We had the good fortune of connecting with Suzanne Brosnan and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Suzanne, what role has risk played in your life or career?
When I think about taking a risk I think about how it makes me feel deep down. Am I truly excited by this? It’s ok if it scares me, but I should still have a feeling of pure excitement or exhilaration. If it passes that test then I like to have a backup plan for if/when things don’t go according to plan (because do they ever?). If I have a gut feeling that is not sitting quite right with me or I can tell I’m making a rash decision, I’ll try and steer clear of those situations, if possible. It has taken me awhile to get to this point though…I’d always heard other entrepreneurs say “If it’s not a hell yes it’s a hell no,” and not totally understood what they meant until recently. Risks are always a part of entrepreneurship. Putting yourself out there and investing in an idea is really hard. Every decision isn’t always as extreme as life or death, but it still feels like you are always walking on the edge, and a lot of the times you are doing it alone which makes it feel more extreme. Risk taking has gotten somewhat easier as I’ve gotten to know myself more and what lights me up. It feels less risky when you are doing things that you enjoy!
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
ZANNI is a fashion and lifestyle brand designed and produced in Los Angeles. I started ZANNI in 2017 as a creative/business outlet for me and a way to create my dream wardrobe and build my own brand. My personal style mission is to have comfortable and timeless clothes I can wear for any occasion, so ZANNI is my answer to that. The brand is built around combining sporty styles and fabrics with timeless and wearable basics. My background is actually not in fashion but in digital design. Out of college I started working as a web designer for a Boston-based tech startup and moved on from there into UI/UX and digital strategy for various other startups and boutique agencies. I consider myself half designer and half strategist. It took me a while to learn to love both sides and to integrate them together but I’m getting better at it. When I started ZANNI I thought I’d have to put aside my strategy/business side and just be a “designer” and hide that I actually still love working for other people and with other brands, Now I see it as a strength. My overall goal is not just to be the founder/designer of ZANNI but rather a brand builder and to build many businesses (both my own and others’), not just ZANNI. I feel much better now being open to working with all the skills I’ve accumulated and continue to accumulate as a business owner (the struggles and learning lessons are never ending) and I think that is coming out more and more in ZANNI. ZANNI is really for a multi-faceted, multi-passionate, on-the-go woman…so that is cool.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I’m partial to downtown and the west side so this is what I normally do when friends come to visit (pre-COVID): DTLA – Eat at Grand Central Market, shop at my favorite bookstore, The Last Bookstore, visit MOCA and The Broad and then poke around the Arts District and grab a beer at the Arts District Brewing Co. West side – Start the day with a hike at Tuna Canyon (or anywhere around Topanga / Malibu), drive up the canyon and get lunch at The Topanga Table, follow that with a dip at Venice Beach and then catch an evening show at the Largo.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
We as business owners are so lucky for all the resources available to us in 2020! Seriously, shout out to all the online education that is on the internet for free or for very little money. My #1 favorite is obviously Google (my coworker) and my other go to’s include: – Trends.co – they have an amazing newsletter and Facebook community http://trends.co – The Shopify Entrepreneurs group on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/groups/shopifyentrepreneurs/ – The LA-based networking group BRA (Business Relationship Alliance) https://www.bra-network.com – Startup Fashion Community – https://startupfashion.com – How I Built This podcast https://www.npr.org/podcasts/510313/how-i-built-this
Image of me = Sarah Shreves Lookbook images = Sophia Schrank