A few weeks back one of Chad’s oldest childhood friends had us help him plan a proposal to the love of his life.We decided on spending a weekend together in the most romantic place we could think of (and our favorite city in California) Carmel-By-The-Sea.
He said he wanted to propose while walking on the beach and I knew I had to plan something special for immediately after she said YES. I thought it would be so cute to have a picnic company set up a pop up picnic for us! That’s how I found Hailey Romero the owner of Golden Sea Pop Up Picnics.
Hailey is 27 years old and lives with her husband Juan and little Dachshund, Leo, in Santa Cruz. She is from the East Bay but has lived in Hawaii, San Francisco, San Diego and now Santa Cruz. Before Hailey started Golden Sea Picnics, she worked as a server in restaurants, as a yoga teacher, in tech sales, beverage industry marketing, as a nanny and dog walker. These previous client-facing jobs have definitely led her to where she is today and offered an array of experiences! Hailey loves to cook (especially baked goods), is an amateur tennis player and an avid beach goer! When she is not setting up perfect beach picnics, she is either running with Leo, surfing, or shell hunting. In her free time she loves to binge The Bachelor and 90 Day Fiance!
When I saw Hailey’s work and showed our friend her page, we both knew we HAD to have her be apart of this special day. Let me just say, Hailey is AWESOME and went totally above and beyond for us from the decor to taking the BEST photos of the engagement.
After the picnic Hailey and I got to chatting and I learned she recently started Golden Sea Pop Up Picnics when they moved to Santa Cruz. I wanted to interview her for the blog because I love learning from other women entrepreneurs.
Hailey describes Golden Sea Picnics as a luxury, boho and romantic pop-up picnic business perfect for special events, proposals, bachelorettes, anniversaries, birthdays, etc around Santa Cruz, the South Bay, San Francisco and the Bay Area. The picnic set ups include a picnic table, pillows, rugs, an umbrella, mood lighting, floral centerpieces, place settings, a bluetooth speaker, board games, handcrafted charcuterie boards, and drinks. All you have to do is show up!
She also hosts charcuterie classes in her backyard garden in Santa Cruz for anyone who would like to learn how to create a Pinterest worthy charcuterie board for their next event! In these classes Hailey shows you how to create a classic charcuterie board from start to finish, including what components to include, what flavors pair well together, and shares design tips on how to arrange each ingredient on the board for maximum aesthetic and flavor.
I asked Hailey where she got the inspiration for Golden Sea Picnics and what led her into opening up her own business. The next is best described in her own words as I couldn’t relate more and am so inspired by her!
Hailey: I have been interested in starting my own business since I was in elementary school! I remember making “Muddy Buddies” (which were chex mix covered in peanut butter, chocolate and sugar) at home and would stuff them in my backpack and sell them to kids in my class. My favorite weekend activity would be going to the park and selling baked goods and drinks at lemonade stands.
As I got older, graduated college and started working in the corporate world, I kept feeling that entrepreneurial itch to quit my job and start my own business… I just didn’t know what that business was yet! A light went off at my Bachelorette party (of all times 😂) when my maid of honor surprised us with a beautiful pop-up picnic by the beach in San Diego. This picnic was the highlight of the weekend and I was in awe of how much some picnic decor and charcuterie boards could turn a typical afternoon at the beach into a special experience that I would never forget. I realized then that I wanted to give people the same memorable experience that I had in San Diego, up in NorCal! I also realized that pop-up picnics combined a little bit of all of my interests and talents; I had always had a knack for design, I majored in Hospitality in college in Hawaii, I have always enjoyed making charcuterie boards for events, and I love any reason to be outdoors! It was a win, win!
The most rewarding part of this business has been seeing the look on the faces of my clients when they walk up and realize the picnic is for them! Many clients book picnics for proposals, anniversary or bachelorette party surprises. It is so rewarding to see the look of excitement and awe on the fiance, bride-to-be or friend’s face when they realize that their loved one booked a beautiful picnic for them and kept it a surprise!
I know we all felt that awe and amazement at our pop up picnic with Golden Sea Picnics. It was the perfect place to celebrate our two special friends on one of the biggest days in their life. The champagne was flowing, we were so comfortable on the beach enjoying our charcuterie treats with the most picaresque view of the waves crashing on our private little area of the beach. It was an absolutely perfect day.
One reason I love connecting with other women entrepreneurs and sharing their insight on the blog is because there is SO much to learn from them! Starting your own business is not just scary, it’s overwhelming and when imposter syndrome starts to creep in it could be hard to keep up the momentum. In most of Tony Robbin’s videos and speeches he always stresses the importance of learning from masters so you can get ahead, learn how to avoid failure, and become skilled at a new venture without having to put in the 10,000+ hours to become a “master”. He stresses the importance of asking questions, and always be willing to learn. So I asked Hailey what is one piece of advice she would give someone starting their own business?
Hailey: It can be intimidating to start a business so just start small, one step at a time! Make a list of what you want to accomplish in a week, and start crossing it off. For me, my first list included: Creating a logo (I used Fiverr, which I highly recommend), researching and buying picnic tables, pillows, blankets, plates and glasses, and starting the website (I used Squarespace which is very intuitive and has aesthetic preset layouts). Once I completed these steps, I was financially invested so it motivated me more to continue on with finishing the website, creating my Instagram, fine-tuning the charcuterie boards, etc. so I could start booking picnics to recoup my investment. I would also recommend bringing up the fact that you are starting a business to as many people as you can! By doing this, I received so many great pieces of advice and it resulted in some future bookings as well!
Guys- this advice is GOLDEN (no pun intended). Get your idea on paper and then force yourself to get financially invested so you have no other choice but to KEEP GOING. I think that that is the difference between and idea and a business. When you spend your first dollar towards building it and investing in yourself is when you truly have started the journey of entrepreneurship. I knew I loved Hailey when I heard her and her husband Juan also binge watch 90 Day Fiance but after hearing this, I think I have found my new #girlcrush 😍
And because I know motivation can be hard to keep up at times (even when financially invested) I asked Hailey to share with us where she finds her motivation and inspiration to keep growing and building her dream business.
Hailey: My biggest motivator is my husband, Juan! He has been there with me helping set up and take down almost every picnic as has believed in my business from the start (more than I believed in it at times). My mom and sister and friends here in Santa Cruz are also my biggest cheerleaders and supporters – always sharing my business in person and on social media. I am so grateful for them!!
I am honestly just so impressed with Hailey and Golden Sea Picnics all around. Not only are her picnics absolutely breathtaking, but they are affordable and her communication is outstanding. She never made me feel like I was annoying when planning out the decor and was so communicative the day of making sure we were on the same timeframe and dropping me a pin so I knew exactly where we could find her. She is going to BLOW UP and is already booking for most weekends. If you are in the area planning a special event, make sure to reach out asap and secure your date! She services Santa Cruz, San Francisco, South Bay, Monterey, Carmel, East Bay and is wonderful at helping you decide on the perfect location.She has a few recommended locations in beautiful, off-the-beaten-path spots, but she can also accommodate any requested location in the areas she serves!
You can find Hailey at @goldenseapicnics on Instagram and if you are in the Northern California/Bay Area you need to RUN to her website now and secure your date. No matter what the occasion is, Golden Sea Picnics will up-level it and turn it into a day you will never forget.
Thank you Hailey for chatting with us today and sharing your insight into entrepreneurship. I can’t wait to follow along and watch you continue to grow being inspired by every big step you take.