We had the good fortune of connecting with Britt Margit and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Britt, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
I am someone for whom life can often be about work. I’ve always chosen to follow a career path that I’m passionate about (notably stories and community), so it can be difficult to pull myself away from my screen at the end of the day. And when I began working with Second Star to the Right Books, that balance became more difficult than ever because I was working in the same place that I was supposed to rest, recharge, and nourish myself (AKA home). When the world transitioned to remote work over the past year, I was often asked by friends how I’d managed it for so long. My honest answer? I was doing no better than they were – still feeling like I had to be productive at all times, even while recognizing this was not the case when I worked in an open office. But having those conversations leant necessary perspective, a reminder that we don’t live to work, we work to live. A cliché, perhaps, but a true one. So I began setting alarms on my phone, blocking certain hours in my schedule to get outside or be with my senior pup, making my to-do lists about what I needed, and not just what others needed from me. Designating a space in my apartment for work, setting my phone down, setting app limits, and closing out my work applications at the end of each work day gave me space to breathe. It’s not always perfect. I’ll be the first person to admit that I waited until I was burnt out to start putting necessary boundaries in place. People around me still test them. I still capitulate more often than I should. But I’m learning to put myself first, and in my mind, that’s balance. Because when you listen to your own needs, you’re better equipped to handle those of others too.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I always thought I would end up in the music industry. I dreamed about making my mark as a singer-songsmith from a young age. And I got my shot in my early years of college, or at least I thought I had. But the industry is shady, and that opportunity wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. I didn’t really know how to continue in music after that. I helped start a chapter of #WomxnCrush Music in the Denver area to host showcases and mentor other songstresses, but the organization wasn’t the right fit for me. Through all this, I found myself drawn to stories, so started applying for marketing jobs at libraries and bookstores. That’s how I found Second Star, and over the past two years, I’ve had the great pleasure of immersing myself in the world of children’s books and getting to know a whole new industry. It’s cemented my passion for creating community through stories. I’ve learned that there’s more than one way to be creative. Maybe someday, I’ll find a way to get back to songwriting – being around all these books continues to nurture that spark and occasionally fans the flame – but for right now, being behind the scenes and lifting up voices so that someone else can feel seen is where I need to be.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
No one is visiting me without a stop by Tokyo Premium Bakery. I have never tasted such deliciously perfect pastries, and their staff is made up of some of the kindest people. Rest assured, you’ll usually find one of the staff from Second Star popping in for a snack there daily. I also love Denver Botanic Gardens – This was the place that made me fall in love with this city. It’s so incredibly peaceful, and one of my favorite places to write, or just sit and listen to the birds. And if you’re in the neighborhood, I can never pass up a chance to dig into misr wat, spicy sweet potatoes, and cabbage with fresh injera at The Ethiopian Restaurant. All the better if that friend has yet to experience this cuisine. I love strolling through LoDo, starting from Larimer Square, with a roll of 35mm for old architectural photos. In college, I used to pop across Speer to grab a coffee just to soak up the feel of this area, even prettier at night. Mostly, Denver is a city to be experienced outside. If you can find parks, trails, or other places of interest to walk, do it.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’m lucky to work with a pretty incredible team of story-lovers, especially Lauren Silva and Ava Tusek (my virtual event partners-in-crime). These ladies are always in my corner to lift me up and remind me to take a break when necessary, and I can only hope I return the favor as much as I can.
Instagram: secondstartotherightbooks | brittmargit03
Twitter: secondstarbooks | brittmargit03
Facebook: secondstarbooks | brittmargitmusikk
Wild and Found Photography.