March 19, 2017
THE funny ThiNG IS, IT WAS NEVER PLANNED.
After a five-week backpacking trip, we left Europe on this certain type of high. At the time, we were convinced that kind of joy, excitement, passion for life – it was temporary. It was associated with long train rides, waking up in a new country every other day, meeting new faces, immersing yourself into new cultures, with no worries and no responsibilities. While yes, that was some kind of unparalleled joy, it didn’t have to end there. At least not on our clock.
How – we weren’t sure – we just knew in our bones there was something more. We got back to Georgia feeling uninspired, feeling stuck in a lot of ways. You know, the way you typically feel when you’re 23. So, on a whim, we booked a flight to Austin, Texas. We had no plan, no agenda and no expectations. We just had this travel bug, this desire to keep exploring, to continue to seek after that feeling we simply couldn’t shake.
It was on the plane ride over when the idea of Foster sparked. I was scribbling in my notebook with words, thoughts, emotions. What is it that we loved so much about our experience in Europe? What is it that we’re passionate about? And with that, what is it that we can do to bring meaning and hope into people’s lives?
We walked up and down East 6th street, popped into Springdale farms, sat alongside the river, indulged in our first breakfast taco, and heard the music playing from just about every street corner. We soaked it all in. This must be the place. The music is here. Man, is it here. And the food scene, well, it’s overflowing with untapped talent. We can showcase this. We can bring people together in an intentional and authentic way. We can make people feel something. We sat there thinking, we have to make this work.
It’s been nearly one year since Foster came to life. Since then, we have curated 24 gatherings. We have collaborated with some of the most talented humans, brought magic back to house shows, and shared rich stories around the dinner table. We’ve watched as our musicians have laid their hearts on the line, exposing the depth behind their lyrics and their aspiration for what’s to come. We’ve stood beside our chefs as they light up, explaining their menu and the journey that brought them to this very moment. We’ve seen conversations transition into creative collaborations, and deep, genuine friendships form. And we’ve seen guests walk through the door alone, completely vulnerable, and leave as a part of something bigger.
As for my teammates and I, boy has it been a year. A year full of some really high highs, and some tough lows. We were faced with challenges of starting a new business, fresh out of college, without any clue as to what we were doing. We have juggled multiple jobs, where a typical Friday night means curling up in bed, tackling several hours of work after a full day. It’s waking up at 6am, giddy as kids, to draft a spontaneous email for the possibility of what could be. It’s running up to an artist after their show to express how their music struck a chord with us, and its rolling with the punches when things don’t go according to plan. It’s meeting 20-80 new people every other Thursday night, and it’s hearing their stories. It’s scenes of conversation sparked in the kitchen, people sitting on blankets humming along to acoustics and hugs at the end of the evening that speak subtly about what just took place.
Today, we leave each gathering on that similar type of high we felt in Europe. Our hearts full, our minds racing, with our arms stretched out, how can life be this good? The universe has a mysterious way of coming full circle. Many people ask us – what’s next? Where do you go from here? While yes of course, we’re concerned with that, we often pause. Guys, we. are. here. This is it. Right here, right now. In a world full of chaos, full of distractions, oversaturated with technology that takes us further away from simpler times. We’re here to breathe new life into our town. To move the needle and to break the mundane. To pull people close and to take a big deep breath as we come together to support our own. Aware that we’re about to witness something special.