SPPR Fun: Sparkling Wine Tasting

This week we broke out the confetti to turn a sparkling wine tasting into a surprise birthday celebration for the lovely Kelly Johnston. In honor of our favorite gluten-free foodie, we paired three bottles with a local favorite: fonuts. Nothing like a little afternoon bubbly to make the work day fly by!

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It was hard to pick an office favorite on this one. The Brut Rosé from Le Grand Courtage was dubbed “dangerously drinkable” and it’s no secret that the SPPR team is partial to pink. The stone fruit flavors of La Perle from Perle De Ma Mere went well with our lemon fonuts and provided a nice contrast to mineral and citrus notes in the clean flavor of Vincent Caille Domaine le Fay d’Homme ‘X Bulles’ which wins for loudest “pop” on opening. One thing is for sure, pairing bubbly with baked goods is definitely the way to our hearts.

Stay tuned for our next office adventure: a trip to the Rain Room at LACMA and follow along with all of our snacking and sipping on Instagram @sodapoppr

5 Questions with SPPR- Girl Boss Edition: featuring Dyan Dolfi-Offutt

Beyoncé said it best when she asked “who run the world?” and at SPPR we never underestimate the magic of girl power. In honor of all the strong female role models in our lives, we are excited to kick off a new series “5 Questions with SPPR: Girl Boss Edition” to find out what it really takes to be a woman in charge. This week we’re starting with Soda Pop PR’s own fearless leader Dyan Dolfi-Offutt as she gets real about breaking the rules, staying feisty and why she loves Amy Poehler.

Photo 11. When did you first start to think like a boss?

I’m pretty sure I came out of the womb thinking like a boss. I got the leadership gene from my mother, who was one hell of a boss. I worked for her during high school and college and learned firsthand how to earn respect by working hard, setting boundaries and creating a culture that cultivates respect, understanding and fun.

Photo 22. Girl bosses aren’t afraid to take chances or bend the rules, what was a memorable moment when taking a risk paid off for you?

Bending the rules is the most fun and it’s hard to be successful playing it safe. The best work comes from risk, trying new things and having the gumption to follow your gut. I took a big risk opening Soda Pop. At the time, I had one client who put their trust in me with a sizeable amount of business. I didn’t have time to second guess my decision because there was work to be done. I used LegalZoom to become a legit business, got insurance, met with an accountant…a month later, Soda Pop was born. A few months later I hired my first two employees, made a trip to Ikea, and opened up shop. We’re going into our 5th year of business and I still get a bit of nervous stomach thinking back on what a whirlwind it was but eternally grateful for how it all worked out.

Photo 33. What are a few of the most important lessons you’ve learned from having your own business?

I learn lessons daily. It’s one of the humbling and motivating aspects of owning a business. These are a few of the biggies.

It’s okay to freak out! – Any small business owner that tells you it’s easy, breezy is straight up lying to you. You will second guess yourself and think it will all come crashing down around you, especially in the first few years. But then this beautiful thing happens, you start to build a reputation for doing great work and your confidence grows. You’ll still have your “moments” but they will be more about protecting your team and what you’ve worked so hard for than fear-based.

Under promise and over deliver – Anyone who knows me would say I like to “keep it real” and that translates to my business. I’m not a flashy person and winning business by name-dropping or over promising is not my style. I’d like to think our clients continue to work with us because we’re constantly hustling to exceed expectations.

Be smart with your money – Hire a good accountant and bookkeeper. I’m still learning how it all works from the business side of things but I hired a bookkeeper last year and it’s been such a help. Spend smart! Invest in your team and put money back into your company.

Photo 44. Name one girl boss that you admire and how she inspires you?

There are a number of kickass women that inspire me but one that I have a major boss lady crush on is Amy Poehler. I’ve been a fan since her SNL days and have my Leslie Knope moments but it’s what she’s doing with Smart Girls that inspires me most. Smart Girls is all about being real and digging deeper. They are teaching young people that it’s okay to be yourself, that being weird is cool and intelligence is the true currency. Knowing there is an organization like Smart Girls out there motivates me to be better and do better.

Photo 55. Describe your Boss Lady style in 5 words.

Hands-on, Supportive, Decisive, Feisty, and Fun!

