Do you have a dream that you’ve been putting off until you’ve figured out all of the details? What would happen if you threw caution to the wind and just took that first step forward?
Meet Ellen Bennett, founder and CEO of Hedley & Bennett, who shares why it’s important to just get started and figure out the details along the way.
In her new book “Dream First, Details Later”, Ellen shares her journey and personal playbook for starting before you stop yourself. Ellen’s hustle and willingness to leap into the unknown, time and time again, has helped her build a multi-million-dollar company, making aprons and kitchen gear worn by many of the world’s best chefs and home cooks everywhere.
In this episode, Ellen shares how she self-funded her business, and how getting comfortable with the uncomfortable allows her to navigate through change and keep leveling up. She even pivoted her business from making aprons to making masks at the beginning of the pandemic, helping to save jobs and donate over a half a million masks to those in need.
So, if you’ve ever imagined doing something and immediately thought, “that’s impossible,” or “I wouldn’t even know where to start,” or “I’m not qualified to do that”, Ellen will teach you how to push aside your inner critic and launch into action.
[02:39] Ellen’s story
[03:43] “Dream First, Details Later”
[06:06] Navigating challenges and setbacks
[07:48] Finding success in doubt
[10:00] Taking the first step forward
[12:23] Get comfortable with the uncomfortable
[15:50] Attracting cutting-edge talent
[19:15] Behind the scenes of success
[20:10] Start with building your community
[23:29] Staying focused on what’s right for you
[26:15] Adapting when your playbook goes out of the window
[30:30] How Ellen stays ahead of the curve
[32:15] Hold on to the scrappiness
[34:34] What keeps Ellen grounded
[38:50] Where to get Ellen’s book, “Dream First, Details Later”
“The best advice I could ever give to anyone is just start, you just need to begin and figure out the details along the way.” – Ellen Bennett
“Seize the opportunity and have enough confidence in yourself that you've done enough things in life to get you this far.” – Ellen Bennett
“Never feel like you are just one person and you can't have an impact in the world, your opinion and your actions matter.” – Ellen Bennett
“No matter how much building you do in life, sometimes things happen and you just have to be willing to rise to the occasion, adjust and let go of what you did before.” – Ellen Bennett
Growing up, Ellen Bennett, the founder and CEO of Hedley & Bennett, the leading Los Angeles based culinary workwear brand, found herself spending summers in her native Mexico learning to cook with her abuelita. Soon after graduating high school, Ellen found herself back in Mexico City attending culinary school where she would rekindle the joys of her summer cooking adventures while learning the skills needed to tackle the hustle of the professional kitchen. Back in L.A. she put her training to work cooking in two Michelin Star restaurants, Providence and Baco Mercat. It was during this time working on the line that she experienced a “uniform” that was not aligned with the creativity and confidence found in the kitchen. This led to the vision for Hedley & Bennett; make the best aprons in the world by marrying the needs of professional chefs with the design trends for today's discerning consumers.
Today, Hedley & Bennett make more than aprons, but culinary workwear and gear that outfits over 6,000 restaurants, hotels, coffee shops, resorts and hundreds of thousands of home cooks all over the world. This evolution has also led to creative, out-of-the-box collaborations with brands such as Vans, Madewell, Parachute Home, Rifle Paper Co., Product (RED) and more. Most recently, she pivoted the resources of her company during the global COVID-19 pandemic to make masks to meet the needs of both professionals and consumers while donating over 200k masks to front line workers. Ellen and the Hedley & Bennett story has been featured in the New York Times, Fast Company, Inc., Bon Appetit, Martha Stewart, the Today Show and more. Ellen lives in Echo Park with her husband Casey, their pet pig Oliver, and six chickens.
Link to Ellen’s Book
Company Instagram: hedleyandbennett