Brittany Prete was born-and-raised in Okotoks, Alberta, and has both an immense passion for people and an infectious effervescence for life. She pushes hard for her dreams and goals, yet is unabashed in sharing her struggles and heartaches along the way.
Brittany Prete is truly one in a million! With a warm, joyous personality that can fill a room, a heart of gold and a drive to build an empire, she is someone you want to know!
She is : animated, warmhearted, effervescent, full of joy, passionate, lively
A little background on her work, then we'll get into more of her story:
For over 13 years Brittany worked for STARS as an Emergency Communication Specialist . In 2018, while still working for Stars, she became the owner of Organic Tan Okotoks (the best natural spray tan you can get, thanks to both Brittany and the locally made Sunna Tan & Sunna Smile products she uses). Just eight months later, Brittany opened Bliss Okotoks (home to a number of local female-owner beauty-based businesses, including Organic Tan) and just this past winter she left her job at Stars to focus her time and energy into her two businesses.
Yes, Brittany has a more-than-impressive work ethic and mind for business. Yes, Brittany is a mom of two and a loving wife. Also yes- Brittany has an incredible and unique experience that is both heart-breaking & unnerving, but it is this story that has also given her an incredible zest for life, passion for health and given relationships so much more importance.
Back in high school, tanning beds and basking in the sun for the darkest possible tan was the norm. Things like getting a "solid base burn" or "base tan" and comparing who had the best tan lines was just what the girls talked about. The knowledge, understanding, and comprehension about what kind of long-term damage was being done never crossed our minds.
But for Brittany, at 32 years old, she was admitted for surgery immediately after a spot on her leg was found and she was diagnosed with stage 1 Melanoma. With a newborn baby in her arms and a 4 year old by her side, Brittany was given the news that the spot on her leg had already reached a stage of rapid growth and was told by her surgeon "there's a 60% chance you will die before the age of 60." This news was a shock for so many reasons, but the most surprising was that while Brittany loved the sun, she always wore sunscreen in her adult life, but it was the UV damage from her teen years that was the culprit.
Passionate about skincare, safe beauty, safe tanning, and most of all, passionate about people, Brittany became the owner of Organic Tan in 2018, and later she opened Bliss!
"What I took on as a hobby for loving the skin you're in,
soon became a drive to create a sacred and welcoming space
for everyone and anyone to add a little glow into their lives."
After 3 surgeries to remove different cancerous spots on her face and body, Brittany has become accustomed to check-ups with her Dermatologist every 3 months, plus the continuous self-checks to ensure nothing is missed! Dedicated to not only her own health and to her family, and armed with the purpose of spreading awareness of safe skincare and to helping women feel beautiful and confident, Brittany is a force to be reckoned with!
How would you describe yourself? and/or How would you describe your style?
I am a ray of unicorn, sunshine, explosion in a person. The ultimate extrovert would be an absolute understatement of who I am. People are my passion, and connections with anyone typically fuel me. I'm a woman on a mission and have no time to tinker. I truly live life to the fullest, because we have one after all, and there's zero time to waste a moment of it. Fashion has always been my passion. I'm a bargain finder, and love to mix inexpensive trends with upscale accessories. Comfort is key, and for me that means anything tight and stretchy. If I could live in a skin-tight bodysuit all day, I would.
Brittany is wearing the Super Star Necklace, Stacked Rope Midi Hoops, and the Neso Wrap Bracelet with the Subra Bracelet
What is one the biggest hurdles you've had to overcome?
I am currently in it! Walking away from my well-paid 13+ year career in a pandemic/recession to follow the nudge on my heart. Yep, there's hurdles, hills, and mountains...in a hurricane with a splash of lightning storm too, but it is worth it. My heart and mind have clarity of what this is all for, and if there weren't bumps in the road while following my dreams, then I should be seriously concerned.
What lesson did that hardship teach you?
Patience! I am a do'er. I get shit done and get it done now! I've had to let go of control and the unknowns of our current life. Restrictions and the pandemic have completely transformed my industry, and SLOWLY working through the quiet has provided the opportunity to learn more about what I have the capabilities to do in my business.
