When she was in high school in 1999, Brittany Frey saw an ad seeking people to deliver stacks of K Composite Magazine to stores and restaurants. She and a friend came to our office which was in the St. Francis High School building at the time – prior to its renovation. She recalls, “I just remember a really scary parking garage that I had to park in.”
After graduating, Brittany moved to Nashville for school and later decided to make it her new home. After doing some modeling and working in the recording industry, she is now the owner of a clothing store, engaged, and in her mid-twenties.
She was interviewed for K Composite in October 2007 by Scott Ritcher and photographed by her sister.
PHOTOS BY ANDREA FREY
First of all, happy birthday.
Thank you! I’m kinda old now.
Do you think the world would be a better place if there were fewer people?
[laughter] Well, I guess that would depend on which few you were talking about.
What do you do?
I manage a second-hand teen clothing franchise called Plato’s Closet in Franklin, Tennessee. I hire, fire, buy, sell, train, and manage, but my favorite parts of my job are thinking of ways to get people to spend more in the store and merchandising the store. We will be opening our second location next month and I will then become the district manager and an owner of both stores. Other than working at Plato’s, I am planning my wedding and trying to buy a house. We just put an offer on one yesterday. I like playing Scrabble, poker, and watching shows about abnormally large families.
How old will you live to be and what do you hope to have accomplished by then?
Well, I would love to live to be 100 if I am still in good health and still have the people I love with me. I think it would be hard to out-live family members though. I have never lost anyone really close to me. There are a lot of things I want to do. I want to be really successful as a small business owner. I want to retire at 40. [laughs] I want to have at least five kids. I would like to travel as much as possible… probably have a vacation home in Maine. You know, when I was a freshman in high schoolI made this list of like a hundred things I wanted to do before I die, and every now and then I look back at it and see what I still need to accomplish. It is kind of funny to see what I thought was important at 15. Some of those things will never get checked off.
What kind of things were on your list of a hundred things you wanted to do with your life when you were 15?
Things like fall in love and get married, travel to all fifty states, model, be a business owner, be in a music video – strange to me now that I put that on the list, but it actually happened. Sky dive – I have changed my mind about this one.
Have you ever taken a job you didn’t want?
Oh yeah! I actually didn’t really want to do the job that I have now. I have a hard time passing up on an opportunity though. When I graduated I was looking for a job in the recording industry, that’s what I went to school for, and so I started working as an assistant to this folk singer. I would pretty much do whatever she wanted; take her car to the shop, get groceries, respond to fan mail, et cetera. But she had become really demanding, I was on call twenty-four-seven, and she was never happy with anything that I did. At the time I was also working part-time at Plato’s Closet and the manager was quitting. I knew they were going to ask me if I wanted the job, and I really didn’t want to take it because I knew I would be committing to at least a year, and I thought being on salary would mean working a lot of hours I wouldn’t be getting paid for. I also still had plans to move to New York, Austin,or somewhere else to work in the music business. But I knew I needed out of the job with the singer, and I knew that I could be a great manager, and I knew that I would be treated really well at Plato’s. I figured at the very least it would be a good experience, so I took it. When I took over as manager, the store was in its third year and had not yet broken even. Now the store is one of the fastest growing Plato’s Closets in the country – there are almost 300 – and I am one of the store’s owners. So I feel good about my decision to take the job, but I wasn’t so sure then. You just never know where things will lead you.
Do you ever click on the ads when you’re using the internet?
Not on purpose, although I am guilty of clicking on that one where you shoot the ducks.
How often do you take a moment to look at the stars in the sky?
Well, I live in downtown Nashville, so the stars are kind of hard to see.Would you say you click on internet ads or look at the stars more often?
[laughter] I guess I accidentally click on internet ads more often than I look at the stars. That’s kind of sad, huh?
Yeah. Are any of your best friends some of the same people as ten years ago?
Oh yeah! Actually, all of them. I love my Louisville friends!
How did you meet most of your friends?
Well, I went to high school with all of them, but Kim lived next door to me from the time we were two years old, so she is my oldest friend. Angela and I met in sixth grade at St. Martha. Kristin and I met in geometry class, sophomore year of high school. Jessie and I ended up being college roommates. I actually have not made many great friends since high school. I have had friends, but just not ones I stay in touch with.
Favorite pizza toppings?
Black olives and mushrooms.
