Spotlight: Erin Szymanski


Meet the amazing Erin Szymanski!

Erin recently opened her indie bridal boutique, Glitter & Grit, where you can find handmade wedding dresses and accessories that are not carried in any other bridal store in Pittsburgh.

We've had a ton of fun rockin' out with Erin in the Propelle Mastermind, and witnessed her concept for Glitter & Grit go from business plan to beautiful boutique within a matter of months.

It's been nothing short of exciting, and we know this is only the beginning both for Erin and for Glitter & Grit. We are inspired by Erin's ambition and know you will too.

Enjoy Erin's Q&A, and if you know of any brides looking for a unique and special dress (we're talking jaw-dropping stunning), you now know where to send them!


Name: Erin Szymanski
Business: Glitter & Grit
Job title: Proprietress
Twitter: @GlitterGritPgh
Facebook: GlitterAndGRit
Pinterest: glitterngritpgh
Instagram: glitterandgritpgh

Introduce yourself as if you were speaking from the cockpit.
Good morning, Ladies and Gentlewomen, welcome to Glitter & Grit. If you’ll join me, we’ll be soaring above the clouds today! Together, we can change the standards of the wedding industry. We can learn to love our bodies and embrace our unique qualities, and most importantly, celebrate those things together as you plan to marry the love of your life. You may think I’m just selling you a dress but I’m really showing you that it’s right to be true to yourself when you stand, in this dress, among the people you love, on your wedding day. Weddings, like marriages, can be brilliantly beautiful, but not without hard work and honesty; a little glitter, from a little grit.

When did you earn your wings?
I just opened my doors on June 28th – I’m still a rookie! I always knew that I wanted to own my own business, but narrowing down my ideas was tough. When this one stuck, I had a hard time accepting that I wanted to get involved in the wedding industry! There was a lot of self-doubt after that, regarding whether or not I was qualified… I finally understood that I needed to do this, for people just like me. People that don’t want to look like a cake topper; that don’t want to be told that they “HAVE” to do something, wear something, or say something specific on their wedding day. So, here I am: for you. For me.

If you could name a nail polish color after yourself of your business, what would it be?
Oh, that’s easy: Glitter & Grit! A charcoal grey with sparkles in it, no surprise there. If I could paint my body with it, I probably would.

Not all flights are smooth. Tell us about how you handle turbulence in your business and life.
When flying in my uncle’s prop plane (just two seats!), I had to keep telling myself that turbulence is like potholes in the sky.

Same with business planning turbulence; it’s all just bumps in the sky on the journey to your dream. I pay attention to the lessons behind the struggle. If there isn’t one, it’s certainly not worth getting upset over – so easy to say! If there is, I make note of how a similar situation could be avoided in the future, take action on what I have control over, and move on. I’m a huge believer in the reasons why things happen to us, and I keep that in mind when feeling frustrated with things that are beyond my control.

Who is the wind beneath your wings?
I have a truly amazing support group: from my husband, to my friends and family, to other women entrepreneurs; all have contributed to where I am today. My husband Rob believes in me. My sister Kara can brainstorm with me for hours and is the person to get EXCITED when that is what I need (and you NEED that sometimes). My heart mama, Jeanne, has been an inspiration in both her work and her love for the people around her.

What's your advice to other women as they navigate the business world?
I received a card recently from someone special that put it perfectly (in the words of Wilfred Peterson): “Walk with the dreamers. The believers, the courageous, the planners, the doers, the successful people with their head in the clouds and their feet on the ground.”

If you surround yourself with others that are hustling to satisfy their souls, it can only inspire you to do the same – all with goodness in your heart.