Guest Blog with Nikki Silvestri - The Secret to Resilience: Healthy Stress

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I had the privilege of delivering a keynote and facilitating a pre-conference field day on "Women in Regenerative Agriculture“ at Eco Farm. One principle of regenerative agriculture is "a little stress builds resiliency." Stress your plants a bit (but not too much) against the elements and they build the ability to thrive in change. 

Kristyn Leach of Namu Farm shared a story of allowing one of her crops to succumb to a pest infestation instead of using insecticide. She spoke about approaching her land with curiosity instead of control. She did lose most of her crop, but she saved the seeds of the few that survived and ended up with very strong future harvests.


“A bit of stress (but not too much) leads to resiliency” is a universal truth: in the soil, in our personal lives, and in larger systems. Over-managing mistakes to prevent messes, unexpected moments, and spontaneity impedes our ability to thrive in the midst of change. I’m practicing looking for places in my life where I'm over-sterilizing stress out of my environment, and thus sacrificing learning. And I'll tell you: for a control-focused Scorpio, this is a HARD inquiry. Hah! 

In business: Where am I micro-managing my team, and thus not encouraging actual delegation (read: resiliency) in my business? Where am I confusing “safe but potentially messy” product, media and service experiments (also known as innovation) with irresponsible risks? Where is this confusion costing my clients results in their lives and businesses, and costing my business growth opportunities? 

In parenting: Where am I over-managing my toddler so I don’t need to clean up messes? I will always ensure that he’s safe. But if I’m being real, I also may resist fun activities with him because it’ll be “such a mess”! Where am I potentially sacrificing educational and bonding experiences?

What To Do

How can we increase "safe experiments" around healthy stress? “Safe” experiments allow for new experiences without risking our foundation or stability. When Kristyn lost her crop, that had financial implications from which she knew she could recover. I can't let my child make too many messes—there are implications for his health, our home, and my sanity. But I can certainly let him have adventures that may inconvenience me in the short term and provide beautiful long term memories.

It can be difficult, but there is space in our lives to get more adventurous and test our limits. We don't need to risk financial security or (in my child's case) paint on the wall to allow for "healthy stress.” We start where we can, gradually build our capacity to be with the unexpected, and meet life’s challenges stronger and wiser. 

Nikki Silvestri will be at The Hivery twice this fall! This Thursday, September 19 at 12:30pm, she will be leading our Entrepreneur’s Circle on The Secret to Joy + Impact In Social Entrepreneurship. And Nikki will also be speaking at our San Francisco Launch Celebration on Sunday, November 3 as we celebrate the opening of The Hivery San Francisco!



Nikki Silvestri is the Founder and CEO of Soil and Shadow, a project development firm designing economic and environmental strategies with human left in.

As the Co-Founder of Live Real and former Executive Director of People's Grocery and Green for All, Nikki has built and strengthened social equity for underrepresented populations in food systems, social services, public health, climate solutions, and economic development. A nationally recognized thought leader, her many honors include being named one of The Root's 100 Most Influential African Americans.

Nikki is a Faculty Member at the Food Business School (she co-designed and taught one of their inaugural courses, "Ethical Leadership in Food Business"). She is the Board Co-Chair of the Business Alliance of Local Living Economies (BALLE), and is an advisory board member of TendLab, a boutique firm unlocking the power of parenthood at work. She is the recipient of numerous awards including ELLE Magazine's "Gold" Award and OxFam America's "Act Local, Think Global" Award.

Nikki began her work in social change through the foster care system in Southern California, where she directed Foster Youth Empowerment Workshops. She has a master's degree in African American Studies from UCLA, and is originally from Los Angeles. She currently lives in Oakland, with her husband and son.

Interested in using “safe experiments” and healthy stress to build resiliency in your teams, organizational culture, or between external stakeholders? Schedule a free consultation to work with Nikki in your business or organization.

Guest Blog: The Second Shift

We love featuring companies and founders with values that are aligned with The Hivery’s. We’re so excited to share our recent conversation with Jenny Galluzzo, Co-Founder of The Second Shift.

First, a little bit about the company. The Second Shift is a on a mission to change the workplace for women and help companies thrive along the way. They empower women through work by connecting their vetted Second Shift members with opportunities at companies who value their expertise. The Second Shift helps companies access top-tier experts and redefine and reshape the future of diversity in the workplace all at once! 

Executive-level, gender diverse companies are 21% more likely to experience above-average profitability (McKinsey, Delivering Through Diversity, Jan 2018). However, as employees move through the ranks, from up to SVP roles, the share of women decreases by 15% (, Women in the Workplace, Jan 2018). 

