Meet the Willow Girls | Brynn Byerly
Girlboss. Badass. Wonder Woman. Hard to Handle. Tough as Nails. I’m known as a lot of things, but I’m simply just me – Brynn Byerly… a girl building her empire.
From the moment I wake up in the morning, it’s as if my feet never touch the ground. My mind is a beautiful, chaotic mess made up of dreams, goals, wisdom, love, and determination that keeps me and everyone around me, on their toes!
From the time I was a little girl, my desire to thrive has always come naturally. I want to be the best. I want to do the best. Occasionally, when I have time, I want to look the best ☺.
I’ve always felt that life is not worth living unless you are living it as the best version of yourself. Growing up, I was surrounded by an incredible family that loved and encouraged beyond measure. My parents worked their butts off to make a more than comfortable life for my brother and I. They are two of my biggest role models. I watched them relish the happy times and persevere during the hard times. When I was 17, my life changed…
My dad was a casualty of a horrific construction accident, and we weren’t sure if he would survive. By the grace of God, he is alive but he now lives with a traumatic brain injury. Until you have witnessed the after effects first hand, you have no idea how life changing this can be. This experience made me an angry person. I watched my parents struggle. I watched my mom triple her workload to make ends meet. I watched my dad struggle just to live anything remotely close to a normal life in those first few years after his accident.
I like to think that I channeled my anger into something more positive – being a workaholic. After my father’s accident, I wanted my parents to know they could count on me financially if the situation ever arose. I was young, working a very high stress job, but making good money. While I was in that job, my high school sweetheart [and now husband], Richard encouraged me to pursue other work that would take less of a toll on me. He knew I needed some creativity in my life. He also knew that I longed to be my own boss and live my own dream.
As I began to build my own dream with Richard’s encouragement, the other two most important people in my life, my mommom and poppop, were the backbone to the venture that was about to become my greatest blessing – my first business, Salvaged.
Being self-employed themselves for a number of years, they brought their wisdom, guidance, and financial help that allowed me to turn a dream into a reality. In 2012, Richard and I were able to open Salvaged in a cute little barn in Lewes. Shortly thereafter, I was blessed to meet my business partner Michelle.
With our combined forces and the support of our local community, we expanded and grew Salvaged into a local hot spot. A few years after Salvaged opened, I again partnered with my grandparents and opened a new store right next door known as Haute Interiors. We quickly become the local’s favorite for trendy, affordable furniture. I felt like my life was together and our businesses were thriving beyond my wildest dreams.
I was content and felt happy and proud to be a part of a local community where we could partner and encourage each other during an unstable economy, but in 2015, my life took another turn which sent me into a downward spiral that I was in no way prepared for… My poppop, the backbone of our family, our business, and one of my best friends, was taken from us by the ugly disease we know as cancer. He went into the hospital for one thing and never made it out. In one week, he was gone… and my anger was back.
I stayed incredibly angry and sad for a long time. I began losing my passion, my drive, and ultimately, myself. Grief is a hard feeling to adjust to. I didn’t go into work for a long time because it made me sad to go to one of the last places I saw my poppop happy. With the encouragement of my business partner Michelle, I realized the only way to get back into the groove of things was to do the one thing I was avoiding – head back to the very last place I saw him.
The day I went back to work, I vowed to myself to always do what he would have wanted. Whatever decisions I have to face or choices I have to make, I think what he would tell me to do. He was the hardest working man I know, the most loyal, the most honest, and my favorite human being in this entire world.
Now I not only work hard because I want to be the best version of myself but also because I want to be the best version of myself for him. I know he is watching me…
Fast forward a few years and in addition to Salvaged and Haute Interiors, I am now a co-owner of HOUSE by Salvaged located in Berlin, MD, which has been another fantastic opportunity to be involved with a small, local community that has a passion for supporting their small businesses.
As a girl boss always striving to reach that next level, I made the decision to be a partner in our newest venture, Willow Marie & Co. The four of us are all strong, hardworking, determined women, and are a force to be reckoned with.
We have all struggled, all for different reasons, and are looking to become the women we once were. I like to think my poppop played a hand in this. His name is William and thus inspired the “Willow” in our name. He guided me in this direction because he knew I needed to heal and these were the women I needed to do it with. They will help me, I will help them, and along the way we hope to help and connect with the other women in our community.
Whatever your reason is, Willow Marie & Co. can be your place. I’m looking forward to growing and connecting with other women, while giving them a place to feel happy, feel pretty, feel loved, and most importantly, feel empowered.