An Interview with Soda Pop PR Owner Dyan Dolfi-Offutt

Sarah Higgins, the talented graphic designer, photographer and blogger behind Sarah in Pursuit, shared a lovely interview with our boss lady and Soda Pop PR Owner Dyan Dolfi-Offutt this week on her blog. The blog documents Sarah’s pursuit of a creative and fulfilling life through beautiful photos, inspiring interviews with creative entrepreneurs and more. After meeting Dyan at Create + Cultivate this past summer, Sarah reached out to hear Dyan’s story on what it’s like to start and successfully run your own company.

We’re huge fans of Sarah’s work and honored to be featured! Be sure to check out the full interview with Dyan here: http://www.sarahinpursuit.com/meet-business-soda-pop-pr/.

We definitely recommend following Sarah’s beautiful gallery on Instagram at @sarah_inpursuit as well!

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Why We Feast

We love any excuse to travel to Portland, but our absolute fave time of year to visit our home away from home is during Feast Portland, the flagship food and drink festival of the Pacific Northwest. This year’s four-day celebration featured our amazing clients and local culinary staples Tillamook, Union Wine Company, QUIN and Salt & Straw. Feast your eyes on our highlights below and you’ll see why we look forward to this party every year:

Union Wine’s deliciously sweet ‘hood juice’ made with fresh strawberries, limes and Kings Ridge Riesling helped kick off the festivities at the Sandwich Invitational, where we sampled a variety of perfectly toasted grilled cheese sandwiches made with Tillamook Cheese and Dave’s Killer Bread. For dessert, Salt & Straw’s open-faced ice cream sandwich took the classic PB&J up about 10,000 notches and won them the People’s Choice Award. Congrats Tyler!

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(Photo Credit: Carley Rudd)

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(Photo Credit: David L. Reamer)

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(Photo Credit: Carley Rudd)

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(Photo Credit: David L. Reamer)

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(Photo Credit: Carley Rudd)

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(Photo Credit: Carley Rudd)

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(Photo Credit: David L. Reamer)

Another Feast favorite, the Night Market, took us to a new area of town called Zidell Yards along the Willamette River. The internationally themed open-air market featured bites from Pok Pok, Ox Restaurant, Nong’s Khao Man Gai, Animal, Uchi and more. Perhaps the most unexpected collaboration (and our personal favorite) was between Union Wine Co., QUIN, Salt & Straw, Jacobsen Salt and Aviation Gin. We can now say that we’ve tried (and loved!) Pinot Noir cotton candy, caramel corn finished with Riesling Jacobsen Salt and an Aviation Gin Baked Alaska with Pinot Noir Salt & Straw ice cream.

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(Photo Credit: David L. Reamer)

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(Photo Credit: David L. Reamer)

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(Photo Credit: David L. Reamer)

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(Photo Credit: Julia Saltzman)

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(Photo Credit: David L. Reamer)

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(Photo Credit: David L. Reamer)

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(Photo Credit: David L. Reamer)

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(Photo Credit: David L. Reamer)

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(Photo Credit: David L. Reamer)

Between QUIN’s candy making class and Tillamook’s Comfort Call delivering ice cream Tillabars on demand, we certainly had a sweet time from morning to night.

In typical Portland fashion, Sunday was dedicated to brunching. The Tillamook Brunch Village was the perfect send off, with a Whole Foods Bloody Mary bar, Tillamook sour cream and cheddar biscuits and Franklin Barbecue brisket tacos.

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Now let the juice cleanse begin. Until next year Feast!

#CANDYISMAGIC

This past Monday we had the pleasure of hosting a candy and cocktail celebration with the lovely Jami Curl, owner of QUIN candy. Guests joined us on the beautiful Cliff’s Edge patio where they sampled sweets from the QUIN candy bar, enjoyed delicious cocktail pairings and got their hands a little sticky during a candy-making demo.

Here’s an inside look at of what went down:

Bloggers Candy Bar 2Table set upDyan & LMEC Gift bags & Patio Gift bags Guests having funIphone & Candy Jami & LMEC Jami being awesome

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Shouldn’t every week start out this sweet? We think so! A special thank you to the wildly creative décor team Wylie West Creative &  Sarah Simms Hendrix, the generous Cliff’s Edge team, photographer extraordinaire Katherine Sheehan, and the talented and always inspiring Jami Curl for making it a magical evening.