Hi Jenny! We are so excited to share The Second Shift with The Hivery Community. Tell us a little bit about The Second Shift and what inspired you to start this business.

Gina and I met through a different business we were both involved in and we became friendly. We were at very different life stages but had the same desires professionally—to continue working but we were at a crossroads trying to figure out our next steps. At the time, before The Second Shift, there were few pathways to find high-level part-time and project based work outside of your own networks. We realized there was a tribe of women like us, we found the market need and the technology to address it. We built a platform to solve our own needs! 

We believe SO MUCH in what you do...our missions are truly aligned, but we’d love to hear your specific thoughts on why you decided to focus on women? Tell us more about your commitment to helping women re-enter and thrive in the workforce.

The Second Shift is focused on women because there is such a massive disconnect between women entering the workforce and their representation at senior levels in leadership positions. Our goal is to help women remain engaged professionally at the various stages of the work/family life-cycle so they can rise up into power and make the systemic changes that will structurally change the way the workforce deals with women. Without our voices at the top there will never be real change. 

** To be clear-- we are not a re-engagement platform. You cannot have taken more than 2 years out of the workforce and be an active member of our community. We work with other organizations to get women back to work and then bring them onto our platform. 

What makes Second Shift unique as a way to find work or find qualified people? 

Our Second Shift community is unparalleled in skill, experience, and ability. We represent the leaders of today and tomorrow and an applicant pool unavailable in other talent marketplaces. Companies come to us because they are opting in to hiring this type of talent. We are all very clear on the value proposition that is The Second Shift!

What kinds of work or ways of working are people finding through Second Shift?

When we started out we were focused on project based work but as we have grown our business has also shifted to reflect the professional needs of our member community. We now fill full-time roles (in NY only at the moment) and we do a lot of long-term engagements. Many of the jobs are remote—we really try to have something for everyone! 

How are the businesses you’re working with (those who post job or project opportunities) responding to this new model of finding qualified applicants? 

When we first started in 2015 we had to explain to businesses what the gig economy was and why having a more gender diverse senior leadership team was valuable. We no longer have to have those conversations—the social and political climate changed dramatically in the last few years and it’s been wind in our sails. We are thrilled to see the corporate world coming to us and the demand is insane! 

At The Hivery, we believe in the power of women supporting women. We have seen incredible collaborations and businesses spring from The Hivery ecosystem. Can you tell us more about your collaboration. How did you two meet? What has it been like partnering to grow your business together? 

Gina and I are both natural risk takers and decided to just try it out and see if it worked and how we liked partnering. Because we have a two-sided marketplace the roles and responsibilities have naturally fallen down the line where I work with brand and messaging and community and Gina works with our business clients. I could not do what she does…I am in awe of her! So we bring very different skill sets and interests, but the same ultimate goal for our mission and the same sensibility in how we build and grow our business. 


What advice would you give women who are looking to make a career transition, re-enter, or change the way they work? 

The most important advice for anyone looking for a job—whether you are in transition or re-entering—is to harness the power of your own networks. Call on all the people who can help you and have your back and ask for favors and advice. Also, make sure you are up-to-date on all the latest changes and technology in your field. You need to know Slack and Zoom etc…if you don’t feel your sharpest in new technology, sign up for General Assembly or Flatiron School and take a refresher course. Update your LinkedIn and resume and make sure it tells a compelling story about you and your experience.

We’d love to learn more about how to join Second Shift! How would you describe your typical member?  

Our members are experts with an average of 10 years experience in their chosen field. Again, you cannot have taken more than 2 years max out of the workforce. We are focused on corporate and creative service jobs ie: broadly defined marketing and finance, HR and legal fields. Many of our members are current consultants looking for new leads and a strong community. Others are women considering their next step and testing out the market to see what’s out there. To join us, you apply through our site and we have a 4-step vetting process that includes checking references, a deep dive into your professional background to make sure you fit the demand from employers, and a personal welcome call/interview. It’s important to us to create an eco-system where women can support each other and work with each other because there is strength and power in numbers and we are all about inspiring women to work together toward our mission of gender equity in the workforce!

Interested in becoming a Second Shift member? Get all the details here.

A bit more about the Founders of Second Shift                      


As co-founder of The Second Shift, Jenny Galluzzo lives her life committed to the empowerment of women through work. She is fiercely dedicated to shifting the path forward for women, encouraging them to forge their own career paths with confidence, intention and optimism. Jenny is responsible for the member community and all things brand, overseeing messaging, communications, and content channels. She curates events across the country to bring members and business partners together, and with her team, is in close contact with members during the multi-step application process. Beyond connecting women with jobs, Jenny is also in regular contact with members, advising about career transitions, gender equity in the workforce, and becoming an agent for change.

