Ellen Bennett shares her entrepreneurial journey from line cook to CEO of Hedley & Bennett in her book Dream First, Details Later

June 17, 2021 01:35 PM
Ellen Bennett
Credit: Julia Stotz

Ellen Bennett didn't follow a traditional career path, but as the CEO of multi-million dollar brand Hedley & Bennett, she credits her success to taking the road less traveled.

On the latest episode of the PEOPLE Every Day podcast hosted by Janine Rubenstein, the former line cook and author of Dream First: Details Later describes how she got her start by forgoing college and moving to Mexico City at the age of 18.

"I got a million and one jobs, paid my way through culinary school and really learned to make something out of nothing," she says, of taking on odd jobs like being a Mexican lottery announcer.

"It is a windy adventure, but it led me back to Los Angeles after four years with so much more confidence in myself" she says. After returning to Los Angeles she started her celebrity chef-loved apron company without any real business knowledge or prep.

She credits her colorful life experience for giving her the tenacity to tackle any obstacle. When the chef at her restaurant announced he was ordering aprons, she took advantage of the opportunity and proposed to make them herself.

"I had no such company, but I had this idea that I wanted it," she says. Bennett's aprons are now sold in stores like Williams-Sonoma and Madewell. She hopes Dream First will encourage others to act towards their dreams, whatever route they take.

"Just focus on the things that you have at your access and make something," she says, "because you are the driver of your life."

Check out more from Bennett's interview on PEOPLE Every Day, airing now on iHeartMediaApple podcastsSpotifyStitcher or wherever you listen to your podcasts.