In today’s episode, we are sitting down with Britty Murawinski, a business owner, creator, mother, and an awesome person overall. Britty talks about breaking free from the usual 9-5, having time with your family, and creating a business that aligns with your goals.
She also talks about what it was like starting a business, the pains of a growing entrepreneur, and a lot more.
Listen to the podcast episode here!
How’s your day going?
It’s going well. I just came from the coffee shop. Nice now I’m here and then I gotta cater. And then I like to save my afternoons for the kids. Busy day. Busy day, all day. I like to be busy.
So like we were just talking about like your, you have a lot going on a little bit. For the people that are watching on YouTube. You’re you said you’re about three weeks out from your third child.
So we’re really cutting it close. I said I’m gonna work until I can’t keep myself distracted.
There you go. So you are the owner of the Little Brew, Play Cafe, Pop Up Picnic Girl which we’ll talk about as well. Excellent. Absolutely. So let’s just take a step back from all that and like, your background, how did you get into being a business owner? Like, tell me like how, what led you into all this?
So I’ve always been kind of a creative type never done well, in a group setting. That doesn’t sound like I, I work well with others. You know, I always have an idea. And I kind of want to execute it. And that’s kind of was a big catalyst for me to not work in a traditional setting. I did go to school for a couple of different things. Music Education, and nursing, never found that I could work with the schedule. I always needed my own flexibility. And I just had like too many stirring ideas and how I could
Did you do worker? Sorry. Did you ever like working in nursing?
I worked in labor and delivery. And, yes, it’s not my thing. Okay. I realized it’s just, it was just too rigid for me. And I like I said, I get an idea. And I want to like run with it. And working full time. A 40-plus hour-a-week job didn’t really give me enough flexibility to do that. Sure. And so my first kind of run around at business was pop-up picnic girl, okay.
And I was looking through Pinterest and things that were trending online. And I noticed that charcuterie was really starting to trend now this was like, almost three and a half years ago. And I told my husband, I said, you know, I could make that cheese board. That’s not that do that. It’s not that crazy of a concept I can put that I can put this together. And he’s like, well then do it. So okay, so he went to work.
And I made a Facebook post on a group in the town that we were currently in with our RV. And within I want to say like seven and a half hours by 10 pm That night, I had sold $10,000 worth of cheese boards, your first post, my first posts went like Berserk in this, like moms group crazy. And I freaked out, you know, I had no pricing structure I had no like, it was not. I thought maybe a couple of moms might reach out like sure I’m having a birthday can you know?
And I called my husband. I was like, I’m freaking out. Like, I don’t know what I’m gonna do where I’m gonna source this food. Like, I don’t have a license like this this is a mess.
I had to scramble and figure it out, which I did. And luckily, he has a good business background, he was able to help me through some things and we have a lot of good business mentors in our life. And I said, Look, I made this post and now I’m in this so we’re making cheese boards. And sure enough, that kind of just snowballed into What is Papa Picnic Girl? And from that point, we’ve been mobile catering.
And we’ve realized that we really need a storefront. And we need a place where it’s a home base, which helps with brand awareness. It helps with you know, when you’re a mobile caterer, you have to rent kitchen space on your own. It can be difficult to work with other caterers and that space, you have to share a fridge, prep rooms, things like that. So We found an opportunity once we got to Florida for a local food hall that’s opening downtown Dunedin. And they said, Hey, we are specifically looking for a shortcut to your company. You know, are you interested? And I said, Sign me up. So the build process, it is it was a brand new construction. So it took a lot longer than we were anticipating. However, we’re finally making like a lot of strides, and we’re really close.
That’s cool. So three, mobile to the storefront.
And what’s the I think what’s interesting about, like, that little part of your story is, most people probably would have been afraid to start or like, put that out there with nothing set in place. But that’s part of what it takes to be successful.
And I’ve, you know, I’ve learned that it takes a lot of risks to be an entrepreneur.
We used to listen to this podcast, my husband and I on our long RV road trips, and it’s called How I Built This. It’s a podcast, where they interview successful business owners. And you would never know these nationwide brand names, you know, and how they got their start. And what they were really doing on the back end and how they failed. And they were in like, 1000s of dollars of debt and all this crazy stuff. And I just remember, like, kind of hearing that replay in my head. And that’s what made me like, make that post.
I was like, What’s the worst that could happen?
