Skip to content

dream.create.inspire: brandon hansen frein of

May 23, 2012

i am so very excited  + thankful to introduce part two of the twentthirtyforty interview. today,   brandon the other half of  in case you missed yesterdays interview with arlene, here you go!

i had the brief opportunity of meeting these ladies at a rue magazine + hgtv event i designed after “meeting” them on twitter. then to my delight met with brandon (half of the twosome behind twentythirtyforty + positioned left in the above image) , when she briefed atlanta. such fun, edgy creative energy. and the epitome of a creative entrepreneur who jumps with both feet,  both eyes closed + makes it work. arlene + brandon have created an amazing business honing their passion for fashion. although in the interview below, she does say she is not a flower person (gasp!), i’ll take her anyway. xoxo. enjoy brandon’s energizing  interview below.

brandon’s inspiring images

what was your childhood dream?

That’s a hard one for me to answer. Maybe it’s because I’m so far removed from my childhood that I’ve forgotten! There have, however, been 2 constants throughout my life: 1. I’ve always loved to play dress up, and 2. I’ve always loved to perform (sing, dance, act – give me a stage and it’s all over.)

your dailies (job)

As a small business owner, every day is different. At any given moment my day consists of:

First and foremost, obtaining coffee; then

wrangling my 65lb black Lab, Kuma, with all of his (and my) accoutrements; lugging racks and garment bags and boxes and bags to and from shoots; making outfits; attempting to catch up on the books and pay bills; making to-do lists; surfing, tumbling, tweeting, instagramming, pinning; shipping and customer service; beating myself up and apologizing

what is your favorite thing about your job?

I play with clothes! What else do I need to say? Hanging out with Arlene in a room full of clothes and shoes and accessories and immersing myself in topics like “how to dress down chiffon for day” is like a fantasy.

favorite quote(s)

“Rationalizations are more important than sex. You ever go a week without a juicy rationalization?” Jeff Goldblum’s character in The Big Chill. Not necessarily inspiring, but very relevant to me personally.

favorite flower

I’m not a flower girl, but I do love me some Gerber Daisies. They’re just so darn bright and happy, how can you help but smile?

how do you stay motivated daily?

I give up. How?


 In all seriousness, this is a very big struggle for me. After a period of self-pity, usually spent [literally] under the covers, I’ve found that the best remedy I have for a creative blockage involves a dance party (I recommend Usher’s “DJ’s Got Us Fallin’ In Love” or Prince’s “Sexy MF”). And more than one costume change. Put on some tunes, put on some cute stuff and shake your booty!

toughest challenge upon working towards your dream? how did you work through it?

How befitting that you should ask us this now; we’re currently smack dab in the middle of very difficult challenge. We have been working on a rebrand and relaunch since the fall, and the road just keeps getting rockier. All I can really do is try to stay positive, stay focused and stay motivated. You have to keep your eyes on the prize, you know? For as long as I’ve known Arlene, whenever times get tough, she always tells me that things have to hit rock bottom before they can get awesome. I paraphrase, but you get the point. So I remember that, eventually, things will get better. And that always keeps me pushing.

how many times have you heard no?

I was an actress for nearly 2 decades, so I’ve heard “no” more times than I can count!

often times no can be very demotivating, how have you turned no’s into yes’s or find the silver lining?

No’s are just a part of life. Someone says “no”?  Big deal. You know your value, you know how hard you work, you just gotta keep moving. The absolute worse thing that you can do is wallow in rejection.

i find it very important to recognize your accomplishments, while you set new goals to have a sense of achievement. list your favorite accomplishment this year?

Our biggest accomplishment this year would have to be getting our styling work  in (and on the cover of!) Rue Magazine. We have an awful lot of respect for what those gals are doing and we really, really wanted to be a part of it. So, we’re stoked.

balancing free services vs paid while building your business

Tricky business. When you work for free, you need to make sure that you get something out of it. You don’t have to give of your time and talents just to do a “favor” for a “friend”. Compensation comes in many forms: exposure, experience, risk-taking, networking. And the hope is that those types of payments advance you toward the monetary ones.

what is the one thing that has given your company a big boost?

Support from the internet and blogging community (people like you!) has helped us immensely. It’s created exposure and followers and customers and friends all over the world, literally. 

as we grow + learn more about ourselves, evolution may be necessary. how do your dreams evolve as you do? when do you know when its time to let go of a goal and move on to another?

These 2 questions go together so perfectly for me. They both hit upon something that Arlene is really good at. From her, I’ve learned not to force things. There’s a difference between letting something go and giving up and I think that people get very caught up in the whole “don’t be a quitter” thing.


Arlene’s taught me that when you really feel like you’re forcing a square peg into a round hole, you’re doing the wrong thing. It’s a difficult message to hear, but if you can keep an open mind, it’s an excellent reminder that it’s time to evolve.

what inspires you?

Inspirational people. I don’t mean that to sound overly simple. I mean that I’m very inspired by people, in all walks of life, who do something courageous. It’s very easy to fall into complacency or mediocrity and self-pity, and when I meet or hear about people who aren’t wallowing in self-pity, who are taking leaps, fighting their battles and chasing their dreams, I feel very empowered.

creatives tend to have numerous passions, how did you hone in your focus to keep your creative self satisfied?

I’m not sure that I fully understand the question, but if it’s a matter of satisfying the creative soul, for me that’s what fashion is all about. Clothing is so transformative. An outfit can be like a costume, a chance to play a part, or express a different part of yourself. I don’t always feel creatively fulfilled in other areas of my life, but donning a pair of polka dot Sonia Rykiel pants and a brightly colored pump will always soothe my crazy, colorful and quirky side.

your favorite go–to books/magazines/brands that you adore?

Mags: I Love You and The Gentlewoman magazines both have incredible, unique photography, and are also filled with thoughtful, thought-provoking, truly interesting content. And Lula Magazine, for their freaking inspired editorial content and general art direction.

Books: A re-read of Pride and Prejudice or Franny and Zooey is always a good idea.

Brands: go-tos for me these days are Rachel Comey and Isabel Marant’s diffusion line, Etoile. I also adore Gary Graham – he makes you feel like a goddess. And I’m kind of obsessed with Margiela shoes. 

persons you have looked up to for drive + inspiration?

My mother and my father. As a couple and as individuals, they are the most inspirational people I’ve ever known. They have always treated each other and everyone else with respect. They are smart and hard-working and incredibly kind and generous. They are everything that I would ever strive to be. And I’m adopted, so I feel blessed beyond expression.

what do you recommend for creative, budding entrepreneurs working to create their dreams?

I don’t have the recipe for success. All I can say is be smart and just do it. My dance teacher from college used to tell us – over and over again – “The world is full of old people with old regrets. Don’t be one of them.”

thank you SO very much, Brandon  for helping to dream. create + inspire others.

to see more interviews

for more information on the series

* images provide by brandon

© christina loucks.


No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s