Quinnipiac University, B.A., Public Relations
Just one short year ago, Brittany Carinci spent a large chunk of her downtime scanning and scrutinizing pages of fashion blogs with sorority sisters; dreaming of accessorizing her self-proclaimed “girl crushes” in baubles. She decided it was time to realize that dream when, at age 21, she became the co-founder of Armed & Readi, a budget-friendly jewelry line for everyone from college students to great aunts.
Now, one year later, the fashion elite are knocking. The brand has been featured on numerous blogs and recently on InStyle.com. “… Seeing what we’ve achieved, I would tell myself to just go for it,” Brittany says. “You need to put your fears aside to see what could happen for you. Like they always say, ‘The bigger the risk, the bigger the reward.’”
Do more of what makes you happy. This is your life.
How did you discover your current job?
When it came time to meet for Kappa Alpha Theta, my sisters and I would procrastinate the meeting minutes and instead obsess over fashion bloggers. I became so addicted that one day I decided I wanted to be behind the fashions featured on my favorite blogs. So I thought, “What better way to do that than accessorize my Internet girl crushes?”
What responsibilities do you have in your role?
We’re still in the beginning stages of Armed & Readi, so it's a lot of buying, branding, promoting and sales. But in addition to that, it's figuring out what the next step is. A&R started out as tiny house parties and sales with our sorority sisters and now we’ve expanded to an established online site with bigger pop-up shops. It’s been great to see how far A&R has come and that definitely motivates me to continue improving the company. It’s my baby.
What is it about your job that makes you feel it’s the right fit for you?
While at times it can be stressful, it’s the kind of stress that excites me. I love that A&R is a business that was built from nothing by my co-founder and me. Both the branding and merchandise truly capture my personality, and that's why it feels less like work and more like a lifestyle.
What challenges keep you awake at night?
Honestly, it's all of the typical "what's going to happen?" questions. There are endless possibilities when you have your own business. There's always something I could be doing. There are always challenges we could potentially face. How do we handle problems? How can we make our business structure better? How can we be unique? How many colors should we get in our best-selling bauble necklace?
What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?
We wouldn't be where we are today without the support we’ve received. Not only have our friends and family gone out of their way to be avid promoters and customers for our brand, but Kappa Alpha Theta and the Greek community are the foundations we used to create this brand. They’ve been with us since our small beginnings and give us the motive to try and stand out from the overcrowded Internet community of online boutiques. Being able to share our success with them and give back, whether it be through an adorable necklace or philanthropy proceeds, makes the consistent emails, late nights and omnipresent stress totally worth it.
Is work/life balance ever a problem with you? If so, what is one no-fail tactic you use to create balance?
Work/life balance is definitely a problem for me—as I said, it has become somewhat of a lifestyle. It’s our little business and with cell phones and constant emails, there’s always something I could be doing.
But, I do make it a point to give myself a break. Whether that be going out with friends or playing it old school and turning off the technology, I need that little time of clarity before I go back to that busy, bedazzled schedule of mine.
Was there ever a moment in your career where you’ve thought, “I made it!” What was it?
We were actually featured in InStyle's "What To Wear Now" section online. One of the bracelets from our spring collection was displayed on their website and they promoted our product on Facebook, too! To see our brand mentioned by such an established magazine was nothing short of surreal. It highlighted all the potential in our brand, and as a business owner, that’s an incredible feeling!
What are some of the rules you live by?
I'm all about making sure that whatever you do, you enjoy it. If you don't like something, change it. And on that note, do more of what makes you happy. Your life is your life, so you have to have fun and paint those smiling lips with some awesome lipstick.
And my personal favorite? Nothing is ever too insignificant to celebrate with champagne.
What qualities does it take for someone to be successful in your line of work?
I'm going to be cliché, but it takes drive, passion and dedication. Without a strong work ethic and your full attention, it’s hard for a business to thrive. But specifically for the accessories industry, I think it’s vital to always be on top of the new trends and, more importantly, to know what the next big thing will be.
What one piece of advice do you wish you could tell a 21-year-old version of yourself?
I was actually 21 when we launched Armed & Readi. Now, a year later and seeing what we’ve achieved, I would tell myself to just go for it. You need to put your fears aside to see what could happen for you. Like they always say, "The bigger the risk, the bigger the reward."