I get nothing. Right. Nobody buys it. Nobody buys any cheese. So but they bought cheese. People like charcuterie boards.
That’s pretty cool. So what’s the idea behind the storefront? And like, why is that important to you?
The storefronts in Portland. For one, there are a lot of charcuterie companies popping up. And that’s great. You know, I, I like to not look at other similar business models, there’s so much competition, but other forms of art, other artists, every charcuterie company kind of has their own look on vibe kind of thing like that.
But what would set us apart would be to have a place where you could come in and order a board on the spot versus messaging somebody through their mobile ordering, Instagram, or Facebook.
And there’s a demographic of people, you know, even though we are moving so forward into tech, there’s a group of people that like to just go into a place and order something. And I would love to capture that market. And I would love to have that one-on-one personal experience with customers. And I really think that it’s gonna set us apart.
So the storefront is important to me because it gives us that differentiation from other companies, as well as brand awareness. You know, the more you drive by and see something all the time, you’re more likely to go try it.
And stop in and say hello. So most of these country businesses are mobile or online. Like you don’t have like a physical location.
Correct. I do know of one in the Wesley Chapel area. And they’re doing great. So that’s awesome. You know, but again, I think there’s enough need in this area for another kind of concept. For sure. You know, similar but different. So, that’s pretty cool. So we’ll have a couple of different sizes that you can just walk in, grab and go. We’ll also continue all of our normal catering when we come to your house or your event.
So a long show could be a table. But it would just be nice to you know, say, Hey, I’m having the girl’s number tonight. I’m gonna just go run by charcuterie board. It’s gonna feed everybody. It’s gonna look awesome. I have to think about it. Right.
Simple. That’s pretty cool. So like what goes into it? Like, I’ve seen some of your photos of the massive tables of charcuterie. And like how long I mean, it’s crazy.
We’ve got it down to an hour per 100 people. So we did one yesterday for 100 people in elementary school, it took us an hour we used to take a lot longer. We have obviously staff now which is great.
So I’m not doing it by myself for one and we’ve just kind of gotten it a system down. It’s funny because that first post that we were just talking about somebody had booked a 300-person cheese board within that for you know, the first step post that I made.
And I think it maybe took me like three and a half four hours and I was like I don’t like I had no process I hadn’t like nothing was refined. There was really no business model. But now we’ve gotten to a point where we know you know, we slice the bread we put the bread I mean everything is portioned out is there’s a method to it now.
We are efficient!
So what about the design of it? Like is that already set? Like you order like this design and…
We have you can customize your board. So a lot of people do ask for like I’m having we’ve had a line Thinking birthday. Can you make everything look tropical and things like that?
And we will work with customizations. As far as doing super intricate customizations. It’s just me and one other girl that I’ve found has like a very similar kind of gift, I want to say, you know, she has like the right placement of things, you do have like a standard board standard look that you could just order, you’re gonna have 20 plus people, something like that.
So we’re gonna look the same. But the specialty ones are really fun. We did. For Mozi and Tampa, we did planets made out of cheese.
We did like Swiss cheese moons and prosciutto, Saturns, and cool things like that. So you can customize it. And then it would be as of right now me or one other girl. If you order our standard, and we have, you know, staff equipped to do that handle that. And like the creative side that like that’s what you enjoy, like creating these different boards.
I don’t like the numbers. I don’t like inventory. I don’t like doing any of the stuff that actually makes you succeed or make money. I just want to like play with cheese and make it look pretty. And you know, put the herbs in and like make it look right. But I’ve learned that that’s just as important as that the business part is just as important. That’s for sure. And so I now have people that helped me with those things. Because it’s not my nature.
I like that. I can I can keep going on about that business. But let’s let’s jump into a little group play. And talk about that. And because that’s another unique concept like we’ve talked about before in our area anyway.
But one cell charcuterie they’re there. Together, we’re making the menu. I told my business partner who, you know, was kind of open to any ideas for the menu. I said I have to put it out there. Can we put at least one shag credit report on the menu?
It makes sense. So where did this idea come from? And, why start? When did you start this business? Why start a second one?
That’s a good question. I started in October of 2022. And most people that I knew said it was a horrible idea. And I’d probably be spread too thin. And I probably like crash and burn. And if I’m being totally honest like I had like tearful nights and struggles and like, you know this.