Prior to starting The Second Shift, Jenny spent many years in journalism, researching, writing, hosting and producing for Good Morning America, News 12 and Plum TV. Jenny holds a BA from Duke University and an MS from the Columbia University School of Journalism. She lives in New York City with her two young sons. 


Gina Hadley does not like the status quo--if something doesn't work, fix it. As co-founder of The Second Shift, making change is her daily mission. Gina is in charge of new business at The Second Shift and she focuses on helping move clients from talk to action. She works in close partnership with companies to design working cultures that support and retain women. By demonstrating how even small changes ripple into big impact, Gina helps businesses of all sizes shift their workplaces forward into more flexible, nimble working structures. Together they create solutions that best support their business needs and identify opportunities to incorporate on-demand expertise into their human resources strategies. She also speaks regularly at industry conferences as a leading expert on the future of work, gender equity as good business, and flexibility as a talent pipeline solution. 

Prior to founding The Second Shift, Gina was Worldwide Creative Coordinator at Ogilvy & Mather on the IBM business, and later pursued an entrepreneurial path as a founder of and Urban Monkeys in Seattle. She lives in New York City with her husband and teenage daughter and son. Gina holds a B.A. from Connecticut College and a MFA from New York University. 

Hivery Circle: Life Lessons for Today’s Leaders: How to Create and Lead Values-Driven Organizations with Elisa Camahort Page 9/10/2019

Our September Hivery Circle was an amazing fireside chat between author and BlogHer co-founder Elisa Camahort Page and our own Grace Kraaijvanger. 

The conversation was both entertaining and informational. Elisa spoke about everything from how she helped found the BlogHer media empire and why it’s important to ask men about work-life balance and, “how do you do it all?” — “I guarantee that is something they’ve never been asked,” she laughed. She shared her thoughts on how to choose the right collaboration partner and how to help change the world. 

The latter topic, the focus of Elisa’s recent book Road Map for Revolutionaries: Resistance, Activism, and Advocacy for All, was particularly interesting, and she shared several nuggets of wisdom on how to make the change we seek in the world. Among them: 

I’m upset with 25 different issues out there right now, but I can’t be a leader on all 25, so I try to triage my top one to three issues. It is on those topics that I try to be a leader. By choosing your top issues, together we can move forward. Ask yourself: where would you like to be a leader and where would you like to be a supporter?

On the topic of finding the right collaboration partner, Elisa (someone who knows a ton about this, having founded BlogHer with two other people) gave three solid pieces of advice: 

First, make sure you have complementary skills. Second, you can do things differently, but your level of work ethic needs to be the same. And third, make sure you can have tough conversations with each other. Things work best when you can depersonalize conversations about what isn’t working without getting mired in each other’s personalities.

In community,


With Gratitude to our Event Collaborators:


Photography by Kim Thompson Steel
Audio/Visual by Mav Media
Flowers by Sara Florals
Light Bites by Allison Berardi

Collaboration! The Hivery + SFMOMA Artist's Gallery

ANNOUNCING an exciting collaboration!!! The Hivery is partnering with the amazing SFMOMA Artists Gallery located at Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture. This means...the incredible works like those you see in the SFMOMA Artist's Gallery will also be exhibited throughout The Hivery San Francisco space!! Thanks to our own Kate Nicholson who spearheaded this effort.

We are thrilled to celebrate this partnership because it exemplifies everything The Hivery stands for—kindness, creativity, community, supporting local artists and creatives. The SFMOMA Artist's Gallery is a nonprofit gallery representing Northern California artists at all stages of their careers and we are so grateful to have the opportunity to work with their amazing team.

We couldn't think of a better creative partner in San Francisco! And, we can't wait to share this incredible art with our members and guests at The Hivery San Francisco.

Special thanks to Bee Hunter Wine & Qorkz for helping us celebrate this partnership in style. Photos thanks to Kim Thompson Steel. Flower arrangements by Allison Berardi.

Guest Blog: Elisa Camahort Page

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Elisa Camahort Page is best known as the Co-Founder and COO of women’s media company BlogHer, Inc., which was founded in 2005, sold in 2014, and where Elisa stayed until 2017. She is now serving as CEO for Cygnus, a Do Big Things Company that helps causes, candidates, and campaigns leverage data to make better decisions, as well as continuing her work as a public speaker and writer. She is also the co-founder of TernKit Consulting

Elisa’s debut book, Road Map for Revolutionaries: Resistance, Activism, and Advocacy for All was published by Ten Speed Press in September of 2018, and was an Amazon #1 New Release. A hands-on resource guide to activating around the causes you care most about, #RoadMap4Revs features contributions and/or endorsements from such diverse activists and advocates as Gloria Steinem, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Patrisse Cullors, Soledad O'Brien, Ricki Lake, Guy Kawasaki, and Carla Hall.

