NAME: FREDERICK GHARTEY
Where are you from?
I’m a global citizen. I am from America, Ghana and Canada. I lived in Ghana for about six years, but I’ve spent a majority of my life in the USA.
What industry are you in and what do you do?
We are at the cross section of tech and hospitality. We are an app based private club that delivers curated experiences, unique events, and quality crowds to a diverse membership base. We leverage tech to match groups of members based on their personality, objectives and social preferences. Our members are able to explore different establishments—restaurants, bars, art galleries—and a wide range of event programming across the city and in the digital world.
Tell us about how and more so why you started Parlor Social Club!
In 2010 my current business partner, Jan Cieslikiewicz, and I, together with Daniel Houston, a close friend of ours, co-founded a brick and mortar members club in Soho. After seven years of observing and truly understanding people’s social lives it became clear that people value the opportunity to have multiple experiences across their city, rather than restricting their outings to one physical location.. Not only from night to night, but even within the same evening. We also saw how valuable good friendships & great conversations are. We realized that if we leveraged tech effectively we would truly deliver crowds that facilitate genuine connections.
What is unique about Parlor Social Club’s mission and values?
With the advancement of technology people now connect in ways we never imagined, but these connections are mostly digital. Parlor Social Club is on a mission to master the art of curation and connection in the real world. Think the opposite of the metaverse. We are going against the current trends. We appreciate all platforms, and realize they are a dominant part of our future, but we truly want to deliver a personalized experience in real life based on each individual’s own unique personality. We value authenticity and individuality.
How do you personally define inclusivity and carry that into your business?
For me diversity means representing a wide range of people and for business this would be who you serve and/or who creates your products. Of course this could include race, religion, geographical location etc. but when one also is intentionally conscious about other ways humans are diverse it opens a world of wonders. People vary in so many ways. Introverts vs extroverts, pessimists vs optimists, people who are excitable vs even keeled. Humans are so remarkably diverse in so many ways. We are focused on delivering programming that appeals to this fascinatingly wide range of people; the end result is inclusive & diverse experiences.
What does it really mean to be a diverse business/brand?
I think the first thing to do is recognize that different people define things differently. I really believe in diversity of thought, so I don’t want to impose my view on every business that exists. I do believe in general it has to do with bringing together different types of people. Ironically, that often ends up showing how similar we all are when it comes down to it.
Where do you see Parlor Social Club going in the next 5-10 years?
I have found that it is difficult to know the exact direction of a business.. One can try to predict, but anything more than a few years out flirts with simply guessing. My business partner Jan and I do have a best guess:) The feedback so far has been amazing on how we impact the way people socialize. There is remarkable inefficiency in going to a bar or mixer etc., and hoping to randomly get along with whatever random person is standing by you. Our goal is to dramatically enhance how people socialize by positioning them in places and with people that they are likely to get along with in terms of personality and preferences etc. So if things continue to go in the current trajectory we envision being in all major cities across the globe.
How are you collaborating with Arlo and what are you most excited about with this collaboration?
Arlo and Parlor are on a mission to host social mixers that are all about bringing people together. Parlor Social Club members, Arlo Hotel guests, locals, NYC visitors—everyone is on this list.
We are excited by what Arlo stands for and is able to produce. Arlo is a home base for explorers and launch pad for all things local. Like ARlo, it is key for us to embrace the ethos of a city. Arlo Hotels are in NYC and Miami—with more cities on the horizon—offer Intuitive design, easy style and friendly faces to anyone looking for laidback spaces for social time and relaxation. In short, it’s a great partnership.
Where do you hope to grow within the Arlo Brand?
We hope to continue to program a variety of events across the Arlo locations. Like Arlo we also will be expanding to other cities in the future.
What are you most passionate about?
Creating a fulfilling and happy life for others. With all the advancement in tech and knowledge in humanity, we all still want the same thing- a good life. There is so much data and noise out there that it’s hard for anyone to know the exact path to achieve this. Without a doubt I have learned that the most important thing after health and shelter in order to have true happiness is to have great authentic and deep friendships. My goal is to create a product that matches you with people that you truly can become lifelong friends with, and have memorable conversations and experiences with. To me these friendships are the key to happiness.
Anything last min you want to share with our guests as an ARLOcal??
Look up Parlor Social Club! People who appreciate ARLOcal tend to be a great match for membership.