5 Questions with SPPR Featuring Anne Sage

This week, we’re pleased to welcome the lovely Anne Sage to join our fabulous list of guest “5 Questions with SPPR” contributors. A style maven, blogger and author of the recently released Sage Living: Decorate for the Life you Want, Anne’s been inspiring us since her days as co-founder of Rue Magazine. Read on for a few tips, tricks and #DesignGoals.

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All photos c/o Anne Sage

1. We love your new book Sage Living. Can you tell us how this 3 year project came to fruition?

It was a long journey to be sure! It all started when I left Rue Magazine. A friend introduced me to my literary agent, and we spent a year throwing around ideas until we had something that resonated deeply enough for me to spend a year of my life working on it! From there we put together a proposal and shopped it around to different publishers. I was thrilled when Chronicle Books wanted to work with me on this project! From there, I spent nine months scouting and shooting homes, interviewing homeowners and writing their stories, and then working with my editor and designer to refine the copy and layouts. A year after I delivered my manuscript, the book went on sale and the rest was history. Given my short Internet-induced attention span, I’m still amazed it all worked out!

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2. We happen to know from your recent Rue Magazine tour that your own home is gorgeous. In earlier days, did you ever make a big design decision that you ended up regretting?

I definitely don’t have any design decisions that I regret, because they’re all a reflection of where I was at a particular time in my life. But I definitely wouldn’t buy the tufted wingback sofa that I had in my Brooklyn apartment for my house here in LA!

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3. What is one way that decorating for the life you want has played out for you personally?

One of my most important values is a healthy relationship with my partner, one in which we both feel heard and respected. We’ve worked hard to make our place feel like a reflection of both of us, and I’m proud to say that we’ve received exactly that feedback from friends who have visited our home!

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4. Could you share a couple of your favorite sources for unique props and home goodies?

I love CB2 for cool, modern tabletop props that don’t break the bank. Coco Carpets does gorgeous, one-of-a-kind vintage Moroccan rugs for a hit of color and comfort. And finally, Brika is a great resource for handmade decor items like ceramics and textiles!

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5. What do you do when you need creative inspiration?

The best thing for me when I need creative inspiration is to get outside: a trip to the beach, a walk with the dogs, even a stroll down the high street of my neighborhood. Whether it is people watching or being with nature, it helps me to take my mind off whatever project I’m working on so my subconscious can assemble the missing pieces of the puzzle!

For a daily dose of design inspiration, check out Anne’s blog and follow her on Instagram.

SPPR Fun: Pumpkin Beer Tasting

The arrival of fall in Southern California is marked not with sweaters but with a deluge of pumpkin flavored things. This seasonal mania has even made its way into craft beer so this week, the SPPR team broke out the bottle opener for a pumpkin beer tasting. To make things official, we made our own Soda Pop PR tasting score cards and paired five of the most popular pumpkin brews with homemade pumpkin bread and some favorite fall snacks.


(From left to right: Dogfish Head, Almanac Beer Co., Belching Beaver, KBC Pumpkin Ale and Avery Brewing Co.)

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Our verdict: Not all pumpkin beers live up to the name. Avery Brewing Company’s Rumpkin was dubbed sweet and boozy and the Belching Beaver Pumpkin Spice Milk Stout would be even better with a scoop of vanilla ice cream but neither featured much pumpkin flavor. The Almanac Pumpkin Sour was an office favorite, a pumpkin beer for sour drinkers that could definitely win over wine lovers with its acidic taste. If you’re no stranger to pairing the words “Pumpkin Spice” with “Latte,” the KBC Pumpkin Ale is your pick. You can find this one at Trader Jo’s along with some dangerously addictive Maple Leaf Cookies. Cheers!

Stay tuned for our next office tasting: sparkling wine.

Follow along with all of our snacking and sipping on Instagram @sodapoppr

Paramount Coffee Project Arrives in LA

This week, the Soda Pop PR team was excited to work with Paramount Coffee Project (PCP) on the opening of their first U.S. shop. PCP brings together three big names in the Australian coffee scene: Jin Ng of Paramount House, Mark Dundon of Seven Seeds and Russell Beard of Reuben Hills for a collaborative concept that looks at coffee differently.

Opening on Fairfax Avenue tomorrow, PCP is a one-stop shop to explore unique roasting styles from around the world or finally learn once and for all what a pour over actually is. The eclectic menu includes fresh takes on favorite dishes (Avocado toast with charred corn, Jam Stuffed Lamington French Toast) and things you’ve probably never heard of but need to try (Khao Neow Dam Black Sticky Rice with berry cooli, Mezcal Cured Salmon Salad). Also, there’s a Vegemite & Butterscotch shake. We dare you.

