"Ellen Bennett is the platonic form of a go-getter who inspires go-getter after go-getter to become a better go-getter."—Zooey Deschanel, actor and musician
You’ll never know where to start…until you start. This gutsy guidebook will help anyone who's procrastinating on a goal, career change, or business idea stop the obsessive worrying and leap into action.
As a 24-year-old line cook, Ellen Marie Bennett couldn't stand the kitchen staff’s poorly designed, cheaply made aprons. So when her head chef announced he was ordering a new batch, she blurted out, “Chef, I have an apron company”—even though she had no company, no business plan—just a glimmer of a design idea and a business license. Through hustle and a willingness to leap into the unknown, time and time again, she built that first order into a multi-million-dollar company called Hedley & Bennett, making aprons and kitchen gear worn by many of the world’s best chefs and home cooks everywhere.
Dream First, Details Later shares Ellen's journey and her forged-in-the-fire personal playbook for starting before you stop yourself. If you've ever imagined doing something and immediately thought, "that's impossible," or "I wouldn't even know where to start," or "I'm not qualified to do that," in these pages, you'll learn how to shove aside your inner worrier and launch into action. This honest and bold illustrated book will be like having Ellen—your personal hype woman—there with you, all the while yelling, "Don't stop! You got this!" She'll share hard-won advice on:
• Squashing doubts and reservations about venturing outside your comfort zone. (These doubts masquerade as rational, but they’re more likely coming from a place of fear.)
• Saying screw it to the perfect plan and using creative problem-solving—and heart and guts—to conquer the shit storms as they come.
• Eventually transitioning from the "flying by the seat of your pants" stage to the "well-oiled machine" stage.
You don't need to have all the answers to make your dream a reality. You just need to start before you're ready.
About the Author
Ellen Bennett is the founder and CEO of Hedley & Bennett, an apron and kitchen gear brand that outfits many of the best chefs in the world. Since starting the business in her L.A. home, Ellen has grown H&B into a multi-million dollar business. They have collaborated with Vans, Madewell, Chrissy Teigen, and artist Takashi Murakami, among others and create uniforms for 4,000 restaurants and coffee shops all over the U.S.
“Full of passion and color, highly motivating and aspirational. That is Ellen Bennett and H&B to a T! It is also the perfect description of what her debut book is. Ellen gives us a rare, honest and occasionally blood pressure–raising first account of how a successful business gets built and the traps you might (will!) fall into along the way. Dream First, Details Later is the best guidebook, pep talk and cheerleader to anyone who is at the base of the mountain of their next big dream.”
—Jesse Tyler Ferguson, actor and author of the cookbook Food Between Friends
“Ellen Bennett is the platonic form of a go-getter who inspires go-getter after go-getter to become a better go-getter. In an afternoon with Ellen there is never a dull moment, so be prepared to be inspired, motivated and delighted by her humor, wit and grit. If I could bottle her productivity and enthusiasm I would, but since I can’t, I will just read her book.”
—Zooey Deschanel, actor and musician
"I love, love, love this book! The true story of a true heroine for our times--bold, brash, and entirely honest about the downs and ups of making dreams come true."
—Angela Duckworth, New York Times bestselling author of Grit
“This book is delicious. It’s inspiring, beautiful and actionable, and it might be just what you need to unlock the door and help you get going.”
—Seth Godin, author of What to Do When It’s Your Turn
“How exactly does one go from line cook to apron empress of the world? Sure, there’s hard work and maybe luck, and of course determination, but Ellen Bennett has something else, something special that most mere mortals lack. But now, the secrets are out for all to read.”
—Alton Brown, producer and writer
“Ellen Bennett’s infectiously inspiring story of grit and entrepreneurial spirit, Dream First, Details Later is a powerfully honest and colorful account of her wild journey from line cook to business owner. In it, she gives license to break free from self-doubt and to seize the wheel for your own journey to success.”
—Danny Meyer, author of Setting the Table: The Transforming Power of Hospitality in Business
"An important and marvelous new book full of can-do spirit from the force of nature that is Ellen Bennett. If you needed a reminder that you are capable of doing the impossible, this is it. Ellen inspires me daily! I’ve been on many impossible adventures with Ellen and just knowing her has given me so much personal power. Now she shares her can-do spirit with the world in this important and marvelous book. An essential reminder that you are capable of doing the impossible. Trust me, read this book!"
--Jeni Britton Bauer, Founder, Jeni’s Ice Creams
"Dream First, Details Later is a rare book that combines inspiration with action. Learning Ellen's story is enjoyable on its own, but here she's gone above-and-beyond to leave readers with practical advice. I will be recommending this one far and wide!"
--Chris Guillebeau, author of The Money Tree and The $100 Startup