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Our Founder & CEO, Aspen Gatz

Hello, my name is Aspen Gatz & I have the pleasure of being the founder & CEO of Gatzby’s. Embarking on this venture has been a dream of mine for over a decade & I'm eager to share with you how Gatzby’s came to be. First, I want to express my immense gratitude for our community, which has been instrumental in bringing this vision to life. If only I could go back in time & tell the little girl with a wild imagination & a belief in, what then seemed to be nearly impossible, about you – she would be overjoyed.


Founder & CEO at first experience.
Pictured at the first Gatzby's Experience in September, 2022.

More about me, Miss Gatzby


I am first & foremost a writer. The way I approach life & interact with my business stems from this very fact. I see everything as a story with everyone having their own beautiful addition to bring to the grander Narrative in which we get to live. You may notice that our offerings & many aspects of our business relate to literature. This is a theme that will be carried throughout the entirety of the business – with even more to come.


In naming Gatzby’s, the meaning comes from the obvious being my last name, but it has a deeper sentiment as well. The Great Gatsby hosted each of his parties for one individual. Daisy. To us, each of our members is our “Daisy”. Our experiences are curated with our members in mind. Fun fact: My father's name is James Robert Gatz, Gatsby’s name before he became The Great Gatsby.


My passion & drive stems from experiencing for myself the very problems that we aim to solve here at Gatzby’s. I know what it is to be truly alone & I’ve felt the lack of magic in our world at times. Each day, I wake up profoundly grateful for the opportunity to put forth a solution that strives to combat these harsh realities of life.


The Beginning


My love for the entertainment industry began when I was 15 years old while running DJs out of my parent's basement in Parker, Colorado. It was never the idea of the party that enticed me, but the very magic found in the moment someone thinks, “Wow. This is like something out of a movie.” Even if it was in a small capacity, the dream that became Gatzby’s began then as a testament to those in attendance, what they needed, & what they never thought to be possible.


Company's scrappy origins.
Aspen's basement in Parker, Colorado in 2013.

I then attended the University of Arizona, graduating in 2019 before moving to Los Angeles. While I was still in school I had the opportunity to help turn a pizzeria into a popular nightclub called No Anchovies. This is what I consider to be the beginning of my “professional experience” within nightlife & entertainment. Another crucial piece to what has now become Gatzby’s originated at this time as well. Although I loved creating an incredible experience for my fellow peers, it drove me insane that we would constantly congregate only to talk about nothing. It seemed to me entirely as a waste. Thus began the personalization & intentionality that now exists within our experiences today.


Founder's origin story.
Working at No Anchovies, a pizza nightclub, in 2018.

In moving to Los Angeles, I experienced what it is to be truly alone. I also experienced what it is to finally be found by the community you need. For me, this happened haphazardly, when I needed them most. At the time, I had never been more lost & confused. In fact, I was desperately trying to make my great escape from Los Angeles in the form of leaving for graduate school. From this experience, I do not wish for others to wait for the haphazard. I wish to do everything I can to help those we serve find what it is they are looking for within our community, just as I did all those years ago.


Founder's connection to company's why.
Walking Santa Monica Pier in 2019, where I would go when I felt alone.

The Building


I did indeed end up going to graduate school, although not in the way I first intended. I stayed in Los Angeles & began working as a traveling EA to a CEO of another tech-centric entertainment firm in 2020. In doing so I learned a vast amount of what it will take to scale this company to the means I intend to. I began my graduate study at DePaul University remotely within the Interdisciplinary Studies Master's program, only to transfer to Arizona State University in 2021 upon moving back to my little home in the desert. I then paused my first master’s program to begin my Master’s in Innovation & Venture Development of which I recently graduated from at Arizona State University. These experiences gave me confidence in what I both do & don’t know as a young entrepreneur. It is part of my role to be a lifelong learner & I intend to be such in the effort to make Gatzby’s the best company it can be.


Beginning of founder's professional experience.
Aspen's first day at Pollen, the tech-centric entertainment firm she previously worked for.

I will return to the Interdisciplinary Studies program at Arizona State University in the fall to complete my original master’s program. The purpose of this is to complete my own theory on human compatibility which is titled: The Gatzby Theory. It borrows basic principles from chemistry to understand the forces shaping our realities, & is already at work within our member profiles. This is yet another dream I have to thank our community for fulfilling. I am excited to expand on this concept more & continue to update all those involved in my findings.


I launched Gatzby’s in September of 2022 after the previously mentioned entertainment company I had been working for went into administration in August of 2022. It was at that time that I decided to take the true leap into entrepreneurship & set out on this journey of building Gatzby’s. I was alone at first, to then have my team join me in January of 2023. This is a portion of this story that I am incredibly grateful for as I never imagined being able to find others who are just as insanely passionate about this company as I am.


Late night working.
The night before the first Gatzby's experience in September, 2022.

The Present


As I write this blog post, we are a pre-seed stage startup about to turn one. There is so much to look back on & be thankful for as well as there is so much to look forward to. We now proudly have close to 200 members, each of whom brings a unique energy to our community. Their stories, their passions, & their dreams continue to inspire us and shape the future of Gatzby’s.


If you have yet to join our community, I hope that learning more about my personal journey and the essence of Gatzby's will inspire you to become part of our story. Our mission is to create experiences, spark connections, & foster a new sense of magic in this world.


We envision a future where Gatzby's becomes the nexus of meaningful interactions, a platform where every member feels seen, heard, & valued. We are creating a new age of nightlife & entertainment & are committed to continuously learning, evolving, & innovating in order to serve this vision. Here's to the magic we have created, the magic we're experiencing now, & the magic yet to come. Welcome to Gatzby’s – where the impossible becomes reality, & every member is our “Daisy”.


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3 Comments


Tyler F
Aug 09, 2023

Great story. Happy to be a part of the next chapter ;)

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Brandon Brugada
Aug 09, 2023

Very inspiring story!

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Jessica Suerth
Aug 09, 2023

So proud of you, Aspen! 😊

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