Meet Joanna Weger, Community Manager of Bond Collective at 60 Broad Street in NYC's Financial District. Joana has a passion for people and hospitality that is felt from the second you walk in the door of the 24th floor. On a blustery November afternoon, we sat down and chatted about growing up, what drew her to Bond Collective and why she can't stop googling furniture.
-Thomas Gibbons, Creative Director
TG: Where did you grow up?
JW: So I'm from South Jersey, I grew up right outside of Atlantic City. It's great- I grew up there, my Mom she was a bartender there, my Dad was a cop there, so I'm like the billboard for Atlantic City.
TG: Did you ever work in Casinos yourself?
JW: When I turned 18 I got a job serving a job at a Casino and it was nice because I was in college and making extra money. I think everyone should serve, it gives you so much perspective on people and I learned so much..I've taken so many aspects of it through my life.
TG: Were you at the same Casino as your mom?
JW: Haha no, she was at a different Casino! Could you imagine going to work with your mom! She was at the Taj Mahal which is now Hard Rock, and I was at Harrah's.
TG: Any crazy casino stories?
JW: I don't have enough fingers and toes for how many drinks I've spilled...I think when they tell you it's a VIP table or “high roller” it automatically makes you spill drinks. I did get to wait on lots of celebrities: Scott Disick, Jerry Springer, Kim Kardashian. You get such a wide spectrum of people in casinos, so it definitely kept things interesting...
TG: You went to school for hospitality, right?
JW: Yeah, I went to Stockton University. I was working at the casino and going to school. You can study Hospitality, but learning it in the flesh you'll learn things that you'll never learn in the classroom. I had classes like "Hotel Operation" and "Restaurant Operations" but I was working in an actual Casino and I got to see everything firsthand.
TG: What was the moment where you decided to go to school for Hospitality?
JW: I originally thought I wanted to travel and work in hotels, but after working weekends from the age of 18 to 23 I had never had a Saturday or Sunday off. That was an eye opener for me after college when all the jobs I was applying for were weekends and hotel hours. I started thinking about how I could still work in hospitality but have a 9-5.
TG: So where did you land after school?
JW: I got an HR internship at a hospitality startup, Jitjatjo in NYC.
TG: Was that a positive experience?
JW: It was cool because I got to do HR/Hospitality, front of house, back of house etcetera and still got to use my serving and bartending knowledge. That was my first job outside of college and I loved it. It was a stressful job though, as you can imagine working for an app... it doesn't turn off, so we'd work after-hours and weekends. I wanted to see what my other options were...and then I found Bond!
TG: Favorite aspect of working at Bond?
JW: I love hosting happy hours. Being able to use my creative side and use the space to really treat our members. I definitely look forward to getting back into that after Covid.
TG: What challenges has Covid presented over the past few months?
JW: The human interaction is really what I love about the job. I don't think I'd be able to sit behind a desk all day and not talk to anybody. It's hard because the space is a bit quieter right now so whenever people come in I'm overly excited to see them!
TG: Do you have a favorite spot here at 60?
JW: I love the chairs tucked under the steps...it's kind of hidden and it’s so cozy. Also, the little seating area at the top of the stairs; those are the most beautiful sofas. I think if I were a member here that would be my spot every day.
TG: How do you relate to design in your everyday life?
JW: I've moved into a building in Jersey City recently, I don't know if you're familiar with The Urby. It reminds me of Bond Collective so much because the design is incredible, it's just like every corner is beautifully decorated. I love that my workplace is beautiful, my apartment building is beautiful. It's something I value so much more now.
TG: Biggest takeaway so far working from Bond?
JW: I think working here has definitely given me more of an eye for design. I open my eyes a lot more to things I didn't notice before and now they're a part of my life.
TG: It's all about the details right?
JW: Yes, absolutely. Now I'll see something and be like, "That's a beautiful table, I love that table, where is that from? And then I'm googling for that exact piece.
TG: Oh me too all the time. You have no idea! Well thank you Joana for taking such incredible care of this space and our members. It’s so beautiful. I’m going to have to swing by more often and I hope I get to attend one of your amazing happy hours really soon!