Many people dream of becoming an entrepreneur, starting their own business, and becoming their own boss. For Bryanne DeGoede, the distinction of starting a successful business has been built on helping other entrepreneurs and brands build their empire and brand awareness. Bryanne is the Founder and Managing Partner of BLND Public Relations, a bi-coastal public relations firm headquartered in the gorgeous Hermosa Beach.
Over brunch at Martha’s in Hermosa Beach, Bryanne explains her story isn’t one of overnight success. “Everything happens for a reason, and I have tried to live by that. It’s been a driving factor throughout my life. When one door closed, I didn’t view it as a moment of defeat or downfall, I saw it as a newfound opportunity and knew it only meant another path would open,” says Bryanne “You can’t control what happens to you; you can only control how you react. Learning to grow—even thrive—in the uncomfortable, is something I had to learn very early on,” she tells me.
“I started my first business, an event company, in 2011, and it gradually gave me the confidence to keep starting businesses, taking on challenges, and trying new things. It was almost like a recipe I had to figure out—my confidence paired with my experiences and knowledge put together with the willingness and drive I already had,” she says, picking up her coffee for the first time. “Honestly…There was never really a business plan. I took every day and simply focused on what I needed to do to be successful that day. My father always told me to take things one step at a time. That advice has helped me keep going without worrying about the bigger picture. I knew consistency was the key, so I just focused on myself and never worried what others were doing.”
Bryanne’s entrepreneurial spirit shone through at an early age. She tells me about getting in trouble in elementary school for selling her “cool, special” Hello Kitty pencils at a premium to the younger kids in her class. Later, Bryanne’s playground enterprise evolved into her first job at Jamba Juice at just 15, where she, in her own words, “slang smoothies like no one’s business”.
After graduating from the University of California, San Diego, Bryanne was introduced to the world of Public Relations by working at the Hardrock Hotel in their downtown San Diego location. She then moved back to Los Angeles and began her post-college career with a prominent PR firm in Beverly Hills, California.
“That job was my first real taste of the industry. I always knew I wanted to be a part of the exciting world of public relations, but I very quickly realized it wasn’t all celebrities and fun parties.”
Growing up in Los Angeles, Bryanne was no stranger to the infamous Hollywood culture. But she began to tire of the clichés.
“Working in that firm in Beverly Hills, I saw the worst of the industry. Women bringing other women down, fakeness, a non-existent work-life balance. Quickly, I regretted wanting to be in the industry at all, even though I was exceptional at the actual work along the way.”
Bryanne saw an opportunity and felt compelled to start her own events company in her local town, Hermosa Beach. “I owe much of my success to networking and timing,” she says as she reflects back on starting.
From there, Bryanne started BLND PR in 2014, using the event company’s funds to kickstart her dream of building her own PR firm. “I never stopped thinking about PR and how it was such a passion of mine to help business and brands grow. I just didn’t want to work in the industry the way it was presented to me. So I thought, I’ll just create my own firm.” With $5000 to her name and one employee, she did just that.
BLND’s first office in Hermosa Beach was 200 sq/ft in a small building—but it was hers. “At one point in the beginning, we were offering services for free or at a fraction of the price, just to get our name out there. We started working with local community organizations and restaurants. For the first year and a half, I was putting all of the money I was making on the weekends with my events company into BLND to get it off of the ground.”
“It took 3 full years of living paycheck-to-paycheck, plus tons of stress, just to get BLND profitable. It was a long 3 years,” she laughs wryly.
“I remember a call with my mentor one morning on the way into the office which turned into a pivotal moment for me. I was complaining about money and payroll and losing a client and had just been offered a position at a very large corporate company through a connection. It had a plentiful signing bonus and guaranteed salary. I was questioning everything. I wanted to live in the comfortable. I wanted to stop living day-to-day. My mentor listened to all of this as he always did— calm, uniteruptive. I just wanted him to tell me, ‘yeah take that job’. But instead he said to me ‘Bryanne, you do what you want, whatever decision you make is the right decision.”
Bryanne continues, “He told me, ‘The thing that deciphers entrepreneurs from non-entrepreneurs is the ability to hang in the uncomfortable for a while. But success is always up and down, entrepreneurship truly never becomes comfortable. You have to choose to live in the uncomfortable, adapt and eventually thrive in it. This is where you decide what you are and if you’re not an entrepreneur that’s ok. You will do just fine in life.’ That hit me like a ton of bricks and has always stayed with me.” I think it’s obvious Bryanne passed on the corporate job.
“Within weeks we were signing more clients and more successful than ever before,” she laughs and ends with this statement, “If you’re going through hell just keep going. For the lows you go through, the highs are always worth it. It really is true.”
Over the past 15 years Bryanne has navigated through the PR and Events industry and has built BLND to over 10 employees, a New York satellite office, and a beautiful new remodeled 1500 sq/ft office in Hermosa Beach. She says the secret to her success is her team. “You are only as good as your worst person.”
Yet, in spite of all of her success, Bryanne never stops reinventing herself and her company. On the personal side, she loves to have a glass of wine after work, enjoy happy hours with friends and a weekly date night with her husband. But above all, she enjoys being a mother to her two-year-old son, which she says is much harder than any entrepreneurship struggles. “Motherhood is not for the faint of heart. It is something no one can prepare you for. However, those lows are LOW but let me tell you those highs are worth every low by a long shot.”
BLND Public Relations offers Traditional PR, Press Placement, Social Media Management, Talent Management, Influencer Relations and much more.
“Sometimes I forget to take a step back and look at what I’ve built. I am so happy BLND is expanding and successful, but I am happier that I am lucky enough to come to work and love what I do.”
Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting LA Weekly and our advertisers.