From her days as a resident assistant at Barnard College, Amanda Hofman learned that strong female friendships are the key to a fulfilling and exciting life. Making new friends in New York City can be tough, so Amanda set out to change that. With her own friends as inspiration, Amanda created Urban Girl Squad in 2008 as a social networking group in NYC for women in their 20s and 30s. What began as just one event each month has grown to several each week. Over fourteen thousand women have become Urban Girl Squad members, gaining special access to the city to meet store owners and designers, taste gourmet food and drinks, and receive personal attention (and score amazing gift bags!). The welcoming atmosphere makes it easy for members to attend events with friends, with colleagues, or on their own. Amanda was recently named one of YFS' top twenty young entrepreneurs of 2011.
OFF HOURS: I'm definitely at an Urban Girl Squad event most nights of the week! When I'm not at an event, I'm usually grabbing a glass of wine with friends to catch up, seeing a movie, taking a yoga class, or, ah, reading a novel that may or may not involve vampires.
WEIRDEST JOB: Probably this one, running Urban Girl Squad. I never dreamed I would have a job where "research" entails tasting wine, trying on lingerie, and meeting some of the coolest women in New York City.
FAVE NYC SPOT: Put me on a rooftop and I am thrilled, even in the winter! The views of the city and the Hudson river never fail to take my breath away.
WEIRDEST JOB: Working at Urban Girl Squad. I mean, how normal is it to find a 5'1" bouncer at a party?
FAVE UGS EVENT: The ones that get me out of my comfort zone. I tend to stick with the things I know, so it's nice to have a push to explore the city and try new things. I used to not even take the subway if I had to transfer, but Amanda has taught me the ways of the underground.
DREAM SUPERPOWER: To be invisible whenever I wanted. This way, I can avoid embarrassing or uncomfortable situations. And I'd be able to eavesdrop so easily!
FAVE COCKTAIL: I'm not a big drinker, but I like "girlie" drinks that are sweet and don't really taste like alcohol. I usually just go up to a bartender and say, "make me a girlie drink," and it's pretty good. I'm a lightweight -- one drink is good for me for the entire night.
FAVE UGS EVENT: By nature, I'm a sucker for anything outdoorsy, especially if it involves yoga. But if there is a bar, an excuse to throw on a pair of heels, and the potential for a spontaneous dance party, you can find me ordering the next round of shots.
FAVE NYC SPOT: Living in NYC means that I have my own sanctuary. No matter how absurd my schedule gets, I can retreat back to my little two-room studio, away from the sounds of the crazies on the street.
OFF HOURS: "Hi, my name is Lindsay, and I'm a yoga-holic."
FAVE NYC SPOT: It's a toss up between walking around Chinatown - there is always something new to discover - or my favorite coffee shop Oro!
DREAM SUPERPOWER: To breathe under water. I grew up in Colorado so I'm pretty much fascinated with anything to do with the ocean. Exploring every inch of it would be a dream.
IN FIVE YEARS: Traveling the world, running a business, and becoming a world class cook!
WEIRDEST JOB: I was a caddy at Bandon Dunes, the #2 US public golf course at the time, when I was fifteen. I hung out with cigar-smoking, scotch-drinking, top-level executive men and I was paid very well to tell them what to do!
OFF HOURS: In the mornings, you can find me running, practicing yoga, or cursing at Jillian Michaels for her incredibly difficult workouts.
FAVE COCKTAIL: A Manhattan, because it is sexy and reminds me of fall, my favorite season, all year long.
9 TO 5: I am a Graphic Designer and just completed my Yoga Teacher Training.
FAVE NYC SPOT: Right now I'm loving the restaurants Pig and Khao and Boulton & Watts. They both have unique dishes and drinks you can't get anywhere else.
DREAM SUPERPOWER: Teleportation! It would be amazing if I could just teleport myself anywhere in the world at any time. No more rush hours. I could go to New Years in Paris, NYC, China... and I def wouldn't be at work right now!
FAVE COCKTAIL: Anything with bourbon and maybe a hint of ginger.
OFF HOURS: I love wine, wine bars, restaurants with big wine lists, wine stores...in my off time, I may or may not be enjoying a little vino somewhere in the city.
FAVE NYC SPOT: I love Park Slope. Where else can you go to the park, then the farmers market, then the bar - all with a baby in tow?
WEIRDEST JOB: I worked at a small women's gym on and off for years--and I always wound up with the 5am shift! It took a lot to get perky that early.
FAVE UGS EVENT: Food and wine events. We're foodies in my house!
FAVE NYC SPOT: Soho. I studied at Pratt Institute, back in the day when it was in the Puck building on Lafayette and Houston. I love the galleries, boutique shops and general feel of that area. It has turned a bit more upscale since my college days but somehow still brings those warm feelings back.
DREAM SUPERPOWER: Breathing under water. The only thing I don't like about swimming is that I have to come up for air!
FAVE UGS EVENT: Love the tasting and cooking events! It's fun to explore new tastes while mingling and getting to know other UGS members.