Elisa, we are so excited to welcome you to The Hivery. We want to learn more about you and your book. Can you tell us a little bit about what inspired you to write it?

Short answer: The 2016 election.

Longer answer: During the lead-up to the election, I had observed so many people I know who really wanted to make a difference, but weren’t sure how to direct their energy or their anger. Post-election, I saw so many people I know really fired up and inspired to activate, and I was concerned that the level of intensity was unsustainable and that they would burn-out.

I wanted to create a great information source for would-be activists and advocates AND encourage folks to manage their efforts, so that it could become something integrated into their life for the long-term.


The concept of change-making is important to Hivery members.  Many of our members are entrepreneurs or creatives who have been inspired to start a new career, business, or project as a way to make a change for both themselves and for the world. Can you share a little bit about how you define change-making and why it’s important to you?

Making change can happen at the your own life or your own backyard. And it can also happen at a more macro level...across your community, state, country, the world.

You can do business and do good. You can contribute your money, but also your time, your skills, your voice. 

I’m a big believer in two things: That you do what you can until you can do better AND that it is better to take one step towards change than to take zero steps. (Of course it’s better to take 10 steps than to take one step, but see item #1.)

Do you feel that women are uniquely qualified to be change-makers? How?

We are all qualified to be changemakers, but women are definitely at the forefront of most changemaking movements today. From #BlackLivesMatter to environmental activist teen Greta Thunberg, women are leading. And women in charge, from Fortune 500 boardrooms to school boards, get quantifiably better results.

Not only are you featured at The Hivery Circle evening event September 10th, but you are also hosting a workshop at The Hivery on September 11th called “The Power of Owning Your Expertise, Knowing Your Value, and Getting the Outcomes You Want.” Do you feel that owning your value is actually the first step a person needs to take when they want to become a change-maker? Why?

Knowing your value and owning your expertise is a great first step because once you know and celebrate what you bring to the table, you can also identify what gaps and holes need to be filled to make whatever you’re working on more successful. 

If you had one piece of advice for our members who are working towards owning their value, what would it be?

Well, being so close to Silicon Valley (and the associated stereotypes) I often advise women in my circle to ask themselves “What would a white man in a hoodie do?” I’ve seen other women state it more like “Oh, to have the confidence of a mediocre white man!”

And this is not a way of celebrating mediocrity, it’s a way of telling women to lower the bar they’ve set for themselves, which is somewhat counterintuitive advice. It is well-documented that women wait until they feel 100% qualified for something before putting themselves in the running for it. That we wait until we’re perfect. And I urge women to push back on themselves when they’re thinking that way. 

Elisa's guiding principle is that Innovation+Empathy > Innovation+Efficiency.

Learn more about Elisa here and meet her at The Hivery in September!
Register now, seats are limited.

Sometimes It Takes a Year

Hivery Team Member Susan Schroeder is our Director of Marketing and shares here about her early work experiences and the important lessons she learned around patience and commitment. Susan comes to The Hivery with more than 20 years of experience as a creative entrepreneur specializing in marketing, graphic design, branding, product development, and strategy and often has to remind herself that being patient can pay off.


In a world of fast-paced decisions, cramming more into a day, and a to-do list the length of your arm, a year can seem like centuries away. But, making the good stuff? Whether that’s memories, a career change, a business, or a creative endeavor...well, those things can take time. It turns out, a year isn’t too long when it comes to making something meaningful.

My first job out of college (which seems like a lifetime ago), I was hired by a small, very successful, family-owned firm to start a new business arm. Yep, at 22. Right out of college. With zero experience. The owner of the firm was on the eccentric side. He was wearing slippers and chewing on an unlit cigar during one of my interviews. And, when he offered me the job, he did so with a challenge, “I bet you won’t last a year.”

“I’ll show him…” I thought to myself. So, on the spot, I made a commitment to myself, “I will stay in this job for a year AND I’ll grow out my bangs for a full year, too.” Remember, I was 22. And, both things, it turned out, needed that full year. Sometimes, you’ve just got to give it a year.

When that first job proved to be not-the-right-fit and the eccentricities became too much to handle, I left. It was just after my one-year anniversary. My bangs had completely grown out (lesson for the future) and I’d learned a TON about myself, about what I didn’t want in a job, and about how to leave something behind and move on. That year had been worth it.

