We had the good fortune of connecting with Jill Hoppenheim and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jill, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
When I first started out in the entertainment industry, my understanding of work/life balance was that it didn’t exist. I believed that true success could only occur by working to the point of complete exhaustion and burn out.
Over the last couple of years, the conversation about work/life balance has been at the forefront. Companies like THRIVE GLOBAL and apps like CALM and HEADSPACE have become increasingly popular — for good reason. We’re currently living in a time of information overload and we are seeing an increase in stress, anxiety, burn out and depression and so there has never been a time where work/life balance was more important. It’s something I’ve thought about for many years but just didn’t know how to make it happen.
Then 2020 arrived, and like many, the global pandemic gave me an opportunity to really evaluate my life. I realized that I was operating on no sleep and lots of stress and that the lack of balance had actually impacted my creativity. I rarely had time to explore, hang out, go to a museum or even bake a cake. As silly as some of those things sound, I realized that having those moments to be present in your life creatively, not only helps you recuperate but also gives your body and mind the space for new ideas and exploration. THIS is what actually makes us better at our jobs and more fulfilled in the process. Now I understand that self care and the space to just ‘be’ is equally important to the hustle. I have a daily practice of meditation, exercise, good nutrition and I take Friday afternoons off to just explore non work related things that I find interesting. This small shift has made the biggest difference in my life and career.
What should our readers know about your business?
Bagg Street Productions started out over a decade ago as a creative content agency and production company that specialized in entertainment marketing, branded content and unscripted programming. In the last couple of years, we have expanded into scripted television and film which has been really exciting.
The company was named after a street in Montreal, Canada that my grandparents lived on. It was part of a district where many immigrants lived when they first arrived in Montreal, and now, it’s where many artists reside. Being a Canadian immigrant (and now citizen) of the US, I chose the name because it represented my understanding of the immigrant experience – hard work, grit and passion. It was everything I believed in and everything I wanted this company to represent.
The founding of the company started with a call from a former producer I had worked for at Family Guy. She had asked if I could come back to work on the behind- the -scenes content on a couple of shows she was producing. I said yes immediately and Bagg Street was born. The first couple of years were challenging. We were growing quickly and simultaneously trying to build infrastructure to help support the work and employees at the company. I wore many hats at that time from; producing to managing, sales and even admin. It felt like having a newborn. The job was 24/7 and it was both exhausting and exhilarating. Each day presented new challenges and lots of growth.
As the years went on, it became a little easier. I had found the right people and resources I needed to move from surviving to actually thriving. I now had the experience to understand the ups and downs of business and the knowledge of how to pivot when needed. Entrepreneurship can be tough but being able to work for yourself and make your own decisions was more valuable to me than working for someone else. My first two jobs in this industry were spent working for extremely abusive people. I tried speaking up but at the time, there was no one to listen and nothing that could be done. Part of the impetus to start my own company was to make sure that this kind of behavior would never be tolerated. There’s a sign in our production office that says “Work Hard & Be Nice to People”. It’s our marching song. Bagg Street is comprised of a team of passionate storytellers that all value hard work, kindness and the importance of being able to have a voice. What I think sets our company apart from others, is our common goal to produce content that not only entertains but serves to elevate the conversation. We are highly focused on transformational stories with universal ideas. Whether it’s a campaign or a film, the goal is always the same. I’m really proud of the company and community we’ve created!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
My favourite things to do in LA are:
1- Hike – I hike every morning before work and love to explore the many options in LA. Some place I frequent are; Runyan Canyon, Griffith Park, Temescal Canyon and so many other trails in Santa Monica and Malibu.
2- Restaurants – I’m vegan and love that we have so many options here in LA. My favourites are Crossroads and Cafe Gratitude and a neighbourhood restaurant I love is Pace, in Laurel Canyon.
3- Music & Entertainment – I LOVE the Hollywood Bowl. It’s one of the most magical place and so much fun to attend on a summer night. I also used to frequent the Arclight a lot but unfortunately it has just closed.
4- Farmers Market – LA has some of the best farmers markets. I love the Santa Monica Farmers Market and the Hollywood one as well.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are so many people to thank but at the heart of it all, my family has been my greatest support. None of this would have been possible without their unconditional love and constant encouragement.
Instagram: @baggstreet or @Jillhoppy