Women's History Month Interview : Hayley Antonian | NTY Blog
As part of our continued celebration of Women’s History Month, we’re excited to highlight an inspiring female business owner each week for the remainder of March in a Founder to Founder interview series, led by our very own Zain Pirani!
This week, we chat with Hayley Antonian – President and Founding Partner of Scenario Communications. Check out the interview below to learn more about Hayley as she shares her background, tips for success, and having a family full of female entrepreneurs that inspire her.
Tell us a little about yourself and Scenario Communications!
Hayley: I am from the East Coast, a small town in Massachusetts called Williamstown. I studied at Emory University, majored in English and spent a semester living in London. I am a mom of three young children – Skyler 2, Holden 5 and Riley 8. I have been working in publicity for over 20 years – starting in talent representation and transitioned to corporate brands. Prior to starting Scenario, I was the SVP of the fashion, beauty and lifestyle departments at BWR where I was overseeing our NY and LA teams. Scenario (which just celebrated its 3rd year in business) is an integrated communications agency specializing in brand building. Our clients range from entertainment and television to film festivals, fashion, beauty, lifestyle and hospitality.
What inspired you and your partners to start Scenario?
Hayley: I was ready for a change, as were my partners Ron Hofmann and Steve Wilson. I was at the place in my life where I felt bold enough to take a chance and to be a part of something new and exciting. I wanted to get back to my PR roots and start fresh – working on clients that I was passionate about and who inspired me. I wanted to be a part of building something great and crafting a well-rounded team with an entrepreneurial spirit. I wanted to lean into culture and community, and encourage team members to have a voice. A place where everyone can share ideas, suggest new ways of doing things, continue growing and learning via classes and always striving to do and be better.
As a woman, what were some of the challenges you faced when building your business that you may not have had if you were a man?
Hayley: I have to say that I always felt like my opinion mattered. My partners value what I have to say and the perspective that I bring not only as a female, but a mom as well.
Who are some of the inspiring women in your life, personally, professionally or both!
Hayley: I am inspired by the female entrepreneurs that Scenario represents and I learn from them daily: How they run their business, lead their company, work with their team, etc. I am a young entrepreneur and try to meet with as many people as possible to pulse them on what they feel is working, what’s not, and tips for how they balance it all. I am a sponge and always working to better myself, my company and my team. On a personal note, my mom has always been someone that I admire. Her strength, tenacity, perseverance and positive attitude are contagious. My nieces, Sophie and Izzy, are also inspiring. They are 13-year-old entrepreneurs who started their own company and invented their own product. To find a hole in the market and to ideate and execute something that fills that void, especially at their age is remarkable! My sister-in-law is also someone that I admire. She started a thriving interior design company after taking the leap and moving to a new city, Austin. Anyone that follows their passion – learning from the journey – and appreciating the bumps along the way deserves kudos.
Any lessons you learned from them that you still adopt to this day?
Hayley: As cliché as it sounds, to keep moving forward. Life might not always be what you thought it was going to be, but things happen for a reason and it is the people who are able to adapt to the change and learn and grow from it that really succeed. From having an illness at a young age, to advocating daily for a special needs daughter – I have come to realize that you only have one life and to make the most of it every single day. Life is so short. Taking the leap to start my company, to continue to see it expand and be constantly brainstorming ways to make it better and grow will never get old.
For all the other women looking to start their own entrepreneurial journeys, what advice would you give them?
Hayley: Take the jump. Take it with people you trust and can be honest with. You don’t have to agree with them, but you need to respect them and their opinions. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses and it is appreciating those differences that make people successful.
Tell us where our community can find you and your agency!