They say curiosity is the mother of invention. The same could be said about creativity. So, when Jam Bagwanedee and her partner, Stuart, were talking about what they would do if they had side hustles, the conversation of outside dining entered the picture.
“Dining outside used to be a big thing. My partner, Stuart, is British, and this idea of outside dining, picnics, enjoying the fresh air, is a part of their culture as well,” she says.
It is with this thought that the idea for Picnic PopUp was born.
“We wanted to leverage the beautiful landscape we have here in Middle Tennessee. There are so many places to go,” Bagwanedee says. “Then COVID happened. We were actually going to bag the idea but realized we could go to different locations and actually thought this might be the perfect time. People are spending more time as families. You could do this while being safe and socially distanced. It seemed like it could work.”
Picnic PopUp launched in June, and while the conversation to start it began before the pandemic, the decision to carry on with it after the world shut down seemed to make sense.
“We talked about how great it would be if you just showed up at a cool location and a beautiful picnic was already set up for you. We’ve scouted locations in advance,” Bagwanedee says.
This concept is perfect for a special occasion or to just try something different. The team works one on one with each client to curate an experience that matches what they are hoping to achieve.
“If someone wants a particular place for their picnic, we would check it out to plan something,” Bagwanedee says. “We show up 45 minutes to one hour ahead, set up the ‘picnic-scape’ that the client has chosen, and it is set up and perfectly placed for when they arrive.”
Having only been open a few months and knowing that gatherings are a little different for the moment, this personalized touch of a private picnic is a wonderful way for people to get out, try a new setting and have some private time.
Picnic PopUp provides the décor and picnic settings only. All food is the responsibility of the picnic goer, or they can use Picnic PopUp’s catering partner, Willco Wine & Cheese.
“We recently did a 20th anniversary surprise for a client,” Bagwanedee says. “We loved putting special touches on that, and the person being surprised was thrilled at the site of the beautiful experience.”
A curated experience is really what Picnic PopUp is offering — special touches, creative presentations and more for birthdays, anniversary celebrations, proposals, graduation celebrations and more. The experience is a part of what clients will remember.
Jam and Stuart are both full-time professionals and are rather busy, but this addition has been a nice surprise and a great outlet to relieve stress. Weekday experiences are handled by college students helping out, and the weekend experiences are handled by the family.
They started with a couple of themes they thought would be attractive to people:
1. Just a Kiss — An unexpected way to celebrate your partner or pop the question, this gorgeous Picnic PopUp enchants with unforgettable romance. This picnic experience includes many special touches including a rustic table, plush pillows, fairy lights and fresh flowers.
2. The Playdate — Everyone deserves a perfect playdate! Great for kids and adults alike, this elegantly casual popup turns any day into “Sunday Funday.” This picnic experience includes kid-friendly table settings, whimsical paper lanterns, bubble wands, fresh flowers and lounge pillows.
3. Southern Charm — Whether you’re visiting or call Nashville home, relax and reconnect with a Picnic PopUp inspired by Nashville’s rustic Southern charm. This picnic experience includes a rustic low table, quirky bird cages, a Nashville sign, fresh flowers and Southern-inspired place settings.
4. Glam it Up — Perfect for a gal pal get-together or a magical moment with friends. Relax, chat and make a statement in this next-level, Instagram-worthy lounge. This picnic includes a unique table setting with luxe pillows, fresh flowers and glam decor that is sure to impress.
All of these themes come with their own beautiful décor setup to fit the client’s needs.
“We just launched Picnic PupUp for pet lovers,” Bagwanedee says “We absolutely love our pets. They pretty much go everywhere with us.
“The Picnic PupUp just launched in August. The month of August has been called Dogust, so if you have adopted a dog and are unsure of your pet’s birthdate, Dogust is the month to celebrate. We will donate a portion of the proceeds to help pets find their forever home. The picnic is themed to that. Human place settings, pet bowls, treats and more.”
MagnifyU Photography is their photo partner and works to capture the beauty and uniqueness of the experiences they offer. Picnic PopUp has also done some awareness campaigns with social media influencers to get the word out. Word of mouth is key in helping the idea spread about this outdoor experience.
“My favorite theme is ‘Just a Kiss,’ Bagwanedee says. “We recently did one at Centennial Park in Nashville for an anniversary celebration. I love just getting to know the people, hearing their stories, feeling the love.”
Currently, Picnic PopUp focuses their efforts in the Franklin, Brentwood and Nashville areas, however, they are open to other locations. If you have a special place that is outside of the normal scouted areas, call and consult with them. They want to make your experience happen if at all possible.
“It’s more about curating an experience and making it memorable,” Bagwanedee says. “That’s the factor that we’re offering and looking to accomplish with these picnics. We want to help you by upping your picnic game.”
Each picnic is a two-hour experience for up to four people, costing $215. Additional guests are $25 per person. The special event includes a fully styled tablescape with place settings, fresh flowers and themed décor.
For more information, visit www.picnicpopup.com.