is your favorite part about running Mosaic Collective?
EVERYTHING! I love all that I do through Moaic Collective and find that I feel empowered as well through it. I have no experience with business nor did I study this subject in college. I studied Sociology, but find that it is a great combination to run an ethical business. It is a perfect combination of my passion of empowerment + educating others on conscious consumerism. Plus I love that I can work from home while caring for my littles.
What is your least favorite part about running Mosaic Collective?
My least favorite part is wearing all the hats and am trying to find a way to offload some of the tasks that hold me back. I DON’T love accounting and would love to pass that off, but running a small business means little money for a season. Eventually I hope to grow large enough to hire employees.
I utilize social media platforms like Instagram + Facebook, with the latter being my strongest customer base. I also use newsletters as a way to inform people about online sales and have a boutique space in downtown Colorado Springs, while traveling to different markets to be a vendor to sell at.
Do you have any advice for fellow entrepreneurs?
My biggest piece of advice is to not let fear hold you back. If you have a passion, pursue it with all that you have in you. Start small, even if it’s just a side hustle, but don’t let life suck out your time. If you manage it well, give up the nightly netflix watching, and invest into your business, it can grow.
Do you have a favorite quote or go to saying?
Do Justice, Love Mercy, Walk Humbly. ~ Micah 6:8 (a scripture from the Bible)