The path to entrepreneurship is not linear. Known online as Gili Hendrix, Jillian Levine worked as a comedian, DJ, viral meme creator and brand consultant before investing in startups and becoming a founder. Combining sarcasm with an incredibly believable attitude, the founder and current CEO of BODY and 8x investor soulless startup draws on a decade of knowledge as a culture trendsetter and content creator.
At the age of 21, Hendrix, originally from Southern California, landed a job at the CAA talent agency in Los Angeles with the desire to break into the entertainment industry. “I entered the paper in the tournament and they immediately noticed that I was so good at presenting letters that I became second assistant,” Hendricks says. With the agency’s launch pad and exposure to the entertainment industry, Hendrix taught himself how to DJ by watching YouTube videos and quickly made a name for himself as a popular DJ in Los Angeles and New York. “Through the agency and then DJing, I got to experience the entertainment business firsthand,” says Hendrix, “I liked how you can create a party atmosphere as a DJ.”
Hendrix DJs in clubs as a performer and promoter, and has been a part of the influencer rotation since the beginning along with his childhood friends from Laguna Beach, Lauren “Lo” Bosworth and Lauren Conrad. Networking with emerging and established cultural brands such as DJs and influencers, Hendrix quickly rose to the role of talent and then brand consultant working with brands such as Chandon, Sweetgreen, Bumble, Hinge, Outdoor Voices and more. “It’s like I’ve been building relationships with tastemakers and brands my whole life,” says Hendrix.
It seemed like a natural progression for Hendrix, partnering with direct-to-consumer startups looking for unique digital strategies and cultural content to tell their stories. Hendrix researched the ins and outs of the startup ecosystem from a creative and financial perspective, ranging from $100 for brand verification to over $25,000 for projects as a consultant. “Some of the memes I create help startup brands grow, and through this work, I’ve become very knowledgeable about early stage startups and how to target consumers online.”
Get information about the startup ecosystem as a Hendricks advisor to start investing. “I went from creative to business,” says Hendrix, “I really wanted to help grow the account and take it to the next level. The next level was really easy.” After starting his consulting firm, Hendrix was able to qualify as an accredited investor, a simple and important step required to invest in a company. Hendricks founded Jilly Ventures and has invested in 8 companies, including Ghia, a classic non-alcoholic aperitif brand, Instagram aesthetic cooking brand Great Jones, and a creative platform that competes with Fanhouse, OnlyFans and Patreon. With checks starting at $10,000, Hendrix’s investments strategically span the food and beverage industries, the creative economy, and women’s health and wellness.
In the midst of the pandemic, Hendrix saw an opportunity in the $100 billion liquor market to start BODY, a low moral ABV company. “If it’s not the BODY, it’ll be the BODY,” Hendrix said with a smile. Due to the growing trend of alcohol alternatives and low alcohol products, BODY will be launched at the end of 2022. Their premium vodka is distilled 10 times and contains 25% less alcohol than standard 80% vodka. reduces consciousness and cravings for alcohol.
Building on a strong decade-long relationship with Rolodex and less than a year old, BODY Hendrix is now available in over 50 New York locations, including Manhattan’s luxurious 5th Avenue Safe Hotel and award-winning chef Jeremiah Stone and Fabian von Hauske Center. Wildair, chef Ignacio Matos’ LODI diner and cafe in Rockefeller Center, along with Greenwich Village’s Pebble bar, flower shop and American Bar. Today, the company announced its first partnership… Next Century Spirits, a technologically advanced spirits company with a nationwide distribution network, has made BODY an official client and part of the Next Century Brand Group portfolio.
To date, BODY has raised over $1,000,000 in pre-funding rounds led by Curate Capital, with participation from Parade CEO Cami Tellez, Lauren Bosworth, CEO and Founder of Love Wellness, Y7’s Sarah Levy and others. with the adoption and will release the semi-official. At the beginning of 2023. “I love connecting people and helping brands, and if I can, every brand out there,” Hendricks says. “Everyone needs to be successful. There are so many great products out there right now. There’s room for everyone.”