Hattie Elliot on Using a Passion for Travel in an Event Planning Career

In Chapter 4 of 19 in her 2012 Capture Your Flag interview, female entrepreneur Hattie Grace Elliot answers "How Are You Learning to Apply Your Passions in New Ways?   Starting her business, The Grace List, by embracing her passion for entertaining and connecting, Elliot evolves her model by adding a destination travel and event element to what she does.  By crafting destination trips, from wine adventures New Year's yacht sailing trips, Elliot is able to take her event production business to new levels.  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 are you learning to apply your passions in new ways?

Hattie Elliot: Wow. That’s kind of a difficult question, because I feel like I built my business, the kind of the forefront of my business was taking advantage for my real passion for entertaining and taking care of people. I guess that shifted slightly because we’ve kind of focused more in the last—and this is kind of very specific to what’s going on in my company right now, but I love traveling and experiencing the world and so I’ve kind of taken that ability to connect people, like great people great events, and taking it on the road, taking it on the plane, taking it on the boat, with these Saint Barths trips that we do and created that experience in different countries and different destinations and my events always, our weekly events that we threw were always based around like learning and doing something new, whether it was a food and wine pairing event, or private flying lessons.

We go to places that I personally am very passionate about, and you’re really able to craft this really thoughtful customized experience which is really impactful when you think about the first time maybe someone’s going to Italy and these wonderful, you know, little vineyards that you arrange for them to go to and winemakers that they meet and really it’s a pretty powerful thing to be able to, you know, forever in their mind when they think back to Italy, or even when they drink a glass of wine, that’s gonna change the way that they, like, you know, their whole experience of it, and that’s kind of powerful and wonderful and what the wonderful thing about—I’ve always been passionate about traveling and how I think as I’ve had the ability to with my clients, I’ve kind of infused the business more with the destination kind of side of—kind of event production, and that’s definitely kind of taken everything to the next level of the company.