Published on February 28, 2020, at
by Olivia Carroll.
For Hannah Schneider, failure has never been a mark of disappointment. Each new venture, no matter the outcome, was a new experience that fostered growth to help the next attempt to succeed. As the founder of a successful communications agency, BRND House, Hannah Schneider has had her fill of learning moments.
Hannah Schneider grew up in San Diego. Knowing school was not her priority, she graduated high school early. After one semester in college, Schneider found herself with a continued lack of interest in school. Her father told her, “Figure out what you want to do and go do it.” So, she did.
Schneider grew up with a passion for restaurants but she knew she wanted to do more than work as a bartender for the rest of her career. She noted, “I wanted to work with restaurants but not work in them.”
Schneider began contacting every agency she could to ask for a chance to intern for them, without having a college degree. “There is a sense of having to make it right away,” Schneider said. “Instagram and social media have really glamorized it, and it is not like that.”
Schneider’s experience certainly was not glamorous. After contacting what seemed like every public relations firm in San Diego, she got her break. Schneider was given the chance to intern for H2 Public Relations — a firm specializing in hospitality and lifestyle.
Working unpaid and long hours, Schneider eagerly put in the work it took to learn and improve in the public relations industry. “I was willing to work for free for the women that I wanted to learn from. I was willing to put in the work because I didn’t have the degree to fall back on,” Schneider explained.
Lisa Field, Schneider’s business partner and co-owner of BRND House, said, “[Hannah has an ability] to persevere amongst all odds.” This preservation paid off, and Schneider soon found herself with an opportunity that changed everything.
Schneider’s passion for the hospitality industry runs in the family. Her sister began planning to open a restaurant in New York City and asked Hannah to help with the social media and public relations aspects of the business. Schneider made the move to NYC to help her sister for three months with the intention of returning to San Diego, but she fell in love with New York City and never left.
The restaurant, Eggshop, was a hit. Nearby businesses took note and eagerly asked Schneider to help them with their public relations. Not long after, Hannah Schneider Creative was founded.
Schneider credits natural progression for the growth of her business. She said, “I never intentionally thought about opening up a business doing this. It just happened.” Due to high demand, Schneider found herself hiring her first employee to help manage the work. She laughed, “I remember waking up and saying, ‘Oh my gosh, I have three employees.’”
The business continued to grow, and a new restaurant project led her to Nashville around four years ago. Again, Schneider expected to do the job and go home, this time to New York. However, she once again found herself falling in love with the opportunities of a new city. The action, innovation and growing boom led Schneider to open her second office in Nashville. Not long after, she introduced the name BRND House — an all-women social media and public relations firm that specializes in hospitality, travel and lifestyle clients.
Where she is today
Field regards Schneider as “a sweetheart, a boss, someone who will get the job done.” Field noted, “[Hannah] will make things happen.” As Schneider’s businesses continue to grow, it is evident that she is constantly seeking ways to innovate communication in the hospitality industry and the world around her.
Recently, Hannah Schneider Creative merged with BRND House to unite under the name BRND House. The firm offers full digital marketing, content creation, influencer marketing, public relations, design and web design. The full-service agency design stemmed from a need she saw to offer her clients efficient, effective and consistent services.
As for her unique choice of industry, Schneider claims that she did not choose the hospitality industry; it chose her. Her passion for the hospitality industry is apparent in many aspects of her life, including her newest business endeavor. Schneider opened Kettner Coffee Supply a year ago to fulfill her own desire for a welcoming, community-driven coffee shop. As with her other business adventures, Schneider saw a gap in a market and found a way to fill it.
Schneider’s entrepreneurship stems from ideas that will meet her own needs. Her newest endeavor: a podcast studio. The studio, appropriately named HSC Media, was created when Schneider found herself at a loss for a podcast studio where she could record her own podcast — “No Time for Coffee.” She said, “I thought, if I need this then I have to believe other people need it, too.”
For Schneider, hospitality is a passion. Even though others told her there was no money to make in the industry, she pursued it anyway because her heart was in it. “[Working in an industry we are passionate about] is what makes us good at what we do,” she noted. Schneider believes there is success found in knowing what you do well and following that path. It may take more time, but it will take you further in the long term.
Schneider said her favorite part of working in hospitality public relations is to work with locally owned clients. “There is nothing more rewarding than seeing our services turn their business around and make a difference for them,” she explained. Hannah Schneider also finds a reward in investing in future public relations professionals just as other leading women gave her chances to learn and grow.
Schneider urges future public relations professionals to overcome the increasing trend of a lack of work ethic. There is a need to see past the false glamorization of entrepreneurship that might inspire a misplaced sense of entitlement. She advised, “Show up and be ready to work. Be open to learning and taking feedback.”Schneider continues to create and innovate in every aspect of her life. As she moves forward, she remembers that a vital part of success is found in the mistakes made along the way.
“If it fails, fine,” Schneider said. “I hope I learn from it. If it doesn’t work, I move on and try something else.”