Today we’d like to introduce you to Nina Brito.
Hi Nina, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstories.
I’ve always had a dream of owning my own shop. A little bit of me reflected in products for others to purchase and smile about.
I may have waited longer than I should have to take the plunge, but I finally have chipped away at that dream.
The foundation has been laid. I started my entrepreneurship early on by making jewelry and selling it, running craft shows, and managing both retail stores (early in life) and wholesale brands (the past ten years).
All of my experience has given me the confidence to give it my best shot with Thunder Moon Collective.
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
All small business comes with a ton of hard work and dedication, but if you’re passionate about what you do, it comes naturally and is worth every minute of time put in.
It’s also fun along the way!! But I would say one of my largest challenges was when I started my own shop back in California where I was born and raised. I had a modest, but promising start, and then I fell in love with someone who lived in Tennessee.
It was such a hard thing to close my shop earlier than expected and even harder to get the courage to start over here in Nashville. It took three years, but I found my opportunity.
Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
Thunder Moon Collective is a thoughtful shop. One that is so innately reflective of me and my personal aesthetic and values. I feel like to know my store is to know me. The biggest compliment is when customers immediately feel at home and comfortable when they walk in the door.
We have gifts that appeal to a wide audience but definitely never stray from what we feel is the most important – stories, people, and passion. You will always find products made with natural ingredients, handmade functional art, or fairly traded goods celebrating heritage art forms from many other countries. All of this is part of our DNA, but I would say my biggest sense of pride is in the community we are creating.
I felt like there was a lack of spaces that encouraged meeting new people, learning something, or just hanging out and feeling like a part of something. We have workshops and events weekly where all are welcome. I invite my customers to come back and just chat with me.
I love how quickly we are growing our Thunder Moon Collective family.
Do you have any advice for those just starting out?
My advice – trust your gut and take advantage of opportunities. Find a way to make it work.
Ask for help, gather your resources and give it you’re all. I wouldn’t have a store at all if I didn’t jump on an opportunity I was so fortunate to get back in Santa Barbara where I am from. It’s so important to get out of your comfort zone often.
That is where the magic happens.