Renee Hanson of Bani Bands. Webgility founder and CEO Parag Mamnani speaks with entrepreneur Renee Hanson about her athletic equipment ecommerce business, Bani Bands.
Parag Mamnani: Hi, everyone. I’m Parag with Webgility. This video is being recorded as part of our series called Beat It. I’m talking to entrepreneurs and experts in retail on how they’re beating COVID-19.
Today, it’s my pleasure to chat with Renee Hanson. She’s an amazing female entrepreneur, a US Army Veteran running an athletics business called Bani Bands. I hope I’ve pronounced that correctly. She’ll be sharing her incredible journey building her business and the pivot she’s made to help our critical frontline workers fighting the pandemic. Welcome, Renee.
Renee Hanson: Hi. Thanks for having me.
Parag: Excellent. Then, I also have with me Emily. You probably remember her from one of our previous recordings. She runs the Elevate Growth Group where she helps brands with their e-commerce business and specifically with the Amazon Channel. She happens to be a partner with Renee. She’s helping them build their brand on Amazon. Welcome, Emily. It’s great to chat with you again.
Emily Wilcox: Thanks for having me back, Parag.
Parag: Of course, excited to have you. So, Renee, your story is both incredibly fascinating and also very inspiring. Could you tell us a little bit about how you got started with your business? Also, we’d love to hear how things have changed for you because of coronavirus and some of the changes that you’ve made.
Renee: Yes. Of course. Well, our story basically started in 2008, but I won’t drag you all the way back into all those details, [laughs] but we have been in business since 2008. When I got out of the Army, I went to fashion school, did a pivot, and learned cut and sew apparel manufacturing.
So, when we started the business, actually, it was tall-sized athletic apparel and then we started making headbands on the side. We were going to volleyball tournaments all over the country, living in a motor home, and driving from event to event to get the business going.