Brittney Kelly: On Leading With Ethics in the Business World

Real Good Company is a show where we talk with real people building good companies that are making a real impact. We’re so excited to welcome today’s guest, Brittney Kelly, the founder and designer behind Tribe Kelley, an ethical and sustainable clothing brand. She is also a mental health advocate.

Tribe Kelley, which started with just three t-shirts and two pairs of bell bottoms, now sells women’s and men’s clothes online. They have two stores, a flagship store in Nashville and a second store in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida, and are about to open up their wholesale division. Brittney prioritized making Tribe Kelley an ethically conscious brand and manufacturing clothes in a moral and sustainable way. 

Brittney got her start in the business world on Etsy with her own shop called Wondertown, where she made custom hand-dyed t-shirts, purses and new jewelry out of broken and reclaimed, vintage jewelry. After graduating college, Brittney married Brian Kelley of Florida Georgia Line and she went directly onto a tour bus with a group of about 12 guys. Meanwhile, she was writing the blueprints to her own brand during her first year of marriage. She launched Tribe Kelley in 2014 on her one-year wedding anniversary. She knew she wanted to do something with fashion and make people feel good about what they put on with a give back initiative.

In the early days of the brand, Brittney focused on keeping manufacturing as many of the brand’s goods in the United States as possible. They develop and design every piece either in Nashville or Los Angeles to make sure their products are made ethically and in line with their morals. Tribe Kelley gives back with every clothing line launch. In 2020, they worked with a nonprofit called Home Street Home, which serves the homeless community in Nashville. They were able to donate $50,000 from the launch of their butter sweatpants

Today, Brittney tells the story of how her business has succeeded through adversity. She shares how to be taken seriously in the business world and how to get the wheels moving on a big dream. She also offers advice on carving out time for creativity, setting boundaries between work and her personal life and overcoming challenges as an ethical brand.

You can find out more about Brittney and everything mentioned on today’s show here. Also, you can find Brittney on Instagram at @brittneykelley and on Tribe Kelley @tribekelley. Get to know our hosts on Instagram @CaitlinCrosby and @AllieBridge. Please be sure to rate, review, and subscribe so that we can stay in Real Good Company!

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