Mixolo founder Carolyn Walton Lynch hit upon the idea of curating events for solos after she realized she was passing on wonderful experiences because she just didn’t want to go alone.
“There are two things going on,” says Lynch, a business consultant and CPA who co-founded an IT services firm. “First, people shy away from stepping into a milieu when they are solo. And second, they are often greeted with a patronizing look, or words like, ‘Just one?’”
Society, she adds “has a stigma against people who show up alone.”
Even though Lynch considers herself adventuresome, she has occasionally stayed at home when experience beckons. Take a recent and rarely performed “Ring Cycle” production at the Kennedy Center. She had trouble finding a friend interested in the arduous – and pricey – undertaking, and didn’t want to go alone, so ended up staying at home.
Later, she heard about a group of solo ticket holders who happened to attend all four of the Wagner operas spanning three weeks. “By the end of it, they had connected and bonded and count themselves among the Ringheads,” she says.
Her disappointment turned into musing: “What if that coincidental meet-up had been planned?”
Lynch began to visualize a way to create opportunities for adults who want to get out and hang out with like-minded people. At the same time, she understood that she was not alone in her solo niche. “There are plenty of people out there who want to share their interests,” she says. “Mixolo offers thoughtfully curated events where members feel comfortable showing up on their own.”
“This is not a dating site,” Lynch emphasizes. Indeed, the founder and CEO envisions people of any marital or relationship status and gender identity enjoying Mixolo gatherings. That’s why she is careful with her words. “We’re not just single, and we’re not alone. We’re solo,” she says. “Mixolo members have a chance to mix with other solos.”
Solos who want to do the things they love can find a welcoming community of other Mixolo members who may share their interests. “When our solos attend our carefully curated events and experiences,” says Lynch, “they won't hear: ‘Just one?’ More like: ‘We're glad you came.’"