These days, so much of our lives are centered around the Internet. After all, you’re reading this on a computer or mobile device right now, right?? While we love it – we’re endlessly inspired by beautiful homes and festive gatherings – we sometimes worry that we’re too invested. There comes a time when you need to head back to reality and apply all the fabulous things you’ve learned from your favorite blogs. Luckily, there’s one talented gal who is setting out to change that. Say hello to Popover… “the guide for finding and living a stylishly curated life inspired by conversations sparked over drinks and dinner among family and friends.” Founded by LA’s Jaclyn Giuliano, we admire the company’s unique approach to blogging, entertaining, and connecting.
Today, Jaclyn invites us to a spring party that fulfills all of Popover’s goals: great food, creative people, and amazing conversation. You’ll be inspired by the party (and snag a recipe to share), while Jaclyn’s approach to it all will forever change the way you look at entertaining:
First off, we’d love to know more about Popover. What is the concept?
Popover is the guide for finding and living a stylishly curated life inspired by conversations sparked over drinks and dinner among family and friends. I wanted to create a sense of community among readers who enjoy creating a fun lifestyle while providing content that is stylish yet attainable. Everything we do as a company is meant to be approachable rather than untouchable. Popover is comprised of the website, in person gatherings, and our newly established online shop which features a different “maker” each month.
We love it – it’s unlike anything else out there right now! What inspired you to get started?
I had kept a personal blog for some time, but felt that it was time to push myself creatively and really start turning my interests into a lifestyle company. I started the website so that I could build a community of readers and writers who could learn from each other by being introduced to new artisans, locations, recipes, and entertaining inspiration. There are a lot of lifestyle-centered platforms out there, but I wanted Popover to feel approachable like what was being read could be recreated at home and shared with others. Rather than only featuring one writer I sought out other creatives to share their stories and become part of the Popover community.
You mentioned blogging… What else were you doing before you launched?
My husband and I moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan for several years and while I was there I worked in marketing and design for the commercial interiors industry. I was still writing my personal blog then, but soon transitioned everything into the launch of Popover. After moving back to Los Angeles I switched companies, staying in the same industry. Working with the design community is what continues to inspire the topics shared on Popover and has introduced me to so many creative people and entrepreneurs.
What has been your greatest lesson since starting Popover?
I think I’ve become really good and putting Popover and myself out there by reaching out to those I want to collaborate with, essentially taking on a business development role. The worst that can happen is that you don’t get a response from someone, which in the scheme of things isn’t a big deal. I’ve also learned to stay true to my voice and vision. It’s easy to compare yourself to other business owners out there, but everyone has their own style and I’m learning to let Popover’s speak for itself.
Do you have any memorable or favorite moments?
When I decided to host the first Popover gathering I had no idea what to expect and took on everything from the décor to the food myself… yes, even the food! I was so nervous, but once everyone started arriving and mingling I witnessed exactly what Popover was created for, a group of interesting people sharing stories with each other, laughing, and creating a beautiful scene around a dinner table. I was overwhelmed with happiness when the photos came back and knew that I was on the right track.
We love that! Tell us about this event. What was the inspiration?
This event was inspired by a family meal and I wanted to highlight the guests actually eating, drinking, and talking. I told everyone to actually eat, not just pretend to sit and an untouched table. I set a long table so everyone could eat together and then prepared fresh spring food that could be shared family style. I used gauzy linen, plant leaves, and wood accents to highlight nature, while the open loft provided the perfect wash of light and slightly undone feel. The vision was a family lunch where the beauty was in the aftermath of the meal, rather than the initial set up.
It turned out beautifully! Any menu items you can share?
Most of the ingredients were purchased that morning at the farmers market so everything was very fresh and seasonal. One of the recipes in particular that was a hit was a quinoa, tomato, lemon, and avocado salad that was served chilled. (You can find the recipe here.) I always make big batches of this and bring it to potlucks, picnics, or just keep it in the fridge for leftovers.
Now, let’s talk about ambiance. What is the perfect playlist to accompany this party?
I am a big fan of Rdio and Spotify playlists, but I think bands like Tame Impala and Father John Misty provide the perfect bohemian feel while staying upbeat.
Finally, what are your TOP 5 TIPS for the perfect party?
- Consider the guest list! Try to match people with similar interests who may not know each other. Everyone likes to meet someone new so switch up the usual cast with some new faces.
- Don’t make everything yourself and think ahead. I’ve learned this the hard way and ended up running around frantically before everyone came. Things like puff pastry tarts are easy to assemble and can sit in the fridge until they are ready to bake or go to a local bakery to pick up cookies for a dessert instead of baking something.
- Get guests involved. Reserve some simple tasks for them like slicing the bread or choosing which wine to open. For one casual dinner I asked a group to set the table however they liked. This limits awkward hovering and puts everyone at ease quickly.
- Think of an activity if it’s a cocktail party. Guests don’t always entertain themselves so get everyone involved by partaking in something like a blind whiskey tasting or a s’mores night around an outdoor fire pit.
- Toast yourself before everyone arrives. The best parties start when my husband and I enjoy a glass of champagne together after everything is in place and we have a moment to breath before the doorbell rings.
To learn more about Popover, click here.
Paper Goods: Soda Paper Co.
Location: The Unique Space
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