Post College Days
When I left college, I moved across the country to San Francisco without a job and no friends in my new city. Life changed quickly; I found a job, then I quit the job and started my PR agency at the age of 24. It was a hustle and so I met a ton of new friends along the way. I collected people, and they were from all different backgrounds and were of all ages. Usually in those days I was the youngest.
As a 24-year-old founder, I started to host informal Sunday brunches at my shitty, train-track apartment in Lower Pacific Heights. I’d often stay up the night before and make a bunch of the food for the next day testing out new recipes. My best friend lived downstairs below me so sometimes we’d cohost together and cook together which made the entire experience super fun.
Why did I do it?
First off, I simply liked having people over and hosting them in my flat. It never occurred to me that they’d think it was a crappy one-bedroom apartment, or that they’d care that the “dining table” was set up alongside my bed or that you had to walk down the middle of the table to get to the bathroom. It was cozy inside, it was definitely vibey and I was pretty stoked to be living on my own and not in a college or boarding school dorm!
But Why Else Did I Keep Hosting Salons?
But I also saw the value in connecting with people outside of a bar or restaurant, and giving them an opportunity to see a glimpse of my life, and my world. As my career and business grew in Silicon Valley, I continued to host people over in my home. I eventually moved out of the apartment into a house. Sometimes the guests were old friends, other times they would be new people along the way with whom I was interested in learning and speaking to more. Perhaps we would collaborate. Perhaps we would remain friends for decades. Perhaps we just simply enjoyed the eye-to-eye connection.
The one constant, however, is that everyone had a story, and that the vibe inside of my home was informal and warm. I had created a community, and that community grew and eventually grew from Silicon Valley to New York City, London and LA.
In 2009 I was badly injured in a fire. As I recovered, I found having friends over really cheered me up and so I hobbled around and continued to host (with a lot of help from the guests!). It did so much for my mental health to have friends around in that capacity.
I eventually moved to NYC, and in 2018 I started POSTHOC, which is a company that hosts salons. The same community that started in that San Francisco apartment has grown into an international cast of brilliant, curious people involved in projects across hundreds if not thousands of fields. Read all about it in our POSTHOC community profile and use our how-to guide to host your own salons.