As an online community manager for an engineering company and for my own personal community, Vivi e impara, I strongly believe in the power of community to connect people and share knowledge. At VINA, this is something that can be done very well!
Communities are change agents: Community programs impact multiple functions, stakeholders, and departments in organizations. They have immense potential to be agents of change by efficiently dispersing knowledge and information across organizations and their markets.
Communities create transformational value: Community programs show an average ROI that exceeds 2,000%. They enable behavior changes that directly impact profitability and revenue generation, while also having an overwhelmingly positive impact on brand and cultural sentiment.
Community teams are underfunded: Community professionals are burnt out due to increasing success and workloads without the accompanying increase in resources and support. This is limiting impact.
As a VINA Ambassador & VINA Society Writer, and an active member of The Community Roundtable network, I’ve used VINA to connect with women with similar interests as mine. I’m active in many communities, including bloggers, dog owners, foodies, and yoga, to name a few. While chatting with new vinas on the app, I’m able to find something in common with them. And if not, then I’ve met someone different from me that I can learn from.
Just this past week I connected with a fellow yogi. In the introduction on the app it says, “Share your favorite spot to shavasana! Then how about trying each other’s favorite yoga studios together?” This quick introduction not only helps new vinas find a cool new yoga studio, but also suggests an activity to bring women closer together based on mutual interests and understanding. Now, what’s better than that?
I’m grateful that VINA is supporting the diverse interests and skill sets that we as women represent. VINA challenges and recognizes us and celebrates what we have in common and what makes us different.
Download the Hey! VINA app today and find out for yourself! Join a few communities and realize just how beautiful it is to bring us all a little closer together.
Look, I truly will use any excuse to plan something with my vinas, so this month, my excuse is Earth Day! Here’s what the Earth Day website has to say about the festivities.
The idea for a national day to focus on the environment came to Earth Day founder Gaylord Nelson, then a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, after witnessing the ravages of the 1969 massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California. Inspired by the student anti-war movement, he realized that if he could infuse that energy with an emerging public consciousness about air and water pollution, it would force environmental protection onto the national political agenda. Senator Nelson announced the idea for a “national teach-in on the environment” to the national media; persuaded Pete McCloskey, a conservation-minded Republican Congressman, to serve as his co-chair, and recruited Denis Hayes from Harvard as national coordinator. Hayes built a national staff of 85 to promote events across the land. April 22, falling between Spring Break and Final Exams, was selected as the date.
So get ready to get your hands dirty this Earth Day with your vinas by planning one of these eco-friendly activities:
PLANT TREES IN YOUR COMMUNITY
Research any tree-planting non-profit organizations in your area and find out or even help them plan a tree-planter event for Earth Day.
REARRANGE YOUR KITCHEN TO IMPLEMENT RECYCLING TECHNIQUES
Pack your vinas in the car and go to your nearest shopping center with a various home-ware stores — it’s time to give your kitchen a makeover with the main focus being to make your kitchen usage more sustainable e.g. buying recycle bins to replace your current dustbin.
START A WALK CLUB
If your vinas are close enough, start a walk club where you all walk together to the shop to do some grocery shopping instead of using the car.
BEACH CLEAN-UP DAY
Time to get your tan on and make a point of cleaning up your local beach while you’re at it. It’s not hard and your small act will make all the difference!
What are you planning to with your vinas this Earth day? If you need someone to make some awesome plans with, check out Hey! VINA today!
First of all, if you and your old college/high school friends don’t already have an annual girls getaway in the works, what have you been doing?! If you do, with old vinas or new, be sure to tag your Instagram posts of your girls getaway vacations and hangouts with #vinatime! We want to see where y’all are getting your quality time logged with your girls, plus, we’re looking to feature our vinas in more of our content (like the featured image above!)
We meet some of the best friends of our lives in college, but more often than not our gangs gets divided after graduation. We take jobs in new cities, start families on different sides of the country, and, in general, start to forge our own individual paths. But looking back on college, it’s not the classes and the textbooks that dominate our favorite young adult memories – it’s our friends, the adventures we went on with them and the nights we hung around the dorm doing nothing but gabbing and drinking the alcohol someone’s older sibling picked up for us. If the relationships were what honest-to-goodness got us through those tough four years, how are we expecting to survive the scary and undefined post-grad world without them?
