23 Questions with Bond Collective is a series highlighting the impressive 1,000+ person community spread across the Bond Collective portfolio. The series will feature members from 60 Broad, 55 Broadway, Gowanus and Flatiron locations and Bond Collective employees as well. 23 Questions will explore all different walks of life and show just how unique and vast the Bond Collective network continues to become.
Gretchen Grant is the CEO, BobVila.com, the website of TV's home improvement expert Bob Vila, and a member at Bond Flatiron. Originally from Seattle, Gretchen attended Yale University for her undergrad and Harvard Business School for her Masters. Gretchen has been with Bob Vila for six and a half years, focusing on helping people make the most of their living space. At BobVila.com, Gretchen is a team leader responsible for the vision and path of her company, and she considers herself lucky to work with a strong, dynamic team.
Growing up in Seattle, Gretchen had stars in her eyes for New York City, and now enjoys being a New Yorker while cherishing her West Coast roots. Gretchen lives on the Upper West Side within close proximity to the Hudson. On the weekends you may find Gretchen at Buceo 95, a fantastic tapas and wine bar in her neighborhood. At Bond Flatiron, Gretchen enjoys the down to earth and contemporary feeling of the space and staff, and she has felt at home since day one. Gretchen has an observant nature, she is constantly challenging her own perceptions and is continually inspired by the people, art, and communities around her. Enthusiastic and eloquent, it is no wonder Gretchen has achieved such success personally and professionally. We asked Gretchen a few questions…
1 - First thing you do in the morning?
I make Jasmine Green tea for myself. It is my morning ritual that gets me going and feels comforting at the same time, I love it.
2. -Top 3 songs to listen to when you need to get work done?
At work I almost never listen to music, but if I am doing a project at home or working from home I love energetic music like:
1 - R. Kelly
2 - Bruno Mars
3 - The Beatles
3 - Favorite coffee shop and go to order?
I love the people at FIKA on 23rd street. My standard is a green tea or sometimes a soy cappuccino.
4 - Gmail or Outlook?
Gmail. I went cold turkey from outlook 3 years ago and I have not missed it.
5 - App you can’t live without?
The Starbucks App.
6 - First job?
My very first job was a summer job in college. I worked for John L. Scott Real Estate, in Bellevue, Washington close to my home in Seattle. My first career job was the Analyst Program at Smith Barney here in New York City.
7 - Favorite lunch spot?
Organique, it is fantastic, the people care about the food and its organic! It really is a cut above.
If colleagues or friends are in town and I want a sit down setting, I love Osteria del Principe. It is a full service Italian restaurant and you feel like you are nowhere near the business of 23rd street.
8 - Early or late?
Earlier when it comes to going to work and events. I love getting up in the morning and having extra time, but my natural DNA is to be a night person.
9 - How do you unwind after a long day of work?
I usually unwind with music. I will go home home and turn on relaxing jazz music like Diana Krall, Chet Baker, or Ella Fitzgerald. After some de-stressing, I watch Rachel Maddow and Charlie Rose. I really like what I learn and the people they interview.
10 - What’s your lucky charm?
I do not have a lucky charm, but I do have a lucky superstition. My grandmother always said If you see a white horse, make a wish. I always do make a wish to this day. Living in New York I do not see many white horses, but the lucky superstition has stuck with me over the years.
11 - What inspires you?
Learning about the struggles different people have overcome and where they are today is inspiring to me. I get this inspiration from watching interviews and from people around me, but I also often find it in art. I was recently in London and saw an Elton John exhibit, seeing the modern, yet classical pieces of photography that he has collected.
Along those lines, the Modern Museum of Art is filled with inspiration for me. I've never failed to find an artist there that stretches my ideas of what's possible. One particular source of inspiration came from an artist named Olafur Eliasson, who is known for his lighting work. He had an installation of fluorescent lights, and in this installation the lights were such that everything was in black and white except for a few yellow items. It was like walking through a black and white movie. When you go to someplace foreign or different you see that life has a lot of possibility. There are many ways to do things. I find that inspiring, exciting, and reassuring.
12 - Social Media account everyone should be following?
Bob Vila! We are very active on social, check us out on Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter! We have some beautiful content, and some of our most successful posts have been regarding practical, environmentally friendly projects.
Personally I love following Sergei Polunin, he is a crazy talented dancer. I contributed more than a few of his 18 million views on YouTube.
13. - Best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten?
“Whatever you let go of, lets go of you.” -- authors Ariel and Shya Kane
14 - How long did it take you to get to work this morning?
15 - When’s the last time you celebrated a win?
Recently I went to London and I was celebrating having fun. It was a personal celebration.
16 - If you could squeeze one more activity into your daily life, what would it be?
Working out. I do work out regularly, but I have to push to find the time. If I had one more hour I would spend more time exercising.
17 - If you were a crayon, what color would you be?
18 - What is the most interesting thing about you?
My hair color is natural, I have champagne blonde hair, it is kind of unusual. People will sometimes stop and ask about it. It makes me very easy to spot in the crowd, so I find it useful!
19 - Last show you binge watched?
Homeland, how could they kill off Quinn!? I love that show, I have seen it all!
20 - Biggest Cheerleader?
My niece is my biggest cheerleader, she is 15 years old and we have a very close relationship. She is back in Seattle, but we have had a strong connection since she was a tiny kid.
21 - Call or text?
22 - Favorite book?
A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life by Brian Grazer. It is about the value of asking questions.
23 - Name 5 people (dead or alive) you would invite to a dinner party.
1 - Bill Clinton
2 - Hillary Clinton
3 - Jesus
4 - Daniel Day Lewis
5 - Meryl Streep.