Founder & CEO, Hedley & Bennett
Growing up, Ellen Bennett, the founder and CEO of Hedley & Bennett, the leading Los Angeles based culinary workwear brand, found herself spending summers in her native Mexico learning to cook with her abuelita. Soon after graduating high school, Ellen found herself back in Mexico City attending culinary school where she would rekindle the joys of her summer cooking adventures while learning the skills needed to tackle the hustle of the professional kitchen. Back in L.A. she put her training to work cooking in two Michelin Star restaurants, Providence and Baco Mercat. It was during this time working on the line that she experienced a “uniform” that was not aligned with the creativity and confidence found in the kitchen. This led to the vision for Hedley & Bennett; make the best aprons in the world by marrying the needs of professional chefs with the design trends for today's discerning consumers.
Today, Hedley & Bennett make more than aprons, but culinary workwear and gear that outfits over 6,000 restaurants, hotels, coffee shops, resorts and hundreds of thousands of home cooks all over the world. This evolution has also led to creative, out-of-the-box collaborations with brands such as Vans, Madewell, Parachute Home, Rifle Paper Co., Product (RED) and more. Most recently, she pivoted the resources of her company during the global COVID-19 pandemic to make masks to meet the needs of both professionals and consumers while donating over 200k masks to front line workers. Ellen and the Hedley & Bennett story has been featured in the New York Times, Fast Company, Inc., Bon Appetit, Martha Stewart, the Today Show and more. Her acclaimed memoir Dream First, Details Later: How to Quit Overthinking & Make It Happen! serves as a playbook for pursuing your dreams before you stop yourself. Ellen lives in Echo Park with her husband Casey, their pet pig Oliver, and six chickens.