Updated: Nov 12, 2019
As we continue our Movers and Shakers series, we were delighted to spend time getting to know TK Petersen, a millennial entrepreneur notably recognized as the co-founder of Atlanta’s number one social hub for creativity, connections and experiences, The Gathering Spot.
TK Petersen and Ryan Wilson opened The Gathering Spot in 2016, and in just two short years, the exclusive social space has been recognized nationally for the impact it’s making in the Atlanta community through platforms such as Forbes and has grown to over a thousand members.
TK, a St. Croix, Virgin Islands native and philanthropic extraordinaire, explained the connection between his origins and desire to give back being directly correlated to laying the foundation for building a successful members only club in Atlanta.
While discussing The Gathering Spot’s origins, and future plans, TK began to explain what many may wonder: What sparked the motivation of two young entrepreneurs to create this amazing community? Like many leaders within the Atlanta community, they took matters into their own hands, “I think that’s part of the intrinsic nature of how our character and our makeup is, where it’s like if you think you can do it better, then you do it”, said TK.
On exploring all of the unique features of The Gathering Spot, we asked TK, what sets this hub apart from other communities, to which his response was, “It’s the people, it always boils down to the people. The quality and good nature of the people that we have, is what will always separate us from everything else. One of the most striking features of The Gathering Spot is the fact that it is invite only, and TK indulged as to why this was an important aspect of the club. Making the membership invite only was a way to ensure that they could control and curate the community properly, and keep the balance of the club from shifting he explain.
Essentially the vision is to fulfill executing the core elements of The Gathering Spot, creativity, connections, and experiences. TK said "So that to me is a good experience, when you trace back multiple positive things to the club, because that's when it serves its purpose to being a hub".
The goal is to keep elevating the club to reach different types of members to join, as TK also mentioned, "Like what would it be like the day Barack Obama becomes a member or Oprah Winfrey. What would it be like to have those types of people? The journey has just started, the motivation is the process and falling in love with continually improving". The overall atmosphere should encompass individuals who are passionate about continually growing, and improving.
With all the benefits of The Gathering Spot and how critically acclaimed it is, there is still much work to do according to TK. The vision for The Gathering Spot keeps growing, and as it expands, so does TK’s foresight for it. “Having a national network that spans coast to coast, and then doing international, and then just being in different places.”
Read below to check out some exclusive moments from our interview with TK:
What inspires you to keep going?
TK: Really it’s just still fulfilling the vision, the thought that you have in your head, the whimsical thing that everyone things is cool about entrepreneurship is that it’s a thing that you had in your head that became real and that’s what the motivation is. Having a national network that spans coast to coast, and then doing international, and then just being in different places and working with corporate partners and having new people be members.
Like what would it be like the day Barack Obama becomes a member or Oprah Winfrey. What would it be like to have those types of people? The journey has just started, the motivation is the process and falling in love with continually improving.
Based on your journey, what advice would you share with someone who wants to make great impact on their community?
TK: The two main things are one, you’re always right about yourself. So if you think you’re going to have to wait 10 years to do something, you’re probably going to have to wait 10 years. The time is always the present, get working to it right away...you should think to yourself “what have I done to get me closer to making that reality” and if it’s nothing then, you know that you failed yourself that day.
And the second thing about giving back to the community is that in my opinion it has to be true to yourself and to your extension. If it’s not inherent inside of you, if it’s not intrinsically generated, I feel that your success rate would be much lower because to do anything well requires so much dedication, commitment and sacrifice, and discipline over a consistent time horizon.
With all of your accomplishments taking place, what's next?
TK: After a second location, it’s building a national network. So the plan from the original thesis was to build a network of clubs, in other countries so stilll staking on that path and continuing to add locations to other countries to where members can feel like they have a home.
Many are excited to see what's next for The Gathering Spot. Stay connected for more updates as we continue to shed light by sharing more stories of those making waves in Atlanta.
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