Keeping in-touch with the OGs is just as important as building new communities and friendships wherever we go. So, if you haven’t already, now’s the time to send your golden-years besties this starters list of the best girl gang getaways and plan your summer vacay.
Even if you’re not a Bachelor fan, you’ve probably heard of this popular tourist destination. Big Major Cay, or more famously known as Pig Beach, is a small island in the Bahamas where your gang can hang and bond with the locals – the resident island pigs. The friendly pigs swim out to meet their morning visitors and spend their afternoons napping and playing in the sand.
The islands are a short 55-minute flight from Fort Lauderdale, and there are plenty of gorgeous and exciting resorts on the islands to take your pick from. Or, if you’re looking for a long excursion and don’t mind getting close and cuddly with the besties by sharing a cabin, many cruises take 5- to 7-day long trips to the island for reasonable prices.
The entirety of California could have been made specifically for girls-weekend retreats as far as I’m concerned. And no, I’m not biased because I’m a native. This is just facts.
Santa Barbara is a gem that’s lesser known outside the state, but is nonetheless arguably one of the most beautiful cities we can claim credit for. Besides its inherent beauty, exquisite architecture and year-round summer-dress-appropriate climate, Santa Barbara is packed with luxurious places to stay, iconic eateries and endless adventures. From renting a bike on the beach to hiking the mountains overlooking the coastline to the superb shopping on State Street, there’s plenty to fill your day/weekend/week with. If your girls are of the wine-appreciating variety, there’s no better place than California’s Central Coast. Santa Barbara is full of vineyards and wineries that can add a taste of the local life to your getaway.
If you’re into fish tacos and drinks on the beach – literally on the beach, toes in the sand – Shoreline Beach Cafe is your place.
For the artsy district of Santa Barbara, head to the Funk Zone. (Locals’ Tip: My girl gang never makes a trip to Santa Barbara without hitting the hole-in-the-wall-sized Money’s Mexican Food for the best fish tacos out there.)
For the outdoorsy crews, Whidbey Island, Washington is a quaint and pristine Pacific Northwestern getaway. If not everyone in the group has an up-to-date passport to make it to Canada’s Victoria & Vancouver Island, Whidbey Island is the other-worldly retreat to take. Visitors can take a 15-minute ferry ride from Mukilteo (an hour outside Seattle) to the island for less than $10 for a car and a driver, or $5 for riders without vehicles.
Fort Ebey State Park is a beautiful camping location for those who are so inclined. From hikes overlooking the ocean, to lighthouse views, parasailing, winding hiking and biking trails, and leftover underground rooms from the World War II defense fort that originally inhabited the island, there are beautiful and exciting sites across the park.
The remote island is a natural beauty and counts kayaking, whale watching, forest hikes, wine tasting, sailing, fishing, and delicious fresh sea food among its offerings. For a break from the fast-paced city life, a peaceful and rejuvenating trip to the quiet island will get you and the girls back in touch with nature and each other.
This artsy neighborhood is known for its street art in particular, and home to plenty of brunches, vintage shops, hip night clubs and so much food. This neighborhood is inhabited by young creatives so the city is literally designed for fun, food, and entertainment.
As for places to stay, Culture Trip has curated a quick list of beautiful and fun Airbnb options in the area that’ll have you feeling like a well-to-do local.
On my personal bucket list, Gloria, a Big Mamma restaurant group eatery. The group is famous for some of the best Italian eateries in Paris, and brought their talent to the UK for the first time in February. The locale itself is a masterpiece, but who is going to turn down classic Italian dishes made with fresh, straight-from-Italy ingredients? (Not me.)
In general, sticking to Shoreditch High Street, Great Eastern Street and Old Street, which form a convenient triangle to easily navigate, will guarantee no loss for things to do, see and eat.
However, London is large and full of many distinct neighborhoods, so if you have the time or the hankering for a different side of London life, check out this complete list of London neighborhoods and the ins and outs of visiting each.
