2016 Review

And that's a wrap, to 2016! This year really flew by! The end of the year is a good time to take a moment of review what happened before diving into planning mode for 2017. 

I traveled a lot, both for work and for fun, producing events in NY, LA, Oakland, SF, Chicago and London. I worked with clients from last year, like The ShopUp, CMX, Airbnb and Taste Talks, but in greater capacities. I made new friendships and partnerships with unique businesses like Amaze Bowls, Pipcorn, Baba Cool & Wowfulls. I continued working with old friends and got to watch as their companies continue to flourish like the marvelous Haiku Guys & Gals, Mischievous Goddess, Mighty Oak and Eventurously

Food has always been a passion of mine and this year I got to combine my loves of food and events to create incredible experiences at Dessert Goals and Taste Talks Food & Drink Awards - taste testing as a task in preparation for an event in pretty awesome. 

Pop Curated, the Pop Productions bi-weekly event newsletter started in July 2015 and I have sent out 26 editions. Since October it's been on pause during my busy event months and then some time off for travel. I'm planning to bring Pop Curated back in 2017 and continue sharing my event research of unique gatherings. Sign up here!

This year I've been living a bi-coastal life with events in California and New York. Come spring 2017, I'll be moving to Los Angeles for a new chapter of life and Pop Productions. I'll be growing The ShopUp and Dessert Goals in Los Angeles while continuing the take on clients in both cities, and beyond. 

But first, here are some of the highlights of 2016 with pretty pictures and vendor shoutouts!

The ShopUp LA & New York: Alongside the Babyccino team, I launched The ShopUp in Los Angeles at the stunning Lombardi House and hosted the second in New York at 501 Union and fourth in London. 

Vendors: Lombardi House, Amaze Bowls

Photos: Nicki Sebastian


Camptons: With friends, I helped produce Camptons, an adult summer camp in upstate New York complete with a pool of inflatables, a canoe full of booze, and an all white dinner party set in the middle of a field.

Photos: Kait Ebinger

Camptons-Sponsors_47.jpg

Airbnb Host Day New York & Chicago: A year after working with the Airbnb community team on the New York Marathon, they brought me on board to organize their host days in New York and Chicago. Each was a day long conference with talks, workshops, and meals featuring host-owned businesses. I brought in a lot of crafty touches on this one!

Vendors: Civic Hall, Van Leeuwen, Baba Cool

Photos: Bekka Palmer and Kait Ebinger


Taste Talks Food & Drink Awards: After working with Northside Media Group on Northside Festival in 2015, they hired me in January to develop the first Taste Talks Food & Drink Awards. We determined the award categories, built an academy to vote, hand painted the golden skillet awards, programmed a 90 minute award show at the epic BAM Opera House and food-filled after party.

Vendors: Black Tap, Sigmund's Pretzels, Tacombi, Nom Wah Tea Parlor, Handsom Dan's, Michelle Bablo, Party Up Productions, BAM Opera House, Roulette Theater

Photos: Mackenzie Anne Smith

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Dessert Goals: My friend Liang became my business partner as we, for fun, decided to throw a dessert festival in 3 months, which wildly exceeded our expectations. Our 1000 tickets sold out within minutes, press and social media was incredible and we had interested sponsors. Now we’re turning Dessert Goals into a LLC and planning to expand to more festivals in New York as well as Los Angeles. 

Vendors: Dobbin St, Sharingbox, Bow & Drape, Wowfulls, Dobbin Street Vintage Co-Op, BodumIntelligentsia

Photos: Bekka Palmer

Have a sweet & colorful New Year!

xoxox

Kiva NYC & Oakland

We designed and produced the NY and Oakland launches of international nonprofit Kiva, inviting 750-1000 guests to a marketplace with 30 of Kiva’s local partners. We featured regional music and catering — including fried chicken and waffles in Oakland and hors d’oeuvres tied to tree branches and balloons in New York — and the East Coast program included a speech by President Bill Clinton.

In Oakland we wanted to bring the vibe of Oakland to life so we had a DJ, live mural graffiti artists and a menu of local food vendors like fried chicken & waffles and grilled cheese. The Mayor of Oakland kicked off the night and we had 30 local businesses showcase their products. We had live lending stations for attendees to make Kiva loans on the spot. Over 1000 guests came to The Oakland Museum for an amazing night. 

