For the 38th issue of Collective Hub, we spoke to 13 industry leaders who have made the jump from Australia to NYC and are kicking it in their fields, from food to media and international advocacy. Here, we’ve gathered yet another high-flyer to share what it take to make it in the City of Dreams.
Nicholas Stone, Bluestone Lane
Position: Founder & CEO of Bluestone Lane
Company: Bluestone Lane is a Melbourne-influenced café and lifestyle brand that now has 14 locations across New York and Philadelphia.
Originally from: Melbourne, Australia
Time in NYC: 6 years
Visa type: E-3
Why New York?
It’s the best city [in] the world and [a] magnet for creativity, commerce and events. It’s such an inspiring city, with tremendous diversity and passion. It’s not an easy city, but if you can find a way to make it your home, it’s very rewarding.
Tell us about your current role.
My role is help our team achieve their goals, remove barriers, education and coach. This then in-turn enables our team to provide a world-class experience that makes a difference to our locals’ (we refer to customers as locals) daily ritual every day. Our company values are pillared on helping our locals, our team and our community. I’m responsible for the brand and strategic direction of the company and to help facilitate opportunities to grow.
How is New York different to home?
It’s an extraordinary metropolis of high-density energy and intensity that attracts such diverse talent from all pockets of the globe. It’s the world’s centre for business, arts, fashion and somehow [it] all works, delicately woven on a small island with eight million people. It’s an inspiring and powerful place.
What do you miss about home?
My family, friends and the easy going Australian nature. I miss the outdoors and the ability to play team sports I spent my whole life playing.
What’s your neighbourhood like?
We live in the West Village, which is a small pocket to the West of Greenwich Village. It feels like living back in inner city Melbourne with tree lined streets, little boutiques and small purveyors on corners and it’s also very close to the water (Hudson River), with great running opportunities. As an Australian, I being close to the water is a high priority!
What’s your best piece of advice for Aussies moving to New York?
New York is a wonderful, entrepreneurial city that is really made for those who want to achieve. It’s not an easy city if you’re prepared to coast along without real passion. Certainly not for the long term.
You provide yourself with a great opportunity to [succeed] if you’re prepared to commit in a big way, not just hope it works out. You can’t do it anyway other than really diving in the deep end. It’s a very entrepreneurial environment with a lot of support mechanisms for new ideas and engagement. However, they can sense foreigners who aren’t really that serious or are not prepared to do what it takes in New York.
Read the full story on other passionate and successful Aussies in New York in Issue 38.