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Life & Work with Anya Mizani and Ali Kus

Today we’d like to introduce you to Anya Mizani and Ali Kus. Them and their team share their story with us below:

The whole business development came because we both needed to figure out a new job situation. Anya’s was working as a restaurant designer but lost her job due to Covid and Ali’s maritime surveying job was not offering the right amount of work/life balance he wanted. We happen to see someone on social media doing pop up picnics in San Francisco and thought it was a brilliant idea and something we could start implementing right away if we wanted to. Our backgrounds in design, events and logistics made it easy for us to pull this all together right away. We decided to experiment and just give it a try!

We pulled together all our picnic elements together, made our signature elevated tables, and set up a picnic for ourselves at a park just north of Baltimore. While we were setting up, we got so many onlookers and people coming up to us, curious about what we were doing. The excitement we felt from them was so encouraging. It made us feel like we were on the right path.

Since then, we made a website, beefed up our inventory, and started partnering with local vendors in the area to build a presence to grow together. We’re continuing to develop new ideas- office in the park, backyard parties (with dancefloor included!), neighborhood meetups for workshops, etc. We’re figuring out new and exciting ways to combine our inventory to serve the needs of our clients and the greater community.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
At the beginning, we thought it was going to be smooth and that business would come fast– who wouldn’t want a lovely picnic in the park after being locked down in quarantine? We found ourselves with a lot of pretty picnic pictures but we were brand new and need to build trust and recognition in Baltimore. Reaching out to small businesses and building relationships was crucial to growing- it takes time and investment, but we’re finding is an essential part of building a successful small business. These relationships have given us opportunities we couldn’t foresee and we’re so grateful to be part of Baltimore’s small business community!

We were also faced with the 17-year-cicada brood this year which scared off people at the beginning and height of picnic season. That was something we hadn’t accounted for that was discouraging at the beginning. We had to roll with nature and just accept that we had to let it pass. We took it as an opportunity to spend more time focusing on building other aspects of the business. It was a forced life lesson to learn how to be flexible.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
We are a curated picnic event planner. Our love for design and nature informs our approach to outdoor gatherings, resulting in stunning setting for all of life’s celebrations. We are known for bringing indoor luxuries and comfort outside and providing effortless opportunities to spend quality time with loved ones.

Our packages include everything you may need. Tables with dining settings, bluetooth speakers, comfortable floor cushions, designer decor, games and add-ons, snacks, beverages, entertainment, bug spray/sunblock and more!

We have four lovely themes to choose from but get excited creating custom designs for whatever our customers need to make their occasions unique and memorable.

We are most proud of our attention to every last detail. We go above and beyond to make everything perfect for your gathering. Our love for hosting drives us to make our clients feel like a guest of honor and well taken care of.

What do you like best about our city? What do you like least?
We love the variety of green spaces that a relatively small city like Baltimore has to offer. The historic charm and waterfront locations make this city very special. We’re able to find locations where water, nature, and the city views come together to provide unique settings for gatherings. We’re also able to be fully immersed in nature within minutes outside of the city which gives our customers the opportunity to get away and relax if they need.

What do we like least about cities in general? Potholes and litter.

Pricing:

  • Picnic for 2- Starting at $179
  • Office in the Park- Starting at $79
  • Parties for 10- Starting at $599

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Ali Kus + Anya Mizani

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