If you've been in the shop this Spring you've squealed over and sifted through the delicately beautiful floral iPhone cases created by Britt Stillie in her Vancouver studio. Each one is completely unique; using real pressed florals and foliage that Britt grows, gathers, dries and presses herself. After only a few months of pursuing her creative dream full-time, her business is blossoming. And by no surprise, her cases are truly lovely. It doesn't get more one of a kind than what Mother Nature can create.
We asked Britt about how her business came to be what is is today, what inspires her and how she grew to be the flower child that she is.
Picot: Tell us a little about yourself and your business.
What challenges have you overcome that lead you to a deeper understanding or a shift in perspective for you?
Britt: I was born and raised in Vancouver, BC. I am 28 years old and madly in love with all things real and floral. JUST B SMILING is my first baby, she will be a year old this May. I love every bit of joy she brings to my life and the people I get to share her with.
In the last year I’ve learnt a whole lot about myself, and what it takes to run a
business. JUST B SMILING has taught me patience, to take care of my body and
listen to it better. I’ve learnt that everything will still be there tomorrow so when your
mind and your body say it's time to call it a day, do it. Nobody is productive when
you’re half there, recharge is essential.
Picot: What makes you most excited about the evolution of your business?
Britt: The idea that I get to share something that is such a part of me with people near and far makes my heart burst. As my business continues to grow, I continue to spread
floral happiness into the hands of people I’ve never met or known and that’s a
beautiful thing in itself.
Picot: Do you have a mentor?
Britt: I’ve always looked up to my mother, she’s always had an extremely hard work ethic, a calm disposition and nurturing nature. I admire those qualities most, she teaches me how to have balance in both work and life.
Picot: What is it about flowers that connected you to them from such a young age?
Britt: My parents have always been avid gardeners, since I was little girl I can remember
our sprawling garden and the love they put into it. I grew up in a small town,
surrounded by beaches, and lots of open land. I think it makes you appreciate
Mother Nature a whole lot.
Picot: Can you tell us about a specific time in your life when your path had a trajectory, or had a catalyst moment that lead you to where you are now?Britt: I always wanted to be my own boss. I liked the idea of working for myself, for
something I truly loved. I just started to take on JUST B SMILING as a full time gig a
few months ago and I remember thinking one morning -- just do it. Quit your 9-5 and
go get it, it’s right here, in the palm of your hands, put all of yourself into this baby of
yours, let her bloom.
Picot: Has there been a time where you were unsure about your business, or afraid to move forward?
Britt: Oh yes, definitely. I think that’s a thought that crosses my mind almost every day.
You think to yourself, am I doing this okay? Will people like those forever? There’s
so many what if's but if you let the what if's take control you’ll never move forward.
I’ve really tried hard to stay consistently positive and appreciate the situation I’m in,
taking each day as it comes.
Picot: What is a key defining characteristic or choice you have made in developing your business, and why?
Britt: Staying true to myself. It’s so easy to get caught up in what other people are doing
and wondering if you should change something. I fully let my business embody
myself and my goals. I want my customers to see what I’m doing is truly about me
and what I love. The fact that I get to give it to them means more to me than most know.
Picot: What would your advice be to budding creative entrepreneurs?
Britt: Go get it! It amazes me how many talented people are milling about in every
direction, doing things I would never imagine. If you want something and you believe
in it then other people will too, that confidence will shine through.
Picot: Can you share three books with us that have become gospel?
Britt: The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari, Shantaram + my old Psychology textbooks.
Picot: Other than time or money, what would you like more of?
Britt: Getting lost in places I’ve never been with my love.
Picot: If you had to create a phone case that represented your personality, what flowers, colours, and design would you display?
Britt: I really like the intricate pieces I make. I like colours like mustard yellow, deep
orange, forest greens. I think I’d make something that resembles an enchanted
Picot: Can you tell us a few things people generally don’t know about you?
- I absolutely LOVE walking from one end of the city to another in a few hours.
- Vintage is my jam.
- When I’m not making, I love to be cooking in the kitchen.
- I’ve backpacked Europe twice.
- Ocean over lake.
- Malbec is also my jam.
- I’m most happy when I’m spending time with my loved ones.