Before Giada, of Miel Cafe Design, and I were finished with the last details of the website for the Quirky Pineapple Studio; I already had plans to organize a launch party to celebrate! To make a BIG DEAL out of this milestone, I needed to have a party; with drinks, food, music, and more. I wanted something EXTRA AF. I wanted it to be memorable and I wanted to bring together everyone I knew, to celebrate with me!
The launch party wasn’t only about the brand new look for the Quirky Pineapple Studio, there was so much more than that! To celebrate the new direction of my online business, new Internet home, taking the Quirky Pineapple Studio full-time, and my move back to Spain; I WANTED TO MAKE IT A BANGER. So, what does that mean? I had to find some amazing people to participate, and organize something that would be completely different.
Brainstorming the Launch Party
I used my Evernote App on my laptop to keep track of every idea I had for the party. If it sounded out of my budget, I wrote it down anyways. If the idea sounded almost impossible, I wrote it down. Since I was in the brainstorming phase, I jotted down everything that popped in my mind, from venue ideas, caterers, bartenders, and more – if I thought it would make this party SPECTACULAR and MEMORABLE, I wrote it down.
This was also the time I started crunching numbers for the type of budget that I wanted for the Quirky Pineapple Studio Launch Party. I knew I wouldn’t have enough time to find sponsors, nor did I want to look for any. I paid for everything out of pocket, using the connections I had and my resources! Thanks to my mom and sisters; they helped pay for a few small party items/details, and volunteered their time to help me. Before I paid for anything, I decided that a party budget of $1000-1500 would be my limit. After all, I am moving back abroad and I need that money to get started in Spain!
Here is a list of all the ideas I had for the party:
- Caterer for small appetizers
- Photo booth area
- Event photographer
- Giveaways, take away gifts, or raffles
- Dance floor
- On brand decorations
- Possibly partnering with Lyft to provide a discount to guests if they used Lyft
- An amazing venue that had all the right vibes and atmosphere
Of course, events are way more expensive than most people think, with all of the small details that go into it and the extra something that makes it memorable – at one point I thought I was in over my head with this.
The planning process took about a month and a half. I started posting about my idea for the launch party in other networking groups within the area, asking if anyone would be interested in collaborating for the event or even being a sponsor. I asked for recommendations on venues, Googled A LOT, and tried to find something that felt “right”. Then, after doing all the research, I started reaching out to potential vendors about working together, and the planning process started.
Putting Together the Pieces
After confirming the main event necessities: venue, caterer, bartender, and DJ, I wanted to focus on the little things that would really make the event special. This included the event photographer, takeaway gift for all attendees, decorations, and how I would market this to my audience. I went back and forth for a long time, trying to decide what takeaway gift would be the most unique, who the event photographer would be to capture everything, and what would really make this venue pop with my own flair.
I’m a firm believer in *fate* and having opportunities and people being placed into your life for a reason. I think it was fate that brought Sonia, Mariah, and Janel into my life. Sonia, from Faccia Fresca Vintage, reached out to me randomly introducing herself and her business to me. I never thought about having rented furniture in a space but was interested in meeting her and working together.
I also met Mariah and her mom, Janel, through a Facebook networking group based in Washington, DC. It was by chance that she had been the first person to comment on my post and offered to talk about working together! From there, I met her mom, Janel, who is a meditational/therapy artist. She creates therapeutic doodles to help people who are struggling with PTSD and trauma. After talking to the both of them, Janel came up with an idea to offer small meditational pineapple doodles to all guests – giving them an experience to be open and vulnerable, and leaving with a unique doodle to their struggles/worries. I WAS HOOKED.
The pieces slowly fell into place as the weeks progressed. I confirmed the venue, caterer, bartender, and all other key pieces. We all had our own separate meetings to work on details and what they needed from me and what I needed from them. I couldn’t believe how many moving pieces there were to the event, but I was so surprised and grateful that everyone I ended up working with had the best attitude, vibe, and connection. It made me feel so much more at ease!
The week of the launch party was HECTIC to say the least. I felt stressed, I was overwhelmed, and I think I had too many things piling on all at once. At my full-time job, we had our last training course of the year with 37 participants. It was the launch of my website the day before, and of course, there was a little hiccup we had with one of the vendors that threw me for a loop. Y’all, before the party, I secretly wanted it to be over because I was so stressed I couldn’t even enjoy it!
But by the grace of the Universe, THE PARTY WAS A SUCCESS! The launch of the website the day before really set the stage for making this even more real for me. I took the day off from work and spent it getting ready, taking care of last minute details, and RELAXING. It felt good!!
