I had the absolute pleasure of meeting Bronwyn several years back through High Hopes in High Heels, the non-profit that I founded.
From the moment she joined, she hit the ground running by always volunteering to help. Soon after that, I was fortunate enough to serve alongside her on the Board of Directors!
As soon as I met Bronwyn, I always loved what a hands-on mommy she is and how involved she is with her children.
She was one of the first moms I met who decided to make a drastic career change once her children were born, and she encouraged me to make the same leap (which I’ll be forever thankful for!!)
Bronwyn decided to leave the corporate event planning industry early in her motherhood journey to start her own business, Pipeline Promotions, which allows her to be with her children as much as possible and volunteer at their schools.
As a side note: she is one of the most thorough and organized people I’ve ever met! You should see her spreadsheets….Impressive!
Learn more about my sweet friend, her company, and how she does it all below!
Bronwyn, tell me a bit about yourself and your family, please.
Hi! Thanks for taking the time to hear about me and my business! I’m a USF Marketing graduate and have lived and worked in Tampa Bay since attending USF for about the last 20 years. My career background started in nonprofit at The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and Hillsborough Education Foundation. I ended my career in corporate events at Tech Data. Since leaving Tech Data in 2013, I’ve focused on my business with Pipeline Promotions, Inc. The experience I’ve accumulated in Marketing, Events, PR, and the promo industry has helped me where I am today. I’ve been married for almost 15 years and have two sons. A twelve-year-old in 6th grade and a 7-year-old in 1st grade.
When you are not working, what do you enjoy doing?
When I’m not working, I enjoy hanging with my family. When the kids don’t have sports, we like to enjoy the outdoors with our beautiful surroundings, such as going to the beach, walking a trail, kayaking, and going to our neighborhood pool. On rare occasions, I enjoy getting some alone time and reading.
What is your business? What do you specialize in, and what services/products do you offer? When did you start, and who are your clients?
My business is Pipeline Promotions, Inc. It’s locally owned, but we are capable of working on nationwide projects. We can provide any type of branded or customized product or apparel you need with your logo on it! This includes almost anything you can think of, including totally custom items. A few examples include drinkware, tote bags and backpacks, tech accessories, office supplies, apparel, and travel-related goods. Our focus for our clients is exceeding in customer service and providing competitive pricing with a quality product. We have an extensive number of partners to provide just about any type of branded product and generally accommodate all budgets and deadlines. We consider ourselves an extension to our client’s business, offering my experience and knowledge from both the promo industry and marketing, logistics, and event-based deadlines. I started this business in 2013. My clients range from travel to event companies. Government agencies to pest control companies. Honestly, I can be of service to any company that needs branded merchandise either locally or nationwide.
Where can we find samples of your services/work, and how fast is your turnaround time?
To get general ideas of what I can provide, please check out my websites. The websites do not show everything available for order as it’s too much to cover on one website. Please always reach out to me to inquire about a project if you have ideas or questions. Turnaround time really depends on the product you’re ordering and the type of imprint you choose. On average, the production time runs between 5-7 business days plus shipping time. There are instances where it can be quicker or delayed, but the average is 5-7 business days.
What is your background, and what was your career/job before this?
My background started in nonprofit work focusing on Marketing, event management, and PR. My last job before Pipeline Promotions, Inc. was with Tech Data as a corporate event planner. I worked there for five years and was in charge of hundreds of events during my time there. The events ranged from one-day meetings to five-day conferences out of state. This career path helped me immensely with my current work at Pipeline because I always look at each project for a client as a mini-event and all the to-do’s that need to be done to be successful for my client.
What made you want to change careers/direction and start your own company?
I changed direction in 2013 because my first son was only a few years old, and I wanted another child. I desired a more flexible schedule that allowed me to still work and have my own career while still putting my children and family first. I do not regret the decision one bit, as Pipeline has allowed me to enjoy my work and always feel I can put my family first! It’s been wonderful to be a more significant part of my children’s day-to-day lives for the past 8 years. I’m genuinely grateful for this opportunity! The flexibility has also allowed me to get more involved with my local community by volunteering my time and skills to help where I can be of service. This includes being involved with the PTA’s at my children’s schools.
