Name: Brittny Robins
Job title: Founder and CEO, Flawless by Friday and By Britt
From: King City, Ont.
Currently lives in: Toronto
Education: BA (Hons.) in psychology and marketing, University of Guelph
First job out of school: Event marketing account executive
For Brittny Robins, flawless is a state of mind. The founder of skincare and cosmetics line Flawless by Friday, Robins’ mission is to give her customers the tools to feel confident in their own skin. “I was always all about the idea that you’re already flawless and the whole difference is how you feel about yourself,” she explains, pointing to components of her own beauty regimen, like applying a favourite lip gloss or using a certain shampoo, that give her a confidence boost in facing the world. “[After doing these things] I would walk out the door and look people in the eye when I talked to them instead of looking at the ground. They would make me feel like I could be my true self because I felt good about myself.”
Robins loved doing makeup for her four sisters whey they would attend events, but she never imagined that she could make a career out of her lifelong hobby. It was a conversation with a friend about what she’d be doing in a perfect world that helped her realize that, yes, creating makeup and skincare is a thing you can do for a living. Robins landed a job as a cosmetics executive at a big beauty brand while working as a makeup artist on the weekends but felt the urge to make her own mark on people’s lives. She eventually left her full-time job and moved in with her grandparents so she could focus on launching Flawless by Friday in 2015. She expanded with a cosmetics consultancy and product development agency, By Britt, earlier this year.
Robins is also the force behind Les Essentiels, Hudson’s Bay’s debut in-house skincare and makeup collection. It’s a dream come true for Robins that was years in the making and not without the help of her long-time personal and professional mentor, Bonnie Brooks, the department store’s former CEO. “I basically hunted her down—I needed to meet her,” says Robins. Over the years, she took every opportunity she could to learn from Brooks, who has coached her on everything from how to dress for meetings to how to protect her employees. “We’re very close, but at the same time every conversation turns back to a business conversation and her mentoring me.”
While today Robins is a prime example of a successful entrepreneur, she says that it took time to build up her confidence, especially in the areas that didn’t come naturally to her, such as finances, management and business operations. “Whenever I was in a boardroom meeting with investors, I definitely felt like they were going to see through that I don’t fully understand what I’m supposed to understand,” she says. Overcoming these feelings of imposter syndrome meant finding the confidence to speak up when she didn’t understand something and also learning to say no. “I went from being a yes man to a no man,” she says.