Meet Colleen, our charming receptionist. When this serene, Jersey-born Florida International University senior isn’t busy studying for her hospitality degree, she’s normally lounging at the beach or by the pool, or enjoying a good cup of coffee. We stopped by the front desk to find out a little more.

Freehand Miami: What inspired you to pursue a career in hospitality?

Colleen Furslew: I have always been interested in the travel industry. I prefer a job in which you don’t know what the day will bring you rather than having a daily routine. You never know if your day will be hectic or calm and you never know who you’ll meet!

FH: How did you find out about Freehand Miami?

CF: When I was job hunting around Miami I was looking for somewhere with more of a laid-back vibe than most hotels. Even though the building was under renovation when I came to be interviewed, it was obvious that the property, as well as the staff, marched to a different beat than most hotels.

FH: What’s the most unexpected perk of your job?

CF: I love the guests. People stay here from all over. Whether they’re from an hour away or across the world, everyone who comes here is so friendly and they keep the atmosphere very communal. Going to the beach during my lunch break isn’t too bad, either.

FH: Are there any upcoming Freehand events you’re looking forward to?

CF: Next time I’m not working on a Saturday, I’d love to try the yoga on the beach!

FH: What’s your favorite proverb from the collage in the lobby?

CF: “Enjoy the little things in life, because one day you will look back and realize they were the big things.” Love this!

FH: What’s your go-to coffee shop in Miami Beach?

CF: I will stop for a cup of coffee anywhere I see.  But luckily, the Freehand is one block away from Tropical Beach Cafe which is one of my favorites in Miami. Nespresso on Lincoln is a nice spot to sit and relax with a cup of coffee, too.

FH: Do you have any off-the-beaten-path Miami destinations to recommend?

CF: FoxholePurdy, and Lagniappe are all pretty chill spots to grab drinks with friends.