Andi Dorfman on the 'Rewarding Process' of Launching a Running App, Embracing Single Life, and Rooting for Matt James
McCall Ryan, Nikki Ryan
When Andi Dorfman first stepped into the spotlight as a contestant on Season 18 of “The Bachelor,” she never imagined how much she would accomplish within seven years.
The former attorney’s journey within Bachelor Nation continued when she was asked to lead Season 10 of “The Bachelorette” in 2014, a role that catapulted her into mainstream stardom and brought about unbelievable opportunities.
“I thought I was going to go on ‘The Bachelor’ for a week or two, if I even made it through night one, and then go back to being an attorney,” she tells BachelorNation.com in an exclusive interview. “I’m a girl from Georgia who moved to New York City, has been engaged, not engaged, wrote two New York Times best-selling books, and then moved to Los Angeles. If you would have told me seven years ago that this would be my life, I would have just laughed at you.”
In the midst of Andi’s successes — which she describes as “a series of pinch-me moments” — the brunette beauty discovered a passion for running while training for the New York City Marathon in 2019. This ultimately led to her latest achievement: developing an app called Andorfins, which she launched January 4 for beginner and intermediate runners.
“This app helps you change your perspective of running,” Andi says. “Just think of it as 45 minutes away from your family, your work, or even the daily stresses of life. It’s time for you to enjoy some good music or some good scenery. Think of it more as a mental escape or precious time alone rather than some arduous workout.”
Below, Andi talks more with BachelorNation.com about the “rewarding process” of building her fitness brand, embracing the single life, and rooting for her pal Matt James as he fronts Season 25 of “The Bachelor.”
McCall Ryan, Nikki Ryan
Andorfins began as a hashtag before evolving into an app. What inspired you to cultivate this community?
While I was training for the New York Marathon, I was uploading videos and people would tag me in their own running videos. We created this hashtag called #Andorfins. And then after I ran the marathon, I was like, “Wait a second. I’m not really done with #Andorfins. The hashtag lives on and it’s still going and how do I kind of make this more?” I started putting challenges out on my own Instagram page, and eventually I realized that there needed to be another forum for this community. I just thought, “Why not an app?” Everybody runs with their phones, so let’s just do it and make it easy.
How did the COVID-19 pandemic impact your relationship with running?
Prior to the pandemic, running had been a saving grace in a lot of ways for me — and then even more so during the pandemic. It was so nice to be able to rely on running because gyms were closed and many still are. There’s a lot of adaptation that we’ve all had to go through — mentally, emotionally, but also physically in the way we exercise. So how do you adapt? For me, I love running because it’s a mental escape in addition to being a great workout. Running helped keep me sane during quarantine.
McCall Ryan, Nikki Ryan
What is your favorite feature of the Andorfins app?
The app is geared towards beginners. Running is super intimidating. I myself was very intimidated by running at one point. You see people who are running eight-minute miles and you think to yourself, “I’m never gonna run an eight-minute mile!” So, I wanted to make sure that it was for everybody — beginners, people who have never run before. My favorite feature is that it’s broken down into different levels: one, two, and three. We’re all kind of busy and this app allows you to go on and be like, “Hey, I have 30 minutes to go for a run. What cool challenge can I do? How can I make this fun? How can I make running not miserable?” I like how inclusive the app is. It makes running fun.
As someone who was once intimidated by running, when did you fall in love with it?
Once you start achieving things is when you begin to love running. Once I ran a full mile straight, I was like, “OK, wait, this is an accomplishment. Let me see if I can do two miles straight.” Whether it’s your pace or a distance that you want to make, the more you accomplish, the more exciting it becomes. Running is very attainable. It might not seem like it, but if you can walk, you can run. You don’t have to have hand-eye coordination to be good like with tennis or golf. Everybody can do it. Those little accomplishments along the way are very motivating for every individual runner.
What does your current training program look like?
I’m waiting for something to happen, whether it’s a marathon to be announced or a half-marathon. I think I might start training for a half-marathon and do it on my own. I personally like to train for something. Right now, there’s a pandemic happening and there’s not a whole lot of races going on, if any, so I’m just going to make my own! On average, though, I probably run about five days a week, even if it’s just for 20 or 30 minutes.
Now that the app has been available for a few weeks, how would you describe the response from your Andorfins community?