My next stop as an intern at the cool and creative company I’d been stalking was a quick stepping-stone to a full-time position as their receptionist. When I was offered the job, the HR Director said, “I’m so tired of hiring receptionists and having them quit in three months to go work for a more exciting, creative department within the company. If you’re going to take this job, you have to commit to staying in it for a FULL year.” She didn’t scare me, I knew I could do that. And, once again, it paid off. By the time my year anniversary rolled around, I’d gotten to know every single person in the company and had three different job offers waiting for me. Giving that receptionist position my all for a full year gave me the opportunity to make incredible connections with every person in the company. It allowed my brain to focus on learning and growing rather than constantly looking for the next place I wanted to jump to. I slowed down—I wasn’t going anywhere for a year—I learned everyone’s name, memorized everyone’s phone extension, and truly got to know them. I committed to a year, planted my roots, and let myself BE and GROW in that spot. I moved from that receptionist position to another exciting department where I stayed, growing professionally and personally, for six more years.

Now, deep into my 40s, I realize how valuable those early work experiences were for me. Those one-year experiences paid off when I eventually left that cool, creative company to start my own studio. “Give it some time. No self-judgement for a year.” It paid off when I developed and took a new product to market with partners, “Let’s see what we can accomplish in a year.” This mantra has helped me get through hard times. “It’s okay if you need a full year to heal.” It’s applied to personal goals. “You want this, so really DO THIS for one full year.” And I try to use it as a way to give perspective to my teen daughters. “If you dedicate yourself to this, in a year, you won’t believe how much you’ve grown.”

We live in a fast-paced world and it’s important to be nimble and open to new opportunities. But, I’d argue that it’s just as important to give things time, let the seeds that you’ve planted have a chance to grow, and remember that sometimes, especially with the good stuff, it can really pay off if you settle in and give things a year.

In community,


Right now, The Hivery has a special discount for a year of Unlimited Membership to The Hivery San Francisco. Yes, it’s a great deal, but you can also think of this as a nudge for you to make a commitment to yourself. To your project. To your business. To your idea. We’ll give you the gorgeous coworking space, the supportive community, and a sweet spot on the water in San Francisco. All you have to do is commit to show up. For a year. For you. My bet is that you’ll make some pretty amazing things happen.

SPECIAL PROMOTION for The Hivery San Francisco at Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture: Get 30% off a 12-month Prepaid Unlimited Membership Package ($280/month. Limited time only!)

Hivery Circle: Summer Soirée! 7/9/2019

Facials and brow waxes and Tarot readings, oh my! The Hivery Summer Soirée was so much fun. Thanks to everyone who came out to celebrate summer with us. It was wonderful to mingle and enjoy all of the amazing services on offer. The gorgeous white gardenias behind everyone’s ears made last night look like a summer celebration from a romantic comedy.

Huge thanks to the tremendously talented individuals (some of whom are Hivery members) who helped make the July Hivery Circle so special, including: 

  • Dauray Tannahill of Wildflower Apothecary (the amazing scents coming out of the Inspiration Lab as she gave skin consultations was divine)

  • Carrie Leeb of Spark Studio SF (how cool was it to decorate bowls and make them look just like they were purchased at Anthropologie?)

  • Emily Meier of HoneyGirl Beauty (our brows are thanking you)

  • Marlene Caldes of InnerVoice Network (her Tarot readings left us energized and optimistic)

  • Jill James Hoffman of Qorkz, who served delicious Bee Hunter Wine for us, and our friends at GT’s Living Foods serving their amazing kombucha

  • Food mavens Allison Berardi who prepared scrumptious bites (is anyone else still thinking about the bruschetta today?) and Daniela Kratz of Farmhouse Lab who deliciously dressed the salads

We are so grateful to have you in our community!


ps… Check out the photos in our slideshow above, or you can also see and comment on our Facebook album!

With Gratitude to our Event Collaborators:


Photography by Kim Thompson Steel

Hivery Circle: Yearning to Belong with Grace Kraaijvanger June 11, 2019

“Every person has, I believe, the feeling that she doesn’t belong in the lives of other people. That she is in some way different, a guest, and she takes all possible measures to make sure that others won’t notice. This is the feeling that all people have, and that is precisely why we all belong together.” —Harry Mulisch, Two Women

The Hivery Founder & CEO, Grace Kraaijvanger, opened the June Hivery Circle evening event with the question: Why is belonging important? She reminded us of the recent scientific studies showing that 1 in 4 Americans do not feel as though they have even one person that they can truly confide in and that loneliness can have significant, and detrimental, effects on our health. A study out of Stanford has also shown that even a single instance of exclusion can undermine well-being, IQ test performance, and self-control.

