Kat Vellos ⎮ Cultivating Better Friendships

Kat Vellos

Question, when was the last time you made a really good new friend, as a grown-up? Like the kind that actually knows you, not just online, but the real you? Turns out, it’s not actually so easy to create those kinds of friendships. But it is critically important to our ability to live good lives, especially during challenging times.

My guest today, Kat Vellos, is here to help, She earns her living as a UX designer, which means Kat figures out how to make experiences as easy and organic as humanly possible to step into. She’s applied her unique genius to everything from giant apps, platforms and technology like Slack and Pandora on a mass-scale, to local, face-to-face gatherings, community-building, and most recently to examining and tackling the quest to form deep friendships as a design problem. She goes deep into her journey of discovery in her wonderful book, We Should Get Together: The Secret to Cultivating Better Friendships, which I loved and learned so much from.

Kat has been featured in Forbes and FastCompany for her work as the founder of Bay Area Black Designers which is a professional development community for Black designers and UX researchers. And over the last twenty years she’s created, run, and mentored a variety of communities focused on everything from spoken word poetry to photography to digital design to authentic connection and friendship. Her most recent are Better than Small Talk and Connection Club, which helps her readers build community with each other as they also foster stronger friendships through the art of letter writing. 

I wanted to go deeper into Kat’s lens, ideas, and processes and also explore them both in the context of making real, deep friendships as adults, and also cultivating relationships, community, maybe even rising to that level of chosen family both with people who see and move through the world in similar ways, but also with people who are not like us and to embrace how important that is in this day and age. 

You can find Kat Vellos at: Website | Instagram 

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Photo credit: Jamie Nease

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