Hillary Kerr Interviews Hannah Bronfman for Second Life

As it turns out, Hannah Bronfman’s most valuable college experience came from outside the art-strewn walls of the classroom. While attending liberal arts college Bard in Upstate New York, where she was a sculpture major, she started deejaying at a small bar once a week. The side gig was enough to spark a change of heart for Bronfman, who soon realized that her dream of pursuing fine arts probably wasn’t going to pay the bills.

Through connections with friends, Bronfman started deejaying at nightclubs in New York City but quickly burnt out on the all-nighters that put her love for cooking and working out on the back burner. Alas, there was a solution: She realized she could transition to deejaying fashion and corporate events, where she could maintain more reasonable hours than her at her nightclub gigs. It was during this time that Bronfman began to understand her worth and learned to stick up for herself—which, for her, involved creating an email address for a fake assistant named Virginia so she could negotiate rates without seeming like the “bad guy.” Brilliant, right?