[event] Second Saturday x #chlorophyllwall
This past weekend, we had our first ever pop-up shop celebrating the newest mural here in Bakersfield! The #chlorophyllwall was designed by the talented Jeran of Oleander + Palm in partnership with Sherwin-Williams and Bakersfield High School. The concept came to represent the colors of native plants in Central California and was painted at the 17th Place Townhomes.
Decorative walls are such a fun way to bring life to architecture and are all the rage for photo backdrops. Given the location of this wall and it's proximity to a lot of amazing things downtown, we wanted to share it with everyone.
Jeran and I generated a few ideas and landed on the first to be a pop-up shop. It so happened that market gathering was already happening within walking distance so we asked if we could jump on board and sponsor the whole day. In partnership with 17th Place Townhomes, we came alongside the already happening Second Saturday to make #chlorophyllwall a stop on a walking tour of the day's events.
It was off to the races to plan this event quickly, strategically and on a small budget. I wanted this event to be impactful, but for the right reasons. We could bring people to the wall and take their picture and call it a day, but why not involve some local talent and make it more of a destination?
Enter in a curated set of vendors, an all locally owned and operated amazing group of people!
- Honey I Love You Shop
- Campici Salon + Boutique
- Kona Ice of Central Bakersfield
- Cottage Arts
- Cafe Smitten
- Ghiladolce Bakery
Overall, the turnout was great and more than I expected. Our downtown is tricky on Saturdays, but having the support of Second Saturday and those that care about downtown, community and supporting local businesses, I call it a success for sure.
Some event behind the scenes for those curious on how to do an event like this on a budget...
- ASK FOR HELP! Seriously, let people know what you're doing and where you need assistance!
- Ask for collaborations! The lovely Stasie came up with a genius idea to involve Ghiladolce Bakery, having them create one of a kind #chlorophyllwall cookies for sale at Cafe Smitten the day of the event. If anyone asked or purchased, the barista would give them a card with our location and tell them more about the event happening down the street.
- I drove awareness with a $30 event ad in Facebook running for 6 days prior to the event, capturing over 200 interests.
- I designed and printed the materials, mainly a few posters and handouts.
- Donations in the form of tables and table cloths were requested and fulfilled, thank you!
- Photography was one of the hardest pieces to nail down, but thanks to Andrew Rodriguez, we got all these amazing photos you see here. Texting the night before and putting out an SOS really does work sometimes!
- Given the bright background and all the vendor's showcases, I wanted our vendors' booths to shine and not distract from the wall. The only decor pulled together was large green balloons. The goal of the green balloons was to guide those at the other part of Second Saturday down the street to the wall where we were set up. The balloons may not have been the best idea, given it was windy and there were a lot of pokey things around where I placed them. Also, the helium tanks from Target are a joke! I need the heavy duty ones my mom used when she was a clown (another story for another day). Oh well! They looked good while they lasted!
- Lastly, don't give up. I really wanted a food truck to be there. We had sno cones, but I wanted some substantial food options. Unfortunatly, nothing panned out since all food trucks in Kern County were booked 🤔 for 10-2 on Saturday, but you better believe I was hunting each of them down and emailing, Facebook messaging and texting until the day before. Even without the food trucks, it was a great event.
To drive this home, putting the event on was a great learning process for me. I've been doing corporate events for years but never felt personally tied to or excited about. Sure, I wanted those events to succeed and to do a good job, but I was just a cog in the broader political wheel of a big company. This was something different. I think it boils down to the fact that I wanted to show that our downtown and people are worth celebrating and I took it personally. I took it as I'm providing a platform for others to share what their passionate about with our community which not only brings them up but the city as a whole.
Sure, I wanted it bigger. I wanted more vendors. I wanted people to see creativity. To just show up. To support those like Jeran who are doing amazing things for this town and elevating our design cred. I wanted people to come from other parts of town and see what cool things are happening downtown. I want them to see what I see and be excited.
But, this is a start. A really cool one.