Welcome to Soho House, a members’ only club for people in the creative, arts, and media industries. What started out as one house based in Soho, London, has now expanded to over 23 clubs internationally. However, what differentiates this club from any other is its events, programming, and members. We sat down with the Global Director of Member Events and Programming, Michaella Solar-March to discuss how she got to where she is and why she loves her job.
Australian born and bred, Michaella Solar-March initially started her career as a breakfast radio host in college back in Sydney, Australia. “I would wake up at 4 am every day, and this meant that I had no life but was extremely passionate about what I did and essentially this laid down the foundation for me and developed my strong work ethic.” As a radio jockey (RJ), Michaella had to be abreast of all the trends ranging from arts, food, and culture.
“I am generally a very culturally curious person so this line of work really suited me.”
Michaella always had an interest in music, bands, and community. Fun fact: she helped bring Spotify to the USA when working with Splendid Communications! Flash forward 15 years later and Michaella is doing the exact same thing now, in some ways. “I link trends with brands and find ways to share stories and bring ideas to life.” After working in radio for a few years, she moved on to work for a record label in Sydney, followed by an experiential marketing agency in New York, where she met her husband and soul mate. “We dated for one year and then he proposed, and four months later, we were married. I now have a little toddler on my hands and being a mum is both very rewarding and challenging.”
The Dream: New York
“After living in New York for 6 months, I felt extremely overwhelmed, like a fish out of water and went back to Australia for holiday and remember my mom telling me that if this is your dream, get your sh*t together and you will be fine. After working the agency life for a while, I decided to start my own consulting firm, No.9 Creative in which I worked with brands such as Sonos, Pepsi and Soho House to help them identify how to transform spaces into experiences. Soho House decided to keep me on the remaining year and ended up offering me my dream job as a full-time position.”
Before Michaella, Soho House did not have anyone managing their events programs on a global scale while following a brand guideline/manual on execution. Michaella also experimented with events in non-house location to test their appetite for the opening of a potential house and believes that Sydney would make a ripe market.
“Hospitality is always a yes industry, which is what I had to learn at Soho House.”
As a global leader, Michaella tells us that it is tough to always be on due to the different working time zones. When we asked her about the future of hospitality, she believes that it will be a combination of co-working spaces and living spaces (aka We Live, run by WeWork). Other new spots such as The Assemblage, The Wing, NeueHouse, etc have all popped up trying to create a “members’ only club,” but few have the international prestige that Soho House brings.
We asked Michaella for some advice on being an intrapreneur in this big bad world:
- You don’t need to stick it out. If you are in a position that is not right for you, don’t do it. The happier you are, the more productive you are.
- Sometimes your strengths are not your passions and you need to separate those two and learn from experiences.
- Work with as many people as possible to become a fully rounded person.
- You are never an expert and you are never done. You are always a student and need to approach every interaction with an open heart, open mind, and open ears.
Soho House currently hosts 12,000 events per year. When crafting an event concept, Michaella says that it should be dynamic (encourage people to talk to one another and connect) as well as educational, you want to learn something new, but in a fun way. “The best events for me are the ones that encourage true networking and true human connection,” luckily over at RADICHE, we do just that!
Photo courtesy of Michaella Solar-March.