The people who have been around since it was a hashtag who are now doing all of the runs on the app — for me to see that come to fruition has been really exciting. Now, they’re following a program that the Andorfins and I literally designed together. That has been an incredibly rewarding process.
McCall Ryan, Nikki Ryan
You also released a line of merch alongside the launch of the app. What does the future of Andorfins look like?
Great question. I’m going to make it as big as it can be. I obviously want to keep our community. That’s really important to me. I want everyone to feel like they’re welcome and that they can participate in this, whether it’s running our challenges or races or buying the merch.
When you first entered the Bachelor Mansion seven years ago, did you ever think it would lead to this?
It always comes back to “The Bachelor.” That show changed the trajectory of my life. I’ve seen places I would have never seen. I’ve met people I would never have met. I’ve done things I never even dreamt of because of the show. When I think about it, my life since has been a series of pinch-me moments. Like I said, I’m a just a girl from Georgia. Now I’m living in L.A. and starting a running company! Who would have thought?
Are you watching Matt James’ season of “The Bachelor”?
I watched the first couple episodes. I absolutely love Matt. I was close with him when I lived in New York. He lived with Tyler Cameron. Tyler and I trained for the New York Marathon. Matt’s a big runner, too. I was giving him advice to go on Clare Crawley’s season. And I remember him coming over to my apartment. We were making these little magnet roses for him to pin on Clare the first night. And then all of a sudden it went from him getting ready to go on Clare’s season to him being the Bachelor. It was just so bizarre and so crazy. Matt is such a nice, kind, and gentle guy. He’s doing great so far. And I think his women are probably some of the best we’ve seen in a very long time. He’s got his hands full with girls who are just great quality.
Which contestants do you see being a good match for Matt?
I liked Sarah Trott, who he went on the one-on-one date with. But then she left, so what do I know? And then Abigail Heringer, who he gave the First Impression Rose. I love her. I liked her a lot.
Having led this franchise before, what advice did you give Matt before he left to film?
I told him just to be himself, which sounds so cheesy. I wanted to let him know that he didn’t need to be the crazy guy or Mr. Bravado. He is a sweet and gentle guy and that’s what America is going to love about him. I told him, “There will be some crazy people on there doing outlandish things. But don’t worry about it. You do you.” And I probably told him something similar when we thought he was going to be on Clare’s season. But it’s a whole different game when you’re the lead.
Speaking of Clare, do you have any words of support to share following her split from Dale Moss?
I haven’t talked to her about it yet. Having been in that situation before, I know that the last thing she probably wants is a bunch of people calling her about it. I’ve talked to her throughout her relationship [with Dale], so I’ll give her a shout in an appropriate time. But she’s not the first who’s gone through that and we’ve all kind of overcome it, whether it’s me or Becca Kufrin. We’ll be there for her, for sure.
Let’s talk about your own love life, Andi. Are you currently dating anyone right now? What can you tell me about that mystery man you were with on the beaches of Mexico back in December?
What I can say is that I am single, period. I am absolutely single. Period, period. I’m embracing it. But please send your brothers and nice sons my way!
McCall Ryan, Nikki Ryan
At this point in your life, what are you looking for in a partner?
I’m 33 going on 34. Obviously, I’m looking more towards a family kind of guy. I have been lucky enough to do a lot of things and have some successes on my own. I’m looking for somebody who is supportive of me and especially supportive of my new Andorfins venture. I just think I need a good, solid man. I need someone who is good-hearted, one of the good guys.
Do you think your outlook on love has changed at all since your run as the Bachelorette?
I don’t think it’s changed that much at all, oddly enough. I still am a big believer in love. I think anybody who’s my age has probably seen a lot of love in their life or has had heartbreak. Just because mine was on the show doesn’t really make it that much different than anyone else’s experience. I’m definitely a believer in love still. I always will be. I’m manifesting that big love.
Other than meeting Mr. Right, what else are you manifesting for 2021?
I am really looking forward to growing Andorfins this year. It’s kind of been a behind-the-scenes labor of love all of 2020. But it’s out now out and I can’t wait to watch it grow. It’s my baby. It’s the first time I’ve really been super focused on my career and I’m excited. It’s the first business I’ve ever tried to build. 2021 is the year of Andorfins.