Leading up to the opening right, this is too much. And doubting myself, doubting the idea, things like that, like, Would it work, all those questions that come into starting something new, for sure. But I truly believe that this area needed something like this, I have seen similar concepts and other places that we’ve traveled over the US predominantly on the West Coast, they were really popular, I mean, so popular that you might drive maybe 10 minutes, and you’d see two or three.
And I was predominantly at home still, even though I was running pop-up picnic roll with my kids me and it’s like, where am I? Where can I go? Like I want them to play? I’d like to interact with other people. Other moms, that’s caregivers, whatever. Maybe I could like answer a few emails, do things like that kind of, you know, get some work done, but also not feel like I’m just like, totally pushing my kids to ride. You know, I want them to have a pleasant day with me.
And so we moved into a house and our neighbor across the street’s name is Darien, she had kind of in passing mentioned, I really want to open a coffee shop one day and I said Oh, you do because I really want to open a coffee shop.
But it’s not probably the coffee shop. I think, you know, her original business idea was more of a traditional just coffee Hangout, you know, geared towards adults. I said, well hear me out. I said you’re a mom of four kids. You know you might resonate with this, you know, I have to what if there’s a coffee shop that we can take our kids and we can drink coffee we can like to hang out its comfy couches, it doesn’t feel like a stiff play like the bouncing kind of wild. Like the overstimulating environment, kind of calm, there are toys and also has great coffee. Like the screen I would go there.
And she’s like, I would totally do that. And so sure enough within like, I had literally met her maybe couple months I knew her. And then we decided to open place and She’s like, Okay, well, we’ll take our time. And, you know, we’ll go slow. I call her I said, I just drove past this little blue house in Palm Harbor. And it’s so cute. And just reminds me of like a playhouse. And she’s like, okay, like, I’m listening, like,
Just meet me here. And I called the realtor and we, you know, looked through, and I said, you know, it has to be ours, it’s just, like, has a cool feel. Because we had looked at plazas and just kind of colder tissue buildings, I felt like would need a lot of work to really charm it up, has no case had all of that, like Dalton. And it was an acute location.
And we both live about a mile from the shop. And so I said, Look, we just got to jump on this because there are obviously other parties interested. I said, let’s just get on it right now. And take the risk, and we opened up 45 days later. Sounds crazy.
So is that? Was it scary? Like, I mean, alright, so there’s, there’s a lot to be nervous about, and, you know, doubtful about, right, like a new concept. You’re going into business with somebody you barely even know. You’re getting a lease on a location. Right?
And no proof of concept. Both have a good chunk of our savings, you know, sweating, just like thinking about all that.
But I’ve always found that. I mean, it’s just a mentality. I’ve kind of always grown up, my family ran businesses, and they always drilled into me and my siblings that you’ll always regret, like these choices they didn’t try to do and go for it.
In the worst cases, it does. It fails, and you close, and you figure it out, and you get back up and you keep working. And so nine, I know, that’s a lot a hard concept for a lot of people to come to terms with. But
Why do you think that is? Like, why do you think it’s, you know, is it? why?
I think it’s, I think it’s scary to put your, like what feeds you, you know, I mean, if I’m talking from a monetary standpoint, it’s scary if you have kids, I mean, it was a strain on our marriage.
You know, it’s a streaming thing to say, look, I’m taking all this money that we’ve ideally set aside for an emergency or our kids, something happens to one of our kids or, you know, I’m going to use it for this idea that may or may not work. It’s just, it’s scary.
And I have some sort of nest egg or financial security something to fall back on. It’s nerve-racking. You know, it makes everything feel unstable.
So do you think because you grew up in that environment like that, that lends you to like, being able to?
I think so I was, I was raised with the idea that you can always come back from something. It might take a lot of really hard work. And you might have some really low lows. But ultimately, if you work hard, you can get yourself out of a problem that you at least you tried.
You should try. I don’t want to be, you know, I don’t want to be retired and my kids are all grown. I say, I really just wish I would have tried that. So hard. You know,
I’ve heard that before. It’s like, I think, you know, the, whether it’s like a video clip, or from a book or something, you know, it’s like one of the biggest regrets people have that are lying on their deathbed. You know, it’s like, I wish I, you know, would have spent more time with family or I wish I would have taken this opportunity. And that’s what I tried this and that sort of stuff.
it’s not to say that you don’t have doubt, like I said, I mean, we had some we still have, you know, ups and downs. And it’s God was this. Why did I do this? You know, like, I gotta figure out another problem. But ultimately, I do think, it all works together for the good.
