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Member Spotlight

antonia hellman

Antonia Hellman on building Toucan, Zoom's newest competitor

bande member Antonia Hellman (pronounced differently depending on which of her parents you ask) is a current Stanford student and the CEO and co-founder of Toucan, which “brings the natural and social interactions of real life to online events and gatherings.”  Since launching in 2020, the platform currently has over 37,000 users  and over $1 million in funding. This bande member spotlight interview took place on Toucan.

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Harley Langberg on Creating a Business out of Food Art

In October 2020, bande member Harley Langberg was walking through the magazine aisle of a local Bridgehampton CVS with his husband, Zach, when he saw the Food Network Magazine’s Thanksgiving edition out — earlier than expected. Brimming with excitement, he flipped to the editor’s letter and there, on page 16, was likeness of Food Network’s star personality Sunny Anderson with the note: “Food artist Harley Langberg made this portrait of me out of mashed potatoes and more! Check out his amazing work @harleysfood_art.” Langberg grabbed seven magazines and rushed to the cashier 

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woman doing a lunge looking at laptop

My week with bande: Anjana M.

I never worked out regularly before bande; I would go to the gym or on runs if I was forced to, but it was never something that I did because it 'felt good.' To be honest, I never understood what people meant when they say they work out to feel better mentally. But since I started working at bande, I've been doing a live class every weekday, and it's changed my life. The exercises make me feel great, the social interaction holds me accountable, and I love that I can feel myself getting stronger every day. Here are just a few of my favorite classes that I take regularly and now cannot imagine living without.

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Erin Carpenter on founding and growing Nude Barre

When Erin Carpenter was in high school, her weekly regimen packing her dance bag looked a little like this: She would boil dye in a pot, dipping her tights and underwear in it until it came out in a color that matched her skin tone. Then she would let them dry for a few hours, and if it didn’t match, she would do it again, and again, and again, until she achieved just the right shade. While she waited for her garments to dry, she would, in industry terms, “pancake” her dance shoes — meaning she took drugstore foundation, patted and blended it on the shoes to ensure they weren’t splotchy. Carpenter spent hours each week going through this process because when she went to a store to ask for “nude” shoes and undergarments — as is required for performers — they would give her beige. The problem? Like so many performers, Carpenter’s skin is not beige. 

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Swapping High-Heels for Hiking Boots

Kendra Kolb Butler

Kendra Kolb Butler is a former Manhattanite who’s led sales, marketing and public relations initiatives at leading luxury beauty companies from Givenchy and Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare to Clarins and Coty. In 2015, she found the courage to swap her high-power NYC lifestyle for (literal) greener pastures to move west to Wyoming—her proudest achievement to date. Kendra’s new backyard, teeming with wild forests of arnica and chamomile and fields of lavender and sage, became the basis for her wildly successful clean beauty business, Alpyn Beauty.

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From Dockets to Doughnuts

Leslie Polizzotto was a Los Angeles litigation attorney working 10-12 hours a day at a job she loved. After moving to New York, Leslie turned down a six-figure salary to follow her passion: opening a doughnut shop dedicated to small-batch, handcrafted goodness using elevated, real food ingredients. Her business, The Doughnut Project, is located in West Village, and is run by Leslie and her three female employees. With over $500,000 in annual revenue, The Doughnut Project has reached cult status in New York and beyond.

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