Get to know the woman behind activewear phenom BANDIER: the one-and-only Jennifer Bandier. She opens up about the greatest lessons learned from her previous life as a music exec and shares her pro fitness tips—including how she stays motivated during the cold winter months.
What was the inspiration behind BANDIER?
One wrong step is all it took. Literally. I stepped off a curb and broke my foot. After wearing a cast for five months, I was only allowed to walk for exercise. The last thing I wanted to wear was the standard fleece-and-leggings look that was available in the market at that time. The inspiration for BANDIER really started with the desire for personal expression that suited my active lifestyle.
I launched a research project to find the best activewear brands from all over the world. I wound up finding many startup companies that were both fashion forward and functional. At the time, no brick-and-mortar store was selling the selection of activewear that I wanted to purchase all in one place, so I decided to create BANDIER to solve that problem.
Greatest lessons learned from your previous careers?
Everything and anything. Music has always been an enormous part of my life. I was so blessed to have spent my music career managing the top-selling R&B group, TLC; it was a transformative period in my life, where we were chasing dreams and solidifying legendary careers, all based around three very strong women. They taught me tenacity, and showed me that if you believed in yourself enough, anything was possible. After leaving the music industry, I started a small business that was a technology-based custom product. We were picked up by QVC, which was, of course, thrilling. It was initially very successful, but given the early timing for the space, we weren’t able to get the production quite right to make it a long-term success. I learned from QVC what it takes to bring a dream to reality, and then make that reality a massive, sweeping success, and sustain it. While it didn’t work out for my first venture, I was a sponge, and the lessons I learned there I’ve carried with me to this day.
What’s your advice for staying motivated?
Trust your intuition.
And how do you get motivated when the temperature dips?
Ironically, what usually gets me motivated the most is trying out new winter activewear. Putting on something I feel great in always does the trick.
Favorite place to work out?
STUDIO B—it’s part of the BANDIER brand and offers a curated selection of training methods and instructors. We feature every type of class: dance, yoga, boot camp, Pilates, etc., all taught by the most cutting-edge and sought-after trainers in the business. For example, I worship Beth Cooke for yoga, and I love Amanda Kloots for The Dance and The Rope, which is a jump-rope-based class, exclusively taught at STUDIO B. I also love Yoga Dan because he really pays special attention to recovery.
Favorite healthy snacks and drinks?
The two beverages that I drink consistently all day, every day, are Perrier and iced black coffee. I am not a huge snacker, but sometimes I indulge in Mike & Dave's nicecream.
Your NYC fitness guide includes stops at…
Bandier and STUDIO B (of course) and Central Park. I train at STUDIO B all year round, and will occasionally go for a run in the park. It’s hard to get out there [during the winter], but once do, it can be transformative.
Pro tips to healthy living during the holiday months?
Take time each day to ground down. The holidays are the perfect time of year to remember what really matters: family, health, happiness and being kind to others.