5 Lessons I Learned from Brittany Nolan, Co-Owner of Allstate Glass

This week on Grit by Design, I sat down with Brittany Nolan, co-owner of Allstate Glass, to discuss the gutsy ways she helped establish and expand her family’s 30-year-old business. Here’s what I learned.

1. Don’t be afraid to lean into your scrappy side. 

Britt did exactly this to establish a foundation for the residential division of her company. Surrounded by South Boston’s development boom, she took cues from her environment and literally went hunting for dumpsters — an obvious signal that construction is underway. In doing so, she successfully secured new business. 

2. Success takes guts. 

Britt joined a number of local design and builder associations to expand her network, but quickly discovered that she was one of few women represented at networking events. That didn’t stop her. She set aside any hesitation, put herself out there, and established new relationships — many of which have evolved into meaningful mentorships today. 

3. Create a company culture you’d want to work in yourself.

I loved hearing about Allstate’s “Brag Board,” which serves as an opportunity for team members to celebrate their own personal achievements, and celebrate those of their colleagues. It would make me incredibly proud to see my own team high-fiving each other’s professional work in such a public way. 

4. Learn what works, and what doesn’t work.

Any company leader bears the responsibility of creating a work environment that effectively promotes teamwork. Each time Allstate moved to a new location, they learned what worked, and what didn’t work. Now, with a clean slate at their new Holbrook location, they’ve broken down physical walls that formerly prevented communication and collaboration, and have created a space that invites conversation and efficient work. Being an effective leader is about learning yourself.

5. Growth is uncomfortable.

The biggest thing that I’ve learned from my conversation with Britt is the importance of becoming comfortable with being uncomfortable. Growth itself can be uncomfortable, and the road to success is paved with challenges that can take us out of our comfort zone daily. Britt is a model of what it means to have grit — along with fearlessness, resilience, and innovation.

About Brittany Nolan

Brittany Nolan is a second generation co-owner at Allstate Glass, a full-service auto, residential and commercial glass company. Britt joined the company seven years ago with a mission to grow the residential division. At that time, auto glass had been the core of the business, with only occasional shower glass installations. In her first two years with the company, she rapidly expanded this division, wearing multiple hats in business development, estimating, project management, field scheduling and logistics.

Today, Britt serves as co-owner of the family business, where she oversees general operations and business and vendor relations. Together with her father, Jon, and brother, Ben, she is continually focused on improving efficiencies and developing a team of passionate problem-solvers who believe in high quality and superior customer service.

Britt began her career as a graphic designer at City Sports Headquarters, and has carried with her the creative thinking and attention to detail she learned there. She graduated from Marist College with a degree in digital media and advertising.