We had the good fortune of connecting with Chloe Makhani and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Chloe, what role has risk played in your life or career?
From all great risks, come great rewards. Usually haha. Otherwise, a big lesson is learned from the process of making a decision and moving forward. I think in general risk taking has a negative connotation, but risk taking is adaptive and can many times lead you to positive outcomes. I’ve found myself stuck in stagnant places many times, unable to make a decision. However, looking back all the times I’ve found success or learned a lesson is when I have taken that risk and made those difficult choices. I have grown the most from all of my failures and I can say the same about those around me. Before I opened Stanley Social; one of my venue’s there was a lot of risk associated with it, it was out of my usual realm of work and I had so much opposition against the idea. Logically I understood the pushback. How would I be able to fill the event hall every night of the week with limited marketing dollars, and would it make sense to have a high payroll of sales associates and venue managers for days the venue wouldn’t be booked out. While I was in grad school for hospitality business, we learned one thing that always stuck with me; an empty bed is lost revenue. I felt fear. The occupancy rate needs to be at a certain percentage in order to cover all costs, as does the Average daily rate on the room. So I looked at this the same way, every day of the week is a potential party, but if my ADR and OR stay above the percentage I calculated I would be in decent shape. I needed to do everything I could to get those bookings so that’s where I spent most of my time and energy. Risk taking can be conscious and unconscious. In the example I provided it was incredibly conscious, I weighed my pro’s and cons out right in front. An unconscious example is in some ways linked to fear. I could have said, oh there are so many event venues in LA what sets mine apart from the rest. In the end I took that risk and created a narrative around what made Stanley Social special, and I think that’s what stuck. Risk assessment is always a double edge sword. It can be good to weigh the pro’s and cons, but sometimes the logical route isn’t always going to lead you to bigger successes. Risk taking can be a good thing, and you may reap more rewards than if you were to play it safe. The other end is true as well, and I think we all need to become resilient and be able to bounce back from failure. Sometimes the risks don’t pan out the way one would hope however, I think taking the risk can always lead you to the right place. As I once heard Oprah say; There are no mistakes in life, failures are here to wake you up and guide you back in the right direction. No one in the world is always on course, it’s just not possible.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Born in the heart of Los Angeles, Stanley Social is 5,000 square feet of classic Moroccan culture with a modern Hollywood twist. Our versatile environment gives us the edge we need to play host to any and all types of occasions from corporate events to weddings and intimate dinners. Once known as the infamous Dar Maghreb, the opulent eatery and event space is now reclaimed as the one and only Stanley Social. Here at Stanley Social we collaborate with each client to help their vision come to life in a venue that is much more than just a space. We value personal connections, class integrity, and attention to detail with every client and in every event we thoughtfully curate. We understand that each event is personal, which is why we designed an event space that is personal. Stanley aims to develop special memories, an everlasting experience, and an unforgettable partnership. I look back and realize it’s been a long road get to where I am. There have been many up’s and downs but I’ve forgotten about the down’s over time. Mainly, I allowed myself to adapt to societal changes and human needs within the hospitality industry. It’s ok to change your mind but more than that it’s ok to change your original concept with what is needed in any capacity. Be flexible. Over the years, restaurant concepts have changed and the most successful venues and restaurants have swayed to accommodate clients. White tablecloth upscale restaurant’s and Michelin Star restaurants were where the business thrived. However, now we see that quick service spaces and artistically branded concepts do better. Social media has definitely taken a toll on this front, in addition to accessibility and time constraints. I believe I’m experiencing it again due to Covid-19 and like I mentioned before I am adapting with the changes. Stay at home orders have forced individuals to order in, and create at home. Although the world is slowly opening up, the habits will continue and life will be different. My next project is adapting with the world and that’s the beauty of it. I am always happy looking back at what has lead me here and excited for what is to come.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
The thing about LA is that it’s big and spread out, the best tour guide knows you’ve got to divide it by area. You always need to show your visitor a Malibu day, start at the country mart with a coffee in hand while you window shop, and make sure you stop by Nobu for lunch or even a drink by the bar. Waiting until the sunset is my favorite and if your visitor is up for it you can add in a water front walk. Next you have to have a Santa Monica and Venice day, the Venice Canals are a fun spot! A must have in this area is Felix, the bread effortlessly melts in your mouth. BH and Rodeo can be done quickly, with a fun lunch at Il Pastaio. End the evening with West Hollywood’s dining and nightlife. Some of my favorite spots in this area are (Dan Tana’s, Jones, Koi, Catch, Craig’s) Silver-lake is always an area I love to stop by even if its just for a night out. Cafe Stella is a go to of mine, make sure to make your reservations in advance!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are so many different individuals I would love to shoutout! First and foremost, Sophia Parsa and her Mountain Gate panel and dinner series have been a huge part of my growth. I wanted the venue to be more than just a party hall, with educational programming and resources as well bringing young entrepreneurs together, so partnering with her and her team was always such a positive and fun experience for me. Alex Boyman of CloudStudio’s and SipBar has been a guide and confidant in all aspects of my career and life. When things got tough he helped me find solutions and often times new ideas have emerged from our long conversations. There is always a new and next with Alex, and that’s why his wisdom has been so instrumental in the growth of my work. Nicole Behnam and her platform “Beyond the Interview” has been an incredible driving force. We are in the midst of creating an event series with their voice and outreach and it’s always fun bouncing idea’s off of each other. Although in completely different lines of work, I often find her input and guidance fascinating and it always tells a different story which is great to hear. Lastly, I want to thank all of the members of Visionary Women an organization I am deeply involved in. “Visionary Women is a unique non profit community focused on engaging conversations with innovative leaders and funding high impact initiatives for women and girls.” The amount of support and love given by these women is immeasurable and I am grateful for it every day.
I read all the time. I am always reading. Any book recommended to me or gifted I’ll read cover to cover. One I keep next to my bed is; A guide for the advanced soul. I open it up whenever I have questions and my answer lies within the pages.
Anna Maria Lopez Wife Of The Party Lynora Valdez