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The Making (and Marketing) of a Domestic Diva
E.B. Boyd | Photo: Stian Rasmussen | November 15, 2012
Will tech chops, great looks, and a hotshot social network add up to success for Brit Morin?
When Japanese überhip retailer Uniqlo arrived in San Francisco this fall, it went searching for local celebrities to promote its new Union Square store. It was on the hunt, says director of global marketing Kensuke Suwa, for cultural icons who were "transforming" their respective fields "through innnovation." Among those it selected (and who now grace ads splashed across the city) were Mission Chinese Food chef and entreprenuer Danny Bowien, Oakland songrestress and human rights advocate Goapele, and beautiful-living guru Brit Morin.
Wait, Brit who?
Exactly. The 26-year-old's PR team is working overtime to position Morin, a veteran of Apple and Google, as the Martha Stewart of the app-tapping generation—a bold claim for an untested entreprenuer whose first property, a glorified blog featuring hipster craft projects, hit the Internet just a year ago.
But within those 12 months, Morin has scored gigs as a tech lifestyle contributor for People, NBC’s Today, and Katie Couric’s new daytime program, Katie. Executives from NBC, Time, and Condé Nast, who periodically trek out to Silicon Valley for clues on where media are headed, have all consulted with her. Along the way, Morin’s venture, Brit+Co., has secured funding from Silicon Valley A-listers like Kleiner Perkins’s Aileen Lee (through her independent Cowboy Ventures fund), Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, and Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund. And it’s currently on track to hit 2 million unique users this year.
I’m standing with Morin across the street from AT&T Park, on the top floor of a triple-decker loft that serves as Brit+Co. headquarters. She’s showing off boxes of buttons and ribbons as she describes a new commerce angle she launched this fall: monthly “Brit Kits” for do-it-yourself projects like LED-filled balloons, and starter boxes with basic tools for those who don’t know a hole punch from a glue gun. “People are really interested in this world of making and creating, but they don’t know how to get started,” Morin says.
It’s easy to see why people are drawn to this would-be queen of the household arts. She has a girly-girl core wrapped up in a polished exterior. Her outfits are hip and handcrafted, but immaculately put together. Her hair swings loose, but it’s glossy in a way that doesn’t just happen. And while she’s got Martha’s drive and focus, her sparkling smile seems constantly on the verge of breaking into a laugh.