For more of an inside look, check out the hashtag, #candyismagic on Instagram and be sure to follow Jami @sprinklefingers and QUIN @quincandypdx.

SPPR at Create + Cultivate

CC signWe couldn’t be more proud of our dear friend and (NO SUBJECT) founder Jaclyn Johnson and her fabulous team including Nikia Rodriguez and Eileen Lee for coordinating another beautiful and inspiring Create + Cultivate (and their largest to date)! In partnership with one of our favorite publications, Darling Magazine, this year’s event was held at the Ace Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles and featured a carefully curated group of creative guest speakers and workshops.

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The Soda Pop PR team attended day one of the two day event and took home several valuable insights from the bloggers, photographers, writers and DIYers we met. In case you missed it, below are a few highlights from the event.

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Crafting with Leah Bergman of Freutcake and Kelly Lanza of Studio DIY. Our lives’ were not complete until we learned how to make a taco piñata. Seriously, so fun!

PhotoBoothAs a company of women, we were particularly compelled by speaker Alexis Jones of I AM THAT GIRL asking, “Why does Girl Scouts stop just before you need it most?” Alexis challenges women to stop comparing our lives’ to the illusory personas we see on social media and instead take time to gather and discuss our real challenges with each other. She believes that the best way to build ones confidence is by contributing to society not by collecting accolades and titles. Now that’s a belief we can get behind and constantly strive to practice in our own lives.

The inspiration continued as we heard from Caitlyn Crosby of The Giving Keys, a jewelry company that helps transition people out of homelessness by giving them jobs to repurpose keys into one-of-a-kind pieces. We will also never forget Jana Williams and her talk on practicing happiness. Jana’s open and honest personal story was touching and she reminded us that happiness is like a muscle. It needs flexing to stay in the best shape.

HabitatFactory(Shops on wheels make us smile. Loved meeting Katherine of The Habitat Factory, a pop up shop selling the coolest handcrafted goods.)

Additionally, our own Dyan Dolfi-Offutt hosted a special PR Boot Camp where she provided an introduction to Public Relations and answered questions on how PR can benefit brands of all sizes. We were blown away by the amount of genuine interaction and hope everyone walked away with renewed confidence in presenting their brands authentically.

On top of all the day’s learnings, we mostly appreciated the opportunity to connect with such an ambitious group of women that we look forward to growing relationships with. We want to thank everyone who attended our PR Boot Camp and all those who contributed to making this Create + Cultivate truly inspiring.

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Tillamook Takes Us to the Farm

For Tillamook’s second annual Blog2Farm summit we invited 12 of our favorite bloggers from across the West to join us for a fun, educational, and of course delicious trip to the farmer-owned co-op’s home in the Pacific Northwest.  The trip was a dream come true for any Tillamook fan (including us!) so we hope you’ll enjoy our recap of last week’s behind-the-scenes Tillamook experience.

To kick off the fun, Tillamook welcomed the group with the Tillamook Ice Cream Truck – followed by an amazing spread of dishes made with Tillamook products at Imperial in Portland.

TillamookICTruck(Image courtesy of 52kitchenadventures)

The next day we traveled to the Tillamook Cheese Factory, the top tourism destination on the Oregon Coast, to learn how Tillamook cheese is made and tested for quality. Of course, there was plenty of sampling as well, including a taste of some new products that are set to launch next year. Shh, that’s a secret!

BeckyFactory(This was Becky’s first trip to the Tillamook Cheese Factory!)

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(Tillamook Manager of Product Quality, Jill Allen,
demonstrating how she tests blocks of cheese)

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(Dyan, Kelly and Becky having some fun with Yum 101)

After an informative day with Tillamook product experts, we wanted to give the group a taste of the lush farmland and idyllic Oregon Coast as well, which is as much a part of the brand as the products. From firsthand experience, we can tell you that nothing feels more Oregon than cracking open a wheel of Tillamook 105th Anniversary Vintage Extra Sharp White Cheddar along with a can of Union Wine Co.’s wine in a can and relaxing with your toes in the sand at the Inn at Cape Kiwanda.

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(S’mores and Tillabars on the beach)

To conclude the experience, we brought bloggers to one of the farms where top-quality milk is sourced for Tillamook cheese, ice cream, yogurt, butter and sour cream. Meeting the cows who provide for our favorite dairy treats as well as the farmers who take care of them strengthened our appreciation even more for the consideration Tillamook puts into ensuring they make the highest quality products every day.

