Today we’d like to introduce you to Hannah Flattery.
Hannah, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
It all started back when I signed with a modeling agency while I was still going to school for business studies in Dublin, Ireland. I quickly realized that I loved modeling and I remember it being hard to focus on my studies in my final year because I couldn’t wait to leave Dublin and go explore possibilities. Shortly after I graduated, I moved to Los Angeles. I didn’t have a plan. I just knew I wanted to be around anything creative and entertainment-related!
I spent ten years modeling between Los Angeles and Miami and spent a year on a contract in China and Southeast Asia. It gave me many amazing opportunities to travel and meet people of all cultures. However, while working in the industry, I also found that there was often a lot of competition between models and that the agencies that were supposed to have their best interest at heart, often didn’t.
This motivated me to start my own company Pretty Instinct. A creative agency focused on empowering and uniting females within the industry. I was living in Miami with a friend, also a model, and we were tired of relying on our modeling agency to keep us busy. I wanted to start something that would be different to the typical agency, something that would bring models together through a sense of community and fun, rather than competing against one another.
Around the same time, I accidentally picked up photography. One day I needed to take pictures for a swimwear brand and I wanted to cut the cost of hiring a photographer. I took to it very quickly and discovered my next creative love! I self-taught myself to be able to do a lot of the photography for Pretty Instinct and to this day, I love nothing more than taking photos.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It has definitely not been a smooth ride! But I wouldn’t have it any other way 🙂 I wouldn’t have learned these lessons had I not made my own mistakes. I think when you start a company and you have never done anything like that before then it’s easy to get this sense of “imposter syndrome” where you think that you are not really supposed to be there. For a long time, I struggled with seeing myself as a business owner and struggled with the idea that I would have to be in charge or lead other people. So I resisted growing or expanding as a business because of this. I didn’t see myself as a natural leader because I am so creative and not at all management orientated. But we are all leaders in our own way and I think you just have to let go of any concept that a leader or business owner has to fit any particular kind of profile. Especially being a woman when much of the world of business is based on the male idea of business and leadership.
I think my biggest advice would be to listen closely to your intuition and follow it no matter what. There will always be people that know better than you, people who are more educated or experienced, but if you are not on the right course FOR YOU, then there is no point in struggling for something that you don’t truly want in the first place. Make sure that whatever you do, or create, comes from the heart.
Struggles: Learning new things. Jumping in the deep end.
Please tell us about Pretty Instinct.
Pretty Instinct is a female-driven creative agency based in Los Angeles. We are a team of models, influencers, photographers and videographers. We became known as the “Creative Girl Gang” because we are the ultimate girl gang who comes together to create. And most of our clients are female-owned brands!
We specialize in producing fun and beautiful content for brands and influencers in Fashion, Beauty and Lifestyle. I hope to continue growing Pretty Instinct as a brand that unites female creatives around the world! We are currently developing a platform that connects influencers and photographers to make it more convenient to create quality content for brands. Through this, we hope to empower creatives to work together and create on their own terms. Our mission at PI is to inspire and empower female creatives to live a life doing what they love. I don’t believe in the term the “starving artist”. I think, given the times we are living in today, and the scope of technology we have available at our fingertips, it should be completely possible for all creatives to thrive doing the work they love.
We’re interested to hear your thoughts on female leadership – in particular, what do you feel are the biggest barriers or obstacles?
I think one of the biggest barriers is believing that we have to do things the way they have always been done. Females tend to have a different leadership style to males, but it doesn’t make them any less powerful or impactful. I think we need to restore the feminine and masculine balance in business in general. This shift is definitely happening now and it’s exciting, but it’s not quite there yet and I have found it challenging to navigate at times.
As a woman in business, you can sometimes feel as if you need to be or act a certain way in order to be taken seriously or make an impact. But I don’t think we should give in or conform to that. For instance, I think we can be “powerful” yet “sweet” at the same time. We can be “strong” but still “sexy” if that is how we choose to show up. In my opinion, you should embody whatever feels authentic to you. We all have many sides to our personalities and I don’t ever want to have to fit one particular profile in order to get ahead. If I can strive to remain true to my nature and my natural instincts no matter what the environment, then I feel like I am already winning in a way and hopefully, I can inspire or empower other females to do the same.
- Website: www.prettyinstinct.com, www.hannahflattery.com
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/prettyinstinct, www.instagram.com/hannah_flattery
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hannah.flattery.1
Jean Claude Vorgeack