DIY Disco Cactus

We couldn’t be more excited to celebrate the holidays at Soda Pop PR! This time of year gives us the chance to get a little crafty and we’re all about easy DIY holiday gifts that pack a punch. Our team has grown so much this year, so we set out to make something that could grow right along with us (and also make a great gift!) Cacti and glitter become BFFs for this Disco Cacti DIY that will be growing on our desks all season long and is sure to make a great gift for someone on your list.

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Materials

  1. Start by spray-painting your terracotta pots outside in an area that gets good ventilation. If you’re short on time, you can go without spraying them or paint shapes on them by hand with craft store acrylic paint. Let them dry for about 2-3 hours in the sun.
  1. While your pots are drying, give your cactus a generous spray of the adhesive and then liberally pour on glitter while you rotate the cactus. Don’t be afraid to mix and match glitter colors, too! TIP: Make sure you are crating in an area where you don’t mind glitter getting in a couple nooks and crannies. We suggest putting down some kraft paper to protect your surface or pouring your glitter over the cactus over a trash bin.
  1. Now comes the planting! Since our containers will be going indoors, we want to make sure to cover up the small hole on the bottom of the pots. We made an “X” shape out of masking tape to stick onto the hole– good to go!

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  1. Next, cover the bottom of the pot with a ½” layer of cactus soil. Using the tongs to avoid getting pricked by your glittery friend, transfer the cactus over to the terracotta pot and place on top of your initial soil layer. If you don’t have tongs, you can use two forks or wear a pair of heavy-duty gloves to keep fingers safe.Use the plastic container your cactus was in to scoop in soil into the pot around the cactus. Then use the back of a fork to help pack in the soil and get into hard to read crevices. Your soil should be firm in the pot around your cactus and about 1/2” below the rim line of the pot.
  1. Using a spoon, cover any visible soil with sand. We used pink and white sand to add a festive finishing touch!

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You can customize your cacti to match any color combo and add gift tags with names to make them even more personal. Happy DIY-ing!

 

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5 Questions with SPPR Featuring Christina Schneider

From Snapchat filters to festival grounds it’s hard to resist a flower crown. The longtime favored accessory of boho-chic brides is now acceptable for weekend wear and we know who to thank for it. Wedding planner and flower queen Christina Schneider of Cake & Punch joins us on the blog this week to talk about how she turned a birthday party arts and crafts project into a serious side hustle.

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1. You started out as a wedding planner, where did you get your idea for a flower crown bar and when did you know it would be a success?

I’ve always had an eye and interest for floral design. I had the idea of a flower crown bar for a friend’s birthday party at Malibu Wines. Other guests at Malibu Wines came up to us and asked us if they could buy one.

I called Malibu Wines the following week to see if we could do a Pop Up Flower Crown Shop, and over 2 years later we are still at Malibu Wines and now Rosenthal Winery every weekend making custom flower crowns for purchase. We’ve also expanded to the festival market, making crowns at Coachella, Stagecoach, and KAABOO.

I had no idea it was going to be this popular, but I did recognize the need for affordable flower crowns. If you call up a Florist the pricing for 1 flower crown can be anywhere from $60 – $250. The first flower crown I ever wore was one I made for myself. I felt so radiant wearing it and I wanted to share that experience with everyone at a price everyone can afford.

2. You really hustled to make your business happen. How do you stay motivated?

It’s easier to stay motivated when you are doing what you love! Ever since I was young, I’ve always known I’d have my own business for some reason. I like the idea of working for myself and making my dreams and ideas come to fruition. My goal is to have Cake & Punch grow with me as I continue to discover all my passions in life.

3. What has been your proudest girl boss moment to date?

Wow I love this question! Growing up I’d secretly flip through The Knot magazine fantasizing about my future wedding (yes I was that girl lol), thinking that a wedding planner would be my absolute DREAM job.

Since starting Cake & Punch 2 years ago, one of my weddings got published in The Knot magazine with a 6 page spread AND we recently did an Instagram take over on their 1.3 million follower fan base! The fact that The Knot actually loves my work is what makes me feel truly like a Girl Boss.

4. What advice do you have for entrepreneurs just starting out or testing an idea?

Depending on what your product or idea is, get a booth at a local farmers market, venue, or small local event that fits your brand. The investment should be small, but the feedback from the attendees will be priceless. Start small and ask family and friends for a little help if you can! My business wouldn’t be where it is now without their help and support.

5. What goals do you have for the next year?

I’ve actually developed a unique hair accessory that I will be launching early spring and I hope everyone loves it as much as I do.

I also want to use my public speaking/hosting background in some capacity in the wedding industry. Whether its workshops I host, speaking at events, TV, who knows, but I am open to all possibilities that God and the Universe want to flow my way.