DREAM SUPERPOWER: I would have the ability to teleport myself anywhere in the world, past, present or future. A teleport machine would take all the hassle and stress out of traveling. No more airport security lines!
FAVE NYC SPOT: I love exploring Central Park with my dog. We discover new areas all the time. Until recently, I never even knew there was a fully wooded nature section with dirt paths, rocks and streams (called the Rambles).
FAVE COCKTAIL: Vodka, lime, cucumber and a dash of seltzer. Light and refreshing all year 'round.
FAVE UGS EVENT: Cooking classes and cocktail parties, because there's nothing better than cooking yummy treats, and mingling with great people! I especially love our poker nights.
FAVE NYC SPOT: Central Park and Bryant Park. Because in the middle of a concrete jungle there is GREEN. Both parks also hold really great memories, and I love picnics.
IN FIVE YEARS: Hopefully running my own business or working in an event planning firm.
DREAM SUPERPOWER: I'd fly. I always had dreams of flying when I was little and it'd be pretty cool to fly around with Superman.
FAVE UGS EVENT: Cocktail parties.They're a great way to meet lots of new people, check out NYC hot spots, and sample some of the best drinks in the city!
WEIRDEST JOB: I was a Mary Kay lady in college. Never got that pink Cadillac but it was a wild experience!
IN FIVE YEARS: Medical social work and private practice therapy work. I hope I can maintain an exciting social life and be close to family and friends at the same time.
FAVE NYC SPOT: I'm a huge fan of Hell's Kitchen -- so many great restaurants and dive bars -- particularly love Vintage martini bar.
FAVE UGS EVENT: Volunteer events! Great networking and giving back, all at the same time.
FAVE NYC SPOT: Rice 2 Riches in Soho! Ever had rice pudding before? Well, this place is so not like your grandmother's rice pudding.
WEIRDEST JOB: I worked at a container company doing market research on innovative containers for products like toothpaste and soup.
FAVE COCKTAIL: Malibu & Pineapple. Like an island in a glass ... and I visit that island pretty often.
9 TO 5: I work in sales for a math textbook and software publishing company. Lots of travel and lots of meetings with math professors!
WEIRDEST JOB: I worked at Victoria's Secret through college which sounds relatively normal, but it entailed learning more than you thought was possible about bra technology and using the word 'panty' 100 times a day.
IN FIVE YEARS: As long as I'm still happy, have a work-life balance and am able to travel and explore new places I'll be doing something right.
FAVE COCKTAIL: Anything with St. Germaine, because it makes everything taste like heaven.
FAVE UGS EVENT: I like any event where I come out knowing more about something (business, clothes, make-up, beer, anything!) than when I went in.
IN FIVE YEARS: I'll be thirty, flirty and fabulous. Hopefully I'll also still be working on marketing campaigns, using new technologies, challenging assumptions and finding out more about how effective, strategic messaging works for small businesses.
DREAM SUPERPOWER: The power to never get sick. Did Superman ever get a sinus infection? I doubt it.
FAVE COCKTAIL: KettleOne and soda with a splash of cran and a twist of lemon. It's been perfected through years of sampling.
FAVE UGS EVENT: Beauty events! Spa, hair, make-up, you name it. Spray tanning was particularly memorable. (I'm sure if you are looking at my picture you can see why!)
WEIRDEST JOB: As a child, I decided to garden for a neighbor to earn money, and quickly learned I am allergic to just about everything in nature.
DREAM SUPERPOWER: Fly! I'd love to learn to fly ... a plane. that is. Then maybe move on to acquiring the superpower.
FAVE COCKTAIL: Anything pink
FAVE UGS EVENT: The cooking classes because everyone enjoys a couple of glasses while getting their hands dirty.
WEIRDEST JOB: I was in the Air Force...need I say more? Uniforms and boots and planes...oh my!
DREAM SUPERPOWER: I'd time travel because its kinda like flying, except you just arrive. No need for wings or takeoffs.
FAVE COCKTAIL: Negroni...strong with an interesting twist.
FAVE UGS EVENT: I love the spa events! Who doesn't love to get manicures, blow outs, makeup lessons, etc?
OFF HOURS: On the weekends, I am most likely shooting a wedding unless you catch me in January! Otherwise, I'm probably hanging with the hubby and two boxers, watching Breaking Bad, Walking Dead, or Friday Night Lights!
WEIRDEST JOB: I coded accident reports for the state. For me, it was weird! Being at work at 7am when I was 20 was AWFUL!
DREAM SUPERPOWER: Invisibility. I'm curious and would love to be able to sneak around!
FAVE UGS EVENT: Since everyone has a great time at these events, they are all my favorite, especially the ones where I can sample specialty cocktails. Tough job?
FAVE NYC SPOT: My window, looking down on 2nd Avenue. Teams of dog walkers, posh senior citizens, lone taxis at 3am, and cross-dressing joggers...
DREAM SUPERPOWER: I'm going to be a nerd and go with The Force.
FAVE COCKTAIL: I love a good Old Fashioned. Simple, classic, and strong.
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