I think that’s one of the things I one of the reasons why I kind of sort of the podcast, too, is, you know, I grew up not in a household that had business owners or anything like that. It was more just like, you know, go to college, work your nine to five. And for whatever reason, I read a book, Rich Dad, Poor Dad, and that, like flipped my mindset around and wanted to explore real estate or explore being a business owner. So growing up, I always wanted to be a business owner. I never knew what it was.
But I always did that.And I always thought that business owners had like, some special gift or whatever it was, right? And then like, starting in real estate, starting this podcast, and you know, just like what you’ve gone through, like, we’re all the same, like we all have our doubts and struggles. There’s just the business owner who just took that risk and did it.
It’s I think a lot of people will say like, how did you How do you manage multiple businesses in your family? You know, it’s a daily thing, I think I don’t have a plan, so to speak. I mean, I try, but you just believe that it’s gonna work out and you work really hard.
And you work a lot of hours and you sometimes don’t sleep great. And you know, but you know, you work towards your goal and not and you don’t give up. I think that’s huge, right? The huge key is not giving up for sure.
So how do you like how do you define work-life balance? And like, how do you manage that for yourself?
I feel very lucky because my husband also works from home and works for himself. Which, if he didn’t, I’m not sure you know, how we would balance it as well. Because we do take a good, it’s basically 5050, as far as you know, or 100 100, as the people say, Sure.
You know, he does just as much as I do, as far as the kids and, you know, he, we just pick up where the other person can. And we try and be as respectful as possible, of the other person’s schedule, their needs, and having things organized and written out can really help that. Just being on top of like, this is what I need this week from you.
Vice versa, like what do you need from me in communication?
Where can we pick it up? You know, what can I help you with? versus you know, just like, look, this is where this is what I’m doing, you figure out your side, you know, just really teamwork teaches.
And there are days I feel guilty. And, you know, like, my, my son this morning, he was hysterical going to school. I’m not sure what it was. He was just having a day. And if I didn’t work, I probably would have just, like, let’s just have a day, man.
You know, and there are moments that I wish I could do that, right? But ultimately, I know that, you know, this afternoon, we’ll come back together, we’ll talk about whatever happened this morning, why he was so upset, and he just, there are little sacrifices you have to make. But I feel like when we are with our kids, and when we are as a family, we give it our all, you know, really make that important. And every night, you know, we’re, we’re gonna have dinner together. We’re gonna do this together. And you just make that effort. Otherwise, things can get. It can snowball into like, you’re just all over the place. Everybody has needs, you know, it’s like,
For sure. Manager. I think it’s different for everybody. Right. But I think you hit on the head, like just communicating. You know that’s, that’s probably the most important thing, and having a plan to
It’s key. You got to talk about every little detail. No. It’s simple as like, Look, I need some downtime tonight. Like, can you do this? Can you do this house household tasks? Or whatever it is? And it can be the smallest thing like, can you just unload the dishwasher? You know, I know that usually, like I do that on Wednesday, or whatever it is. But tonight I need like a mental Yes. Or something. I need a break. And so we just help each other out. And that’s for me, in my personal experience, given me a lot of ground to stand on. You know, so I’m very appreciative of a partner who supports me and vice versa.
That’s pretty cool. So let’s talk about the Dunedin collective a little bit. And your, I guess, third business? How did you get involved in that? And like, what’s the, what’s your goals there?
So the Dunedin collective is run by me, and then my friend, Ryan. And we kind of stumbled upon it. Honestly, we were doing a photoshoot for Papa’s picnic girl. And our photographer had mentioned how the previous owner of the tanning collective was looking to get out of it. And they still had, you know, dreams for it, but it just wasn’t working out. And we kind of realized that our dreams kind of aligned with it. I had small businesses and I felt like it could support and kind of help my small business as well.
Because the goal, the original goal of the Judean collective, was to promote small businesses and support them. And I said, Well, as a small business owner, like this could kind of have like a triangle effect with all of my businesses, that you’re helping each other out and promote events and things like that, that are happening. So Ryan, and I bought it. And we kind of stuck with the original goal and values that were, you know, given to us. Upon purchasing.