 

5 Questions with SPPR featuring Ashley Hudson

This week we’re excited to welcome SPPR’s newest Senior Account Executive, Ashley Hudson, to the blog. Ashley joins Soda Pop PR with experience in design, architecture, and real estate public relations, and with a passion for strategic communication and how it can be applied to every industry.

Continue reading to learn more about Ashley’s advice to new PR professionals, what her perfect 24-hour food day would look like and where she would go on her dream vacation.

Ashley Hudson

1. In your opinion, what’s the best kept secret about LA?

LA’s food scene is slowly gaining greater recognition on a national and global scale, which typically includes our city’s Mexican, Korean and iconic American staples. However, access to consistent and locally-sourced farmer’s market ingredients has allowed for the recent burgeoning of fresh and thoughtful Italian eateries in Los Angeles and surprisingly, this has been flying under the radar.

I’ve been doing my best to eat my way through the Italian spots in my neighborhood on the Westside, so here are a few must-trys for the next time you’re out that way. Definitely book a reservation at Evan Funke’s, Felix, in Venice Beach and watch the master himself twist and roll fresh handmade pasta for dishes inspired by Italy’s various regions. Also, do not miss the house focaccia. Another great pasta eatery is the quaint, Forma, in Santa Monica. Forma specializes in their impressive cheese offering and charcuterie, but they have a few great pasta dishes that stay on the menu including the tortellini bathed in mushrooms, light cream, truffle oil then tossed in Bella Lodi cheese. Last but not least, make sure to check out Pizzana in Brentwood for a cozy #neoneopolitan pizza as they call it. It hits the spot for your true wood-fired pizza craving.

2. Describe your perfect food day from start to finish.

This is challenging to answer as there are so many great cuisines and it would depend entirely on my mood. I’ll go with an ideal food day in LA.

Although I’m not a morning person, I would have to wake up extra early so I could make sure to fit in all the must-haves in a 24-hour period. First, I would start the day off with a nutrition-packed smoothie to get my fruits and greens in right away. A couple hours later for breakfast part two, I would head to DTLA for an almond milk cappuccino from nice coffee and a croissant from Pitchoun. For lunch, I would go to my favorite empanada spot in West LA, Empanadas Place for their two empanada and salad special – I love empanadas. For dinner, it would be a toss-up between Korean BBQ in K-Town, Argentinean at Malbec in Santa Monica, or market-driven fare at MB Post in Manhattan Beach. I would finish this perfect day with the monkey bread dessert at Salt Air in Venice Beach. I’m full and happy just thinking about it.

3. If you had unlimited funds and two-weeks off, where would you go?

I would book the first flight to Oslo in October. I would spend the two weeks road-tripping through Norway, stopping to hike the Fjords, riding on dog sleds and staying in a bubble/igloo resort to see the majestic Northern Lights. If I had a couple extra days, I’d hop over to Iceland to dive the Silfra fissure where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates meet and are drifting apart at about 2cm per year.

4. What advice do you have for college students hoping to have a career in public relations?

Stay curious and value relationships.

A career in PR requires an inherent curiosity, but as our field continues to evolve, PR professionals must stay curious in non-traditional ways. As digital continues to take command of the way we practice public relations, we must be curious and informed of the latest tactics and tools that build brand equity and meet the bottom line. We should also be curious outside the silo of public relations practice. Companies are starting to consolidate public relations, marketing, and advertising into teams of well-rounded generalists. If PR is where you want to specialize, it’s still important to understand the fundamentals and best practices of these different disciplines to be nimble and forward-thinking in your career.

At this stage in my own career, the most important lesson I have learned is the value of relationships. Every person you will come in contact with over the course of your career is important, especially when the success of our daily work as PR practitioners depends on the strength of our relationships with the media, the public, our colleagues, clients, influencers, etc. The more connected our world is, the more important it is to nurture authentic connections. I have found that to date, my most meaningful work has been done in partnership with those I have spent the time to build quality relationships with.

5. What do you think is the biggest challenge facing publicists today?

I would say the biggest challenge facing publicists today is in educating clients about public relations practice and defining how it applies to them as the PR field steadily transforms. When clients understand the purpose and central value PR adds to their business, they are more inclined to work symbiotically with their publicists and provide essential resources to create something special.

SPPR’s hiring! Account Executive

Soda Pop Public Relations, a boutique public relations shop specializing in the hospitality industry, is seeking an Account Executive who is interested in working as part of a team in a dynamic, growing company. Candidates need to be hard-working, creative, confident, and have a love for food and beverage brands. If that sounds like you, read on.