Vendors & Party People
The setting for the launch party was at the Femme Fatale DC A/W Pop Up shop in Washington, DC. The area is beautifully decorated with pieces from local artists, handmade items, and twinkling lights everywhere! It’s very different than what people may normally expect as a venue, but the atmosphere and the vibe the pop up store had to offer was exactly what I was looking for. Femme Fatale DC is a pop up store that houses over 50 womyn owned and operated businesses and also boasts a vegan cafe! When guests walked in, they weren’t walking into any venue, it was already a safe and creative space to explore and dive into your spiritual self.
At the party, we had a table for vegan appetizers and desserts, made by Serbrina, of Stoner Girl Treats and Eats. My sisters and I also gave our hand at baking vegan pastries and brought in three of our own! The menu consisted of:
- Savory Spicy Samosas
- Spicy Avocado Crostinis
- Zucchini Hummus Rolls
- Rainbow Kale Salad
- Mini chocolate cream cakes
- Pineapple Cupcakes with Coconut Whipped Cream
- Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Fudgy Raspberry Brownies
Of course a party can’t be complete without some specialty drinks to kick it up a notch! Mimi, from Mixin’ Mimi Mixology, created THREE custom drinks for the event. They were delicious and dangerous. I worked with Mimi to come up with unique names that were on brand but fun! We decided on:
- Werk It, Twerk It
- Fierce Diva
- Boujee Piña
Guests were able to choose from two different sizes, a regular and a mega. Y’all – those mega drinks were on a completely different level! Everyone loved the fun names and the mixes were delicious! To pair all of the great drinks, Melina, also known as, DJ Mistress Mambo, worked the music and the dance floor all night. The party vibed to old-school 2000s hip-hop with a mix of reggaeton to spice things up. The entire night, we had people coming up and saying that THIS is the music that they missed and enjoyed!
To really tie in everything and make the party pop, Sonia, from Faccia Fresca Vintage, Veronica, from Pretty Petals Floral and Event Designs, and Janel, from Calm in the Chaos Book, made the guest experience that much more spectacular. Sonia provided vintage furniture pieces that set the mood for the entire party. We had vintage suitcases and trunks set in the front of the venue, with a welcome sign, sign-in book, and small globe – symbolizing the next adventure the Quirky Pineapple Studio would embark on internationally!
In the event space, there was a small photo booth created with a gorgeous pink couch, fluffy throw pillows, and a beautiful dark wooden Moroccan backdrop. Veronica, from Pretty Petals Floral, went in and worked her magic on the backdrop and floral arrangements! She weaved in gorgeous greenery and bright roses to make the background pop with more color! Now the floral arrangements were SOMETHING ELSE. Each centerpiece had a small baby pineapple peeking through with more pops of color, making it dynamic and playful!
Capturing the event, I worked with Mariah Miranda Photography. We randomly connected in a Facebook networking group when I was looking for an event photographer. I PROMISE this was fate because working with Mariah was a blessing! Her work is powerful, empathetic, and honest. She captured all the true and candid moments of the launch.
To make this event memorable and meaningful, I am so thankful that I was connected to Janel. She came up with the idea to create pineapple meditation doodles for each guest to leave and take home with them! The process involved speaking with Janel for a few moments and then going through a meditative process where she drew a unique doodle to someone’s struggles and thoughts, that would later help them find clarity through meditation. The experience was unique, welcoming, and powerful – and some guests have told me they wanted to cry!
Overall, the event was filled with all the people that I wanted to see before I left. It was the perfect way to celebrate the launch of my business, my website, and a bittersweet way to see my family and friends before moving abroad! Since the big kick-off, my business has gained traction and is bringing in the types of clients that I am excited to work with!
I am so thankful to all the vendors that helped make this event SO special! Having a group of women who were as determined as I am and full of passion for their business is inspiring. Y’all – badass women, fierce as f*ck, and unapologetic to who they are. I am so grateful to all of them!
Cheers, Pineapplers! To the adventure, the fierce divas, and taking a leap – ’cause that’s what life is all about, right?
- Venue – Femme Fatale DC
- Caterer – Stoner Girl Treats & Eats
- Mixologist – Mixin’ Mimi
- Vintage Furniture – Faccia Fresca Vintage
- Florals – Pretty Petals Floral and Event Design
- DJ – Mistress Mambo
- Photographer – Mariah Miranda
- Takeaway artist – Janel Miranda
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