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Meet Carrie Cheung of DTLA Rendezvous in Downtown LA

Today we’d like to introduce you to Carrie Cheung.

Carrie, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Originally from New York City, I moved to Los Angeles in 2006 to Palms/Culver City and in 2009, made the move to Downtown LA. At that time, Downtown LA was changing and re-developing – there weren’t as many residents and businesses as there are today.

As the leasing and resident manager of one of the new residential buildings, I was able to meet a lot of people whether they decided to live in my building on not. Residents were also leasing up retail spaces, so I got to know local businesses owners as well.

I’ve noticed that residents would get in their cars, go to work, come home and on the weekends, leave Downtown to hang out in Santa Monica, Hollywood, etc. I saw the need to connect Downtown LA residents with each other and to introduce them to the local businesses in hopes to be a part of sustaining and growing the neighborhood.

After a few years of living in DTLA and getting to know the community better, in 2012 I hosted my first Meetup – a “Shopping Soiree”– putting the spotlight on a few of the clothing and retail shops in the 1-2 block radius and hosted it at Exchange LA – which was fairly new at that time as well. The event was successful in introducing residents to the businesses and having residents meet each other.

It was exciting to see residents meet and interact and ask, “Where do you get your dry cleaning?”, “Where’s your favorite burrito joint?”, “Where’s a good shoe repair?”, etc.

Since then, DTLA Rendezvous has hosted Happy Hours, tours, opening events, a “foodie series”, beer tastings, fundraising and charity events, and more, as well as support local community events. We’ve seen many people connect – personally and professionally, moved people from Hollywood to DTLA, and made DTLA a more friendly and welcoming place to visit and meet people.

Has it been a smooth road?
I’ve met a ton of amazing people from the group, but life changes. We’ve had a lot of attendees and members move out of Downtown/Los Angeles/the country because of job changes, changes in family situation, etc. I think that’s been the biggest struggle, yet there’s beauty in it as it changes/freshens up the group dynamics as well.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with DTLA Rendezvous – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
DTLA Rendezvous specializes in hosting events where people actually meet each other in person and interact. I facilitate and created a culture where everyone is welcomed and introduced to each other.

Our bigger events are Happy Hours that range from 40 to 250+ attendees, but we also have smaller events where only a handful of people will show up. The bigger events are great to meet a bunch of people, but the smaller events are wonderful to really get to know the individuals that are there.

What makes me most proud is when I see people hanging out outside of one of our events and they’ve met through DTLA Rendezvous. We have a couple that’s been together for 4-5 years now, I’ve seen people do business together, and we’ve moved a few people into DTLA. Also, when people become regulars at a business that they were introduced through one of our events and I hear about them going back there on a weekly basis and they know the bartenders/team members/owners by name.

What sets us apart – we don’t just list events. When you attend a DTLA Rendezvous event, you’re welcomed. Be open and ready to meet some new friends!

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
I love the diversity of Los Angeles, especially Downtown LA. You really can do anything that you want to do and meet a ton of great people with all sorts of interests and lives.

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Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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