Community, Wellness + My New Role at Bumble

business lifestyle wellness May 11, 2021

Whoa, what a whirlwind few months it has been. Writing a blog post right now feels absolutely surreal, and almost feels as if I’m stepping into a time machine. Granted, it hasn’t been that long since I’ve written (I think my last post was back in February) but it still feels like a lifetime ago.

With having gone on such a long hiatus (which I will explain later, maybe) there’s obviously been a lot that has changed. I’ve grown my business tenfold, started school at UC Berkeley, and, oh yeah, took up a new job at Bumble.

Let me start this off by saying that I had absolutely no intentions of picking up a new job this semester. I remember just this past June, talking to my mom about how worried I was about balancing school and photography. The thought of that almost makes me laugh, now. I was so worried about how I would balance two full-time gigs, that the thought of adding a third thing onto my plate seemed completely impossible, unrealistic, and, quite frankly, stressful as hell.

Yet, I’m also a firm believer that sometimes (re: all the time) the universe just has a plan, and when opportunity knocks, you have to open the door. Back in July, I received an email from the West Coast Regional Manager for Bumble, offering me a job with the company that would start in September.

Yep, you heard me right. Offering me a job.

 It sounded so ridiculously crazy that for a moment, I questioned whether or not it was fake.

 For those of you who are unfamiliar with Bumble, it is a social networking platform where women make the first move in dating, business, and friendships. Or, in simpler terms, it’s a dating app where women have to make the first move (although we’ve expanded to include BumbleBFF, a friend making platform, and BumbleBizz, for business connections). The company is female owned and driven, and has been very vocal in regards to feminism, politics, and equality- things that I {obviously} care a lot about.

I’d been familiar with Bumble before, through both friends using it and the media, and always loved what they stood for. Yet I had never used it before. To be completely honest, I was a very anti-dating app person when it came to myself. Not because I saw anything wrong with them, but because I just didn’t think they were for me (to be fair, I’m still reluctant of them and probably wouldn’t use any of them except Bumble and maybe Raya).

Needless to say, I was intrigued by the idea, and decided to hop on a call with the woman who reached out to me (aka Lauren, who is an absolute gem of a human being). And, as it turns out, the job totally wasn’t fake, and met all of my “requirements” for taking on a new position (remote work, flexible hours, creativity, etc. etc.). It seemed way too good to be true.

I wanted to jump in right away, knowing that an opportunity like this wouldn’t last, but I hesitated. Could I really balance another thing on top of full-time school and photography? Was I crazy for trying to add one more thing to my plate? Many people said yes, and gently encouraged me not to do it. While others, like my friend Lauren (pictured above) told me to run for it, and never look back. And while I appreciated the word of others, who I knew were only looking out for my mental wellbeing and my highest good, I knew that this opportunity was too sweet to pass up. If I did, I would be kicking myself my entire life for not going and giving it a try. It was in that moment that I knew: I had to go for this.

My journey with Bumble has been nothing short of a total and complete blessing. Today, I work as their Community Marketing Manager for San Francisco and Oakland… which is basically a fancy way of saying that I’m a glorified event planner. ;) I spend my days partnering with female-focused brands that would align well with the Bumble message, overseeing smaller events run by others on our Bumble SF team, and once a month, I plan a large-scale community event, centered around feminism and women empowerment. It is so much fun, and truly a dream job, as it allows me the creativity to express all the ideas bustling around in my head, while also giving me the flexibility to maintain school, photography, and a relatively-normal 20-year-old social life.

 October officially began my position at Bumble, and with that, came hosting my “welcome event” - my first event, of completely my choosing, geared towards introducing myself and Bumble to the San Francisco community, Since I was practically given free-reign to design an event of literally whatever I wanted, I knew that I wanted it to feel like an extension of myself, and everything that I stood for. Thus, I wanted it to be bright and early on a weekend morning, full of meditation, crystals, live music, and gratitude. I knew I was aiming big with this event, and had absolutely no idea if I would be able to pull it off. But, as always, I knew that the universe had my back, and with that, came the very real possibility that things would turn out better than I expected them to.

We hosted the event at the beautiful Anchor Mediation, a brand new meditation studio that just opened up in Cow Hollow. I’ve been lucky to know (and be friends with) their owner, Kelly, for a while now, and was so excited when she wanted to partner on this event. I truly couldn’t have pulled this off without her, and feel so grateful to have her and her friendship. If you are visiting San Francisco, I highly recommend stopping by and checking out one of her classes. The sound bath mediations are especially magical.

Around 11am on an unusually sunny San Francisco Sunday, guests arrived to the bright and airy studio. They were greeted by the beautiful Hande (who I feel so fortunate to have on my Bumble team!) and were encouraged to write down one thing that they were grateful for. I thought this would be a cute little introduction to the event, and it very much felt like an extension of myself. Every night before bed, I say a gratitude list in my head, so seeing a sort-of physical manifestation of this daily practice felt so cool. I absolutely loved reading everyone’s responses towards the end of the event!