Who has made a major impact on your life, and how/why?
Every single person who receives a service from me, purchases product from me, or operates a business alongside me impacts me on the daily. Human interaction and relationships fuel who I am, and how I grow my business. Humans are sponges, and we have so much to learn through every engagement me have in life. Good or bad, ultimately, we grow!
What advice would you give to us?
Have a plan! If you don’t have a plan in business, relationships, life in general, then how on earth do you plan on measuring your success and failures. A plan, if anything is a place to anchor and reset or praise depending on the journey.
Why is your work important to you?
Connection with each and every person I cross paths with in life is what drives me. Why is this work important to me? The amount of people that tell me, "I never knew how badly I needed that" from an airbrush tan, brow service, and
the simple act of listening has the ability to completely transforms a person’s day.
In the early days of starting your business, what was one of the toughest things you had to overcome?
Work, life balance. I worked full time (12-hour shifts) at my corporate job, 6 month and 5-year-old babies, husband, social life, and then throw a passion business on top of that. FUN TIMES! Scheduling became key. And I mean schedule fitness, coffee dates, breakfast with my family. It was necessary for sanity, and required for success.
What have been some of the greatest rewards?
The reach of Bliss! Meeting people in other provinces, campgrounds, pre covid events with thousands of people, it nearly makes my heart burst. Being vulnerable and authentic has created a connection with our followers that makes peoples comfortable investing their time and energy into our business. So thank you for sharing this journey with us.
What is something that you try to do daily/weekly/or monthly that is just for you?
Daily, I work out to keep my sanity. These days, there's not much I have control of, but ensuring I'm taking 30 minutes a day to focus on my health, that is an absolute must! Weekly date nights! With my husband, girlfriends, couples...Especially with the way the world is, keeping a routine of connection is vital in order for me to thrive in life.
What are your goals for the upcoming year?
To find a home for our family. We are currently homeless. And when I say homeless, I mean we sold our 2500sq ft dream home in order to save our business living out of Rubbermaid bins at a family members house homeless. A huge risk I KNOW, but we crave a simpler life, with less financial restrictions, and an abundance of possibilities. I'd love to say something amazing about the growth of Bliss, however a majority of my energy is spent finding the perfect house to transform into our home.
When your To-Do list is overwhelming, how do you get through it?
I write everything down. I am the Queen of day timers. I have a monthly, weekly, and daily to-do list that I ensure will get worked through and checked off. Getting the overwhelm out of my head, and onto paper makes everything so much more manageable.
What are you looking forward to?
Settling in our new home. We were born and raised in Okotoks, grew our family in Calgary, and made the ultimate sacrifice in order to live our lives. Currently we are in a state of unknown, but have an extremely clear plan of where we want to set roots. We are so close we can taste it, and as soon as the keys our in our hands, I can breathe a sigh of relief, and put my energy back into expanding Bliss.
When do you feel strong and confident?
When Bliss is bustling! Money, activity, clients, they all motivate me. When I’m face to face with people, creating connections, living my dream, I feel incredible successful, and success = strength!
Whether you are seeing Brittany on social media, in her spray tan booth, or hanging out with her over drinks, there are a few things that you'll feel:
1. You'll feel as though you have a seat at her table- you are welcomed, accepted and appreciated.
2. You'll feel a sense of joy because Brittany's joy is so infectious.
3. You'll feel encouraged and inspired to move forward towards your goals and dreams in a way that puts both yourself and your loved ones first.
I am confident that after this, you have a great sense of who Brittany is and what she stands for. And if you're anything like me, you just can't help but love and admire this amazing woman for all she's done and all that she's going to do. I know that everything that Brittany does is done with commitment, love and all the high, positive energy she can muster (which is a lot!!).
This second series of the YYC Local Love stories was accomplished by such an incredible team of other incredible local women working behind the scenes. While we're telling the stories of the four women in front of the camera, I got the honor and pleasure of working alongside more women that I'm inspired by on a regular basis:
Shoot Organizer & Co-Planner : Chelsea from Coco & Ash Weddings and Events
Photographer : Kaity Body Photography
Hair & Makeup : Priya from Beautymark Makeovers