Photos by Brandon Smith.

The ShopUp LA 1 Month Countdown

The ShopUp hits Hollywood in exactly one month and we couldn't be more excited. We'll be taking over The Lombardi House with 30+ adorable shops, food and drink from some of the coolest spots in LA including Moon Juice, CoolHaus, Sprinkles + more. To celebrate our one month countdown we're featuring 4 of the shops participating April 10th & 11th at The ShopUp. Take a look, make your shopping list and see you in LA!

With all of their garments designed and manufactured in the USA in small volume, mabo clothier specializes in fine children's clothing designed for little ones' comfort and simple style. With quality, natural fabrics – cotton and linen for summer and cozy wools for winter, their clothing is characterized by classic, clean designs with contemporary and playful details.

BOWIE X JAMES was started by four moms who wanted to create and design swimwear that reflected their daughter's unique, stylish and caring personalities. Rooted in the beach lifestyle and Southern California culture, we wanted their babes to be outfitted as we would outfit themselves. BOWIE X JAMES bikinis are meant to be mixed but not to match, and many of their styles have reversible bottoms for maximum usage. Their styles are comfy, clean and modern and the tie side bikini bottoms facilitate a spot on fit. Each season their designs are influenced by nature and the world around them. In turn we donate a portion of their proceeds to a selected charity. 

Kalon Studios was founded in Los Angeles in late 2007 by husband-wife design team, Johannes Pauwen & Michaele Simmering shortly after the birth of their first child. Unable to find a crib that met their needs in terms of design and sustainability, Johann and Michaele decided to make their own. Within a year, Kalon was named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential green companies in the world.
Kalon’s pieces have become cult favorites amongst international creatives, sought out for their casual chic appeal and the company’s rigorous, transparent ethics. Recognized as a thought leader in the design field, Kalon has won numerous awards in the U.S. and in Europe. Kalon’s work is best known for its strong focus on material and a zero compromise approach to quality and sustainability.

Frankie & Ava is influenced by the curiosity of their children and the enchantment of the cities where they have lived, so they strive to inspire, combining their English heritage with the sunny vibes of coastal California, the spirit of youth with the wisdom of the past. Frankie & Ava's Knitwear is hand made (with love) in the UK. Their Proud Master Knitters have been creating sweaters since they were little girls & boys and take great pride in this age-old tradition. They continue to celebrate their craft by producing luxurious pieces for their own families and now for Frankie & Ava, too. This is a skill that has waned in popularity over the years - fading from an integral part of daily life to a casual hobby. But that's also what makes it so special. 

Pop Picks: Humpday Insta-spiration

Wednesday. Hump Day. The point at which you're likely caught in a whirlwind of productivity while also feeling somewhat entitled to dream of all things weekend-related.

We're feeling especially February during they grey NYC week. Given Miraya's recent trip + our upcoming events in California, we've decided to round up a selection of West Coast #PopPicks for your IG scrolling pleasure. 

 

The Lombardi House Instagram is such a treasure trove for event inspiration! Miraya recently checked it out in person to help plan The ShopUp LA and confirms the space is as dreamly IRL as it appears on our screens.


The Lombardi House Instagram is such a treasure trove for event inspiration! Miraya recently checked it out in person to help plan The ShopUp LA and confirms the space is as dreamly IRL as it appears on our screens.

The Unique Space has such strong Instagram game... quirky throwback photos and minimal art direction FTW. Located in a historic warehouse in Downtown LA, it houses private offices, events and much more.


The Unique Space has such strong Instagram game... quirky throwback photos and minimal art direction FTW. Located in a historic warehouse in Downtown LA, it houses private offices, events and much more.

We recently discovered Freja Daily, an account dedicated to uncovering up and coming entrepreneurs and creatives. Their discoveries are as diverse as they are inspiring. We love this comical photo created by another enviable account, @thetaable 


We recently discovered Freja Daily, an account dedicated to uncovering up and coming entrepreneurs and creatives. Their discoveries are as diverse as they are inspiring. We love this comical photo created by another enviable account, @thetaable 


Valentine's, Galentine's and Everything In Between

 

Feeling confused thanks to a deluge of Valentine's Day options? We get it, the internet can be very overwhelming sometimes. After sifting through endless event invites, pitches and everything in between, we've rounded up the five best ways to celebrate the day. Whether you're cozying up with a special partner or trying to show yourself some extra love, below are our picks.