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(Wendy and Ryan with ‘the ladies’)

We are so blessed to get these opportunities to interact and share Tillamook’s story with the women whose blogs we admire so much. We made so many fun memories with these lovely ladies. Thank you so much for coming Stephanie, Lisa, Dorothy, Anita, Glory, Heather, Liren, Des, Jesseca, Rachael, Jane and Lizzy!

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And a big thank you goes out to Tillamook’s Katie, Gillian, Amalya and Henry V Events for partnering with us to coordinate another unforgettable event!

How Sweet It Is!

Soda Pop’s client roster just got a little bit sweeter with the latest addition of Portland-based candy connoisseur, QUIN. As you all know, we have an affinity for quality Oregon products, and QUIN is no exception.

Owner and Founder Jami Curl started QUIN with the goal to “make candy for today that has the uncanny ability to tug at the heartstrings of yesterday.” Using only the freshest Oregon ingredients, her candy and creative business approach have earned her many accolades including being named Fast Company magazine’s 71st most creative person in business in 2014.

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Jami is a true pleasure to be working with and we’ve got some exciting collaborations and events coming up where you can get a taste of QUIN candy and meet Jami for yourself:

  • Thursday, August 14th join Jami Curl at the Hammer Museum from 6-8pm for an evening of candy tasting and learn more about Curl’s small batch candy making process.
  • Saturday, August 23 enjoy samples of QUIN candy lollipops at this year’s Create & Cultivate workshop series at the Ace Hotel in downtown LA.

Stay tuned for more to come and keep an eye out for QUIN’s latest product, Sour Supreme, complete with hard-candy sticks and a sour dipping powder called Magic Dust! (The Wall Street Journal just gave it a little nod here).

To get a peek inside the sweet life, follow all of QUIN’s fun happenings online and join the #candyismagic movement:

Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Jami’s Instagram

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(Photo credit: Maggie Hudson, Honeysuckle Photography)

5 Questions with SPPR Featuring Bliss Bratton

We’re thrilled to welcome Bliss Bratton as the newest Soda Pop PR summer intern. Following in the footsteps of her aunt, (our own Dyan Dolfi-Offutt!) Bliss is pursuing a career in public relations and will complete her AD/PR degree at the University of Arkansas in 2015. Take a peek at our interview with her below to learn more about her plans for summer in LA, passion for social media and love of Justin Bieber.

Please join us in wishing Bliss a very happy birthday today!

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1. What is it about PR that intrigued you to pursue a degree in this field?

There are many different aspects of PR. I like that PR is flexible and constantly changing. The social media aspect is also something that intrigues me about this field because like many young women my age…I love social media! I wanted to pursue a degree in a field that was going to be growing and changing with the times. I think in the end I chose PR because it seemed like a fun major with endless possibilities.

2. What do you hope to learn from your internship at Soda Pop?

I hope to learn what it really feels like to be a part of a PR firm’s team. I want to gain a better understanding of what it actually takes to make it in this field. I am excited to see the process of taking a product promotion from inception to final kick off. The hands-on aspect will be invaluable to me in my future career pursuits. I also am very interested in seeing how social media plays a part in the industry.

3. What’s on your list of things to do in LA while you’re here?

I definitely want to go back to Venice beach. I haven’t been there in years, but I think now that I’m older I will have a greater appreciation for the art and creativity. I would love to make a stop at the Santa Monica Pier. Shopping is also on the top of my list! I am hoping to hit some of the smaller boutiques and hopefully an Urban Outfitters (there’s no such thing in Arkansas!). If I see Justin Bieber while I’m here I will die!!!!

4. Summer is for travel. Tell us about your best vacation ever.

The best vacation I ever had was my high school senior trip to Italy and Greece. A group of my high school friends and I took a 10-day journey to Europe where we ventured to Athens, Florence, Rome and many smaller cities. The best part of the trip was visiting Capri. I have never seen beauty like that in my life! The water is the brightest color of blue I have ever seen. It was the greatest experience visiting some of the most interesting places in the world with some of my best friends before we parted ways for college. Some of those friends I haven’t seen since that trip, so I hold the memories close to my heart.

5. When you’re not in school, you can be found ______.

You can find me in my bed. I am one of those people that can stay in bed all day every day. It’s not that I’m lazy, I would just rather get things done while in my bed as opposed to my desk or kitchen table. My mom always says that the first place she can find me when I get home from school is cuddled up in my bed with my stuffed bunny (yes, at 22 I still sleep with a stuffed animal).