BLND Public Relations is a boutique communications agency for lifestyle, beauty and wellness brands. Owner Bryanne DeGoede and her team blend media relations, social media management and influencer marketing to increase brand awareness, reach and revenue. Bryanne has worked in public relations, marketing, branding and events for 14 years. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of California, San Diego, and started BLND in 2014.
Why did you start your business?
When I was first introduced to the world of PR, I worked at a firm in Beverly Hills and had a terrible experience. The industry itself was tired, and the atmosphere was catty and exclusive. After leaving that position, I worked as an investment banker before switching to a role with a South Bay newspaper. I realized that many local businesses needed better external communications and PR. I’ve always had an entrepreneurial drive, so I took the plunge into business ownership and opened BLND in Hermosa Beach. Today—nearly eight years later—we’re one of the top boutique PR firms in the country.
If you could begin again, what would you want to “do over” in your career?
I hate to sound cliché, but I wouldn’t change a thing. I’m a big believer in “everything is meant to be” and that you are made up of all of your experiences. If something happens that I feel could be negative, I will always put a positive spin on it and trust that the universe knows what it’s doing. You can’t control the things that happen to you, but you can control the way you feel about them—and this often ripples into your life.
What is the best advice you’ve heard?
My business mentor once told me that I needed to learn how to live in the “uncomfortable.” As a business owner, there are bound to be unexpected twists and turns that could derail your plans or completely throw you off. Being able to stay calm and adapt in even the most trying situations is essential, and for the right person, you can not only survive but thrive in the uncomfortable.
How do you find time to fit it all in?
It’s not easy, but I stay very organized with my calendar and prioritize my tasks. I’m big on to-do lists and get a rush every time I’m able to check something off before moving on to the next project. I actually thrive on stress and love a fast-paced environment that is constantly moving and evolving—so this lifestyle really works for me.
Describe your leadership style.
I try to lead by example and serve as a mentor for my team. My door is always open for them to chat with me or ask questions, and I encourage them to bring their ideas to the table, knowing it is a space free of judgment. While I try to be very hands-on, I also ensure that they have the freedom to make and learn from their own choices without too much micromanaging.
What is the #1 thing you do to ensure your business is successful?
I never stop pushing. When I’ve hit all my goals, I make new ones. I firmly believe that there is always more room to grow and get better. As an entrepreneur, success is a never-ending process and you always strive for more. I think that mindset has helped ensure BLND never stops growing, and I never stay stagnant in my career.
How do you encourage honest, open employee dialogue?
I’m very transparent and open with my team about my ideas or day-to-day challenges, and I encourage them to be the same with me. I’ve cultivated a workplace where mistakes aren’t punished, but instead they’re looked at as opportunities to learn and grow. With that mindset, my team understands that they can come to me with questions, concerns or ideas; feel comfortable giving their honest opinions; and know that their voices are heard and taken seriously.
How do you balance work time and playtime?
PR is an industry that is always on, but I’ve continuously emphasized to myself and my team to have a strong sense of work-life balance. As a mom to an almost 2-year-old, it can be hard to juggle a business, time with family and time for myself. But at the end of the workday, I try to shut off the computer and spend quality time with my husband and my baby boy. Ultimately, when I prioritize my personal life as much as my professional success, it allows me to be refreshed, productive and a better leader for my team.
What are some of your favorite ways to stay grounded?
I remind myself of how far I’ve come in my career and stay grateful for the opportunities and challenges that have led me to where I am today. I also try to give myself some me-time at least once a week, like taking a spin class, relaxing in a hot bath or enjoying a cold glass of sauvignon blanc.