We ran a couple of successful events and really enjoyed doing it. And then we kind of realized maybe we could branch off just a little. And you know, the name itself kind of felt like it was constricting us a little and just being the demeaning collective, only because there’s so much to offer in the whole area that’s not specific to Dunedin. So we’ve been working on a kind of like rebranding, restructuring, and not just supporting Dunedin and not just supporting super small businesses, but just the local scene in general.
You know, there are local businesses that would be at this point, probably consider not necessarily a small business, you know, maybe not be something that works out their home but they’re still an integral part of the community and they’re still there. A part of you knows who we are here to live in, like the temperature. So we just kind of like broaden that horizon so that we’re not so kind of neat. And only you know, it just seemed like the natural progression. We were meeting so many people.
And there are so many other places. And there are people now that are, you know, opening up, they have Sambazon here, but they also like, do things in Tampa. And well, there are plenty of things that we could promote and work within just the area as a whole. So that’s kind of what we’re working on right now. It’s kind of just restructuring slightly concept is still the same, you know, supporting each other local events. Kind of giving people the lowdown on what you should do around town, things like that.
And that’s kind of just a, it’s, it’s a fun part of, you know, the business like out of the three, I think it’s more like a hobby like we love to be out and about like we both like to be social. There’s a lot of like, local events that we would go to anyway. So it’s like, why don’t we make it our own? So it’s been like a fun project. I try not to make it too serious. I need like, one project that, you know, it’s, there’s more fun to i
So what do you have, like, out of those three? Like, what’s next? Like, do you have other ideas?
Like, but I try not to like, think about them. I want all these. And I’m like, I, I’m like, maybe I’m growing up or something. But I’ve learned as I should, I’m gonna, like, perfect what I’ve got. Right? Versus giving everything a little.
That’s how I was gonna ask. It’s like, at what point do you write? Do you say like, Okay, I’m gonna put all my effort into the cafe or the pop-up picnic?
Luckily, the little brew has, you know, I have a great co-owner. And so that really is peace of mind. It gives me a little bit of a break. And we’re like the sole responsibility of public picnic girl lines on me. So that’s kind of helpful. Whatever you want to call it, tool, to keep everything kind of in check.
But I don’t want to. I don’t want to give anything. Just a portion of my time. I want to give everything as best as I can. I like to do something in full. And I’ve learned that I can’t do it all. So though I have like other gyms and I’m always like, well, I could do this, or I could do this. Luckily, not only do I have other voices and people but I have now my own voice. Being like, you’re good. You’re gonna be fine.
That’s funny. All right. So I want to wrap up with this last question. And when you’re not working, any of your businesses when you’re not with your family or guests with your family, but like what is one place you like love going to so it could be like a local park, another local business, and your downtime.
We frequent we are at Honeymoon Island probably three or four times a week. My kids love the beach. They’re really into swimming. We like to kayak cool husband likes to be on the water. He was very like, coming from Oregon. We were always doing outdoor sports. So they’re obviously different sports here. But we were always snowboarding surfing doing something outdoors. So that’s pretty much the bulk of our own kind of hangout time at the beach. It’s funny because when we moved here, I met so many people. Like, I sometimes I go to the beach. I’m like, I’m gonna live here. We’re, we’re gonna go to the beach. We go to the beach a lot. And it just I don’t know, I just find it funny.
It’s so true. I think I think I grew up here in Florida. And I think you just take it for granted. But every time I drive by and I like the other day, yesterday morning, I went to the causeway and just sat there like on the way to work for like, 510 minutes. I’m like, This is amazing.
And it’s just good for your soul.
Wow, awesome. Pretty. I appreciate you being on the podcast. I’m so excited to learn more about your stuff. So I will link all of your businesses and social media stuff in the description below.
Absolutely. And we do have a big grand opening on May 21 For a little brew. Okay, now that we’ve been in business for six months, we’re kind of having a big celebration.
Cool. So I think it would be really fun.
Three to five. Live music got food so everything’s complimentary.
CONNECT WITH BRITTY:
- Website: https://littlebrewplaycafe.com/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/littlebrewplaycafe
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/littlebrewplaycafe/
- The Pop Up Picnic Girl FB: https://www.facebook.com/thepopuppicnicgirl
- The Pop Up Picnic Girl IG: https://www.instagram.com/popuppicnicgirl/
CONNECT WITH DONNIE:
- Follow Donnie: @donnie.hathaway
- Follow Palm Harbor Local: @PalmHarborLocal
- For more real estate information – www.thehathaway.group
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