Image via Time Out New York. 


Image via Time Out New York. 

1. Go overboard on chocolate
Healthy reminder: someone need not buy you chocolate to warrant you enjoying it on this day. We love Time Out New York's roundup of the best chocolate shops in NYC - and are especially partial to Fine & Raw in Bushwick. 

Image via Hot Guys Reading Books. 

2. Get nerdy with it.
As events people, we love holidays. Perhaps you're put off by the consumerism that accompanies the day. In light of that, we often forget why we're celebrating in the first place. One great way to celebrate is to read up on why Valentine's Day exists in the first place.

To start, we love this piece on The Pagan Origin's of Valentine's Day at McSweeneys.

Or, perhaps, you didn't know the holiday has a bit of a bloody past... 

Image via our own Crafternoon from 2015!


Image via our own Crafternoon from 2015!

3. Host a crafternoon
Anything polar vortex associated makes us want to cozy up inside and craft. Wintry weather coinciding with the holiday is the perfect excuse to stay in! Invite friends over for a small bash. Make your own flowers or DIY cards to send friends and loved ones. 

4. Indulge in aphrodisiacs.
We love working with The Alchemist's Kitchen and have been posting up there all month for their Month of Love Events. Bring a partner, a friend or just yourself to one of their alternative events, meant to ignite your senses.  

5. Check out a reading. 
We're lucky to call Brooklyn home, a borough filled with book lovers. There are so many readings happening this weekend. Check out this Galentine's themed one hosted by Word Bookstore.

Miraya Goes West Part Deux! Insta-spiration

Last week we shared photos from Miraya's time in LA working on Pop Productions's bi-coastal ventures. Today we've rounded up photos from the NorCal portion of the trip.

Oakland Museum, venue for Kiva event on March 16!


Oakland Museum, venue for Kiva event on March 16!

Colorful confections at Miette in Hayes Valley!


Colorful confections at Miette in Hayes Valley!

Enviable natural light at Airbnb HQ!


Enviable natural light at Airbnb HQ!

Inside Kiva's San Francisco offices. 


Inside Kiva's San Francisco offices. 

Scrumptious Mission Chinese food in SF!


Scrumptious Mission Chinese food in SF!

IT'S ELECTRIC! Test-driving a Tesla car... 


IT'S ELECTRIC! Test-driving a Tesla car... 


Miraya Goes West! Insta-spiration Courtesy of Pop Productions

 
Lumi's very own Airstream. File under "things we'll never have in New York City."


Lumi's very own Airstream. File under "things we'll never have in New York City."

Have you heard? We're bi-coastal! Our very own founder Miraya Berke is in California all week, making friends, taking meetings and getting things in place for upcoming Pop Productions events. Here in Brooklyn we're just a tad jealous of her West Coast adventure. From checking out Lumi's space (peak their AIRSTREAM above) to eating rather enviable French toast, below are some photos of her CA work adventure. If you're not already, follow along on Instagram at @popproductionsnyc

Inside the hedley & bennett apron studio. Colorful and charming!


Inside the hedley & bennett apron studio. Colorful and charming!

French toast at Sqirl. 


French toast at Sqirl

Inside the beautiful Lombardi House where we're hosting The ShopUp in April!


Inside the beautiful Lombardi House where we're hosting The ShopUp in April!

Miraya being adorable at Soho House.


Miraya being adorable at Soho House.

Facade of the Ace Hotel in Downtown LA! 

Facade of the Ace Hotel in Downtown LA! 


Checking in. 


Checking in. 

Such succulents! LA aesthetic on point at Clementine Flowers. 


Such succulents! LA aesthetic on point at Clementine Flowers

Afternoon caffeination, courtesy of Verve. 


Afternoon caffeination, courtesy of Verve

More to plan means more photos coming later this week!

ShopUp tote outside Lombardi House. The magic happens April 10-11!


