Contact Ellen For Booking

Ellen Bennett

When it comes to entrepreneurship, you’ve got to wake up and fight.

Culinary Entrepreneur | Founder and CEO of Hedley & Bennett

Contact Ellen For Booking
Ellen Bennett | Culinary Entrepreneur | Founder and CEO of Hedley & Bennett
Lavin Exclusive Speaker

Ellen Bennett was working as a cook at one of LA’s busiest restaurants, tying on a $5 apron before hitting the line. Years later, this self-starting culinary entrepreneur is the founder and CEO of Hedley & Bennett, an apron company/brand beloved by the likes of Martha Stewart and Momofuku’s David Chang. In her charismatic talks, Bennett explains how you can jumpstart your own idea, whatever it may be. “Leap before you look,” she says. “You’ll figure it out on the way down.”

When Ellen Bennett ran the 2012 New York Marathon, she realized something: she and her restaurant coworkers were athletes, and like athletes, they needed a uniform—functional and beautiful. With little more than a unique idea and a personal constitution to “wake up and fight,” Bennett traded dinners for sewing skills to complete her first order. Now, Hedley & Bennett is more than an apron company. By the time she was 30, Bennett had transformed a “better apron idea” into a culinary lifestyle brand, attracting interest from major brands like Samsung, Le Creuset, AMEX, Vans and more. 


“Ellen Bennett launched an apron company not knowing how to sew and not knowing how to run a business. Now she has the world, so to speak, by the strings.”

The Los Angeles Times

In her colorful talks (apt if you peruse her apron offerings), Bennett breaks down her own self-starting attitude—“If the front door isn’t open, climb in through the window”—to the truthful insights of what she calls the “non-sexy parts of being an entrepreneur,” a.k.a what you don’t read about in Inc. or Forbes. Bennett, true to her cooking background, is not afraid to get her apron a little dirty, and she’ll enthusiastically show you how what she accomplished isn’t limited to aprons. “You could be making bulletproof vehicles,” she says. Entrepreneurship takes grit, determination, and finding the help you need to bring your project to fruition.



Speech Topics

Wake Up and Fight There’s No Perfect Time to Start a Business
When Ellen Bennett snagged her first apron commission, she didn’t even know how to sew, let alone have any samples to show for herself. While that might sounds like something to panic about, Bennett didn’t: instead, she traded, bartered, and borrowed in order to get the job done. In this funny, inspiring talk, Bennett shares her own path to building (and continuing to build) her start-up, Hedley & Bennett. With vibrant, practical examples from her own playbook, Bennett will leave audiences with both the insight and energy to bring their own projects to life, whether that means starting from scratch, or returning to a current work strategy with renewed vigor. “Wake up and fight,” says Bennett. After this talk, get ready to come out swinging.