Grace also shared that her interest in creating The Hivery came from a longing, a yearning, that she noticed in herself and has since witnessed in hundreds of women. A yearning that women give all kinds of names—I’m stuck; I’m frustrated; I’m looking for clarity; I’m not sure what’s next—but that ties back to one thing. BELONGING.

“Belonging has an outreach, an energy, and commitment. Belonging is the essence of community.” A huge thank you to Grace for sharing her story, the stories that she’s heard from so women, and the Ten Attributes of Community:

  1. You’re not alone.

  2. There is sentiment (a sense of “we”).

  3. It’s not temporary (ie, not a “mob” or a “crowd”).

  4. There is a wider lens of outcome.

  5. There’s the Individual and the Collective.

  6. There is a “space” (physically, virtually, or metaphorically).

  7. It has shared values AND guardrails to protect those values.

  8. There are rituals and traditions.

  9. It allows for experiments, failures, and pain.

  10. It provides “space” for generosity and play!

In communities with belonging, we accept you for who you are. When you show up, you belong here.

We learned so much from others who also shared their own stories of belonging (or not belonging):

  • “Belonging can also come from within. Allowing ourselves to be accepted rather than seeing ourselves as an outsider can be half the battle.”

  • When people show up for us, we truly feel as though we belong.

  • Everyone feels like an outsider at times.

  • It doesn’t have to take 20 years to feel like you belong!

  • “Life was holding out an invitation to what I should be doing all along. Sometimes we don’t belong because we aren’t accepting the invitation to belong.”

It was an incredible night! We saw how quickly you can feel connected (just 30 seconds!) and we learned more about why people join The Hivery. There is something that each of us was put on this earth to do...and it often reveals itself as a yearning, a rustling, a calling. When we are in the isolation of our heads, that “thing” can seem muddy and confusing. When we are in community, it can flourish and thrive. What is that unique contribution you need to make in this world? It’s so much easier to answer that question in community.

“True belonging doesn’t require you to change who you are;
it requires you to be who you are.” —Brené Brown

Big thanks to our event collaborators! Drinks to cool us off provided by Bee Hunter Wine and GT’s Kombucha. And thank you to Dove for sharing their new products in a special Hivery gift bag (the timing of dry serum antiperspirant and the heat wave was purely coincidental!). We appreciate Dove’s attention to #ShowUs #RealBeauty and for giving us the chance to #FeelItBelieveIt.

In community,


With Gratitude to our Event Collaborators:


Photography by Kim Thompson Steel
Audio/Visual by Mav Media
Flowers by Sara Florals

From Grace: On Love, Loss, and Being a Cello

We mark our lives in annual increments, birthdays, anniversaries, school years, holidays, each yearly marker an indication of what we’re celebrating, how far we’ve come, how old we are, or how long we’ve been at a particular pursuit (like marriage or parenting or existence). But, the anniversary of death takes on a different tone.


This week marked the one-year anniversary of my sister, Maggie’s passing and about a month ago, I started to feel the weight of it coming on. I was confused by it, at first. Why did I feel a little nauseous, a bit more anxious, all-around blue, and the unexplained, yet burdensome feeling of a weight on my shoulders? As if a hostile, physiological takeover, the subconscious starts to identify the milestones. The light looks familiar. The days serve as a reminder. The weather guides you; the seasons won’t let you forget. Last year, my sister was dying on Mother’s Day. She was hospitalized on my son’s birthday and was too sick to celebrate my daughter’s birthday, too. She passed on Memorial Day. Each day a symbol of the process, the realization of truth, the understanding (or quest) to digest the permanence of loss, and the weird and eerie fact that someone you love is gone, and yet you are still here. That alone is confusing enough.

Yes, I carry her in my heart every day. And yes, I feel her soulful spirit with me. And yes, she has come to me in a dream, that was beautiful, but then achingly over, leaving questions like, “Was that the only dream I’ll get?" Yes, I see her in hummingbirds. And yes, I believe that she’s up there moving things around. When I was honored on Memorial Day as “Citizen of the Year” in Mill Valley, I could picture her up there making it happen; not only because she’s proud of me, but also because it would crack her up. She’d giggle that I felt a little shy about the whole thing and would have been cheering in the front row, determined to embarrass me with her loud laugh. She was so steadfastly present with me that it felt like she gave me a parade.