Here’s a peek at the Instagram-worthy space which features a dog-friendly patio out back and an on-the-go window in the front. If you’re looking for us, we’ll be cozied up out back with a Pumpkin Pie Hot Chocolate.

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Dirty bird


All photos provided by PCP LA.

Keep up with PCP LA on Instagram @pcpfairfax and Twitter @pcpfairfax

5 Questions with SPPR Featuring Maria DeGuzman

We recently welcomed our fall intern, Maria DeGuzman to the Soda Pop PR team. With her experience in event planning and her eye for graphic design, Maria is eager to learn the world of PR. Check out our interview with Maria below to learn more about her favorite spots in LA and her advice in following your passion.


  1. It is no secret that the SPPR team loves food. What are a couple of your favorite LA restaurants?

If you’re in the mood for Japanese food, Sunny Blue in Santa Monica makes the best omusubi rice balls. They wrap different fillings inside a ball of rice wrapped with nori. I love getting the Shiso Ume which has Japanese pickled plum with fresh shiso leaves. While you’re on the west side, Gjelina has my favorite squash blossom pizza. The pizza is so soft and delicate and loaded with burrata cheese, zucchini, juicy cherry tomatoes and small buds of squash blossoms. Almost too pretty to eat!

  1. What interests you most about the PR industry?

The PR industry is very upbeat and you get to meet a new network of people. Being able to hear and share the stories of talented people makes work satisfying. It’s fun to see people’s creations come to life and be a part of it.

  1. What are the top three essential elements an event needs to be a success?

The top three essentials for an event to be successful are organization, time management and creativity. It all starts with an idea and then being able to make it a reality. You have to be resourceful and focused to make these deadlines. Don’t be afraid to ask for help! At the end of the day, an event is meant to bring people together and create community so don’t forget to enjoy it.

  1. If you had a free plane ticket and two weeks off where would you go?

Italy! I would love to visit the countryside and stay/work on an olive tree farm. I think this would be the best way to get the true Italian experience. I also want to explore the Blue Grotto, a sea cave on the coast of the island of Capri. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you have to Google pictures. It looks so peaceful and illuminating; definitely something I want to check off my bucket list!

  1. You moved to LA from Maryland at young age, what’s the best advice you could give to your younger self or anyone else looking to making that big leap?

Jump! Take that risk and do what feels right for you. You’re probably going to stumble and get lost while making a few mistakes but that’s what life is about. Embrace who you are and surround yourself with others that have the same amount of confidence. If you’ve got passion then let the world know! You may share the same goals as the next person but your own path is always different and special to you.

(For more from Maria, you can find her on Instagram @westtsidestory)

SPPR Travels: Denver

There’s nothing an avid traveler loves like a long weekend so it’s no surprise that our own Colleen Dunn took advantage of the Labor Day holiday with a quick trip to Denver, Colorado. Colleen breaks down highlights from her first time in the mile-high city below.

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Do: Colorado’s smog-free mountain air and Instagram-worthy views are enough to get even the least outdoorsy girl to tie on her sneakers and hit the trails. We made the 30 minute drive to Chautauqua Park in Boulder for an easy and dog-friendly day-hike.

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(Photo Credit @omfbrewing)

Sip: At SPPR we never miss an opportunity to go #pinkiedown so with the Union Wine Co. tasting truck rolling through Denver, meeting up at the Topo flagship store was a high priority.

Other sips with friends took place at Our Mutual Friend brewing company, a favorite haunt for the weekend. With locally sourced ingredients (including 100% Colorado grown grain) OMF is a great example of getting to know a city through its beer. Their India Pale Ale gives a nod to Colorado’s pine trees and can hold its own with Southern California IPA devotees. Cold brew fans will love OMF’s Novo Coffee Stout on Nitro and The Proletariat Session Ale offers a straightforward pour unlikely to offend an uncertain palate.

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Eat: Foodie paradise The Source offers everything from fresh local produce and killer Crooked Stave sour beers to Comida‘s drool-worthy bacon and jalapeno tacos. It’s an exposed-brick industrial-design dream come true.

Follow along with Colleen’s next Colorado trip and other adventures on Instagram @colleenadunn