Ellen Bennett, CEO and founder of Hedley & Bennett, embodies the notion of self-made success—the ambitious entrepreneur grew her bustling business from a mere $300 in personal savings into a multi-million dollar business that exudes a passion for craftsmanship.
In the latest episode of The Nitty-Gritty, Bennett recounts her story for us, discussing how her childhood reinforced her self-reliance, and how that early independence contributed to the growth of an entrepreneurial drive and unparalleled business-savviness.
Ellen’s passion for food was evident early on: at nine years old she took it upon herself to learn how to cook, picking up groceries and preparing dinner while her mother worked. The little girl who started taking the initiative early grew into an adult who never stopped.
It seems adventure was always embedded in Bennett’s journey, taking detours to paths less traveled—moving to Mexico City on a whim, selling all of her belongings to travel the world, climbing Mount Fuji—to name a few. Her story dispels the misconception that you need to know exactly what you’re going to do from the get-go to be successful.
What started as a small endeavor making handmade-to-order custom aprons for cooks has grown into a pipeline of products that do not sacrifice utility for aesthetic: knife bags, work shirts, chef coats (with chef pants soon to be released), jumpsuits, “The Go Bag,” are some products that have been added to the menu along with the original aprons.
Not only does Hedley & Bennett count culinary icons such as Nancy Silverton and Mario Batali as fans, but the assortment of vibrant kitchenware can be found in some of the most renowned kitchens in the world including Nobu, momofuku, and Mozza.
Hedley & Bennett stands to help people above all else, providing products that make consumers feel and look their best and that espouse the values Ellen Bennett has stayed true to throughout her impressive career.
To dig deeper into Ellen Bennett’s remarkable career, have a listen below.