How a freelance writer turned organizing parties into a business she went on to sell for $23M.

By Adam L. Penenberg (Contributor, Fast Company)

In the early 1990s, after stints in advertising, woman’s magazines and business reporting, Laurel Touby was in her mid-thirties and living the less-than-glamorous life of a freelance writer and editor working out of her Manhattan apartment. A sociable person by nature, Touby found it isolating, and to combat her feelings of loneliness she often repaired to cafes to work. One day she struck up a conversation with a fellow freelance writer – she could tell he was a journalist by the stack of newspapers and magazines he was reading (remember?).

One thing led to another and they decided to co-host a high-minded salon where guests would talk about ideas and issues of the day. But their real agenda was to score work and meet members of the opposite sex. Soon after, they each invited 10 magazine and newspaper editors and held their first party at a French bistro in Manhattan’s East Village. It was a success, so they decided to make it a regular event.

» Read the full article at Fast Company.