Today we’d like to introduce you to Heather Carter.
Hi Heather, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
I took a very nonlinear path to where I am today. I was born in the U.S to multicultural parents and raised in England. I came back to the U.S when I was eighteen to pursue a career in Journalism at ASU’s Walter Cronkite School but ended up dropping out my third year of college. At that time I wanted to explore my passions outside of traditional academia and I didn’t fully understand at that time why the American college system wasn’t for me despite achieving good grades. I heard the term “multipotentialite” many years later and it really resonated with me. A multipotentialite by definition is a person who has many different interests and creative pursuits in life, and I had an insatiable appetite for many things including politics, art, writing, music and more. Being educationally promiscuous has afforded me a moderate to deep understanding on a broad range of topics, which has been advantageous in my now chosen career path as an operator and entrepreneur. With the exception of vocations that require an institutional education I am firmly pro no college. To this day I value experience, raw talent and a high EQ and IQ above a degree in an employee.
I fell into a tech career after being the managing editor and partner of an eco digital magazine and gaining exposure in the then emerging but nascent LA tech scene. The start-up world spoke to all of my interests and attributes like problem-solving, innovation, and social science. I joined the founding team of Soothe – massage on demand during the very early stages of the on-demand boon. Following the success of Soothe, I went on to operate other notable companies like Heal, Helpr and The Riveter. My specialty is taking earlier stage companies operationally from conception to mass expansion and beyond. After over a decade of experience as a start up operator I decided to launch my own concept – I am now the CEO of Founder of The Coterie, a membership-based app connecting flex workers with workspace and amenities in world-class hotels.
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?
The struggles in the startup world are plentiful – from lack of resources such as people power and funding to the cultural challenges of a high-stakes environment. I have a resilient personality and tolerance against burnout which has equipped me well for the ride. Being a Founder is a lonely experience especially in the early stages while you are constantly selling your vision to people you need to buy in. I believe almost everything is possible in life but I will acknowledge that it is harder for women in many regards. Women are told today that there is no glass ceiling but the lived experience is that the barriers remain, and we see this both reflected in the data and anecdotally. There is a lack of upward mobility and earning potential for women still. Women founded companies only receive 2% of VC funding and for female minorities, it is drastically less than that. I wish the narrative were more accurately reflective of reality so women can navigate and strategize accordingly.
As you know, we’re big fans of The Coterie. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about the brand?
I founded The Coterie in the summer of 2020 as a cost-effective solution for flex workers and an ancillary revenue opportunity for the struggling hotel industry. Coterie partners with world-class hotels to offer Coterie members exclusive access to their underutilized spaces and amenities. We lead with a work focus by offering members access to under-activated lobbies for light working, conference spaces, rooms for work-cations and use of other amenities like the gym or pool. We launched in L.A in the summer and will be launching NYC, Chicago, and SF next year.
We’re always looking for the lessons that can be learned in any situation, including tragic ones like the Covid-19 crisis. Are there any lessons you’ve learned that you can share?
I was impressed by the now tested resilience of people and communities in the modern western world. Part of the human condition is to not just survive but strive. We are a hopeful species and beyond the atrocities of the pandemic this was the prevailing realization for me.
- $25 a month for unlimited lobby working
- Exclusive discounts on F&B, conference room, day rate and more
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: www.thecoterie.co
- Instagram: thecoterie.co