You will not be bored in Nashville. Whether your girls are music lovers, foodies, outdoors enthusiasts, history buffs or all of the above, you’ll leave Nashville with twenty more things you didn’t get to. There are truly endless options in Music City, USA.
Nashville is the kind of place that feels a little like a really big small town. It’s welcoming and quaint yet packed full with nightlife and entertainment options.
To start off your Nashville adventure, hit 12South. This popular, one-stop neighborhood has a morning’s worth of fun places to eat, drink and snap some Insta-worthy squad pics. Start with coffee and breakfast at Frothy Monkey. It’s a favorite and for good reason. Nearby, you can walk down to the Nashville Looks Good on You mural for some post-coffee Insta fodder. There’s a lot of street art around to see so don’t let this be your first and last, but it’s an iconic place to start. Five Daughters Bakery, in the same area, boasts the best donuts and cronuts around and offers a variety of quality-ingredient donuts including Organic and vegan options.
For live music, you can pretty much wonder around and find it anywhere. When they’re having an event, Grimey’s Records is a fun record store to peruse before walking to the back for shows. The Blue Bird Cafe and Broadway are obvious must-see classics of the town, too.
Other phenominal places to hit before you head back home:
Farmer’s Market – this place is an artisan haven, offering everything from fresh produce to soaps, gifts, ice cream and more.
Shakespeare in the Park (Cookeville, TN – 1 hr 15 mins out of Nashville) – If you’re visiting in fall, this is a fun, free, award-winning performance that plays nightly for a week and a half.
Belle Meade Plantation – 30 minutes out of the city is a beautiful and historic plantation for the history buffs in the group.
Radnor Lake (30 min drive south of Nashville) – This state park is a locals and celebrity favorite so be sure to find time for a stroll through this scenic spot.
Traveling with old friends is magical, but so is traveling with new ones! If you’re really looking for new experiences, join the Jet Setters community on Hey!VINA to find your fellow adventurers and plan your next trip today!
You know our goal at VINA is to connect you with more friends to have more fun, so we teamed up with Athleta to bring you a fun free workout class! Join us for a partner workout to make friends.
Feel free to come solo or being a friend to enjoy a fun morning that will include a partner-based workout, post class refreshments from Thistle, a raffle, do some shopping and more!
Here’s all the info you need. Click the link to RSVP!
SUNDAY, APRIL 28 AT 10AM AT ATHLETA
4505 La Jolla Village Drive
San Diego, CA 10:00am
Time: 10am-11:30am RSVP HERE!
Class description: Get ready for a morning of shakes, sweat, and smiles with your fave gal pal! Relevate is a turbocharged barre sculpt workout that weaves together yoga, Pilates, heart-pumping cardio, and functional strength training to strengthen and lengthen your body. Join us for a barre-less workout incorporating partner poses that will not only challenge your body, but will also leave you feeling supported and uplifted!
SUNDAY, MAY 5 AT 9:30AM AT ATHLETA AT THE VILLAGE
6320 N. Topanga Canyon Boulevard Woodland Hills, CA Time: 9:30am-11am RSVP HERE!
Class description: The theme for class will be to find strength in those around us. We’ll be starting the morning off with a “Power Circle” warm-up, complete with positive affirmations. This class is great for all levels and will leave you feeling strong as we use partners to strengthen our cores, dance our way out of our comfort zones and rely on each other to try some new partner yoga moves.
SUNDAY, MAY 19 AT 10AM AT ATHLETA AT THE POINT
830 South Sepulveda Boulevard
El Segundo, CA
Time: 10:00am-11:30am RSVP HERE!
Class description: We invite you to join a special partner barre workout that’s based on ballet and infused with Pilates. No barre? No problem! You’ll get a full body workout from head to toe and work up a serious sweat all while leaning on & lending a hand to your workout partner. No technique or experience required, but be prepared to feel like a complete #BarreBabe at the end of this class!
How many times have you and your vinas decided that there was nothing to do, simply because you couldn’t think of anything within your budget? Well, think again ladies. Here’s a list of 20 things you can do with your vinas on a budget, organized by cost.
(Depending on where you live, you may need to consider bus or gas costs, which will bump up the cost!)
OPEN MIC NIGHT
Skip the alcohol (which we all know can be pricey), and just enjoy the moment!