Responsibilities include:

  • Assist account team in client management
  • Assist account team in day-to-day client work
  • Assist account team on client events, openings, launches, etc.
  • Co-manage influencer campaigns and reporting
  • Prepare agendas, briefs, and event recaps
  • Research trends, pitching
  • Researching, writing, editing and distributing press materials
  • Tracking print, online, broadcast and social media for ideas and coverage
  • Building and cultivating relationships with media and influencers
  • General office duties – we’re a small but might team and all pitch in!

What we are looking for…

  • Candidates should have 1-3 years at a PR agency or in-house
  • Candidate must enjoy working as part of (an awesome!) team
  • Strong relationships with media and influencers
  • Excellent written, verbal and interpersonal communication skills
  • PC proficient, particularly in the Microsoft Suite, including Word, Excel,  PPT and Outlook
  • Social media savvy
  • Ability to multi-task
  • Experience in handling routine office tasks
  • Excellent people skills, attention to detail and amazing follow through
  • Preferably some experience working in the food, culinary, wine or travel industries
  • Someone who wants to learn a lot, have fun and grow with us!

Please send résumé, cover letter, 2 writing samples & a brief overview of why you want to join the SPPR team to sayhi@sodapop-pr.com.

Candidate must be based in Los Angeles.

Links of the Week: Workplace Hacks You Didn’t Know You Needed

Company Culture. Positive Workplace. Healthy Snacks. These are just a few of our favorite things here at Soda Pop PR. We’ve done a lot of growing in 2017 and many different things have contributed to our growth (like the ones outlined above), but what really moved the needle for us was finding the balance of what our team needs to maintain creative momentum in the office. We swear by these five workplace habits that we adapted to improve the way we work and engage with each other. Give them a try! You’ll be thanking us later.

 

Devil Wears Prada photo.JPG(Image via Let’s Go to the Movies)

 

Work on Your Attitude. The way you express yourself or share your thoughts can affect those around you. How do your words and actions impact others in the workplace? Take this self-awareness quiz to find out!

Improve Your Wellness Routine. We’re a team that lives, breathes and dreams of healthy snacks – so we are really digging these employee wellness ideas you can incorporate into the workplace!

Make Time for Fun. We love this. Check out this ten-point plan for making your job a more creative, productive and fun place to be.

Practice Leadership Skills. Think you’re ready for the leap into a managerial role? It’s going to take more than a few big wins. We suggest practicing these steps before considering a leadership position.

Stay Productive. Our team is trying this simple, yet effective email rule.

5 Questions with SPPR Featuring Monica Wang

You’ve seen Monica Wang’s work before. Her bright, light filled photos have appeared on The Every Girl, Rue Magazine, Glitter Guide and even the Soda Pop PR blog. As an interior and lifestyle photographer popping up on all our favorite Insta feeds, Monica is one of our go-to ladies for photo magic and style inspiration. This week, we asked her to give us a little insight into balance, creativity and why it’s all about the lighting.

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1. You’re an amazing photographer but it’s actually your side hustle. What’s the biggest struggle in balancing photography with your finance career?

I would have to say that my biggest struggle is to maintain a normal personal life with two jobs and it isn’t balancing between a photography and a finance job. I am a workaholic! I can work hours on end and I love the feeling of achieving something and feeling proud of the work I have put together. So after juggling all my work responsibilities the thing that I spend the least amount of time on is with family and friends. I have to remind myself that I can’t complain because I have been given so many amazing opportunities.  However, now I only say yes to the gigs that I really want to do vs saying yes to everything.  Work/life balance is the real struggle for me.

2. Do you have a favorite, or particularly memorable, photo shoot?

My recent favorite shoot was with my dear friend, Anne Sage of City Sage (a previous 5 Questions with SPPR guest). She is a styling genius and I always love working with her so it doesn’t matter what we are shooting together. When you find the right creative partner, that is when you are able to produce the type of work that you are most proud of.  Work doesn’t feel like “work” and it is quite a milestone to find that within your career!  I always have to take a step back to reflect and be thankful that I am able to do what I do and call it my job.

3. Where do you look for inspiration?

I am constantly influenced by what is around me in LA. There are always new shops and restaurants popping up all the time so I try to keep my radar out for all the good ones I want to check out.

The IG accounts that I follow religiously are @garypeppergirl, @lucywilliams02, and @haleboyd for fashion and lifestyle related things.  I try not to look at other photo work so much because when you do that, your work starts to look like theirs instead of your own. I try to do my own thing as much as possible.

4. What would be your dream photo shoot?

My dream photo shoot would be traveling to Anguilla, Morocco or some other magical destination to photograph beautiful homes or hotels for Architectural Digest or Elle Decor. That would truly be a dream!

5. What is your number one tip for amateurs who want to take better pictures?

Find good lighting. It doesn’t even matter if you are shooting with your iPhone or a super high-end DSLR, as long as you have good natural lighting you can always take a good photo! My favorite kind is soft window light in the early morning.