ShopUp tote outside Lombardi House. The magic happens April 10-11!


Five Tips for Your Super Bowl Funday Activities

Memories of Super Bowl parties past tend tend to be a blur of guacamole and other assorted dips. Thankfully, we've rounded up five ways to help step up your party on game day. Read on!  

Photo via Thoughtfully Simple. 

Photo via Thoughtfully Simple

1. Instagram worthy jars via Thoughtfully Simple. This super quick DIY might not even require a trip to the store. Use white tape (cut in different widths) on mason jars, fill with dark liquid (think a stout beer or soda) and voila! 

Image via Crumb Blog. 

Image via Crumb Blog

2. Forget readymade dips. Cans of pre-made nacho cheese are full of preservatives and other icky things we don't really like to think about. Enter this recipe for homemade bacon-jalapeno cheese dip, which takes a total of 25 minutes to make! Read all the details on Crumb Blog.  

Image via bon appetit. 

Image via bon appetit

3. Choose craft beer. We're fans of so many small brews, particularly El Sully, a Mexican style-lager that taste like a Corona upgrade, and Vermont-brewed Heady Topper. Whether you're throwing the party or going to someone else's, people will appreciate you putting some thought into the brew selection.  

Image via Fettle Vegan. 

Image via Fettle Vegan

4. Give classic dishes a healthy spin. Super bowl snack fare tends to be rich. No matter how much you may love pigs in a blanket, no one feels great the day after eating them. Try for something healthier - and more inclusive of vegetarian/vegan food restrictions - with these delicious vegan nachos. We suggest this recipe from Fettle Vegan. 

Image via Food & Wine. 

Image via Food & Wine

5. Prep ahead of time. Hosting on game day likely means you've got errands galore: pick up ice, grab beer, head back to the store because you forgot lime, etc. (for tips on making day of event errands easy with apps, see our post.) It helps to prep as much as you can ahead of time. We love these recipes from Food & Wine for casseroles you can prep ahead of time and easily reheat on game day. Bonus tips if you make the CHICKEN RAMEN casserole...  

It's FRIYAY: Weekend Playlist Vol. 3

Our sentiments exactly.

In keeping with tradition (three weeks counts, right?) here are ten more tracks to get into that weekend groove. Spin the Classixx remix of "Psychic City" for an instantaneous burst of playfulness. We also have a track from Brooklyn-based Chairlift's new record, as well as some classic Kanye West to remind us of times when artists didn't announce (and change) their album names via Twitter rants.

We've also got Delicate Steve, Drake, Little Dragon, Future Islands, and finally - Beyonce and Jay Z. Bon weekend!

Pop Picks: Humpday Insta-spiration

 
photo via @nikkimcwilliams


photo via @nikkimcwilliams

Wednesday. Hump Day. The point at which you're likely caught in a whirlwind of productivity while also feeling somewhat entitled to dream of all things weekend-related.

Maybe you're planning a birthday party, a hike in the woods or simply to hunker down with that restful combo of tea and good books. In between now then, it's likely you'll do a lot of a skimming through Instagram. Whether you're looking for weekend inspiration or just to indulge in some wanderlust, we've got you covered. Starting this week, we'll be sharing three selections from our favorite accounts. 

@DESIGNLOVEFEST


@DESIGNLOVEFEST

We adore creative director and blogger Bri Emery's account. Her recent trip to Marfa, including a visit to these teepees (!!!) at the 21-acre nomadic hotel and campground El Cosmico has us swooning. Hers is the perfect account for colorful visual inspiration coupled with some good old-fashioned escapism.  

@LUMI


@LUMI

Lumi makes it easy to have your brand emblazoned on stamps, temporary tattoos, or, for those with refined inclinations, a wax letter seal. Their charming IG is an ode to how your can elevate your brand using their services, such as the above matches. 

@ohjoy


@ohjoy

CUTE FAMILY ALERT!!! LA-based blogger Oh Joy's Instagram is the very embodiment of its name. Cheerful, candid photos have us scrolling non-stop. Pro tip: find inspo for decoration and hosting events here.

