Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Tiffany Miller-OBrien, Owner of Frae Everyday Goods, LLC., located in Billings, MT, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Frae Everyday Goods is a marketplace for shoppers overwhelmed by the process of sourcing and acquiring sustainable products for daily living. Unlike big box stores and major online retailers, Frae offers a simplified shopping experience featuring a curated collection of goods that have a positive social, economic, and environmental impact.
Tell us about yourself
I grew up a fifth-generation ranch kid on our family property just north of Billings, MT. After high school, I studied fashion design in Seattle, WA, where I worked as a freelance costume and apparel designer as well as a stylist and special events coordinator for companies such as Bon Marche, Macy’s, and Nordstrom. In 2009, I returned to my sagebrush roots of Montana, got married, and started a family. I spent the next ten years side hustling graphic design gigs and fashion projects from home in the corner of our family room while juggling carpool, kids' activity schedules, and all things domestic.
During the Covid quarantine in 2020, I made over 1500 face masks and had ALOT of time to think about what I would rather be doing. I can remember going to a big box store and feeling like no one cared who I was or what I was buying and feeling completely disconnected, and that really broke my heart. The concept for Frae Everyday Goods came to me out of a longing to connect. Not only to connect for my own benefit but to connect people to each other through the products they use and the places that those products come from. The word "FRAE" means from, and it is our daily reminder to focus on the origin of things and the journeys they will take.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
So far, I feel like my biggest accomplishment has been taking a vision from storyboards and spreadsheets stuck to the wall into real life, fully functioning brick-and-mortar retail location.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
The pace! There is never a moment to sit back and coast. You constantly have to be evolving and thinking of the next best thing. Learning about the latest algorithms, trends, new products, researching your target market... the list never ends.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Be prepared to ride a roller coaster every single day! One day you're on top of the world screaming how badass you are, and the next day you're under a rock wondering how you'll manage to make it through to tomorrow.
- Entrepreneurship is exactly like parenthood, from the sleepless nights to cleaning up spills to the eventual moments of calm.
- It sounds cliche, but you absolutely have to do something you love. Like really, REALLY LOVE. Not a love like, "Oh, that might be fun." It has to be a "THIS IS MY ABSOLUTE JAM!" type of love.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
At Frae Everyday Goods, our inventory is intentionally curated to pay mindful attention to production methods and overall carbon footprint. We recognize that this process isn't perfect. But are we trying our best to make thoughtful choices? Every. Single. Day. In the words of the great Maya Angelou, "Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better." And that's our goal.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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