If you're not already familiar, meet MyDomaine's Second Life podcast, a series spotlighting successful women who've made major career changes—and fearlessly mastered the pivot. Hosted by Hillary Kerr, co-founder and chief innovation officer at MyDomaine's parent company, Clique Brands, each episode will give you a direct line to women who are game changers in their fields. Subscribe to Second Life on iTunes, and stay tuned—we'll be releasing new episodes on Mondays.
If you asked Jen Gotch in her 20s what her career might be like today, she'd have had absolutely no idea. "I'm a late bloomer," she tells Hillary Kerr on episode 14 of Second Life.
The businesswoman and founder of the stylish gifts and accessories brand Ban.do spent college studying literature and philosophy with the goal of becoming a lawyer, only to realize that wasn't the path for her. Little did she know it would be a career in food styling that would ignite her creativity and lead to the beginning of her own brand then, later, a podcast about mental health.
After college, Gotch worked in retail at Ann Taylor while figuring out her next move. In her late 20s, she found food styling, the art of arranging and designing food for cookbooks, magazine articles, and advertisements, and something clicked. "It was artistry," she says.
With no experience, she cold-called a food stylist, became an assistant, and learned on the job. "I honestly think I got hired on a lot of jobs more because I was, like, fun to be around and less because I was the best stylist in town," says Gotch.
During her time as a food stylist, she started her own brand, Ban.do, as a side hustle with fellow food stylist Jamie Coulter. What's now a lighthearted brand offering bright office supplies and quirky gifts began with one-of-a-kind flower headpieces. "It really was meant to just be fun," Gotch says of the early days.
Craving a new creative outlet, she jumped into her latest endeavor, a new podcast called Jen Gotch is OK…Sometimes, in which she discusses mental health as it relates to career and success. "It's very fulfilling, and I'm hoping to just put good out into the world," she says.
With so much accomplished, Gotch's advice to her younger self is as optimistic as it gets. "There literally is always something else that you may not have even known existed," she says.
Head to iTunes to hear the full episode.