2020 has been a lot of things, but most interestingly, it has become the year to find your tribe.  Navigating the waters around COVID-19, people have changed their perspective around the event landscape.  In the beginning, it felt like everyone had pressed pause on their life while they waited for things to return to normal.  After a few months, businesses began to pivot into a middle ground of sorts with live-stream events, ZOOM happy hours and the return of phone calls versus text messages. 

But what now? 

It seems that we have naturally sought out to find our tribes. Perhaps this was initially based on family and close friends, but over the last few months, it has extended into our like-minded counterparts, including preferences around politics, civil rights, and even opinions around masks.  Those circles we have created have become safe in our minds.  We somehow psychologically feel safe around those people.  These small groups have become our comfort space at our homes or on small vacations.  There is something safe about knowing people.  Perhaps it’s being able to ask the questions that trace back where the person has been, but ultimately it’s become our new “norm.”

Events have pivoted into micro-events and have become teeny tiny expressions of what we thought we needed in the past. Elopements are on the rise. Guest lists have changed from including your mother’s book club friend to now only consisting  of our individual tribes. These events are not even being managed as they were 6 months ago, with all the individual vendors the clients recruited who come together to try to create a vision.  Now, people are leaning towards a “business tribe” of sorts.  Requesting package deals that include all of the details from the photographer to the caterer, venue, florist, decor, DJ, and event planner.  

(Credits: SWAY Events-Planning & Design, Make A Scene-Party Decor and Prop Rental, Creative Coverings – Luxury Linen Rental, Kings Legacy Catering, Nalini’s Flowers and Decor-Floral, The Meaningful Details- Decor Rental, TezDidIt-Photography, Tried & True Events – Sweets table design, Bells Pastries – Desserts, Urban Salt Productions & Katrina Eileen Real Estate -Venue)

Independent small businesses have an opportunity here to partner up with their favorite vendors and offer these shared vision packages. These packages can make life for the client simpler, a far cry from the less desirable business model that was prior.   The impact for clients in 2020 was staggering.  Some vendors offered rescheduling when possible, some refused refunds, some offered refunds in full, all of which left clients right where they started, but almost always losing some of the money they invested into their summer plans. 

Boutique Real Estate Owner, Katrina Eileen Romatowski, owns a retro bungalow in what some call the center of the universe, Fremont, WA.  Her entrepreneurial spirit transcends through her company into what she calls, “for profit for purpose.”  To pivot your life and income into more than just a  means to an end, and  finding a greater purpose in all that you do, let’s change the old narrative into one where we are all to living the life we were meant to be living all the while giving back to our community.

The warmth of Katrina’s quirky old building creates a  juju of sorts. Some would say there is a sort of gravitational pull that makes you want to stay and never return..  She brainstormed with some of her tribe, Tiffany Brown and Misha Jam of Urban Salt Productions, who fell in love with the energy of the space. Katrina shared the story of how she purchased the property from an iconic Seattle music venue owner who had initially bought it to tear it down, but couldn’t because it has its own “heartbeat.”

(Credits: SWAY Events-Planning & Design, Make A Scene-Party Decor and Prop Rental, Creative Coverings – Luxury Linen Rental, Kings Legacy Catering, Nalini’s Flowers and Decor-Floral, The Meaningful Details- Decor Rental, TezDidIt-Photography, Tried & True Events – Sweets table design, Bells Pastries – Desserts, Urban Salt Productions & Katrina Eileen Real Estate -Venue)

They quickly realized that this space was exactly what Seattle needed.  A micro-venue that was ready to host events to people’s individual tribes.  Since they already produce events in the Seattle market, they realized that they could take this a step further.  Creating a new space that could sometimes be rented out by word of mouth only and could regularly function as a private social speakeasy house.  The door on the outside of the space has no handle and no easily identifiable markings – making it perfect for privacy.  Once inside, the courtyard serves as a mini-vacation that can transport you anywhere you dream to be, with themed catering and staging.  

Currently, they are creating their tribe of vendors that will work together to create packages for those people looking for an artistic and funky space where they can feel safe with their friends.  They are offering a members-only model for the speakeasy to keep things at a micro-scale and to help members have a safe gathering space.  They are anticipating opening as soon as 20 people can gather.  

How do you learn more about these upcoming events at the hidden speakeasy?  You can contact urbansaltproductions@gmail.com to request to be included on a private invitation list for some events, but most events will be structured for members only.  They will rent out the space, but on a case by case basis.

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