Name, age, where you live.
Jenny Hutt, 49. Long Island, NY.
Give us an overview of your career.
I am a lawyer, I am a broadcaster/talk show host with a daily show called Just Jenny on SiriusXM satellite radio.
Tell us a little bit about what you’re doing now.
In addition to being a wife, mother of two big kids, mother of four dogs, lawyer, and talk show host, I co-created Bunny Eyez. They are wearable, tilt-able, flippable reading glasses.
How did you come up with the idea for Bunny Eyez?
I started needing reading glasses about five years ago. And since then, have grown increasingly dependent on their being at arms length at all times! The idea came to me in spring 2017 – like a gnawing in my gut. Every time I had my hair colored (I’m gray!), or I had a blowout, I was agitated because although I had my reading glasses with me, I could not wear them during my color process or my styling process. Essentially I felt like I was wasting time when I got my hair done because I could not read at the same time. I felt like there had to be a cute pair of glasses that would solve this problem.
Once you had the idea, what was it like starting the business? Did you know what you were doing?
About three months after I had the idea, I was seated next to my sister in the beauty salon. She was frustrated she couldn’t read while having her hair done, so we decided to partner and create our Bunny Eyez reading glasses. We sat side by side in the salon that day and googled our first vision of hand held glasses- think a mask, or opera glasses from yesteryear. But cooler! Then we hired a lawyer to do a patent search. Once we realized our concept did not exist anywhere, we sought guidance from a select group of trustworthy people who had experience with making prototypes, experience with manufacturing, and certain expertise that neither Stacy nor I had. We were extremely lucky to have that guidance, because we had no idea where to start.
How many different prototypes did you work through?
We started with a pair of broken eyeglasses and chopsticks. I’m not crafty and there I was taping these things together! From there, we had a factory create this concept but also added that we would need to wear the reading glasses like regular readers. We realized quickly that for this to work, our reading glasses had to be wearable while being held in our hands. Once we developed the right prototype, we realized how much more our Bunny Eyez reading glasses can do! That’s how they ended up being referred to as “Not your mother’s reading glasses!” and “Wearable, tilt-able, flippable reading glasses.”
What’s it like working with your sister?
Working with my sister is great because we are able to speak without speaking. We resolve conflicts the same way we’ve done for almost 49 years (she’s 50!) We are sisters for life, so why not grow our business! Additionally we named our company in our late mother Bunny’s honor, and it feels extra good to be doing this together.
Bunny Eyez are so great because they’re stylish but also practical. What are you favorite other stylish but practical pieces in your closet you keep returning to? Do you have a go-to outfit?
As I approach 49 years old, the outfits change! I have enlisted the help of the turtleneck. My go tos are yoga pants and a sweatshirt at home (usually American Apparel). Work is jeans, platform sneakers or platform boots, some sort of cute top or top with a blazer. I am also comfortable in a dress with platform sneakers.
You’ve had a talk show on Sirius Radio for over a decade! How did you get into radio? Have you always loved it?
I’ve had a talk show on SiriusXM for 13.5 years which is nuts!
I fell into this career. I always loved radio. I definitely wanted to do something with my voice, but I did not carve out this path. My ex-cohost asked me to do a radio show with her in 2005 and the rest is history.
Having a radio show is so different from running an eyeglass company. How do you balance the two? Do you have a favorite?
I have learned there is no balance, there is just doing. My radio show is in my soul because of all the connections I’ve made through the years. I love the relationship I have with my listeners. My Bunny Eyez is the most exciting business venture in my life so far. I am incredibly proud of our young startup. It’s wild. And fun.
You have a “Weight Wednesday” show on Facebook Live. What advice do you have for people who are trying to lose some weight themselves? What prompted you to lose weight?
I don’t do the Facebook Live really anymore, but I do have a Weight Wednesday two-hour themed Just Jenny show every Wednesday. And it is my favorite show of the week.
If you are trying to lose weight, step one is get on the scale. It is just information. Work on yourself meal to meal. Every meal is a new chance to make a better decision. And do it for health rather than for some dream that losing weight is going to make your life happy. It is not. It is just going to make you healthier and thinner. Yes, it is easier to get dressed when you’re thinner, but you will still have the same highs, lows, and issues you have today.
Realize that it is just weight. It does not define you. If you really want to lose weight then I promise you can. But there is no magic. It takes daily dedication. Eat less. Move more. It is 90% what you eat and 10% how you move to lose weight.
To maintain weight loss is a whole other beast. In 2008 I lost my mother to pancreatic cancer. In 2009 I was diagnosed with high blood pressure. I was also going to be 40 in 2010. I think I had a moment of grace where I just made a decision to get healthy. I did not have a lofty goal. I Just wanted to be overweight rather than obese. And so I started changing how much I ate, one meal at a time. And then I added exercise. Ultimately I lost 70 pounds and have maintained that loss (but for the 6 pounds fluctuation that maddens me yearly!)
Culturally, aging is viewed as this sad thing. In reality, I don’t know about you, but I certainly don’t feel bad or sad. I feel better than ever. How do you want to change the conversation around aging?
Watching my mother die far too young at 65 years old, I’m super aware of the privilege of aging. Aging is hard because we experience the unknown when we know so much. Our bodies are changing and it is scary. But the confidence we get to have because of the lives we’ve lived so far is somewhat magical. I would not trade places with a 20 year old, or 40 year old. No way.
What’s the best thing you’ve read lately?
UGH! I love to read and have not been making the time to read.
What’s your go-to hostess gift?
I love a personalized oversize notepad.
What’s the best gift you’ve ever gotten?
My 14 year old standard poodle Hazel (We have three rescue babies too)!
If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
If I could have a superpower, it would be to calm anxiety in my head and those around me who suffer too.
If you had a warning label, what would it say?
Warning, unrelenting and driven female ahead. She will keep going.
Craziest thing you learned this year?
I learned that I have more skills than I knew before. I invented something. It’s CRAZY! And I also learned that every woman who has an idea has the capacity to see it through. She just has to want it badly enough.