Brenna Donnelly

Age: 25
City: Boston, MA
Career: Footwear Designer
Dream Career: Creative Director for Footwear Design
Instagram: @brennadonn


Your favorite way to be active. Why do you love it?
I absolutely love riding my bike and getting to the outdoors. It sounds cheesy, but having the ability to go out for a weekend backpacking trip or hopping on my bike makes me feel very grateful. I love trying new active adventures in order to be active because it keeps my brain active and challenged as well as my body.

Three ways you get inspired
It’s impossible to just be inspired through one outlet. Relying on the internet only gives a person instant gratification for what they “think” they want to be inspired by. The following are my favorite ways to be inspired:
1) Step out of my comfort zone and try something new, even if it’s trying a new route to work. You never know what experience will excite your mind with a change.
2) Surround yourself with other driven and passionate people. My friends inspire me every day!
3) I never just inspire myself by looking at other footwear. I love exploring the world of fashion, going to conventions, or seeing museums to get a new sense of design to inspire me.

What advice do you have for dealing with stress?
It’s important to address that stress is vital to keeping us motivated and organized. Nobody likes the feeling of stress; however, it means you care. I would say, recognize your stress, make a task/goal list to overcome whatever it is that’s stressing you out. Then, tackle the first thing on your list and forget about the rest of the stuff until your first task is over. We’re only human and not super-humans, so know your limits and your strengths.


You’re in a room of teenage girls, what is the best advice you can give them?
Nobody wants to be friends with mean people. The more kind, caring, and generous you are to the girls around you, I guarantee it will help you go very far in life. People remember those kinds of girls.

Who is one female, other than your mother, that propelled, supported, or gave you an opportunity in your life or career? What was her best advice?
Shane Ratazzi. She’s an owner and footwear designer for DZR (commuting cycling shoes) in San Francisco. Shane was my first instructor to give me insight and into the footwear design world; however, when I working toward getting an internship, she said to not try for companies like NIKE or adidas because it would be impossible. My first footwear design internship was with adidas… My point is, listen, always listen to what someone has to say or share for advice, but you don’t always have to do what they’ve said. You are the maker of your dreams and drive in the end. By the way, I think Shane is amazing and she has been a support in a positive way throughout my career.

What is the best way to bounce back from a failure/mistake?
Learn from it and move on. MOVE ON, it doesn’t do you or anybody any good to hang on to your failures. Acknowledge your mistakes, then take the next steps to start something new because I guarantee you’ll learn, grow, and becoming a stronger person.

The best thing a woman can be is

For Fun

List three things you love right now
My job, new friends, and weed….just kidding, but probably Lauren for putting together this Ladies Blog because it’s inspiring!

What song/playlist pumps you up?
Mi Mujer by Nicolas Jaar

I feel most confident when I’m wearing
My overalls

Angela >

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