Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Bryony and a little about how we're trying to revolutionize the event industry

Bryony likes a coffee almost as much as I do, and when we started talking about creating a new version of saipua that worked better for both of us you can imagine coffee was a high priority. Also on the list was no more wedding planners (I can, and will write a post on this - it's important to me and I want to be really honest about why we're striking out in this new way and refusing to work with planners), no more large scale floral installations or anything requiring foam or rigging, and no more standard rental furniture or dinnerware.

That basically excludes all of the events that have been our bread and butter for the last few years. Which financially is terrifying, but the only way forward if we want to revolutionize the event industry; a world that profits off of gratuitous waste, the exploitation of labor, and mediocre food and flowers.

I'm thinking about Bryony a lot this week because she's getting married Friday. I just adore her, and I feel really lucky that I get to work with her. I'm not sure I've ever met anyone who can maintain poise, strength and emotional intelligence like Bryony. Her bravery is contagious and her attention to detail and pursuit of excellence unmatched. I look for three things in collaborators: the ability to be serious about outlandish dreams, endless energy and enthusiasm and never an ounce of self pity or complaining. Bryony defines this ideal. As do the other women I've recently partnered with...

Enter Genevieve. No stranger to the event industry and the unique alchemy of Saipua, Genevieve now runs an alternative production company called ET VERNAL where she uses her loving prowess to connect people with good visions in order to make good work. This includes everything from overhauling the cafe at the Brooklyn Children's Museum to allow for healthier snack options for kids (why should there be soda on offer at a museum for children?) to helping a couple plan their nuptials. Which is to say wedding planning. But Genevieve - after working in weddings for years with us at Saipua - is no stranger to the downsides of the industry and was shy to think about her new company working in the wedding planning realm. We decided if we were going to stay in events we only wanted to work with each other so that we could trust in the integrity of the process as well as the result.


Enter Nahvae. She owns and cooks daily in her commissary kitchen and cafe called Eleven36 in Brooklyn. Genevieve introduced us a few years ago. Nahvae makes the food I want to eat everyday of my life. She has been working for the last 5 years in her neighborhood (Crown Heights) to teach people of all different socioeconomic groups how to taste new things and think differently (or just to think more) about vegetables and grain. Nahvae has been catering small and large events for years but often is uncomfortable with various parts of the industry - and like me with flowers - she want's clients to trust her implicitly with sourcing and cooking the best seasonal ingredients. Because it is always better that way. If you have to explain exactly what something is going to be in food (as with flowers) then you have to source your ingredients from large corporate entities like Cisco, which sources asparagus 365 days a year. Many caterers add foam to this vegetable travesty and bill it as luxury. That is the luxury we aim to debunk in our new combination of forces.

Because I think real luxury would be to come visit our new space (next door at 1134 President St. Brooklyn) and have a coffee with us and talk about how to plan a great party with the best food and flowers that are all grown at Worlds End. Construction has started and we're looking for an espresso machine. See you there in the new year.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

you make me feel more brave. thank you.

Unknown said...

Joyful congratulations to Bryony! She's amazing, and so intuitive and kind. And fun! (Still thankful for the great memory of a friend taking me to Saipua for a birthday flower arrangement, and Bryony creating the most poetic flowers on the spot. Also, another time inspecting the highly suspect but very cool shedded snake skin in the Castle.)

Thank you for the journal posts. It's such a salve to read and be shaken and hear echoes of thoughts and will to get more to the depth of things and be. The struggle is real, but reading the journal, it feels less alone, and affirms that there are people out there with real intention on what we cultivate in the world.

Thank you, inspired by the future, and cheers!

another runaway said...

Thank you for consistently writing down how I'm feeling but can't describe. More authenticity. Less waste. Let the revolution begin!

thea said...

well now you've gone and made me want to divorce my husband so I can remarry him in a stripped down Saipua 2.0 (3.0, 4.0, 5.0?) event.

Anonymous said...

!!yes to all of it!!

Gabby A said...

So happy to see you ladies collaborating in a way to better the industry (and the world for that matter). Truly miss partnering with you all. Lots of love!