An Interview with CEO Hannah Schneider
If the patriarchy is to be believed, then all women are in competition with each other and it's a cat fight a minute. It's sad that I was surprised to learn this is untrue. Hannah is a bigger fish in a bigger pond, but we're swimming in the same water, and she has been nothing but gracious, kind and helpful.
I met Hannah through our shared friend (and fellow Bitch) Kristin Luna. I was looking for contributors to my post on 10 Things NOT To Ask A Social Media Manager and Kristin thought Hannah would be a great voice to add to the post. She introduced us and Hannah gleefully agreed to help out, and, as they say, the rest is herstory. *Voice Over Narration: "Hannah and Kim have formed a solid internet friendship with immediate plans to take it to the next level, i.e. IRL friendship, as soon as Hannah gets back from New York." Meet today's bitch, Hannah Schneider!
What do you do and what is the name of your business?
Hi! I’m Hannah Schneider, Founder and CEO of Hannah Schneider Creative, a hospitality social media and PR firm in Nashville and New York! We do everything from traditional press and content creation to social media management for restaurant, hotel and lifestyle clients.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
Anything that happens to or in your business is your fault (you being the owner). It’s so easy to get upset with an employee or be mad about something that goes wrong, but at the end of the day, I have to remember that no one will ever care or work as hard as I will for anything HSC-related, and I need to take responsibility for all things that happen under our name.
Can you name the biggest lesson you’ve learned?
I think learning how to scale and employ empathy as a business owner and manager has been the biggest lesson I have had to learn. I’m serious, I am extremely self aware, so I know my strengths and weaknesses and try to build a team that compliments that as much as possible. I literally Googled “how to be empathetic at work”. It’s easy to get so busy that you don’t take time to sit down with your staff, and I think being an understanding and encouraging manager is going to lead to the overall success of our business, so I am putting a huge focus on that this year!
What is your greatest success, or something you’re most proud of related to what you do?
After doing PR for nearly 9 years, you’d think getting press is just part of the gig. Something I am proud of is how much I still care about each and every client. I jump for joy (literally) when I can get a small mom and pop business into a huge national publication like Food & Wine. It’s huge, and it’s so special being part of that growth and knowing that people trust us to help tell the stories of their businesses.
Do you have a morning or nighttime ritual?
I am honestly the worst at stuff like this. I check my emails and social media constantly to make sure I don’t miss a thing. I take pride in how efficient and quick we are as a business. I aim to give the best service to our clients, so if something goes over an hour without a response, I don’t sleep. NOT GOOD for your health, y’all! I am trying to put my phone down when I get in bed at night so I don’t stay up working all hours. Other than that, truly the only thing I do daily is brush my teeth and use my facial oil from Lemon Laine. I’d like to tell you something way more interesting and impressive, but that’s the truth.
What helps when you’re stuck? Do you have a motto or quote that inspires you?
I go to sources that inspire me, take a breather and read a magazine, close my eyes and listen to ten minutes of a podcast, or bounce an idea off a friend or colleague. I love our office because it’s a huge open space, so we are constantly collaborating as a team in a great and creative environment. A motto or quote that inspires me? Honestly, don’t be a shitty person. If more people would take this into consideration when it comes to business, the world would be a better place.
What does self care look like in your life?
We’ve grown a ton in 2018, so this is something I really had to make a priority. There are days where I still work 16 hours, but I force myself to exercise regularly. I get a massage once a month, which feels like a total treat, and I go out for fun, non-work related dinners with friends. Seriously, nothing makes me happier than wining and dining!
How do you feel about social media?
I think if you do it well, there can be huge benefits, but I urge everyone to stay true to who they are and not just show off the glamorous moments. If you can be authentic, and share the ups and downs, provide a shit ton of value and know when you need to take a break, I think it can be the most powerful tool on the planet.
Are there any women who helped pave the way for your success?
HELL YEAH! I am hashtag blessed. No, but seriously, I have several women in my life who are constantly encouraging and pushing me. One thing I learned early on was to not burn any bridge, you never KNOW when and where someone might come back into your life. I still talk to the woman who at 18 inspired me to want to work in PR and have been lucky enough to now even work on some projects alongside her team. My first boss is my go-to for any business questions. She’s also my soundboard when I need to vent.
In addition, I’ve been blessed with two incredible sisters and a fearless mom! I didn’t take a traditional route, i.e. graduate from high school and then go to college. I graduated early from a charter high school, took one semester of college, then dropped out. I have been working ever since. Luckily, my family has always believed in my passion and encouraged my curiosity. I’m a firm believer in the idea that there is enough business for everyone to be successful. I hope that encourages other women to take a leap of faith and go out and chase what you love! I knew school was not for me. I learned way more from real life experiences, so I followed that and had endless amounts of support as long as I was happy and moving forward.
Lastly, and most important, what is your favorite podcast and snack?
Gary Vaynerchuk hands down. Snack? Hmmmm probably apple and almond butter. Or pizza, if I’m being honest.
P.S. Meet my last bitch: Amanda Salmon, PhD Candidate and College English Teacher!
P.P.S. See a full list of my Bitches here!