Go for some great photos and to meet your local makers, (if you can resist buying everything).
SWEAT IT OUT
Gym memberships usually have an option to let you bring a friend for free. Or go for a hike!
DISCOVER SOME MAGIC
Visit your local crystal/gemstone shop for some free positive vibes.
GAZE AT THE STARS
Grab your vinas and a box of wine, and lay out underneath the stars.
HAVE A PHOTO SHOOT
Your vinas can all take turns hyping each other up as you each pose for the camera.
MAKE A TIME CAPSULE
This one’s pretty self-explanatory!
OLD IS NEW AGAIN
Be a tourist in your own city. See everything with a fresh, curious perspective!
“CHEAP” DATES: $5 – $10
GO ON AN ICE CREAM DATE
So simple, but so rewarding.
OR, GO ON A COFFEE DATE
Like ice cream, but with coffee.
HOST A POTLUCK PARTY
Each vina can bring a homemade dish.
HAVE AN OLD-FASHIONED SLEEPOVER
Complete with cheesy Drew Barrymore movies, makeovers and popcorn. Also a great time to bring other those homemade dishes and have a potluck.
EXPLORE A CORN MAZE
If your city has one of these (and it’s open), you’re in luck. Corn mazes are packed with fun for a low entry cost.
ENGAGE IN A BAKE-OFF
Having a (friendly) baking competition between you and your Vina’s.
“MODERATELY-PRICED” DATES: $10 – $20
It’ll only be pricey if you have to rent a bike. My city has bike rentals for $15 for 3 hrs.
This is one can be pricey, but can be kept low if your vinas all pitch in.
Simple, cheap, and amazing cafeteria food to indulge in? It’s the perfect guilty pleasure vina date night.
DRIVE – IN
If it’s open in your city, make it a goal to drive up there with your vinas for some old-fashioned fun.
The prices may be cheap, but the quality of memories made will be anything but.
Have an idea for a VINA date, or want to get one of these ideas started? Download the Hey! VINA app and find your tribe.
So, you and your vinas are finally free on the same day, and can hang out! Super, exciting! What will you wear? But most importantly, where will you go? Check out this list of fun hang out spots in L.A. Share the list in your group chat, and move on to watching YouTube videos. Yay! Or, you can be awesome and host an event at any of the places below:
Do you love food? Bond over a delicious meal at any of the amazing eatery options in Los Angeles.
Check out this cute restaurant located on the 69th floor of InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown, which is the tallest building on the west coast! Whether you want to try the sky view buffet or brunch the delicious meals and beautiful views are sure to make for a memorable day. Call ahead and make a reservation. Prices range from $35 and up.
Do bottomless mimosas for $8.00 sound even better to you? Yeah, me too! Head on over to Barbrix or Market Provisions ($5.00 bottomless mimosas) this weekend. It’s a small place but it’s great for groups. Brunch ends at 3 pm. The food is delicious.
Next, for all you sushi lovers (after all the California roll was invented in Los Angeles). Go to Sushi Stop in Hollywood or Pasadena. You can order small portions and all the menu items range from $3 to $8. So have fun and order away! By the way, the salads are great too.
If you prefer an all you can eat spot try Sushi by Jin. The fish is always fresh and you can’t beat all you can eat sushi for the low price of $30. Oh, and free green tea ice-cream!
If you are in Glendale stop by Octopus Restaurant. They are not all you can eat, but they have great desserts. If you stop by during happy hour you can get an amazing deal. Their happy hour is almost as amazing as their dynamite roll.
Bring along at least one vina and visit Castle BBQ, an all you can eat Korean BBQ restaurant a few minutes away from Los Angeles City College. The food is great and only costs $12 per person for all you can eat. They literally have a sign at the door that says they won’t serve you food unless you’re a party of 2 or more. Also, there is always a line so be prepared to wait 10-30 minutes. You will be more than grateful to have your vinas!
Although I can go on and on about all the amazing food places in L.A., let’s move on to a 4.20 friendly event.