And yet, it's also true that sometimes you don’t want a hummingbird or a sparkling star or a dream or even a parade; what you really want is to have your sister back. And sometimes the only person that you want to call to talk about how your heart aches with agony, is the very same person that you’ve lost, and the very same reason that your heart is aching in the first place. So, you pick up the phone, and you reach out to someone else (someone who may also hurt, or someone that wants to ease your pain), and sometimes you don’t reach out at all. Sometimes because it’s too painful, and sometimes because you know that no one can save you from this experience of loss, that you simply have to keep going, and let the time move forward, and hope with all your might that acceptance will kick in.


For each of you out there that is feeling the vast and deep human experience of love and loss, I see you, I feel you, and even across the miles, I’m here for you. Grief breaks open your heart…but what comes out through the cracks is a gold, liquid love. And, I want you to know that my heart sees your heart. There is a concept called “resonance theory” illustrated by two cellos across the room from each other. When one cello plays a chord, the other cello across the room reverberates in response to the sound waves, as if to say, “I feel you. I’m a cello, too.” For those of you hurting out there (which is at some point all of us), I want you to know that I see you and feel you. And wish only for you, my dear cello, that your pain is your guide toward something deeper and light-filled for you.

With love,


PS… I know that not everyone feels compelled to share their experience in this public way. For me, it’s cathartic, and every typed word has felt like a little loosening of the pressure of grief, so I thank you for reading and experiencing this process together. This weird little social media platform where we take pictures of our food, and chronicle our vacations, and post videos of our kids’ dance performances, can also be used to pour our hearts out about what it means to live, grieve, find our way forward, and to love. I’m grateful for that. Thank you for allowing my world into yours.

Hivery Circle: WISDOM@WORK with Chip Conley May 15, 2019

The May Hivery Circle was incredible! Thank you for coming out and participating in our fireside chat with The Hivery Founder Grace Kraaijvanger and author, hospitality entrepreneur and thought-leader Chip Conley. The 90-minute conversation was captivating. We are thankful to Chip, author of new book Wisdom@Work: The Making of the Modern Elder and creator of the Modern Elder Academy, for being vulnerable, open and honest in his talk as well as engaging and deeply relatable in his answers during the post-event Q&A.

We loved hearing the details of Chip’s story, from growing up as a teen on a similar path as his father to being a mid-20s man coming into his own and founding Joie de Vivre Hospitality, which he ran for nearly 24 years. His stories were peppered with life lessons and wisdom. “One of my favorite quotes,” Chip said, “is from Oscar Wilde, who said, ‘Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.’”

Chip described the process of being an entrepreneur as the “process of finding your purpose.” And, it was inspiring to hear that when he joined Airbnb as Head of Global Hospitality and Strategy, he realized there was a disconnect between young workers and those in his generation, which inspired his book on the "modern elder," and the launch of his Modern Elder Academy.

“Modern elders are as curious as they are wise,” he told us. “We help people illuminate possibilities.”

Chip also explained that as people age their EQ, or emotional intelligence, increases. He cited a Harvard Business Review article about how confidence in women increases between their mid-20s and mid-60s (love that). It was such an inspirational evening!

Huge thanks to our friends at Bee Hunter Wine and GT’s Living Foods for providing delicious refreshments. Gratitude to Beverly Freeman for performing her original song to open the event and to Vanda Marlow for her inspirational reading to close the night. Talk about talented...thank you!

What takeaways did you get out of last night? Comment below to continue the conversation!

With Gratitude to our Event Collaborators:


Photography by Kim Thompson Steel
Audio/Visual by Oliver Ousterhout
Flowers by Sara Florals

The Impact of Isolation

When I first started The Hivery (and even still, five years later), there is a common response when I ask someone why they came to a tour of The Hivery. I’ll ask them, “What brought you to The Hivery today?” and invariably, they’ll respond, “I needed to get away from the distractions of my home office...I needed to get away from the laundry.”…After years of meeting with entrepreneurs, seekers, creatives, consultants, and people across all industries, I can’t tell you how many bring up the LAUNDRY as a reason to join a coworking space or community.

I’ve learned that it’s not about the laundry, AT ALL. It’s about the lonely.

When we are undertaking a next chapter or radical transformation, we can not do it alone. Isolation is the antithesis of creativity and can quickly become a breeding ground for self-doubt, overwhelm, and lack of action. And, even though we are “connected” every waking moment by the endless stream of social media, email, and the frenzy of life, the single greatest and most common challenge that I hear through my work at The Hivery, is the challenge of isolation. We need each other. We yearn for community. We crave being accepted for who we truly are. We have an instinctual response to help each other. We don’t want to grow, transform, or create alone.

