Hattie Elliot: How to Survive and Thrive in New York City

In Chapter 9 of 19 in her 2012 Capture Your Flag interview, female entrepreneur Hattie Grace Elliot answers "How Do You Make the Most of Living in the City?"  Elliot talks about the inspiration she gets from New Yorkers and how she finds motivation in progressive, forward thinking and big ambition mindsets of New Yorkers she meets.  Hattie Grace Elliot is the founder and CEO of The Grace List, a social networking company that creates destination events and experiences to forge lasting personal and professional connections across its young professional members. Elliot graduated from the University of Cape Town in South Africa, where she studied economics, philosophy, and politics.


Erik Michielsen: How do you make the most of living in a city?

Hattie Elliot: Wow, I mean, I think New York City is just—it inspires me. I feel like it’s my lover. It’s like a character in my life that just like the people that I love, that inspires me to do better and be better and just the dynamism of New York, it’s not for the faint at heart, just like being an entrepreneur is not for the faint at heart, but for me, it doesn’t matter what incredible place I’ve been in the world, the moment that I step off the plane, you know, I don’t care if the city is, you know, if it’s hot and “fragrant.” We all know what New York smells like in the summer. Or freezing cold and I just came from Saint Barts, I just—I feel like I’m at home. I can take a breath. 

And that’s how I know I love New York. And I feel like the incredible influx of culture and people and restaurants and just the geography of New York and the architecture and the history are so inspiring. And New York is not kind to those who are stagnant. New York forces you in a brutal but wonderful way every day to move forward. There’s just—If you’re gonna survive in New York, you have to be a progressive forward-thinking person, and this city that just has a way of doing that to people. And I personally thrive off of it. And I feel like it’s been, you know, hugely beneficial in my business and just realistically, you know, the connections you make in New York, this is a city that’s full of some of the most, you know, successful people in every different, you know, field and profession, and real movers and shakers in the international world. 

I mean you are a little fish in a big pond. You do not come to New York, you know, to be Joe Schmoe, the prettiest, tallest, hottest, wealthiest person because there’s always gonna be someone in this city who’s more than that. You really come here to be pushed. And I really love that about New Yorkers, in general. And it’s something that inspires me in my personal and professional life every day, and one of the reasons that, I mean, I can wholeheartedly I just am so proud to call this city home.