“It’s 2015 and people are finally interested in their health. Unfortunately, I think we’ve all seen parents and their friends passing away and I hate to say it but that’s been a strong wake up call,” Hannah Bronfman tells me. For the uninitiated, the 27 year-old DJ is the force behind wellness blog HBFIT.com and Beautified, the on-demand beauty app that’s become something of an industry favourite. “The first steps are the hardest but it’s all a mind game. You know you can do it, you just don’t want to,” she says, about making those first tentative steps towards a healthier lifestyle. “Make a sweat session with a friend,” she advises. “That way, someone is there to hold you to account.”
Coming from anyone else, comments like that would irk at best, or come across as holier than thou. With Bronfman, it works. You see, as the daughter of actress Sherry Brewer and Seagram heir and former Warner Music CEO, Edgar Bronfman Jr., Hannah is a New York native and no stranger to the city’s fast-paced lifestyle. When she’s not lending her face to brands like Banana Republic or Clinique, she’s opening up for Justin Bieber or jet setting across the world to DJ for the likes of Balmain and Dolce & Gabbana. That’s partly where her appeal lies.
For a generation of women juggling equally busy lives, she’s embodies a new breed of balance: one that is first to celebrate everything that comes with being a twenty-something year-old in a creative epicentre like New York, but one that embraces taking care of your mind and body too. “Like anyone else, I went to college and partied, and I still party now – it’s just finding the balance. It doesn’t have to be one or the other.”
Her message isn’t about slowing down on work either. In fact, it’s very much the opposite. She’s the walking definition of a work-hard, play-hard multi-hyphenate, tempered by a disciplined routine of healthy eating and exercise. “I grew up as a dancer so I’ve always been athletic,” she tells me. “I loved sports in high school and just always liked the way exercise makes me feel.”
When we talk, she’s just left a hectic schedule of shows and being on DJ duty during New York Fashion Week, only to dive head first into an equally non-stop itinerary in Milan and Paris, but that’s done nothing to derail her routine. “I love to travel with bands because it makes it so easy to workout in my hotel room,” she explains. “It’s hard not to indulge when you are in a new place but I think there is always a way to balance it out. You don’t need to eat a croissant every morning just because you’re in Paris. Paris also has fruit and eggs too!”
While she’s always been into exercise, admittedly, she amped it up after being diagnosed with leaky gut syndrome. “I was having trouble with my skin which I thought was due to a bad relationship that I was in at the time, but it didn’t clear up even after I was out of it. I started to change my diet but when that still didn’t work, I decided to take a holistic approach to try and find the root of the problem. I found a lady called Tracy Piper who is an internal fitness doctor and she helped me heal my gut and soon enough, my skin was glowing again. I hate to take shakes and completely cut out gluten and sugar.”
After sharing images of her healthy recipes and fitness sessions on social media, she quickly began to realise that women were flocking to her in their droves for advice and associating her with this new approach to fitness. Naturally, HBFIT.com followed not long afterwards and now includes everything from inspiring first person pieces and interviews, to fitness tips, reviews of exercise classes and pretty much everything in between. “I am so excited about HBFIT,” she says. “It started as a place for me to showcase everything that I’m passionate about but we just recently rebranded as HBFIT is much bigger than just me. It’s really about the community of people who choose to live a #HBFIT lifestyle.”
That mantra extends to the beauty world too. Offering a quick and easy same-day booking service for spa, fitness and salon treatments, Beautified is pretty much Uber for your beauty needs and hit the market long before everyone else caught on. “It was born out of necessity,” she says, matter-of-fact. “I knew if I wanted the process of booking last minute appointments, hundreds of thousands of women must feel the same way. It was honestly an aha moment on a street corner and I knew that I didn’t do it, someone else would. I couldn’t let the opportunity pass me by.”
The last time I saw her, it wasn’t with her beauty hat on, though. She was on DJ duty at the Reward Style pool party during New York Fashion Week. “I come from a musical family. My father was music ex and songwriter and my mother was a performer so it’s always been in my blood. I’ve just always loved music. Growing up, my brother’s band would rehearse at our house and it was something we all bonded over, although my brother and sister have much more musical talent than I do,” she laughs. She started DJing in college in a bid to hear better music at the local bar. When she came home that summer, she started doing the rounds of nightclubs, which quickly transitioned into corporate booking and residencies all over New York.
How does she manage to wear so many hats I ask? “All areas of what I do lend themselves to each other. I’ve never been a one-lane type of person. It’s a very old-school mentality. I think it’s just the nature of my generation,” she says. “We are used to doing multiple things at once. I happen to do very different things but the key to my success has been time management and creating a great team about me…Something I have learned it not to get into bed with people you haven’t fully vetted. It’s important to build a team but it’s the quality of that team that makes a company successful.”
In doing so, she’s already built the quite the budding empire. But don’t be fooled – she’s not resting on her laurels. “Being able to react quickly to any situation is important. It’s an impromptu mentality that allows me to be quick and thoughtful about different scenarios that arise, the kind you can never anticipate.” What’s the trick to her success, I ask? “Always following my gut, asking questions and taking as many meeting as possible,” she responds. “When I started out, I was young and people didn’t take me seriously so I created a fake assistant with an email address and reached out to people to set up meetings and follow up. That was all me but to outsiders, it made me seem more professional.”
Above anything else, her main focus is being a role model to her two teenage sisters and, in her own way, acting as positive female figure for girls. “It’s about the brand you build and how to speak to your audience…I want to exude positivity in everything I do. Positivity is contagious.”
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