If your already high and that’s the only reason you read this far, let me tell you about the “Magic Bus Experience.” A general admission ticket costs $35 and includes free arcade games, a hot box disco, a pillow fort, Karaoke, a cosmic temple, a living coloring room, a bubble wrap bathroom, a Play-Doh kitchen among other multi-sensory experiences. Imagine being stoned while falling down a rabbit hole into an Alice in Wonderland themed black light mini golf course. Just in case your Maryjane vinas are not convinced yet, there’s also an unlimited CBD tea and an unlimited tater tot bar!
TAKE A COOKING CLASS
Feeling adventurous? Take a cooking class with your vinas at Hip Cooks in East L.A. or West L.A. The classes are 3 hours long and cost $75. Make sure to sign up ahead of time because they don’t accept walk-ins. On March 14th they have “Thai One On” class and on March 17th they have “Dim Sum and then Some” class. They also have “Don’t cry for me Argentina,” “The Mo’rockin (Morrocan) spice trail,” “The cheesecake whiz,” “Jamaican me crazy,” and other fun classes.
If you and your vinas have been wanting to go out for a movie, this outdoor cinema is perfect. Have dinner and order cocktails while watching the movie, or stop by L.P. the rooftop bar adjacent to the theatre before the movie. Plan ahead and buy tickets for this April the calendar is out now!
Calling all dancing queens! Arena K-town is a free entry club. Thursdays is 18+ and the rest of the days are 21+. Don’t forget to take a selfie next to their “We do it for the ratchets” sign. There is usually a long line so come early. The Avalon, Lit LA, Elevate Lounge and Electric pussycat are also great picks. Because who doesn’t love to dance?
ORGANIZE A MUSEUM DAY
Los Angeles has so many amazing museums and some of them are free on certain days. Stop by Moca, they are offering multiple unique exhibitions this spring in celebration of their 40th anniversary.
Stop by the museum of selfies in Hollywood and take the most epic selfie in the group. Speaking of groups, they do offer group discounts if you email them ahead of time. They are a pop-up museum so if they are no longer in your area you can always stop by The Museum of Illusions which has a permanent location in Los Angeles. This is such a fun interactive experience and you are sure to have some awesome Instagram worthy photos.
This place is beautiful! Entrance is still free and you can take turns looking through the telescopes. A starry night is sure to be a memorable experience. For vinas hanging out in the day time, Griffith Park is a great place to go hiking and see the Hollywood sign. You can also have a picnic or even go horseback riding. The scenery is wonderful.
There are so many amazing things to do in the City of Angeles, and even more angels in the city to do them with. Find your angel squad on Hey! VINA today and plan your L.A. adventure!
This is probably my favorite day of the year, second to my own birthday and Christmas, of course. It’s time to round up your vinas and plan a wine date ASAP!
Here are a few of my suggestions on how to celebrate this wine-derful day with your vinas.
VINA WINERY TRIP
Check out some of your local wineries! Look around, and find a few places you’ve never been. All you need to do is grab your vinas, make sure your cameras are charged, and off you go!
Vina-to-vina Tip: Drinking and driving is never okay. Please ensure that you have a safe means of travel. Either someone needs to sit out of the drinking and be the designated driver, or you can find a local wine tour company and use the drive-me-home service after.
WINE NIGHT IN
If you’re a bit of a home-bug like me and prefer to be in the comfort of your own home, you can host a cheese & wine evening at your place. Invite your vinas over and ask each to bring a bottle of wine and a complimentary cheese. You could even make a game out of the evening by asking everyone to bring the cheese in unmarked containers and to take the wine’s labels off. Then it’s time to let your creative juices flow. Make up your own wine-and-cheese Mad Libs to make up your own detailed descriptions of the wines and cheeses.
Vina-To-Vina Tip: Make sure you have movies like “Pretty Woman,” “The Greatest Showman,” or any other girls-night classics ready to watch with your vinas. And again, I can’t say this enough: don’t drink and drive. Make alternative plans to get everyone home safely.
VINA PICNIC DATE
My last suggestion is for nature lovers or anyone that just needs to get out of the house without breaking the bank. Call up your vinas and make plans to meet up at the nearest park, take a big blanket, some pillows, a picnic baskets with a bottle of wine, and some snacks like cold meats, chips, crackers, etc. Go find a spot under a big tree and just relax the day away with your vinas, talking about things big and small. It’s a great way to bond and to get out of the house without using all of your spending money for the month.