What’s it like to have red hair?
Well, most of the time I don’t think about it, but people like to remind me. “Is that your real hair color?” or “you can’t get that color in a bottle” or “my cousin has red hair.” [laughs] It’s funny what people choose to make small talk about. Good thing I have red hair or I may have more conversations about the weather. [laughter]
Do you ever go to cemeteries for recreational purposes?
Well, in high school I know we had planned to get a bucket of chicken and eat it on Colonel Sanders grave but I think it rained that day.
How long has it been since you bought a blank tape?
Probably before I got the car I have now, my senior year of high school. My first car, “The Gooole” – the pronunciation of Pontiac “6000LE” – only had a tape player in it so I had all kinds of mixed tapes.
What are your greatest fears?
Getting cancer, heights, being the center of attention without prior warning, IV’s.
Are you parents still married?
How did they meet?
You know, I’m not really sure. I know their first date was at Phoenix Hill. They married 3 months later. They had planned a trip to Disney World and at the last minute decided, “Well, we might as well get married before we go.” So they did.
Do you have any brothers or sisters?
Yes, I have a younger sister, Andrea, but we call each other Sisterbear. Sisterbear is 22 and recently graduated from Centre College. She is beautiful and very talented. She also has this amazing infectious laugh that you can hear across a crowded room. She just moved to Nashville and lives with me. I love her! We have always gotten along really well.
Which one is the favorite?
I’m their favorite redhead. [laughter]
Are you still in contact with your ex-boyfriends?
Not really. I used to stay in touch more but for the most part we have just gone separate ways.
It has come to my attention that you like to sneak your own food into movie theaters. Do you feel that’s an appropriate thing to do, and do you feel it’s a question of ethics or morals or both or neither?
[laughter] I just don’t want to pay four dollars for some Snocaps. For some reason I get more excited about eating a bunch of junk than watching the movie. I did, however, work at the movie theater for a while where I swindled many people out of an extra quarter for a large instead of a medium. So maybe I have already paid my dues to movie theaters. [laughs]
What’s the difference between ethics and morals?
Oh, dear. This makes my head hurt. I think ethics is the study of morality?
What color is a mirror?
Depends on what’s across from it.
Are stereotypes generally true?
Well, stereotypes are generalizations so they should generally be true right?
Generally. [laughs] Do you know the difference between Sunnis and Shiites?
Nope, but I probably should. I’ll look that up.
You’re from Kentucky but you’ve lived in Tennessee for many years. Are the people generally the same? Do they say bad things about each other?
[laughter] Do they say bad things about each other? No, but they say “fixin” and “might could.” [laughter]
What is the smallest amount of money that you consider to be a lot of money?
It just depends on how it is being spent. I have no problem spending four dollars every morning for a Frappuccino, but if someone charged me four dollars for water I would be mad.
Have you ever been out of the country?
Yes, I studied abroad the summer after my junior year of college. I stayed at King’s College in London and studied the history of punk rock and reggae. While I was over there I took weekend trips to Paris and Scotland. My sister studied in England for a semester as well, so I got to go again last year.
What are your favorite places? Why do you like them?
Well, my new favorite place is coastal Maine. I have always wanted to go sailing, so this past August, Daniel, m fiancŽe, and I took a New England trip and he proposed to me on a sailboat in Camden, Maine. It is just the most beautiful place I have ever been. I love being out on a boat in the middle of the ocean. I think there are probably some other places out there, too, that I just don’t know are my favorite yet.
Who are your heroes?
I guess I would have to say my parents. They have pretty much devoted their entire lives to my sister and I. They did whatever they could, and still do whatever they can, to make sure we are successful and happy. I hope that I can be that great to my kids.
Tell me about your favorite sandwiches.
I am not much of a sandwich eater, but as a kid I loved a peanut butter pickle sandwich. Have you ever tried that?
No, gross. I sure haven’t. I do love peanut butter, though. How do you stay motivated when you have to do things you don’t like or don’t want to do?
I actually have a way of ignoring them until I absolutely have to face them or until they go away. That’s probably my biggest flaw. I don’t really do things I don’t want to do, for very long anyways. But if its work related, I have the most amazing business partner who is sort of like a mentor. Bud is my Tennessee dad. He has a lot of experience in many different kinds of businesses and he has a way of encouraging me through anything. He wants me to eventually completely buy the stores off of him.