Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Hey Friends! My name is Brittany and I live in Ottawa, Canada with my husband and our cat Honey Ryder (named after the first James Bond woman). I love red wine, lounging in hammocks, and hugging people I just met. I grew up wanting to be a police officer, but my passion for creativity took me into wedding photography and it was there that I found my love for entrepreneurship. I have an amazing #GirlGang and am lucky to be surrounded by other strong female entrepreneurs in my role as Leader for the Ottawa chapter of the Rising Tide Society. I launched Moving Mountains in March 2017 and am excited to be celebrating our one-year anniversary soon.
What exactly is Moving Mountains?
Moving Mountains is a collection of inspirational jewelry and gifts for women. All of our pieces incorporate messages of empowerment, hope and inspiration that are thoughtfully curated to fire up your heart and ignite your soul. We want them to act as daily reminders that you are strong, powerful, brave, passionate, and full of purpose.
We believe that our choices have an impact on others and the world. That is why we chose to donate $5 from every piece sold to organizations that are working to improve the lives of women and girls. We launched in March 2017 and buy the end of the year we had been able to donate $1475 to incredible organizations supporting women.
What inspired you to start Moving Mountains?
To be honest, Moving Mountains was created from a place of sadness for me. I lost my Dad about 2.5 years ago really unexpectedly and it made me realize how short but significant our lives can be. He was an incredible man, raised 3 strong daughters, and taught us that we could do and be anything. When he passed, I finally understood how important it is to live out our dreams while we can, and to leave the world a better place after we’re gone. We are given this amazing life and I realized that I wanted to do something beautiful with mine.
In honour of my father, I was inspired to create something that could celebrate and encourage individual women, while also creating awareness for organizations doing work to lift up women and girls around the world. It is about choosing to make a difference – in your own life and in others.
How did you come up with the name?
My dad loved Dr. Seuss and read my sisters and I so many of his books growing up. We joke that it is a miracle that the three of us don’t all speak in riddles!
The name Moving Mountains comes from one my favorite Dr. Seuss books Oh the Places You’ll Go. The last two pages of the book read:
And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and ¾ percent guaranteed.)
KID YOU’LL MOVE MOUNTAINS!
be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray
or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O’Shea,
you’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So… get on your way!
What is your favorite part about running Moving Mountains?
I am so grateful to have women share their stories me with all the time through Moving Mountains. A lot of our pieces are purchased as gifts for other women and I get to include hand written notes on behalf of the sender. I hear stories of women who have overcome challenging times, who have given so much to others, or who are amazing inspirations. I am honoured that I get to play a small role in celebrating these great women and bringing joy to the women who send and receive our pieces. Being a witness to friendship, compassion and love is such great gift.
What is your least favorite part about running Moving Mountains?
Marketing is difficult for me – I have to try to re-frame my beliefs about actively “selling” and instead try to see it as sharing the Moving Mountains story. Product sales are new to me and it has been a steep learning curve over the last 10 months. Navigating social media, algorithm changes, facebook ads, and email campaigns have left me feeling defeated at one point or another.
Where are your products sold?
All of our pieces are available in our online shop www.wearemovingmountains.com. I am also hoping to do a few more in-person markets this year in Ottawa – it is really fun to get to chat with people face-to-face and share about Moving Mountains.
You give back with every purchase, can you tell us about that?
For every piece sold we donate $5 to organizations supporting women and girls. Every few months we highlight a new organization, share how people can get involved and direct our donations to them. So far we have given to Plan International’s Because I am a Girl Campaign, the Canadian Women’s Foundation, and Voice Found. We also love receiving recommendations for organizations that we should support – so feel free to send some our way!
We also currently off a limited set of gemstone earrings as part of our Any Woman Can Collection. We partnered with jewellery designer, Sarah Walsh, to create these pieces and we donate 100% of the profits to our selected charity!
How do you spread the word about your company?
I have recently started doing Facebook ads and narrowing down our target market as much as possible. I am in the process of adding some new products and I am hoping they will allow for some more partnerships with social media influencers. I have also been focusing on growing my email list over the last few months. With all of the changes to social media algorithms, we now know that we don’t have control over how our audiences view our content. I realize now how important collecting email address is for growing a business and making use of email-marketing campaigns.
Do you have any advice for fellow entrepreneurs?
Don’t limit yourself based on the labels that other people assign you. Growing up I was always told that I wasn’t artistic or creative. Everyone told me that I was a left-brained thinker and I even said it about myself. It took me a long time to overcome that belief and start to immerse myself in the world of creativity. If I had just accepted that label I would have never fallen in love with photography and begin designing jewellery for Moving Mountains. Just because I drew ugly stick figures didn’t mean that I lacked creativity or couldn’t be imaginative or artistic in other ways.
These labels can come from people who care about us, but that doesn’t mean that they are correct. They could be things like ‘you are not a good writer’ or ‘you are the leadership type’ or ‘numbers are not your strength’. Don’t sell yourself short and let what others say hold you back from doing anything! You were made to do great things!
Do you have a favorite quote or go to saying? 🙂
I have so many favourite quotes, but I would rather share my favourite poem by Langston Hughes called Dreams:
Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.
Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.