FEMME: Meredith Brockington of Amie
Updated: Aug 7, 2018
It’s my pleasure to introduce Meredith Brockington, the entrepreneurial mastermind behind AMIE (ah-mee), a shop that highlights some of the best women artists in the U.S. Amie’s tagline is “Female, not factory.” Meredith took the leap to run her own business after working as Photo Art Director for L.L.Bean. She graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology where she studied Advertising Photography. Obviously, it paid off and I’m so happy she agreed to have a chat with me!
In the most creative way you can think of, describe what you do?
First, thank you for promoting Amie and our mission to empower women artists. The maker movement is invaluable and we are working on shifting the consumer mindset to support Female, not factory-made product and artists alike.
My job as Founder & CEO of Amie is an abstract painting with many, many layers! The best part of it is connecting with the women all over the country, hearing their stories, and being able to share that with our audience through photos of the artists in their studios, videos of the artists making designs by hand, details of their lives. We’re showing a window into what it means to be an artist, women business owner, and creative entrepreneur. I love buying and receiving products and feeling an emotional connection to a design that was made by a person. There’s a strong sense of self in every piece we carry and we want to make sure we put a face to the product so our customers can have a similar experience.
The day to day of an entrepreneur is somewhat glorified. It has a lot of ups and downs and can be isolating. I am very extroverted and thrive in team-working environments. I like collaborating, delegating, and being provided with feedback. These are all aspects that need to be created by me, so it’s a tough balance to create. My mantra is it’s a work in progress.
What is one ritual every day that keeps you stable and grounded?
I need to be outside and feel the sun on my skin even if it’s walking or biking to a coffee shop. I love working out and sweating out toxins. I attend spin classes almost every day and on my off days, I head to the White Mountains to hike or a lake to swim. Coffee, music, prayer, community, travel, time in the outdoors, and wine is my recipe for happiness. If one of those things is off, I feel out of balance and find ways to recreate that middle ground.
What is one thing you would say to your college self if you could go back in time?
Work harder, seek out every opportunity and study abroad! At RIT we had every type of camera equipment at our fingertips. That’s a once in a lifetime opportunity- truly. I wish I had spent more time experimenting and playing with gear to find what I liked and challenged me as a creative. I never partied and took my studies seriously, but I was distracted by relationships and could have poured more into my art. I transferred colleges my junior year and due to the rigor of the program was unable to study abroad in order to graduate “on time.” That was a mistake. I wish more than anything I had lived in another country and immersed myself in another culture. It’s way more difficult to do that as an adult than a student. No regrets, but I would do some things slightly different.
If you have any secret college life hacks, please share?
Hmm, that’s tough. I stacked all of my classes so they were 3 days a week allowing more time and dedication to projects and studying. This is good advice if time management is a strength, otherwise, there’s a lot of time to procrastinate. Lol!
What do you think is the most important trait or decision that has positively influenced where you are now?
It’s cheesy but simple. Follow your heart and go with your gut. Some folks will support you and some won’t understand why you would choose this path and leave a full-time, highly respected job with GOOD benefits to create a startup, but if that’s what you want then go do it. You have to be true to yourself and never give up. Even in moments of adversity I know I made the right decision. Amie is 10 months old and has been the most rewarding and fulfilling creative project. It takes time to grow a business. Be persistent and patient.
If you could describe your personal style in three words, what would they be?
Vintage, sustainable, neutrals.
What led you to decide that you wanted to start your own company?
A sense of complacency. I would drive to work and cry. I struggled to work outside the city I was living in. My creativity felt watered down and redundant. I am the type of person who needs to be constantly challenged and to create new work. I wanted to start a platform that supported artists. After researching artists, I realized that 90% of the list I created were women and couldn’t ignore that. I decided to adjust my business plan to focus on women and never looked back. I changed the name to Amie (ah-mee) French for a female friend. I thought it was important to name the business “friend” to be an inclusive community of friends. If we love one another, we can support and encourage one another.
If one book could be your professional bible, which would you pick?
In the Company of Women by Grace Bonney is my inspiration. My twin sister gave me a copy for Christmas two years ago. I read it front to back three times. The following month I handed in my resignation. ITCOW was the bridge I needed to take steps to start Amie. It gave me confidence and motivation. It helped that it was women-focused, well written and photographed. I have two copies and would suggest any entrepreneur reads it!
What keeps you going through all the hard work it takes to be your own boss?
Coffee. Friendships. Family support. Amie artists. FaceTiming women entrepreneurs and hearing their joys and struggles that are similar to mine and knowing I’m not alone.
When you’re stuck in a rut, what gets you out of it?
In your opinion, what is the best way to handle a failure?
I remind myself that everything happens for a reason and it wasn’t meant to be. Something better is usually around the corner. Then I go eat FRENCH FRIES!!
Finally, if you could go anywhere in the world right now, where would you go?
Bali. After watching Chef’s Table featuring Will Goldfarb, I moved it to the top of my list. I want to go everywhere.
Photo credit to Erin Little + Greta Tucker