Always Choose Experiences

With Hannah Davis

Introduce yourself! Who are you?
My name is Hannah Davis. I founded a company called BANGS Shoes when I was 22 years old. I love my family, yoga, food, and surrounding myself with people smarter than me.

What would you say to 16 year old you?
I wrote a letter to my 16 year old self not too long ago! Here it is…
First of all, you’re doing great. I am so proud of you! You have a lot of reasons to smile, but here are a few life tips from an ole’ gal with some more experience under her belt.
You should probably relax a little bit. Take a deep breathe and relax your shoulder muscles. Then do it again and also start saving $20 a month.
You need to sleep more. You look pretty exhausted. It’s hard for the rest of life to go smoothly if you aren’t letting yourself recharge. Sleep should be a priority for you. Which brings me to my next point.
Why are you eating pizza for dinner every night?? Try and eat more green stuff. Just try. I promise you’ll feel better.
Not all men are evil. I know you were hurt, but you’re ok now. There are many, many good men in the world. Don’t take it out on all of them! I promise you’ll find a kind soul.
Forgive yourself. It’s ok you aren’t perfect. It’s ok, you’re not even CLOSE. Just keep working hard and being nice to people. You’ll be ok.
Call your Grandparents!!
Call your parents!!!
Why are you so afraid of what other people think? The ones who truly matter will love you anyways. It’s ok you’re you.
If you have a choice, always choose experiences.
And seriously. Start saving at least $20 a month.

What message do you think every woman should hear?
I am asked a lot if I think being a woman in business has ever held me back. I think being a woman in a field predominantly populated by men is different, but I do not think being a woman in business has put me at a disadvantage.
Being different can be very powerful, but it requires that we acknowledge the difference and not try to change who we are or run away from potential discomfort — both of which I have done in the past and I would imagine I will do again in the future. But what a waste of time that is!
I wish I could tell my past self “You are who you are, and it’s ok. Just keep working super hard.”

What is one thing people would be surprised to hear about you?
I used to tell people I wanted to be a Pediatric Oncologist when I grew up, and boy was I committed to it. You could not tell 11 year old Hannah otherwise.
I made it through one semester as a Bio major. One.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
I’ve gotten a lot of great advice throughout my life, but I got a text from my Mama that said….. “I want to fill my head and heart with things that give me pleasure to reflect back on. Life is such a curious mix of “enjoying the present”, “dreaming about the future”, and “savoring the past”. And I finally decided yucky stuff is nothing to savor!”

What do you love most about yourself?
That I was able to forgive  myself. I’m not sure when guilt becomes part of our story, but I know shame is something learned. It’s something we acquire along the way, and I used to feel so guilty for everything. It took so many years of mistakes and sadness and hiding to say “Hey!! You’re ok. It’s fine you’re you.”
Of course I still get embarrassed and feel guilty about small things, but I’m not ashamed of who I am as a human being. And that took a long time.
If you can’t be your own biggest fan, then who can you really rely on to hype you up?

What motivates you most?
I love the BANGS community. It has really truly changed my life. I feel like I say it all the time and somehow never enough. We are building something beautiful, I just know it. I see it at these meetups. I see it in our customer emails. I see it in our impact. Yes our community is not the biggest and there’s always more to do, but today I feel inspired and grateful and energized all in one.

Where do you find inspiration?
The BANGS community! Our little, yet growing community inside of this massive web.

What is something that is on your bucket list?
List of things to do in no particular order: hike the Appalachian Trail, go to Europe, see the Northern Lights, be able to hold an unassisted handstand for at least 1 minute, sky dive, go through yoga teacher training in a tropical location, start a family, go to Australia, see BANGS Shoes become a household name, hike the PCT, see the Pyramids, go on an Alaskan cruise, send my kids to college, and speak at a college graduation.

More About Hannah

Hannah Davis founded a company called BANGS Shoes when she was 22 years old. Hannah loves her family, yoga, food, and surrounding herself with people smarter than her.

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