The MNY Spotlight

Meet Megan Birkel, Founder of Willow Crowns

Introduce yourself! 

Hello! My name is Megan and I'm a lifelong New Englander living in Dallas, TX with my high school sweetheart and our two beautiful girls. I am a lover of caffeine, a crisp glass of sauvignon blanc, a well organized drawer or closet, and I've had the privilege of working with the most incredible team of women over the last 8 years to bring our timeless creations to life through Willow Crowns.

Megan Birkel wearing Mestiza New York

Megan Birkel of Willow Crowns @willowcrowns

What motivated you to create Willow Crowns?

Willow Crowns came into my life at a really fortuitous time. My husband and I had just moved from Boston to Houston with our 7 month old baby girl and it was the start of a new chapter for us. Ryan was working lots of hours at a new job and Olivia was sleeping a lot - not growing any hair! I used her nap times to make headbands for her little bald noggin as a creative outlet for myself and to fill the time while I slowly assimilated to life in Texas. Willow Crowns was born!

What is your favorite part of owning your own business? Most challenging? Most rewarding? 
I love that I can make it whatever I want to be - and for me that's a business that provides financial and creative rewards for other stay at home moms like me. 

The most challenging part is certainly separating "work time" from "home time". When you are your own boss, there's really no time off! I'm always working to get better at compartmentalizing my time.

Most rewarding has been the growth of our team. We have nearly 20 stay at home moms creating items, running our website, photographing our merchandise, and running fulfillment operations. That they are able to support their families while being able to stay home, raise their children, and create their own schedule is so gratifying for me. 

What is inspiring you at the moment?

Pearls! I am having a pearl moment for sure - it's cropping up constantly in our winter collection. It is just the ultimate in femininity to me, is so versatile, and is timeless - just like women are!

Megan Birkel, Founder of Willow Crowns

Megan wears the Cecily Mini Dress 

How do you interpret “invest in yourself?” and what are the types of things you do to invest in/ empower yourself?

Investing in myself means going with what feels right at the moment. Lately that has meant saying "no" to plans because I just need a day or evening at home. It's so, so empowering to take back your own time. We give so much of ourselves to children, homes, families, our take back whatever time is left and do whatever the heck you want with it is so empowering.

Why is it important for you to empower women?

Because women are the BEST. We are the ultimate multitaskers and care givers. We have qualities we so often use at home that translate in an incredible way to business settings. I want more women to think "yes, I can do that" and take the leap if it's on their hearts to do so. The world needs us and we can effect so much change - at home and beyond - if we feel confident to do so.

In 2020 you opened the Hive by Willow Crowns to bring visibility to other small businesses in one central spot. What motivated you to create this?

The pandemic took its toll on everyone - and small businesses were especially impacted. I felt so fortunate to see my business remain steady in such a tumultuous time that I knew we had to pay it forward and do our part. That meant really embracing the philosophy of community over competition and using our platform to help our customers discover other amazing small businesses. It's the thing I am most proud of.

What is the most important thing you’ve learned this past year?

It will all work out...because we will make it work out. Life throws us the craziest challenges and there are so many times they seem insurmountable - but we navigate them. A deep breath, squaring those shoulders, and looking hard times in the eyes is the first step towards overcoming anything...and we can.

Megan Birkel, Founder of Willow Crowns
What draws you to the Mestiza brand? How does your Mestiza piece make you feel? 

I love that Mestiza is a celebration of women. Every piece feels joyful, feminine, and classic - how I'd describe my vibe in life. The Cecily Mini Dress makes me feel confident - I can toss on heels for a night out, or pair it with flats for volunteering at school or popping into the grocery store.

What’s the best advice you could give to someone who wants to follow in your footsteps?
Go for it!! If you've got an idea, make it happen! Push the doubt, fear, and skepticism away and do it. It could just change your life!

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