Welcome to Second Life, a podcast spotlighting successful women who've made major career changes—and fearlessly mastered the pivot. Hosted by Hillary Kerr, co-founder and chief innovation officer at Who What Wear's parent company, Clique Brands, each episode will give you a direct line to women who are game changers in their fields. Subscribe to Second Life on iTunes, and stay tuned—we'll be releasing new episodes on Mondays.
As it turns out, Hannah Bronfman's most valuable college experience came from outside the art-strewn walls of the classroom. While attending liberal arts college Bard in upstate New York, where she was a sculpture major, she started deejaying at a small bar once a week. The side gig was enough to spark a change of heart for Bronfman, who soon realized that her dream of pursuing fine arts probably wasn't going to pay the bills.
Through connections with friends, Bronfman started deejaying at nightclubs in New York City but quickly burnt out on the all-nighters that put her love for cooking and working out on the back burner. Alas, there was a solution: She realized she could transition to deejaying fashion and corporate events, where she could maintain more reasonable hours. It was during this time that Bronfman began to understand her worth and learned to stick up for herself—which involved creating an email address for a fake assistant named Virginia so she could negotiate rates without seeming like the "bad guy." Brilliant, right?
From there, Bronfman went on to launch the first on-demand beauty app, Beautified, which allowed users to book last-minute appointments with a selection of handpicked salons and spas. But a falling-out with a business partner triggered the app's demise, which was a punch to the gut for Bronfman. "It was the worst breakup I've ever gone through," she told Kerr of the end of Beautified. "By the way, no romantic [relationship] had ever made me feel as heartbroken as I was about my business."
Listen to Episode 44 of Second Life to find out the lessons Bronfman learned from her business failure and how she pivoted into the wellness space to run her lifestyle company, HBFit; represent Adidas as a global ambassador; and author a new book, Do What Feels Good.