We set the mood with some anti-anxiety essential oils pumping through diffusers (my favorite blend is this one by DoTerra) and mini electronic tea light candles- which, let me tell you, ended up being one big pain in the ass (who would’ve thought that turning on/off 120 candles would take so much time?). Guests were encouraged to take off their shoes, grab a blanket, and curl up on one of the beautiful mediation pillows, provided by Anchor. I low-key cannot wait until I have my own home one day, and can create a little meditation corner with some of these pillows. They’re so comfy.

Oh, but the mood didn’t stop there. I’m all about creating calming atmospheres- if you ever come to my apartment, you’ll walk into oils diffusing, a candle burning, fairy lights, and The Cure playing softly in the background. So I was so excited when I found out my friends Jack and Sam, of the amazing {former} punk band, Sad Vegan, were coming to play some music. Jack is hands-down one of the most talented guitar players I know, and Sam absolutely shreds on the bass, so I felt extremely lucky to have them there. Plus, our guests seemed to enjoy them, too! So many people came up to me after the event and asked where they could find their music, which made me feel like a proud mama bear (if you’re interested, listen to my favorite song of theirs here).

And of course, what’s an event without the food?! Since this was such a community-focused event, I reached out to my friends at Bare Snacks, Skinny-Dipped, and Hint, and was so thrilled when they wanted to send some snacks our way! People went crazy over how delicious, yet healthy they were, and ate them up like crazy. And, luckily for me, there were still plenty left over, which I ended up donating to the Alameda County Food Bank (highly recommend if you’re looking for an ethical place to donate food).

Finally, the highlight of the event was by far the big, guided group meditation. It was amazing to watch how everyone sat in a circle, cozied up with their blankets, completely entranced by the hum of the sound bowls. Even those who had never meditated a day in their life sat completely engaged. It was incredible to experience that amount of high-vibe, focused energy and intention all in one space. Just the sight of it almost made me tear up- I couldn’t believe that after weeks of hard work, planning with vendors during class lectures and taking conference calls on the rush hour bus, I finally did it, and pulled off an event so beautiful and so far beyond my wildest dreams.

To say that I feel grateful is an understatement. To have all of these beautiful people in one space, meditating together on a Sunday morning, felt so beyond magical, I still question whether or not it was real. It makes me feel 10x more grateful to have found a home within this Bay Area community. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would find such a supportive, spiritual, welcoming community here, and yet, I couldn’t be happier. Growing up, I never even considered the Bay Area as a place that I would one day call home, but after nearly three years of being here (which is so beyond crazy to say), I don’t see myself leaving anytime soon. The magic I have been able to create within this community is so sacred and special to me, and something I will cherish forever.

I always wanted a community, more than anything, growing up. It was the one thing I wanted; to have that space where I felt like I was loved, cherished, and, above all, belonged. To be able to create that for other people, and, furthermore, cultivate that in myself, is the best part of this job. Being a part of Bumble has connected me to friends I never thought I’d find, and has reconnected me to friends I’ve had for the long run. It’s an incredibly beautiful thing, to be able to create magic with those that you love, in a safe and welcoming environment where everyone is accepted. That, to me, is the pinnacle of wellness, and represents the core mission of what Bumble and its community stand for.

While writing this blog post feels surreal, as has been a lifetime since I’ve written, it also feels like coming home. I love connecting with you all on this level, and sharing more long-form bits of my life that don’t quite fit on Instagram (which, let’s be honest, is a lot). I can’t promise how often I’ll keep this up- with three full time gigs, my life is definitely hectic. Yet, it’s exciting to be reminded that this space will always be here for me to come back to, to share, engage, and ramble about the silly and crazy things that tend to happen in my life.

Like most things in my life, I had no idea where this journey with Bumble would take me. Working a big girl role for a huge tech company while still in college is daunting to say the least. And to be honest, I still don’t completely know. As I write this, I’m preparing to host my second Bumble event tonight- an intimate Friendsgiving, in the heart of San Francisco. I have many hopes, and many fears, but through it all, I know i’ll be okay.

Because the universe will have my back, just as it always does. And when we can surrender and tap into that universal energy that flows to us and through us all day long, we create the space for miracles. This job was certainly a miracle, my life is a miracle, and having the opportunity to share bits and bobbles of my life with you all is by far one of the biggest miracles I’ll ever experience

Sending you so much love and light, today, and always.

 xx Hannah


Photos by Shruti Thundiyil

Huge thank you to our sponsors- Bare Snacks, HINT, SkinnyDipped Almonds, Reboot Spa, Sweetgreen, and, of course, to Bumble.