Vina-to-vina Tip: Make sure to be aware of all the park rules, some places do not allow alcohol and some do. Also, make sure you pack that sunscreen to protect your skin at all times.
Now pick up the phone and make some plans! No matter how busy our lives get, we should always remember and make the effort to make time for those people in our lives that make it good.
Get swiping on the Hey! VINA app and find a vina to make a #VinaWineDate. Remember to share your time with Vina on Facebook or on Instagram.
I always feel warm and fuzzy inside when I hear about random acts of kindness. Scrolling through social media, you can find countless posts of ‘Hometown Heroes’ and other do-gooders. Although random acts of kindness should be done, well, randomly, Feb. 17 is the day we all celebrate doing nice things for someone else.
PAY IT FORWARD
This happens to be my favorite way of throwing a random act of kindness out into the Universe. Paying it forward is a small gesture that can mean tons to someone else. I’ve been on the receiving end of people paying it forward several times, but the time that stands out the most was about eight years ago when I was out having breakfast with my son. A college-age girl was sitting near us. We didn’t notice her looking different than anyone else, however, she noticed us. When our bill came, the waitress told us it was already paid for. The young woman was happy to see a mom and her son bonding and decided to pay for our bill. She was long gone by then, so I was never able to catch her name or what she distinctly looked like. If you’re out there reading this, “Thank you!”
THIS IDEA IS COMPLIMENTARY
Everyone loves being told that they look good. Make today the day where everyone (or close to everyone) you meet is left with a compliment. Let them know if you like their hair, clothes or shoes. Nothing beats an acknowledgment from a stranger. If the local barista isn’t donned in her cutest blouse, leave telling her how she makes your morning coffee run that much more special. Kind words can be powerful.
DONATE OLD ITEMS
Most of us have a few old towels or blankets lying around that we don’t need or use anymore. Gather them up and donate them to an animal shelter. Animal shelters often need towels and blankets to care for the kittens and puppies. They get used quickly and are costly to restock. Help those helping the animals in your community and call your local animal shelter to ask if they could use some new supplies and when the best time for you to drop some off is.
The only way to make Random Acts of Kindness Day better is by gathering up your vinas and celebrating together! 😍 Head over to Hey! VINA to find your perfect Good Samaritan partner-in-crime today! 👯💕
If you’re single this Valentine’s day, don’t panic—we’ve got you. Just because you’re riding solo doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the benefits of the holiday. This #GalentinesDay, celebrate the love and friendship your vinas bring to your life with a movie night out, followed by a pizza-and-milkshake session to soak up each other’s awesomeness. Need some VINAspiration for the kick-ass women in your life? Shop our online store here, then check out the *must-see* movies hitting the big screen this February:
WHAT MEN WANT
First on the list is our girl Cookie Lyon in this remake of the 2000 film “What Women Want.” She plays Ali Davis, a successful sports agent who’s constantly boxed out by her male colleagues. When Ali is passed up for a well-deserved promotion, she questions what more she needs to do to succeed in a man’s world, until she gains the ability to hear men’s thoughts. With her newfound power, Ali looks to outsmart her colleagues as she races to sign the next basketball superstar, but the lengths she must go to will put her relationship with her best friends and a potential new love interest to the test.
Next is “Happy Death Day 2U,” the sequel of the 2017 movie “Happy Death Day” (make sure you’ve watched it, otherwise you’ll be a bit lost!) Starring Jessica Rothe, Israel Broussard, Suraj Sharma, and Ruby Modine, the plot follows Tree, played by Rothe, as she unexpectedly re-enters the time loop and becomes determined to escape it after finding out her friends are now involved. When she discovers that Lori Spengler, the original killer, has been murdered, Tree must face the new killer in order to uncover their identity and break free of the time loop once and for all.
No list is complete without a revenge movie – and who does revenge better than the seasoned Liam Neeson? In “Cold Pursuit,” Snowplower Nelson Coxman (Neeson) seeks revenge against a drug cartel in his Rocky Mountains hometown after his son is murdered by the gang. It stars Liam Neeson, Laura Dern, Emmy Rossum, and Tom Bateman.