10 Weekend Jams to Enjoy Over Hot Chocolate... Or Hot Toddies

If you're located anywhere near the East Coast you've likely heard about or are in the midst of Jonas' wrath. We happen to appreciate a blizzard: it's the perfect excuse to craft, drink hot toddies and revel in wearing pajamas... all day.

Below are 10 jams for that dance party you know will happen once cabin fever sets in. This week is a bit funky with some Chromeo and Vulfpeck, while pop goddesses Ryn Weaver and Selena Gomez will make you want to belt your heart out.

 

Fancy a hot toddy to go with those jams? Check out these recipes courtesy of Eater. 

 

Event Planning Powered by the Internet

Thanks to the internet and apps, planning an event in New York City is at an all time high of convenience, opportunities, and creativity. We've rounded up some of our favorite resources that you may or may not know about and how they can escalate your next event. You can now order 100 mini donuts, an SUV and a cleaner... all with your iPhone. Whether planning a dinner party with friends, larger company lunch or raging dance party, the sky is the limit with these resources at hand!

Caviar - Like Seamless food delivery, but a selection of more gourmet restaurants, with the option to schedule delivery up to a week in advance. Say you want 100 assorted mini donuts from Doughnuttery this Friday at 5pm for your co-worker's farewell, you can totally schedule that this afternoon so you don't have to stress Friday morning. Meatball Shop sliders for a birthday party, pizza from Sullivan Street Bakery for a happy hour or fresh juices from Liquiteria for a client breakfast - all these goodies and more can be pre-ordered and paid for on Caviar so on the day of the event, you just sit back and wait for your food to arrive. 

Photo Credit: Caviar Doughnuttery

Photo Credit: Caviar Doughnuttery

Postmates - Food delivery gets a serious makeover with Postmates, which delivers amazing goods from restaurants and stores like Jack's Wife Freda, Shake Shack, Momofuku Milk Bar and even Best Buy and Duane Reade within an hour. To really delight and wow your guests, mid-event as you over hear attendees discussing how much they are craving ice cream or need a coffee pick me up, grab your phone to place a delivery and an hour later your friends and colleagues will be in awe by your thoughtfulness. 

Amazon Prime & Amazon Prime Now - Save yourself a trip to Target and order your party essentials like cups, plates, napkins from Amazon and guarantee 2 day delivery with Amazon Prime. Out of printer paper or lost your scissors? Amazon Prime Now's mobile app has millions of items for delivery, many of which arrive in under an hour. Amazon Prime will be one of the best $99 you'll spend all year. 

TaskRabbit - If some of your favorite restaurants don't deliver or you need a few pounds of ice to chill champagne, TaskRabbit is your new best friend. You shouldn't be running errands the hour before your party starts, so hire a TaskRabbit to handle some items on your to-do list. You post the task you need help with via TaskRabbit, and if it's a few days in advance you can even read profiles and select your helper. If it's event day and you're really in a bind, just let TaskRabbit auto assign one of their pros. You pay per hour for the task and if needed, your TaskRabbit can even make purchases and expense them to you via the app (think ice, beer, napkins, etc). Instead of nagging your friends or colleagues, hiring an expert tasker will reduce your stress and ensure you can focus on the right details. 

Photo Credit: TaskRabbit Facebook

Photo Credit: TaskRabbit Facebook

Handy - Cleaning up after a party is no fun. Arranging a Handy cleaner to come the morning after means you can sleep and ignore the mess. TaskRabbit will also dispatch helpers to take care of messes, wash dishes, clean the floor, pick up trash, etc. Another convenience: Both services have professionals who will bring their own cleaning supplies if you specify. Handy is also a great go to for other handyman help like furniture assembly, plumbing, and painting. 

car2go and Zipcar - Need to pick up heavier, larger items? Tables and chairs at a faraway Ikea? Running errands for countless bags of food, booze, flowers and more? These car sharing services give you keys to a car on demand to speed up your day. While cars from Zip Car must be picked up and parked at the same spot, car2go is excellent for one-way rides as you can search on your app for nearby cars and then leave the car in any public parking spot within the participating neighborhoods. 

