We had the good fortune of connecting with Bre Patterson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Bre, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I always felt that I was supposed to run my own company one day. From my first career and on, I would evaluate my bosses and write the best or worst leadership qualities they had. This helped me define how I wanted to lead. I was scared to start my own business, but it felt that all my opportunities were lining up. The founder of the company I was formerly at called me after hours to encourage me to move forward with entrepreneurship. He offered his guidance as a mentor and helped me get in the mindset of a successful business owner. I weighed the pros and cons, I skipped making a business plan and just hit the ground running. I knew I needed a monetary cushion in case I failed so I saved enough for a half years salary by freelancing and learning all the different types of marketing.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I started my own blog and Instagram, Bites with Bre, that really helped my career take off. As I was featuring businesses, they were reaching out to me to ask how they can be as successful as me. I didn’t think there was much too it and I felt shy about the success they saw in me but I eventually embraced it. I had 5 social media clients right from the start. I wasn’t even an establish business yet and was playing things by ear. I was staying up late at night, waking up in my sleep to finish thought processes, and doing as much business development I could to make my soon-to-be business legit. From a passion to a business, the work was easy for clients but figuring out taxes, contracts, payroll, and all the administrative side was hard. The one lesson I learned along the way is that you need an accountant who understands the local rules and regulations. If you don’t have one, you need one before tax season starts and don’t use them for just taxes. Have monthly or quarterly check ins. Strangely, I feel more accountable to my business when someone is looking at my profit and losses. I also learned to always pay for services. Several people will offer a trade but at some point, one person will not feel valued. My dad always taught me to treat every customer and employee as if they are your top priority. I always saw the way his clients appreciated his work and willingness to solve issues and I admired that. I implement this in my business and expect the same from businesses that hire me. I will know in the first few weeks of working together if the work will flow well. If it doesn’t, then it’s still early enough to back out of the partnership and there is nothing wrong with saying no to a deal.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
As a foodie and cyclist, I would love to share Denver with everyone. The bike trails lead to every restaurant north, south, east, and west. I love biking to Golden for a wine slushy at Barrels & Bottles Brewery followed by the hill climb up Lookout Mountain (also the spot where Neil proposed to me). At the top of Lookout by Buffalo Bills grave is a gift shop with delicious fudge. If I was staying in Denver, I’d start in the Highlands at El Five for tapas and ride past some of the iconic spots such as the Mile High Step at the State Capitol, the murals in Five Points, the blue bear at the convention center, a loop around Cheesman park and more. A progressive meal would be my choice for Denver where we get one item to share at each restaurant or bar and carry on to the next place. I also love a good picnic at Denver Botanic Gardens or cocktails on the rooftop of the MCA. Denver has some of the best open spaces to get lost in nature or meet up with friends.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I wouldn’t have had the grit to push through the hard days without the kind and encouraging words of Matt Matros, founder of Protein Bar, when I was leaving my corporate job. I also kept my sh*t together because of my spouse, Neil Phippen. He would calm me down, walk me through business decisions, and will always support every move I make. He may play devils advocate but it helps me to look at each situation with a different lens. He is my biggest fan.
Rebecca Durigan (photographer for all photos)