Influencer Marianna Hewitt is tapping into her social network for a new venture.
Hewitt is launching a podcast, “Life With Marianna,” in partnership with Dear Media, the podcast studio cofounded by Digital Brand Architects, which manages Hewitt. UTA acquired DBA and its stake in Dear Media, which has subsequent investment from Magnet Companies, in 2019.
“Life With Marianna” will premiere Nov. 17 with episodes releasing weekly. Hewitt will host fellow beauty and fashion entrepreneurs Jen Atkin, Mona Kattan, Bobbi Brown and Jasmin Larian, founder of Cult Gaia, in the first few episodes.
In an interview with WWD, Hewitt said she was compelled to launch her own podcast after listening to others’ while taking daily walks at the beginning of the coronavirus lockdowns in March.
“Podcasts were a great escape for me at the beginning of quarantine,” Hewitt said. “When I tried to be an influencer, and then when I started a brand, I was fortunate to have the most amazing network of friends around me who could serve as a resource. It took so much of the guessing out, especially when starting a company, to have these people I knew to call on. Not everyone has that ability. I wanted to take that network of people who have been so helpful to me and bring it to people everywhere.”
Hewitt cofounded Summer Fridays in 2018 with Lauren Gores Ireland. Last year, the business picked up investment from Prelude Growth Partners, and WWD reported that Summer Fridays was on track to do $20 million in retail sales that year.
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Despite seeing a slowdown in brick-and-mortar sales, Summer Fridays has seen “double- and triple-digit growth” in its core product range online, according to Hewitt. The company launched merchandise for the first time this year, selling out of its sweat set within minutes of the direct-to-consumer launch.
“Having a strong direct-to-consumer site in addition to retail allows you to play with fun things that you weren’t able to do in a retail setting,” Hewitt said, noting that a second sweat set introduction is on the way. “Next year, we’re still planning business as usual.”
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