If any one person could do it all, it would be Darrah Brustein. After co-founding Equitable Payments, Darrah went on to start Atlanta Under 40 and even wrote her very own children’s book series, Finance Whiz Kids (teaching parents the basics of financial literacy through engaging illustrated stories). Oh, and she’s also a contributing writer to entrepreneur.com. We had to know how she juggles it all so we sat down with her to get the scoop.
After a little soul searching and due diligence, Darrah teamed up with her twin brother, Garret, to launch Equitable Payments (they did share a womb after all). “After working with about 100 retailers in my wholesale apparel career, I went back to each of them to get their feedback on their experience with their credit card processing provider. Over and over I heard the same horror stories of businesses being lied to about the rates they’d pay, their contract terms, and/or their equipment pricing. They’d try to contact their sales rep who had already left the business, so they felt stranded.”
“Anyone who knows me will tell you that I have that Northern to-the-point candor and that honesty is at the heart of how I operate. So I saw the opportunity to begin by helping these retailers with whom I already had a relationship to get an honest and reliable solution for their credit card processing needs by acting as a broker of the service. Now in 38 states, this relational and honest approach has caught on.”
Whether she’s managing one of her many projects, or brushing up on her Spanish, Brustein makes sure she is always learning and growing. “I’m constantly reading, traveling, and ‘getting the under the hood’ when I meet new people to better understand what motivates them. We stand out because we work through relationships and trust, and back that up with integrity and reliability. Believe it or not, those are tough to come by in this industry.”
Although Brustein doesn’t define herself as a certified “techy”, we have full confidence she fits the bill – she is a millennial and owner of a “fintech” company after all. “I’m actually pretty low-tech and think it’s precisely why I gravitate to old-school methods like in person networking events and printed children’s books. That being said, what I may lack in technical skill, I’m told I make up for as a creative problem-solver. I’m 50-50 left-brain, right-brain, which I believe is an advantage when approaching problems. My biggest skill is being a connector, seeing the world as a puzzle, and putting people together where they fit, which may not be as obvious to others.”
Brustein moved to Alanta in 2002 and never looked back. “I’d intended to move to LA or NY to go into fashion after I graduated, but was fortunate to find a job in the industry here in Atlanta. I’m a huge ambassador for our great city, telling people through my writing and travels about all the great things we have to offer and why people should give it more cred.”
We’re proud to have her talents in our city and look forward to watching her many projects prosper. Keep an eye on her via twitter.