1. In your own words – who is Brandi Lynne and what is your ‘mission’ in this current season of your life?
I’m a professional problem-solver — trying to own the fact that I will probably never have a single definitive title. My mission in this current season of my life is to lean into uncertainty and embrace the journey. Timely, as I’ve just made the decision to step away from social media marketing. I’ve always been a career ‘planner,’ aka someone who has always had an ideal endpoint in sight with an outlined direct path and no room for detours. As I’ve gotten older and reflected, I’ve realized that navigating career in this way has led to a lot of negative emotions and stress that stopped me from enjoying the lessons, the growth, or the wins along the way. It’s like walking around with blinders on. I’ve learned that it’s okay to admit to yourself and the people around you if something isn’t working for you anymore. Be unapologetically selfish with that truth.
The Mizu Choker (all photography by Brandi)
2. Can you briefly describe your creative career journey?
I started working in eCommerce with Jenny Bird and was exposed to the ins and outs of running a small business. eCommerce ultimately wasn’t where I felt I was maximizing my creative skillset and luckily I was able to transition into social media and content production. I definitely wore a lot of hats at JB and got involved with anything I could get my hands on to. From product development to creative direction, photography and editing, planning seasonal shoots, graphic design.. you name it. I was excited to get involved and learn! This experience of wearing multiple hats, coupled with the motivation and opportunities given to me by a former manager, really gave me the courage to believe I could start freelancing. I started freelancing and working with small businesses and never really looked back. Most recently I’ve been able to combine my skillset with another industry I’m extremely passionate about: interior design.
3. From your product styling and artistic direction, to your photography work – you have a stunningly distinct point-of-view and roster of talents. What are some of the most enriching aspects about being a multidisciplinary creator?
First off, I really appreciate you saying this! It means the world coming from you. Honestly one of the most enriching aspects is working with small business owners and friends. Hearing their unique perspectives, struggles, and future goals is something I will always cherish. Just knowing that I’m able to offer some sort of help in their growth and leave them feeling confident in their next steps is really what makes me feel good about being flexible across disciplines. It’s really special. The other bonus is that I’m always learning and always growing.
4. Can you share a significant challenge you faced along your path, and how you learned from, or navigated it?
Getting deep here haha! This was a huge learning for me that I didn’t realize while I was going through it.
I once had a really terrible manager who made me feel like I was never good enough. Not the type that just wouldn’t show up for you, but the type that deliberately made me feel small and defeated. I had absolutely no confidence in myself and felt like I wasn’t capable of creative work. I completely gave up on myself solely based on their opinion of me. It took me a really long time to bounce back after that experience. I went to therapy and did a lot of self-work and it wasn’t until I had a really amazing manager that I looked back and was like.. why did I put up with this and why did I allow myself to feel so belittled from another’s opinion of me? I wasted almost 2 years of my life just healing from that experience and building up the confidence to really show up again as my authentic self both personally and professionally. The biggest takeaway for me from that experience is that I’ll never rationalize staying somewhere that I’m not respected or appreciated. No one should. There’s something better out there for you if you just pick yourself up, brush yourself off, and go get it.
5. What key influences currently contribute to your creative POV / style / vision?
Honestly, it’s so hard to pinpoint. I’m a product of everything I see, read, and choose to consume. I try to prioritize research and exploration and seek out new creative perspectives in every industry. I have a strange talent of being able to recall designers, articles, work etc… almost like Sherlock’s mind palace. I’ve leveraged this a lot in my creative career - especially in product development. It’s like an overload of Pinterest boards in my head of everything I love or might need for later. All of the intentional time spent researching or exploring is (put simply) distilled down into my creative work and approach. Subconsciously, and sometimes consciously, everything contributes.
The Mizu Chain
6. When you encounter a ‘creative block’, what or where do you turn to, to revive that spirit?
I lean into it and if I have the time and space to do so, I step away from whatever I’m working on. You can’t force creative work and I’ve learned you absolutely need to give yourself some grace. I’ll try to step away by doing simple things: spending time with my fiancé (who often grounds me and has taught me a lot of lessons), put my phone on DND, have a nap, or if I need to feel like I’m not alone, I love reading the perspectives of other creatives on The Creative Independent: https://thecreativeindependent.com
7. What go-to rituals or activities give you a sense of strength, confidence or empowerment?
I honestly need to get better at having rituals and hobbies that give me these feelings. I’ve never been good at prioritizing hobbies that aren’t rooted in “productivity.” I’ve been trying to get into a better routine of regular exercise for the positive body and mind benefit, but that’s been slow to adopt and I’m okay with that! One ritual that’s a non-negotiable for me is coffee in the morning with my fiancé. It’s a moment in the morning that’s really just for us. It really grounds me and sets the tone for the rest of my day.
8. Any books, podcasts, shows or films that have resonated with you lately?
• Brene Brown’s book ‘Rising Strong’ has gotten me through a lot of moments in my life. I think I’ve highlighted my whole way through it at this point.
• Desus & Mero has been a go-to for the last 3 years. Their perspective on news, politics, and culture is equally hilarious and educational.
• Dear Seekers is always a favourite for me. Sasha has such a way with questions and I can always count on her to dig deep. I’m always so excited to dive into a new episode.