I know being a working mom has its challenges! How are things now since both boys are in school compared to when they were at home with you while working?
All situations have pros and cons. Now that both my boys are in school full time, it is much easier for me to focus on work during the day and give them my full attention in the afternoon and evening. My older son has been in school much longer, but it’s only been two years that my younger child has been in school full time. Before my youngest was in school all day, it was much harder for me to multi-task and manage my workday because I was watching after him.
When my younger son was born, I realized the only way I could make this work was through scheduling, scheduling, scheduling. I love a schedule! 😉 I created a general schedule throughout the day based on his age. When he would get fussy, I would stop and devote some time for him, and then he would allow me space to work again.
However, things weren’t always easy. There were many times I had to go outside to take a client’s call because he would be crying or upset. There was also a time when he would only nap when I was holding him, so I would have to answer emails as I cradled him in one arm and held my phone on the other. I had to focus on creative solutions to make the day work and get what needed to be done – done. I tried not to think too far ahead; otherwise, I would get overwhelmed.
There were many nights I stayed up late, after the kids were asleep, to finish my work for the day. However, even with the late nights, I wouldn’t change my decision to start this business one bit!
What challenges do you face being a working mom? Any advice or secrets you can share for how to manage it “all”?
The challenge I face is that, too often, I don’t feel I’m doing anything ‘ significant.’ Meaning I think I could be better: a better entrepreneur, a better mom to my kids, or a better wife. I spent a lot of time beating myself up about it.
A couple of years ago, I started giving myself some slack. I stopped listening to my inner voice about what I was doing wrong and started focusing on what I was doing right. I noticed the more relaxed I got with myself; the kids felt that and relaxed a bit themselves too.
I don’t have any amazing secrets except to focus one day at a time. Sometimes I set weekly goals since I’m still a planner at heart, and I often find I expect more from myself than others do. I think we could be a little nicer to ourselves, especially with being a mom, a wife, a friend, and maintaining a career.
What is your favorite part about owning your own business?
My favorite part 100% is the flexibility! As I mentioned earlier, there are times where I have to get up really early or stay up late to get a project completed. However, my job’s flexibility allows me to take my kids to school. Or attend a particular school function, or be a part of their PTA. It’s everything I wanted for my life while raising my kids.
A close second is I love my work’s creativity as each client and project are unique. I also love using my promo and marketing knowledge to help my client meet their project goals and their marketing goals on a larger scale. It’s a great feeling when my clients are open to my ideas, and we work together to find the best solution.
What advice do you have for anyone who is thinking of starting their own business/branching out independently?
My advice for anyone branching out on their own is, first and foremost, to trust yourself. Believe in yourself first, as that will help guide you. When you feel scared or like you’re failing, just remember why you started on the path in the first place. There are still days where I think I’m not ‘succeeding’ enough with my business goals. But on those days, I try to focus on why I started down this path and what I can do that day to feel accomplished.
What’s the biggest lesson you have learned working for yourself?
The biggest lesson I’ve learned is that I need to trust myself and my instincts more than I allowed myself to before. Many of us moms don’t always realize how good of a multi-taskers we can be. Giving ourselves space and freedom to tap into those skills can help bring us closer to what makes us happy.
What is your biggest professional accomplishment?
My biggest professional accomplishment, I would say, is honestly just taking the leap to start Pipeline Promotions, Inc. It was scary to leave a career where the money was more stable and had lots of support levels around me if I made a mistake. So to jump into a situation where my financial stability depends on my client’s marketing dollars and projects takes some mental toughness. I’m also putting my name on the line to provide the service and end product to my clients. If situations go wrong, I don’t have as many levels of support to ‘protect’ me, unlike working in a corporation. So I have to own up to both my successes and mistakes on a more fundamental scale.
To learn more about Pipeline Productions, Inc., please visit their Facebook or Linkedin page, website, or contact them by using the information below.
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/bfowlerpp
LinkedIn page: https://www.linkedin.com/in/bronwyn-fowler-b90b2051/
Pipeline Promotions, Inc.
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