“I think the Hives are just such a nice way to give back to the users,” says Erin Foster, standing behind a flower wall in Vancouver’s new Indigo flagship on Robson Street. “You get to come, you get to drink, you get to listen to interesting panels.”
In a section of the store flanked in Bumble’s signature yellow, Erin speaks alongside her older sister and fellow head of creative for Bumble BFF and Bumble Bizz, Sara Foster, and Bumble’s head of brand, Alex Williamson. The Fosters are notable Los Angeles-based producers, screenwriters, and actresses (their father is legendary Victoria-born music producer David Foster), and travelled to Vancouver for four days of a pop-up event called the Bumble Hive that took place in late November 2018. An app for i0s and Android, Bumble was created by Whitney Wolfe Herd in 2014 (she is also a co-founder of dating app Tinder); it is a female-centric relationship, professional network, and friendship finder that requires the woman (in a heterosexual match) to make the first move. Austin-based Bumble has almost 50 million users worldwide, grew 570 per cent in the last two years, and is worth $1 billion. In Canada, 10% of the population is on Bumble.
The Foster sisters participated in a panel that marked the kickoff of Vancouver’s Hive, which was filled with in-real-life activities encouraging guests to ditch their screens: tarot readings with The Good Spirit, embroidery lessons, and discussions with guests like WerkLab founder Christina Disler and Garmentory’s Adele Tetangco.
“To have a place like Bumble where you can go for love, business, and friendships, and know that you’ll be taken care of—I mean, it’s a no-brainer,” Sara says with a laugh, describing her and her sister’s interest in joining the company.
“Both of them are so open and honest and vulnerable, and the way they speak about relationships and what matters in their lives—I think that inspires a lot of the decisions that we make and a lot of the content that’s created through Bumble,” explains Williamson. The Foster sisters are tasked with growing the brand’s voice; for Sara, shedding light on women’s negative experiences in the digital realm (unsolicited and often vulgar Instagram direct messages, for instance) was especially important. “We forget how powerful the way that we speak to each other really is,” she explains. Another key area for the Fosters is strategic collaborations, which they hope to create with iconic brands. “We’re really focusing on partnerships and what brands and companies we want to bring Bumble into,” adds Erin. “Who we want to align with, how we want to further the brand, how we want to get it out to more people.”
Vancouver companies Lululemon and Aritzia are of particular interest, and it makes sense; thanks to their father, British Columbia holds a special place in the hearts of the sisters. “We spent every summer of our lives here, and it’s deeply embedded in our childhood,” Erin notes. Though he moved to the States for his career many years ago, David would bring his family back here every summer to go boating and fishing. “It felt like half of our heart was here, in Canada, growing up,” says Sara. “Our dad bought an apartment here, in Victoria, like 10 years ago, praying that we would keep the tradition going by bringing our kids. That’s how important it was to him.” And as proven with the Hive, it’s becoming important to Bumble, too.
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