In our second installment of member profiles at the Hive at 55, I recently chatted with Marie Chandra, who is the CEO of her own business, Via Her, Inc.
Where are you from and where do you live now? I was born, raised and educated in France. I moved to New York 10 years ago, and have called the Financial District home for the past two years.
What industry are you in? Travel.
Describe your occupation? My company works with individuals and companies to make business travel easier for women. 30 years ago, only one percent of business travelers were women. Nowadays, women constitute about 40 to 50 percent of the total number of business travelers. We believe that the travel industry, and large corporations have not evolved fast enough to accommodate the differentiated needs of women.
Why do you work at the Hive? Although I travel frequently for work, when in NYC, I prefer working in an office instead of my apartment. The facilities at the Hive are nice; it has everything I need, and is quite affordable. And of course, the location: it’s walking distance from my apartment.
What do you like about working at the Hive? It keeps me focused and motivated, especially when compared to working at a coffee shop or out of my home.
How long have you been working at the Hive? Since Day One [December 1].
What days and hours have you generally been here? All day, two or three days a week. It depends on when I am in New York!
How has your business or work style changed by working at the Hive? I feel much more comfortable meeting clients, prospects and partners here, especially when compared to a coffee shop or home office.
How do you think your business will improve or grow from working at the Hive? Establishing a professional image is important for me; and the Hive contributes to that. I’ve been thinking about organizing workshops here as well.
What’s your favorite thing about Lower Manhattan? I live and work here! The transportation network is great. Almost every subway line stops here. Despite what a lot of people think, there is a real life here during the evenings and weekends with new restaurants and bars opening on a weekly basis. The neighborhood has become very residential and there is a real sense of community. I used to live on the Upper East Side, and in Midtown; and rarely spoke to my neighbors. Now my neighbors are my friends and we go out for dinner, play sports together…
Where do you go to lunch when you’re at the Hive? Pret-A-Manger, it’s right across the street.
Do you have a hidden talent or secret hobby? I have a very keen sense of smell. I used to work in project management for the fine fragrance industry.
What’s your favorite music/band, TV show, movie? I am a big Madonna fan. She’s one of the few artists / performers that has remained successful and on the cutting edge for over 20 years! I also love movies and am a member of the Film Society of Lincoln Center.
Is there someone professionally or in your industry you admire? Richard Branson. Although he can be a little over the top sometimes.
A fun fact you want to share about yourself? It is not really a fun fact per se, but I love tennis and try to play at least twice a week.