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Sofar Love Stories: Sam & Nathalie

Sofar Love Stories: Sam & Nathalie
November 10, 2021

When Sam Payrovi heard Sofar artist Odane Whilby perform the song “Agree”, he finally realized how he wanted to propose to his girlfriend, and coworker, Nathalie Paiva.

The Background: From Coworkers to Couple

Sam and Nathalie run CSTM HAUS, a coworking and showroom event space nestled into the “little flatiron building” in New York City’s Meatpacking District. They met a few years back, “on what we call the Tinder for consultants– Upwork,” Nathalie laughed. It didn’t take long for the sparks to fly, though the two tried to avoid their feelings. 

“All our friends saw it when we were ignoring it,” Sam said. Eventually the two came to their senses, and became a couple. As they built CSTM HAUS, Sam and Nathalie also began collaborating with Sofar in 2018. One of the earliest Sofars included a surprise cameo from Miley Cyrus, who was walking by and happened to notice a hundred people gathered, and “she stepped in and everyone went crazy,” Sam said. “People were like, ‘what just happened, Miley just walked in and stared at us,’” Sam said, smiling. 

As the two worked side by side, bringing Sofars and other events into their space, somewhere along the way, Sam decided it was time to pop the question– the big one. But, the planning took some time. The proposal itself was a year in the works– the ring took six months to arrive. When he got it, Sam suddenly had to figure out exactly how to propose. “I had no idea,” he said. 

How Odane Whilby Gave Sam His Big Proposal Idea

Three weeks before the big eve, CSTM HAUS held a Sofar. Odane Whilby was playing that night. He introduced a song called “Agree” that he’d written to propose to his wife. As Odane sang, suddenly the idea hit Sam. “The one thing I always knew was I wanted to do it in a way that was core to what we do and who we are,” Sam said. “Yea I could do it on the top of some mountain or the Eiffel Tower, but we do so much beyond dating and raising a puppy– we’ve been working together for years, and this has been way more than running a retail company. I just really wanted to integrate something that we do, and we just love these Sofar events so much. I was sitting there that night listening to Odane sing this song for his wife, and I was like, ‘oh my god, I think I know what I’m gonna do.’”

It just so happened the CEO of Sofar, Jim Lucchese, was attending that evening. So, Sam went up and filled him in, then asked if they could schedule another Sofar with Odane, playing the same song, so he could take that moment to propose to Nathalie. Of course, Jim was on board.  “We went into planning mode secretly, behind the planner’s back,” he said, nodding toward Nathalie. Sam and the Sofar team got to work, secretly sorting out the details for a new Sofar date with Odane. They set the evening for October 19th. 

A Wrench in the Plans? Nope– A Key to Surprise

About five days before the big night, Sam got an email update on a separate, important project he was involved in. There was going to be an event for it– October 19th. “I’m like, you’ve gotta be kidding me,” he said. He asked to move it– that was a no. So the night of, he had to start the evening by running to his other commitment. Turns out, that was just the key to keeping the proposal a surprise. Sam had invited friends and Nathalie’s family to Sofar. When they walked in, it could’ve been a big tip-off that something extra special was planned for that night, but it wasn’t. “I was surprised to see my parents and sister– but Sam wasn’t there, so I didn’t think anything of it,” Nathalie said. When Sam came back from his first event, Nathalie still had no idea what was ahead that night. 

The Set-Up: Getting Nathalie in Front of The Room

Later, when Odane was about to start, then came the next challenge: “I had to figure out how I was going to get Nathalie up to the front during the song,” Sam said. “I told Odane just before he went on, ‘listen, I see an empty table right by you, if I can get Nathalie to sit there we have nothing to worry about. If I can’t, you have to figure out a way to get her up here in the middle of your song. I don’t care if you kick a drink over, yell “rat!,” whatever you want to do, you just have to get Nathalie to come up.”

Luckily, Sam was able to get her up there without any tricky maneuvering. As Odane began to play “Agree,” Sam grabbed Nathalie’s hand and brought her up to the front. “She just surprisingly went along with it,” Sam said. The two made their way up next to Odane. 

“I thought he was going to announce something about CSTM HAUS and I was like, it’s the middle of the song,” Nathalie said, laughing. 

The Big Moment

Judging from the crowd, Sam got the vibe that most people thought they were about to slow dance. Still, it got folks to take out their phones and start snapping a couple pics. But then, Sam whispered in Nathalie’s ear and got down on one knee. “That’s when the crowd understood what was happening, and all the sudden everyone was like, ‘oh my god,’” Sam said. “I think that’s when Nathalie fully realized.”

Sam pulled out the ring, and then asked her which hand the ring goes on. “I actually had the dog in my arms, and I had to move her over to give the correct hand,” Nathalie said. 

Odane finished the song, and they celebrated at the end of the eve. Oh yea– Nathalie definitely said yes. Check out the moment via Odane's Instagram.

Sam and Nathalie with Odane, family, and friends