This next one is a #GIRLPOWER comedy/drama. It is based on the life of Paige, a retired English professional WWE wrestler and actress. Paige is a two-time Divas Champion and was the inaugural NXT Women’s Champion in WWE’s developmental branch NXT, holding both championships concurrently at one time. “Fighting with My Family” follows the Bevis family, who are all professional wrestlers, as they try to work through the issues that arise when sister and brother duo, Paige and Zak, audition for roles in WWE. It stars Florence Pugh, Jack Lowden, Nick Frost, Lena Headey, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Vince Vaughn.
For all the horror-loving vinas, I found this one – “The Turning.” The plot centers around a mysterious estate where newly appointed nanny Kate is charged with the care of two disturbed orphans, Flora and Miles. She begins to believe the country mansion in which they reside is haunted by a ghost. I’ll be honest, the trailer scared the bewilderment out of me, and I am not so sure that I will be able to sit through the entire movie. But I know my girls are tough as nails, amirite?
In a world where Cupid can be found right at our fingertips, we swipe right hoping to find “Mister-or-Misses-Right.” However, while dating apps have made much success over the last decade, for some singles, the match just isn’t made as easily. That’s when we turn to a real-life Cupid: a matchmaker.
VINAZINE sat down with dating coach and matchmaker genius Sasha Silberberg, Founder of OkSasha—a dating website known to “spread love like butter”—to delve into what it takes to find people’s right matches and how to navigate the dating world!
Q: Thanks for talking to VINAZINE! What inspired you to become a professional matchmaker, and what is it like owning your own matchmaking business? A: What inspired me to be a matchmaker was a slew of factors. The loneliness epidemic, our lack of community and online dating leave a lot to be desired. I noticed that a lot of people were tired of online dating, and there aren’t many great alternatives out there. I started working for a matchmaking company called Dating Ring back in the day, which propelled me into the world of matchmaking. After working there for about a year, I realized that I could have my own business and do matchmaking my own way. From there, I started working with clients one-on-one on my own while also driving for Lyft. I used Lyft as an opportunity to meet new people and get them into my “match book.”
Running your own matchmaking business is a lot of fun and work! Getting started by building a big network is certainly a task—you need to know a lot of people and earn trust. Then, there’s the business side of it: accounting, creating a website, marketing, etc. Living as an entrepreneur can be challenging because you must be self-motivated, waking up every day and pushing yourself to do the work.
Q: What type of clients do you normally find yourself working with? A: I work with people in Silicon Valley between the ages of 25 and 40. Most of the people I work with work in tech and are at least tangentially part of the Burning Man scene. They’re all successful in their work and relatively busy.
Q: What makes your matchmaking techniques different from other similar businesses? A: My matchmaking technique is different from other matchmaking businesses in the sense that it is community-oriented. What that means is, whenever I take on a new client, I interview one or two of their close friends/family members so I can have an idea of who the client is in their community. Chatting with close friends and family also often unveils some of the clients’ blind spots in dating, which is clearly very helpful!
Q: Now for our single vinas who are craving that real-life connection, this one goes out to you! Do you have any dating advice for us?! A: When you go on a first date, actively try to keep an open heart and mind. Just because you don’t feel an instant connection doesn’t mean that this person can’t be an important part of your life. You can learn something from everyone, and who knows, maybe they are best friends with the love of your life!
Also, try to be aware of the subtle nuances in communication. What I mean by this is that we often times put people into boxes without knowing it. We think that we are excellent at judging people by talking to them for five minutes, but we fail to acknowledge all of the other factors that are coming into play during a first date. For example, maybe they’re nervous, or maybe they’re hungry, or maybe they misheard or misunderstood what you said and therefore said something to you that wasn’t actually representative of their character. Just remember, you WILL fit someone into the box you create for them.
Q: Speaking of all this matchmaking, what do you think about the Hey! VINA app, the Tinder for finding your best (girl) friends? A: I’m totally a fan—the loneliness epidemic is real, so anything that builds community is desperately needed!
Sasha reminds us that love is always in the air for those who are willing to keep their hearts held high and a true belief in real-life Cupids. Happy dating, vinas!