Girl Boss | Brittany Henson of Grain & Dot

Totally inspired by Sophia Amoruso’s book of the same name, Girl Boss is a series focused on fierce, determined women who go with their gut and create their dream businesses in the process.

Girl Boss | Brittany Henson of Grain & Dot

I am a total sucker for funny phrases in pretty type, so it should come as no surprise that I’m a huge fan of Grain & Dot‘s fabulous paper goods. With fun, witty little sayings, quotes from my favorite TV shows, and uplifting hand-lettered messages, Brittany Henson’s work is everything I love: quirky, refreshing, positive, and fun.

Check out how she started her own handmade business, how she balances dogs and chickens and working from home, and where she finds inspiration—as well as a special treat for my readers!

Tell me a little about your business. When did you start it? What inspired you to get it going?

My shop came about through a passion for typography, design, quirky quotes, and making people smile. Grain & Dot was officially “born” in January of 2013, but as BrittanyH Designs, a little Etsy shop that allowed me to keep my creative juices flowing and to keep me from feeling the monotony of my temporary job as a graphic designer at an office supply store in small town Montana. Later that year, after moving to Denver and pouring my heart and soul into freelancing for various studios and companies in the area, so too grew my desire to grow my own business! In July of 2014, BrittanyH Designs received a grown up new name, Grain & Dot, and branding to match.

As a little girl, my joy came from coloring, crafting, and scrapbooking. When it came time to choose my profession, graphic design hit all the marks. I am entirely passionate about what I do and I want to share it with everyone. My goal is to help others adorn their walls with unique art without breaking the bank as well as help others share their feelings through cards, uniquely up front and honest as they are. Grain & Dot is an evolving dream with more prints, decor, and cards added every week. Be sure to check back as my dream and shop continue to grow!

grain & dot | treat yo self print

How do you balance life and running your business?

It’s tricky. But mostly because I love what I do so much that it never ever seems like I am working. Working from home has never had any downsides for me. I make sure to keep my routine, dress as if I were going into a professional studio—a studio with a casual dress code that is—and be in my chair at my desk at a certain time each day. With a husband who works full time in an office, it makes it easy for me to focus during the hours he is gone. The dogs and the chickens (yes, the chickens) do require a wee bit of my attention each day, but its doable. The problem comes when my husband returns home from work and I am still fiddling away “working” which to me is also playing and a hobby. I am still working on learning to say “no” to answering emails, phone calls, etc after certain hours and to giving more of my attention to my little furry and feathered family.

grain & dot | so you two are serious then card

Does being a woman effect your business?

I really don’t think so. It seems like so much of the creative/crafty entrepreneurial community is dominated by women. And each one supports the other and it’s pretty exciting to help one another succeed and be a boss lady, girl boss, lady boss, whichever title you choose.

What inspires you creatively?

I can probably say almost anything. Just as an example in the past couple of weeks I have been inspired by things like snot suckers, butt paste, donuts, and gyros. All of which helped inspire new products. Life inspires me. Being able to sit back and observe the every day, and see that nothing is ordinary and that there is beauty in everything.

grain & dot | snot suckers and butt paste card

Do you have any procrastination techniques that you always fall back on? How do you break out of them?

Instagram has quickly become a means of procrastination for me. But I can’t help it. ALL THE PRETTY PICTURES! I’m a sucker for a well-styled photo and when an entire feed is filled with them, drool. What I have found to help me break out of procrastinating is a walk, or just a little time outside with the “farm.” It gets me away from the pit that is the internet and helps me focus on what’s on my plate and what I need to get done.

Do you have any tips for other ladies who are looking to turn their passion into a business?

If you are doing what you love, let it show. Make it painfully obvious to everyone that you meet that you are passionate about what you are doing and people will be excited with you. People will want to work with you. Network and don’t ever doubt where you can make a new connection or a client. Don’t do too many different things half-way, focus and give whatever it is 100%. And most of all, which I still need to remind myself of on a daily basis, do NOT compare yourself to other people/businesses on the internet. In the words of Ms. Bossypants, Tina Fey “Do your thing, and don’t care if they like it.”

grain & dot giveaway

On top of her interview, Brittany was awesome enough to offer you guys a big fat giveaway! She’s offering one lucky reader a set of three clipboard frames plus three prints: Do your thing, Oh the places you’ll go, and I do what I want. Pretty fabulous, right?!

Enter between now and 11:59 pm EST on 3/24 using the Rafflecopter form below! I’ll announce the winner next Wednesday!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Written by Jennifer Garry
Jen is a freelance writer and girl mom from New York. When she's not knee-deep in glittery crafts and girl talk, you can probably find her sprawled across her couch in the middle of a Netflix marathon with dark chocolate smeared on her face. The struggle is real.