Satin & Snow - Brittany
Brittany Frid is the CEO of Satin & Snow, an award-winning wedding planning and floral boutique in Ottawa, Canada. She enjoys - and often needs - her favourite Oban 14 on the rocks or a Manhattan with walnut bitters in a rocks glass.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
Oh boy. If you couldn’t gather it from this interview... I’m direct (aka blunt), creative, very business-minded though, and driven. I’ve moved 30 times all over North America with my family and then here within Ottawa. I told myself I’d get a boutique for my 30th birthday but did it two years early instead (I’m 29 now and have had it for a year). I’m known to collect stories: all true stories from my life that are ridiculous and wildly entertaining. You can’t escape a conversation with me in less than 3 hours (try me). Ermmm, food is life? Did I mention that already?
What passion drove you to your business?
I saw a hole in a market I knew nothing about, but I saw it clear as day. Ottawa’s wedding scene was stuck in the 90’s still. Crinkle linens, uplights and bling were so popular and I wanted to help my friend do something more contemporary and chill. I started featuring weddings from outside of Ottawa that captured this new style on a blog I created back in 2012, and by 2014 we had won all sorts of Canadian blogger awards and decided to launch design and planning services to produce the kinds of weddings we were featuring. It took off like a bat out of hell!
What is your favourite part of your work?
I love running the business. The banking, corporate stuff, team building, contract reviews, and above all else, the strategy. Along with that, I’ve built a career from scratch and I get to play with fun ideas and create beautiful days all the time. It’s the best.
What does Ottawa bring to your business?
Ottawa’s culture has evolved a lot in the last five years. I get one type of person that walks in my door every time: they’re good natured, ambitious, and sophisticated but completely unpretentious. They’re foodies. They like their Lumineers and Alabama Shakes with a side of Biggie. They want a beautiful event but nothing over the top or stuffy, and they’ll pay for quality. I think we’re only going to see more and more of this type of couple now that our food scene is getting stronger by the minute and local is king.
What keeps you up at night?
I’m up all night, every night. I’m an 11am - 4am girl, always have been. I spend almost all of that time working. I problem solve and strategize at night. Big ideas hit me and I work through solutions and map out my moves... I think anyone who knows me would say I’m incredibly tenacious and seem to move forward with huge ideas at lightening speed and somehow it doesn’t come off as half-assed haha. It’s because I don’t sleep!
Flowers, Dresses or Cocktails – what makes the more memorable day?
Flowers and a stiff cocktail. The flowers need to be wild and a little exotic and the cocktails need to be classic and clean. I could skip dresses completely and be happy. The brides that excite me the most are the ones in completely non-traditional gowns and put their girls in jumpsuits. So chic.
Groomzilla count to date?
Only two! I’m incredibly lucky: all of my couples since the very beginning have been kind-hearted, understanding and most importantly, they trust me completely. That makes all the difference. Those two tried to be control freaks and expected my team to work like we were “the help.” I’m sorry, that’s really not how we operate. I literally invite them into my home for meetings, we become great friends, and 9 of my brides have even come back to work for me after we finish their wedding because we become so close. We just don’t foster that kind of environment.
What celebrity wedding would you most want to work on and plan?
Celebrities aren’t quite my style; but maybe a top chef... Anthony Bourdain would have such a dark, twisted and impossibly cool wedding that I’d love to see that come to life. Food is my one true love so that would tie together both my worlds! Maybe Jennifer Lawrence because we’d be drunk and laughing the whole time together (which is essentially how we plan all our weddings, our brides are awesome).
What was the most unique wedding you have been part of?
My cake topper last year was one where my couple essentially gave me carte blanche with the design and budget. I was careful, but I also knew them well enough to know what would be valuable to them, what the experience should be, and what they could skip. We incorporated so many fun elements of their lives, like their cottage, doodles they draw for each other, her obsession with cotton and pussywillows (which I had to steal because they were out of season, sshhh) and sheepskins, wild garden-style flowers, Japanese maple leaves... oh my gosh, the whole wedding had SO much very deliberate detail and yet it was so mellow and relaxing like you had 250 of your favourite people at your cottage for a really nice dinner... I usually have one wedding a year that blows my mind and I love so much and get so emotionally invested in, but this was definitely the career kicker. My team worked insanely hard to pull it all off, I couldn’t have been more proud. And! 3 of my previous couples were actually attending as guests, one was my very first couple ever (before I even started my company!) and the other was my first after I launched my company. It came full circle.
Favourite place for coffee or tea?
Best coffee in the city is at Madeleine et Macaron, right by my shop on Wellington West! I’m more of a scotch fan though...
Favourite neighbourhood in Ottawa?
Wellington West, baby. I’m not from Ottawa, I moved here 15 years ago. I’ve had 8 homes since I moved here and they all seem to be around this neighbourhood. I love it so very much. It’s hip, it’s casual, it’s beautiful, and you don’t have to pay for parking like in the Glebe.
Favourite restaurant in town?
You’re asking the walking restaurant guide... Mati is my current favourite, but ask me again in a week and I’ll have a new one. I do end up at Fratelli Westboro most frequently though. I get the fettuccine silla, but they have the best margarita pizza ever, and I’m extremely picky with pizza.
What is the best way to spend a day off work?
Wait, I get days off work? Major sleep in until 3pm, go out for dinner somewhere wonderful and hip by 7pm, after drinks at another hip restaurant usually until last call.
Are you currently working on any new exciting projects?
Actually, there is! I just launched a new club in Ottawa called Women + Whiskey: a club to get like-minded women together bonding and building genuine connections at a time when it’s awfully hard to do. We not only do big monthly dinners, but we have 2-3 other events every month at different times so the ladies can “choose their own adventure.” In one week after launching, we already have 50 brilliant Whiskey Women in the club. Drinking isn’t required, no age limits, you just can’t be a dude (unless you identify as a woman, in which case you’re in!). No networking. No pretence. No alter opt motives other than to have a group of women you can regularly hang out with and travel with who all like the same things. It’s going to be kick ass!