Uber and Lyft - These car services aren't just for nights when you've had too much to drink and don't want to brave the Subway. When you're lugging that case of wine, new Ikea table or bouquet of flowers and don't want to deal with the parking responsibilities that come with car2go and Zipcar, call yourself and Uber or Lyft (XL or Plus if you have a ton of stuff) and with a tap of the finger your chariot awaits to transport you to your event or home for the night.

Mash & GrapeMinibar and Drizly - Whether you're organizing a company happy hour, birthday or brunch, it's rarely a party without booze. Carrying cases of beer and wine during winter is a challenging task in New York City, but services like Mash & Grape, Mini Bar and Drizly allow you to order libations on demand. You can schedule delivery for specific times and ASAP. Check out all those Subway ads for $10 off your first order on Mini Bar and Drizly. 

Photo Credit: Minibar Facebook

Photo Credit: Minibar Facebook

Spotify - Not all of us can be a natural DJ, and that's where Spotify is here to save the day. With playlists like Dinner With Friends and Instant Party Pump Up, Spotify has the tunes for any mood you're looking to create. At Pop Productions we've also launched a weekly Friday playlist with an assortment of songs for your event, working sesh or Subway commute. 

Simplebooth - Instead of renting an expensive photo booth, grab a tripod and turn your iPhone or iPad with an easy download of an app like Simplebooth, which is free for personal iPhone use and $59.99 for events on iPads. Other options include DIY Wedding Booth for $9.99 or Pocketbooth for $0.99 . Set up a cute backdrop with twinkle lights, balloons or streamers, buy some props, and if you want to go all out set up a wireless printer for instant photos. If you're regularly using the photo booth, upgrade and purchase lighting such as the Halo software from Simplebooth or freestanding lights from a lighting or hardware store. 

Photo Credit: Simplebooth

Photo Credit: Simplebooth

Venmo - This is hands down the easiest way to make and share money instantly and for free. Whether paying back a coworker or requesting money from roommates after dividing up shared costs, you can request and pay money seamlessly without any check books or bank transfers. 

Square - If you're selling tickets, merchandise or food and drink at your event, the Square app and reader allow you to charge credit cards and tally up cash and checks. Once you sign up for the application a free credit card reader is mailed to you. There is a credit card processing fee, so keep an eye out for those extra fees (remember Venmo is free!), but for attendees who prefer credit card, this is a great and easy option to have. 

Now let the planning commence! Schedule that beer delivery, taco buffet & iPad photo booth ahead of time so you can sit back and enjoy the party you planned.

Announcing The ShopUp's LA Debut!

 

We couldn’t be more excited about this announcement! After successful events in both London and NYC, Pop Productions is teaming up with Babyccino Kids yet again to bring the ShopUp to Los Angeles. Hollywood, here we come! The event will take place this spring on April 10th and 11th in LA. We’ve secured Lombardi House, a charming Victorian-style farmhouse, as the venue!

A peek at some of the adorable goods from the Brooklyn ShopUp.


A peek at some of the adorable goods from the Brooklyn ShopUp.

Together with Babyccino Kids we’ve already lined up a wonderful selection of shops like Mabo Kids (adorable clothing!), LuluLuvs (handmade accessories!), Pipsticks (stickers galore!), Natti Natti (beautiful bedding), Papergirl (illustrated clothing & decor) Starling (intricate jewelry) and cool LA-based clothing brand, Frankie & Ava. We’ll also have the whimsical Brimful Shop, Toronto-based eco-friendly boutique Mini Mioche and Little Lu's cute organic hair accessories. Plus MANY more to come…

The Babyccino Kids dream team.


The Babyccino Kids dream team.

We still have room for more of our wonderful shops, so please get in touch if you would like to join us. We’re also on the lookout for press partners, collaborations and sponsors, so please reach out if you’re interested in working together. We’ve got lots of great ideas up our sleeves.

Unfamiliar? The ShopUp is Babyccino Kids in its most intimate, tactile form. In addition to shopping a curated selection of independent boutiques from around the world, this charming event has the entire family in mind with crafts, live music, scrumptious snacks and other family friendly activities.

Fairy Fun! The ShopUp is more than just a shopping event.


Fairy Fun! The ShopUp is more than just a shopping event.

Follow along in the coming weeks as we share highlights about the amazing Babyccino team + the brands and goodies you can look forward to.