‘Another World is Possible’ and The Third Place’ are both inspirations for Eaton. A third place outside of home and work where one feels deep belonging. And another world, a better world, one that starts in our imagination but has the possibility of becoming very real.

My vision for Eaton Workshop — utilizing hospitality as a force for doing good in the world, and building the ultimate gathering place under one roof that creates optimal conditions for people to thrive — was born out of my training in anthropology and film, my social and environmental work, and my explorations in the worlds of design, music, spirituality, and community building. When you stay at an Eaton hotel, you become a patron of the arts and social and environmental impact.

I remember telling one of my friends about Eaton years ago, when it was still just an idea on paper and a construction site. He misheard me and thought I had said ‘Eden’. It’s a fitting analogy. My intentions for Eaton began in a place not unlike Eden, a utopian mythical place born with an idealistic purity. It reminds me of Sir Thomas More’s ‘utopia’, a pun he coined based on the Greek word for ‘nowhere’ and the Greek word for ‘a good place’. For the past 8 years, my journey of creating and running Eaton has led me to this question: can a better world actually be realized within this business container or will the reality of human nature ensure that we will always be running towards the horizon but never quite getting there?

Despite whether it’s about the journey or the destination, it’s this sincere striving towards utopia which has made Eaton touch so many people so deeply in Hong Kong and Washington DC and in between. Another one of my original inspirations for Eaton was ‘The Hero’s Journey’, which Joseph Campbell wrote about in his distillation of the universal structure of a hero’s journey in myth. I wanted Eaton to be the stage for the unfolding of everyone’s personal hero’s journey. Hearing stories from people from so many diverse backgrounds about how Eaton has changed their lives for the better, I feel gratified knowing that this idea became a reality for many. It’s been powerful to see how our first two Eatons — in Washington DC and in Hong Kong — have acted as sanctuaries for the two cities’ creative communities. Throughout my formative life experiences, a common thread has always been the seeking of belonging with kindred spirits. It is this desire to belong which drives my life’s work of the last decade, to use the resources available to me to create a platform for people to belong — and not only to belong, but thrive.

My inciting incident (usually happens at the beginning of the Hero’s Journey, a call to action that sets off their whole journey) was in 2014, when my father invited me to create a new hotel brand that would reflect the rapidly changing world. I never thought a hotel could do so to this extent, but the evolution of Eaton throughout the last 8 years has profoundly reflected the huge changes the world has gone through during this time. From Eaton’s internal diversity mirroring the progress for Indigenous, Black, and Asian people in the US and LGBTQ+ communities in Hong Kong, to us repurposing as a humanitarian center during the first pandemic of our lifetimes, to upholding the importance of dialogue and creativity to a civil society.

Eaton as Eden also carries with it a sense of foreshadowing — of a paradise that might be lost one day, or that is in danger of being lost. Societal changes I have been seeing these past few years worry me greatly — increasing polarization and blind partisanship, the loss of facts and merit and human connection, the rise of social media and its ill effects, the rise of cancel culture, the rise of hate groups, and bad faith actors attempting to exploit social movements for their own gain. Eaton is itself not immune to these dangers.

But just as light cannot exist without dark, Eaton has the possibility to be a tremendous force for building allyship, solidarity, human connection, art, meaning, healing. We are all connected. We need to humanize, not pigeonhole. Expand, not exploit. The Hero’s Journey is about fighting a tough battle and coming out transformed, more resilient. The Third Place is about finding that deep belonging and sense of home. Another World is Possible is about finding those small pockets, taking small steps towards the utopian horizon. I hope that what Eaton started, what Eaton represents, can bring us a little closer to the horizon of that more fair world.

Katherine Lo
Founder, Eaton Workshop


Hong Kong born Asian-American Katherine Lo is a next generation leader with a moral compass, committed to steering the hospitality industry into uncharted territory. In 2011, Katherine joined her family business in hospitality. Her father, Dr KS Lo, appointed her President of Eaton in 2014, entrusting her with the challenge of imagining the future of hospitality. She founded Eaton as a mission-driven hospitality company, built on values of inclusivity, integrity, and imagination, while working towards the triple bottom line of respecting people, the planet, and profit. Eaton DC in Washington DC and Eaton HK in Hong Kong both opened their doors to the public in the fall of 2018.

Building upon her training in the arts, wellness, and social and environmental impact, Katherine designed Eaton hotels as community centers - with the purpose of fostering physical and digital spaces as platforms for creativity and collective change. Eaton offers experiences and opportunities in the fields of art, music, radio, cinema, impact, wellness, food and beverage, hospitality, and design. In 2020, Katherine and her team launched Another World is Possible, an online multimedia festival featuring original short films produced by Eaton and panels with artists and innovators, including Sean Mattison’s short film “Atención! Murderer Next Door” produced by Katherine and Eaton Workshop, which garnered an Emmy Award for Outstanding Feature in 2021.

In 2022, Katherine became Chair of Eaton Workshop, with a focus on spearheading Eaton’s storytelling through overseeing Eaton’s brand and online platforms, and thought leadership through speaking and writing about Eaton.

Katherine has spoken about Eaton at the New York Times Sustainable Travel Forum, the Vogue Magazine editors summit, the Indie Lodging Congress, the 1882 Foundation Symposium on “Innovative Practices in Museums and Beyond for Commemoration and Healing”, the Chinese University of Hong Kong’s Sexualities Research Program and Transgender Resource Center’s “Excluded Lives” press conference, Regenerative Travel’s summit on “Travel and Social Movements”, the Boutique Lifestyle Leadership Conference, and on BLLA’s and Current Movement’s podcasts. She was keynote speaker at Agnes Scott College’s Legacy and Mt Holyoke’s Trailblazers of Color conferences. Among other accolades, Katherine was named a Newsweek 2019 Creative Class Innovator and received the Indie Lodging Congress Start Something Award in 2018. Eaton DC was named one of the World’s Greatest Places on TIME’s 2019 list and Eaton Workshop was one of Fast Company’s most innovative companies in 2019.

Prior to Eaton, she worked as the the Hong Kong Arts & Culture correspondent for Shift Magazine, wrote for the Hong Kong Standard, wrote for Pegasus Motion Pictures, ran the Hong Kong chapter of Yale in Hollywood in 2011, was a judge for Sundance London Film Festival in 2014, sat on the Board of Neuehouse in 2015, and was a judge for the 11th Annual Hospitality Design Awards in 2013. Throughout the 2000s, she was an organizer for social and environmental impact. Katherine studied Sociocultural Anthropology at Yale, and earned her MFA in Directing & Screenwriting from the USC School of Cinematic Arts.