Hannah Bronfman: Girl on the Go
DJ, beauty tech entrepreneur, clean-eating advocate and rising fashion star Hannah Bronfman on how she keeps it all together. Plus, don't miss her favorite beauty products, her go-to healthy recipes, and behind-the-scenes video. Photographer: Candy Kennedy Stylist: Alex Sweterlitsch Makeup Artist: Ashunta Sheriff Hair Stylist: Laura Polko Photographed at: Toro
She's one of the "busy, glitzy Bronfmans," but it would seem a stretch to call Hannah Bronfman a socialite. She's gorgeous and wealthy (as the daughter of a Seagram fortune heir and actress Sherry Brewer), but she seems more interested in talking about the app she co-founded, Beautified, and her passion for food than her social life.
You’re the cover girl for our first food and fashion-themed issue. What's your approach to eating and cooking?When I was in college, all of my friends would have dinners weekly. You always had to bring a dish. It carried over when I started to live alone. Now it’s definitely a hobby and a passion of mine. When I was younger, I was raised to be a vegetarian. I kind of just devoted myself to expanding my palette. That’s what I’m trying to explore.
What do you like to whip up?A good, substantial dinner. Either a quinoa eggplant Parmesan, or a spinach lasagna without sauce. I do a lot of baking. I bake mostly with gluten-free flours. I even make a raw cheesecake that’s gluten-free and dairy-free.
Any favorite indulgences?I definitely have a sweet tooth. And I love chocolate. I’ve found a way to make a healthy chocolate pudding with avocados and cacao powder. It’s amazing. The texture is so light and fluffy, and it tastes exactly the same.
What tips would you offer someone who wants to start eating healthier?When you’re shopping, try to stay away from processed foods and white flours. Going gluten-free isn’t for everyone. Try to understand what you’re eating and what types of oils are being used. It’s not that great to cook with olive oil at a high heat because it releases toxins. I mostly cook with coconut oil.
OK, switching gears. You walked in the fall 2014 DKNY show. No pressure at all, right?It was really nerve-wracking! Totally scary. But it was awesome. My mind was completely blank when I walked out there. I was just praying I wouldn’t fall. My mom was there, and she was super stoked.
What sparked the idea to start Beautified, your app for finding last-minute salon appointments?Beautified was created because I'm a girl on the go. I’m working and deejaying and doing a lot of different things and needed to utilize the daytime hours a little better. I constantly found myself on a street corner, calling around, Googling, Yelping and trying to figure out what salon I could pop into at the last minute. Beautified was born in that frustration.
I researched a lot and found there was nothing on the market like it. My cofounders Annie Evans and Peter Hananel and I got together, and were really inspired by Open Table, Seamless and Hotel Tonight. Now, we have a living, breathing app. We’re in three cities: New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles.
What were some of the challenges in launching Beautified?There are things every single day that come up that you don’t anticipate, like a crash. Before we launched, it was about building and how we’re going to mold the user experience with the actual functionality. Once we launched, it was a whole new bag of tricks. The life of a startup is very much a roller coaster.
Do you enjoy being an entrepreneur?I don’t think I really understood what I wanted to do with my life, which is why I’ve put my hand in many different things. I have a love and passion for wellness and food. When I was in college an opportunity came to me, and I went for it. That opportunity turned out to not be the best for me. That led to another investment in a different restaurant that has been really amazing to be a part of. It's all about not taking my failures lightly and learning from them. That's what brought me to where I am today.