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Conversations with Destiny Lockhart

Today we’d like to introduce you to Destiny Lockhart.

Hi Destiny, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
Originally born and raised in Seattle, Washington, August of 2015 I moved to California to kick off my freshman year at Scripps College. Four years later in May of 2019, I graduated with my B.A. in Economics with a minor in Spanish. Upon graduating, I knew I wanted to stay in Los Angeles, meet new people, and explore new opportunities and experiences. Thankfully, shortly after graduation, a good friend of mine introduced me to Kelsi Kitchener and Celeste Durve, the founders of VIPER, a hospitality agency based in LA. I interviewed and was very much intrigued from the start. As I became more acquainted with what VIPER did and what they stood for, I found that not only do I enjoy the work, but that I actually believe in and align with the company’s mission and values. With women being at the center of it all, they root themselves in respect, hard work and positively influencing the culture. Now I am currently the Vice President and love every bit of it!

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
There have definitely been many challenges along the way! For starters, upon graduating college, I had a job opportunity in the finance world back home in Seattle, which after all this schooling put me at a crossroads, a heart vs. the mind situation. However, I was set on staying in LA and was confident enough to bet on myself. I had always been a hard worker and proactive, so I was optimistic that I would figure it out. Los Angeles is big and the nightlife, entertainment and other similar industries can be very fast and competitive to get into, especially into leadership roles as a woman. But nonetheless, fast forward to today, just staying the course I have been able to come across so many great opportunities, meet amazing people and find myself in the position I am today with Viper. With that, I encourage others to bet on themselves and do what makes you happy. It’s okay to not have it all figured out all the time, but trust that you will in due time.

In addition, though, this past year has hit us with a huge plot twist and has presented many challenges of its own. Unfortunately, the industry has been temporarily suspended due to COVID, which of course is not what we had envisioned or planned for. Furthermore, with the tragic death of George Floyd and uproar in social movements, there has just been a lot to process, especially as a Black woman. It has been a sensitive time navigating so many emotions, the pandemic, and lack of business opportunities. Although, I have been very fortunate to have my friends, family and VIPER for support, who not only value my well-being and mental health, but also stand up and speak out against injustice. Within VIPER we have taken this time to allow for more reflection and rebranding.

On a personal tip, I feel the next thing I’ve been working through is narrowing in on the woman I want to become, which is always a work in progress, but which means really becoming intentional about weeding out what does not align with who I am and this self I am striving for. I have been re-evaluating any and everything that has an impact on my overall well-being, including people in my life, habits, environments, what and where I invest my time and energy, and the media I consume. Prioritizing my happiness, I have been implementing and sticking to more boundaries, focusing on what I can control and being more open-minded and present.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
VIPER is a hospitality agency that manages guest experience on behalf of some of the largest and coolest brands in the world. We work with various companies and high-end clientele across multiple industries such as entertainment, tech, sports, fashion, and beauty. You typically can spot the team looking chic dressed in all black running the front of house at events. As an all-female team in a heavily male-dominated industry, it’s important that we shift the culture and make space for women to change the narrative. At VIPER, we always want women to feel safe, given equal opportunities and paid competitively. We are not only a fun group of professionals, but stand up for the issues that matter to one another and strive to make a positive impact. I love that values such as diversity and women empowerment are actually built into the foundation and exemplified across VIPER, not just thrown around as buzz words. I aim to lead by example, reflecting the professionalism and quality of the brand, working hard, maintaining a positive attitude and mindset. I truly admire the ambition and drive we all share. It’s an empowering and super fun space to be in!

What makes you happy?
Spending quality time with friends and family, meeting new people, just having fun makes me happy. I enjoy working towards my goals and accomplishing things I’ve set out to do, as well as seeing my friends reach their goals. I also love taking out time for myself for some lovely relaxation and self-care. Music, dancing, trying new things, reading, traveling, and helping others are a few more things that also bring me joy. Over this past year I have come to find happiness in the simple things and in gratitude.

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Image Credits:

Jordan Knight

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