Interview with Brandy Cooper
"Life changes and so do we. Life’s about embracing the change, enjoying the times when you’re content and looking forward to the times that you’re not."
At 18 Brandy wasn't really sure what she wanted to do with her career, all she knew was that she had an entrepreneur mindset and the drive to create something. After studying to become a nurse and being inspired by her personal trainer Mother, Brandy created Fitnique, an online personal training site focusing on strength training for women, as a passion project, but she didn't stop there. After discovering that she had a talent for design the concept of Mint
was born to later evolve into what it is today.
Hi, Brandy! What inspired you to take Mint Design Agency from an idea to a full-blown company?
I don't think I decided to take Mint as a full-blown company. I think Mint decided to take Mint as a full-blown company. I was doing it freelance for fun just something that I like to do, it was a way to express my creativity. I was actually working full time as a nurse and before I knew it had become a business. And I actually had a one-year goal just to see where it would take me. And in 2 months, Mint surpassed that one year goal in terms of the number of clients that I wanted to have and a number of people to be working with me or for me. And so I don't feel like I actually make decisions, I think Mint makes the decision.
Have you ever significantly pivoted Mint Design Agency, or have you considered doing so? Would you be open to the idea in future?
Mint has pivoted many times. It started with one business plan and has gone through probably six revisions before it landed on the current one which will probably change a number of times again. I had no intentions of doing anything other than just webdesign possibly just as a freelancer. Now we are a team of graphic designers, SEO specialists, we offer rebranding services, consulting services, web design and development of course. But none of that was even in the cards for me at all I thought it was just going to be me and maybe a few designers eventually and that was what we were going to do and now we're a full digital marketing agency. We are small but we offer all of the services as any other large digital marketing agency. So yes we've definitely pivoted many times and we'll probably pivot a million more times.
What's next for Mint Design Agency, as well as your own career?
I have no idea what is next for Mint and in my career, and that is possibly one of the things that I love most about what I do now. Like I said before has already surpassed the goals that I had set, the hopes that I had set for it. And we have you know become a full-fledged digital marketing agency. And when I thought all I was going to do web design. So I have no idea where it's going to take me. And that is one of the most exciting parts of this business. And I'm open to it wherever we go. New partnerships offering the services. I am open to anything, just whatever comes my way as long as it's working with great people and delivering great services and products to clients. That's that's all I care about.
You are also the founder of another company called Fitnique. What is it about?
Fitnique. So that's kind of funny, that came about in many different ways actually. About seven years after I got my business and marketing degree and I went back to nursing school which was originally my major after high school but I didn't have any idea what I wanted to do at 18. So I ended up getting my BSN. And I've always been interested in fitness and health and the body. I also grew up with a mom who was a personal trainer so I was surrounded by health and fitness. Most of my life. I love strength training and especially strength training for women. I felt like people, especially women, didn't have the right idea about the results that you could get any for like they were going to pull up and get big like I man and so I really wanted to share my experiences and how much weight I lost years ago with strength training. And at the same time kind of in a parallel part of my life, I wanted to build an app ironically, right. I had no idea that I was going to end up with a web development agency at the time. I wanted to build an app so why not build a fitness app. And so then that's kind of how Fitnique was born through wanting to share my knowledge and also building an app I developed a business. And I think that it was really a stepping stone honestly to Mint because I think in the end what it really was about was owning my own business. I just didn't know what my business was going to be. So Fitnique is still around it's just not my focus as my priority. But I do still do some personal training here and there but Mint has kind of taken over over that.
Both of your companies launched in the same year. How did you manage launching two startups in such a short time?
So Fitnique is kind of funny, that came about more as a passion project. I think that deep down I knew that I wanted to be an entrepreneur and wanted to run my own business. But I didn't know what I wanted to do. And I'd been in the fitness industry, kind of in the fitness industry I grew up with the mom who's a personal trainer and then I was a nurse, and you know I knew health and I wanted to build an app. So I built an app for Fitnique. So you know here's this business that just kind of blossomed. But you know it was really a steppingstone to Mint. So although fitness is still around it's it's not what I do full time. Mint is my full-time business. But I somehow manage to create two businesses that were completely unrelated in terms of industry but still kind of tied to each other because I built the Website and I built the app for me. And that's really made me realize how much I love doing design. And so it was kind of just led one led to the other.
Do you see Mint Design Agency the continuation of an existing movement in the web design sector, or is trying to shift the paradigm?
Mint is definitely shifting the paradigm in the web development industry in many ways but mainly who we are and what we produce. Like so many developers out there they don't care what they put out. They just want to produce it and get the paycheck and that's it. We actually take pride in what we do and what we produce. If we quote somebody a price it doesn't matter if it's going to take twice as long to give that customer the product that they deserve. But you know we're comfortable and happy with its quality. It is every product that we put out, every Website that we produce, every logo that goes out the door is a representation of who we are and I don't have anyone in my circle that is anything less than ethical and transparent and takes pride in what they do. Every single person that I work with is amazing and they all have the same work ethic as I do and we produce high quality regardless of how much time it's going to take. We want every single client to be happy and it may sound cliched but it really is true. We work very hard to be sure that our clients are happy with everything that we put out.