When it comes to amazing female-run Austin businesses, Brigitte Pentecost runs one of my favorites! STILL&SEA is a delightful Austin swimwear boutique located practically around the corner from my studio. Seriously y'all....CUTEST SUITS EVERRRR! She, of course, carries other awesome beachy items like cover-ups and flash tattoos so you should most definitely stop in and check out everything.
I am excited to bring you Brigitte's portraits as part of my Austin Boss Chicks Portrait Project. She's a natural beauty and it was an absolute pleasure to have her in front of my lens.
Q:What do you do? What’s your business?
A: I own STILL&SEA, a women’s swimwear boutique located on South Lamar.
Q: Why is being in charge of your own success so important to you?
A: Being in control of the direction my life takes, and the autonomy that presents, is one of the most incredible and empowering feelings I’ve felt…like ever. It’s really important to be aware of the fact that you’ve got the ability to bring into fruition and physically manifest the potential within you. I don’t necessarily look at my business and the community I’ve built and say, “Hey, I did this. I made this!” every day, but when I hear other people point it out to me, it does inspire some serious awe for what I’ve been able to create—and that appreciation of the significance you’ve established for both yourself and for others is one of the most valuable feelings you can experience.
Q: Have you ever experienced gender discrimination? How has that affected you?
A: When I first started the business, I took advantage of a lot of free small business development resources. I will *always* remember this one meeting I sat down to with two, older male advisers. Mind you, I can’t say with 100% certainty that the residual feeling from this meeting was due entirely to gender discrimination, but I think because the nature of the product that I work with was so foreign to these guys, added to the fact that I was a 26 when this happened, contributed to the general disposition of these men to doubt and lightly patronize me. I exited that meeting feeling completely defeated, bewildered, and almost mad at myself for starting something that seemed so much bigger than me. It was one of the first experiences I had where I doubted what I was doing (that’s actually going to happen a lot when you run your own business, and my fellow boss chicks can attest to that), but I think it was a really integral and necessary, one because it forced me to self-motivate. You have to learn to keep moving, to cast that doubt aside, and to rely on, and trust in, your own aptitude—and that goes for everyone, not just business owners.
Q: What advice would you give to those women looking to take charge of their own success?
A: Believe in yourself. Allow yourself and your brand to stay true to who you are. Make friends in your industry (they’re seriously invaluable). Approach everything with a kind heart and poise.
Q: Where do you want to be in 5 years?
A: I would love to have a start-up consulting business for other women beginning their own pursuits. Teaching and helping others to forge their own paths is something I’m extremely passionate about, and I don’t think there should really be “secrets” when it comes to success.