The impact of isolation is very real. One in four Americans report that they have ZERO friends they can completely confide in. Another study showed that having weak social ties is as harmful to our health as smoking, and that the feeling of isolation sets off a cellular reaction that can increase inflammation in our body. In other words, the feeling of isolation, could be harmful to our health.

I’ve mentioned this before… Fear loves loneliness. Fear loves isolation. But fear can’t stand people banding together to support each other’s work. Alone in our thoughts, we can talk ourselves out of the very essence of who we are and what we are here to do.


Belonging, on the other hand, is a state of being accepted for who you are and being part of something. Being part of something reveals shared values, hope, belief systems, rituals, and a collective spirit that we can continue to grow and improve, not just as individuals, but as part of humanity. It matters. Belonging is at the foundation of our human needs.

Here at The Hivery, it’s our goal to offer members the kind of connection that fosters well-being in every sense of the word—socially, emotionally, and physically. The Hivery is a place where you can feel true belonging, and...yes, there IS that added side’ll also get a stunning workspace far, far away from the laundry.



Beautiful Aspirational Space


I love beautiful, aspirational space, not simply for aesthetics, but for the message that it sends to our deepest, internal selves. Space is a metaphor and indication of how we live life. Beautiful spaces create invaluable, subconscious reminders that YOU are light-filled, expansive, filled with possibility, bold, visible, and beautiful in ways that are so much deeper than the surface. You are bright, with unexpected dashes of color. You are in a state of transformation. You are lofty, constantly changing, and filled with texture. 

You have the power to move the furniture around in your soul, and you will encounter chapters when the coffee spills all over the floor. You aren't afraid to change it up, rearrange it, and create beauty in a different way. You're not just "pretty"...that's the exterior, it's lovely, but on its' own kinda' boring, and it's incomplete, not the full story. 

The deeper "space" that you are willing to inhabit is the courage, fearlessness, kindness, humility, and compassion of what it means to be a human.

You're willing to go deeper and deeper into the truth of who you are. And that truth is beauty. Do not be afraid. Embody that deeper beauty. Take up space. Make the world better in that way that only you can. 

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And, while all of that radical, soulful action is going on...take a look around. Drink in the beauty of the physical space, whether it's in nature, in your workspace, in a piece of music, or in a photograph...allow your surroundings to uplift and inspire.

Want to bring a little "Hivery" to your surroundings? Choose one corner of your house, bedroom, flower pot, or table top, and infuse it with beauty. No need to buy anything. Create a clean space, and thoughtfully add elements of light, soul, and life. It's a tray, a flower, a beautiful object, a plant, an inspiring book, a journal. All placed with thought and care, not for how it will look, but how it will FEEL. 

Take up thoughtful, bold, creative space. Be your own beauty-maker. You've got this.


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Hivery Circle: The Soul of Money with Lynne Twist and Sara Vetter April 3, 2019

In April, we are celebrating the importance of shifting from scarcity to abundance! At this month’s Hivery Circle, we were thrilled to welcome acclaimed author and speaker, Lynne Twist, and speaker and coach, Sara Vetter, of the Soul of Money Institute and Pachamama Alliance, an organization that partners with indigenous people from the Amazon to preserve their land and culture and bring forth an environmentally sustainable, spiritually fulfilling, socially just human presence on the planet.

Our April Hivery Circle evening event was one for the books, starting with delicious bites and drinks from the people at Bee Hunter Wine and GT’s Living Foods.

Wining and dining with new and old friends in the atrium was followed by a captivating presentation by Lynne and Sara that dove into the societal perceptions around money, concepts around scarcity, and advice on how to bring more sufficiency into our lives. Lynne, a world renowned speaker and author of The Soul of Money: Transforming Your Relationship With Money And Life, started the evening by discussing how we all live in a culture of scarcity.

Sara then discussed the three myths of scarcity:

#1: There is never enough.
#2: More is always better (more pairs of jeans, more money).
#3: That’s just the way it is.

“But there is a radical, surprising truth,” said Lynne. “Sufficiency. What you appreciate appreciates. Sufficiency is a state of being.”

The evening ended with a lively Q&A where Lynne answered a question on how to balance less-than-ideal situations with the concept of sufficiency.

“We often don’t live in our lives, but instead live in the conversations we have about our lives,” she said. “Those conversations have power. Find the conversations that will empower you.”

What takeaways did you get out of last night? Comment below to continue the conversation!

With Gratitude to our Event Collaborators:


Photography by Kim Thompson Steel
Audio/Visual by MavMedia
Flowers by Sara Florals