5 Questions with SPPR Featuring Sam Hampar

This week we’re excited to welcome our newest team member, Samantha Hampar! Sam joins Soda Pop PR with influencer and digital marketing experience and a love for all things food & beverage.  Read on to learn what brought Sam back to LA from Austin, where she would go with unlimited funds, and her perfect food day if distance (and calories!) weren’t an issue.

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1. You recently moved back from Texas, what did you miss most about Southern California?

As an LA native, you really do take the weather for granted. I moved to Austin in an October and it didn’t drop below 100 degrees with 80% humidity until November. (This is partly where I get my love of sundresses.) Besides the weather, I missed my family most. When I ended up staying in LA for college (USC, fight on!) I promised myself that I’d move to Austin for 2-3 years at some point in my life to experience a new city and get out of my comfort zone. While it was hard to say goodbye to Austin’s quirky culture, outdoorsiness, breakfast tacos (someone say queso?), and extensive music scene, Dorothy has a point… “there’s no place like home.”

2. Describe your perfect food day from start to finish. (distance is not an issue)

I’d like to include calories as not an issue in addition to distance because I could live off of dessert and tacos alone…

Breakfast: Considering I have a Pinterest board exclusively dedicated to donuts, I’d start my day off at Sidecar with either an old fashioned or butter & salt donut. (If calories don’t count, why not do both?)

Second Breakfast: Breakfast tacos and queso are still on my mind, so I would fly to Austin for Veracruz’s migas tacos with a side of queso & chips.

Lunch: If I’m already in Austin, I might as well go to Elizabeth Street Cafe for Vietnamese food. I’ll have a Fried Egg, Crispy Pork Belly, Avocado & Mint Banh Mi, please.

Afternoon snack: Homemade Biscuits and seasonally made jam at Confituras Little Kitchen. With the best biscuits, jam, and unlimited coffee, I frequented this place way too often.

Dinner: Being that I’m Armenian, I couldn’t get away without saying Carousel in Glendale. I’ve been without great Mediterranean food too long while in Texas.

Dessert: I’ll let my stomach settle on the drive up to Santa Barbara for the original McConnell’s ice cream location.

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

Italy and Greece have always been on my bucket list, but I’ve most recently been excited about the idea of road tripping across the US. The Southern Pacific route, following US-80, seems to have a taste of everything in terms of culture and physical landscapes, so I’d likely start here before taking on the great American road trip that hits 48 states. With unlimited funds, I’d stock my car with the greatest snacks, hit up the nicest hotels and glamping sites, and adopt a furry friend to keep me company.

4. What excites you most about public relations?

I love that what constitutes “public relations” is constantly changing. For example, while this is technically my first PR position, I’ve worked in influencer and digital marketing for 5 years, which is now more commonly coming under the umbrella of public relations. Secondly, it requires a lot of creativity to help your clients stand out from the rest, and when successful, it feels great knowing you attributed to a brand’s growth. In addition to being excited about PR, I’m specifically passionate about food and beverage, so being able to integrate the two together is a dream.

5. How do you seek out inspiration when you’re in a rut?

I’m a visual person, so I’m constantly looking to Instagram, Pinterest, and Designspiration for inspiration when in a rut. I also love walking while listening to music– it’s meditative for me. I used to walk 2.5 miles to and from work everyday while in Austin because it helped clear my mind. People think I’m crazy, but one day I walked from Union Station DTLA to Brentwood to enjoy the different cultures and unique neighborhood vibes along the way. It was people watching at its finest.

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5 Questions with SPPR Featuring Joshua Zad

This week, we’re excited to welcome our new client Joshua Zad to the blog. Josh is the brilliant founder of Alfred Coffee & Kitchen (@alfred) and Alfred Tea Room (@alfredtea) as well as the mastermind behind the ubiquitous #butfirstcoffee. We’re thrilled to be working with Josh on a new lifestyle beer brand called Calidad which officially launches on November 1st. Read on to learn a little bit about Josh’s inspiration for Calidad, his thoughts on shaking up the beer industry and his favorite spots in LA.

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1. With a real estate background and success with Alfred, what inspired you to make beer?

In short, I wanted to affect change in the beverage world on a much broader scale. At Alfred, we have the unique ability to control customers’ experiences 100% — from the music, to the store layout and design, to how customers are greeted at the register; and of course, the quality and appearance of the coffee/tea drinks. But alas, there is a cap on how many people we can both serve and reach in the course of one day. I had been tossing around the idea of getting into alcoholic beverages for a while, and after taking a deeper look into the beer category, I noticed a huge opportunity. The opportunity to take a fresh and exciting approach to beer – specifically when it comes to catering to the non-specialized, novice beer drinkers. Craft beers and hop-heavy IPA’s have had their time, but the majority of beer drinkers shy away from them. So, I created Calidad — a lifestyle beer brand that capitalizes on the surging growth of the Mexican beer category and consumers’ desire to reconnect emotionally with basic, everyday beverages. The beer category has been stagnant for a while, it’s time for a shake up!

2. What is your goal for Calidad?

My goal with Calidad is to take a sizable chunk out of the Mexican import market. And to show people that you can enjoy an easy, drinkable cerveza that tastes just as good (if not better) than the long-standing, incumbent brands you have come to know, while also providing a level of transparency in the process and sourcing of the ingredients in that beer. I think the ultimate success would be eventually diversifying Calidad, which is produced in California, by launching new beer SKUs, other Mexican spirits like tequila and mezcal, and expanding into the broader Mexican foods space – all through a California lens and most importantly, never losing the emphasis on one obsession: Quality.

3. What does it take to be successful in the industry?

In the beer industry, where people have SO many solid options and new breweries are popping up daily, a strong following can make or break your brand. Loyalty is paramount. For this reason, we are dedicated to sampling product in-store and at festivals, connecting with both Calidad lovers and newcomers alike, and building our following one sip and one conversation at a time. We are taking a brand-first approach to this company, which is not so common in the beer industry — to grow a loyal customer base of Calidad lovers from the onset.

4. As an LA native, what’s your favorite restaurant in town and what do you normally order?

Easy. Ding’s Crispy Chicken Sandwich at Honor Bar in Beverly Hills. Second to that would be a chicken parm from either Dan Tana’s or Craig’s. I am a huge fried boneless chicken guy.

5. Where’s your favorite place to grab a holiday cocktail when it finally gets chilly in LA?

Roger Room hands down. My go to holiday-rainy-and-cold-outside drink is the “Japanese Maple” – Suntory whiskey, maple syrup, lemon juice, egg white and house made bitters.

SPPR Retreat: 7 Years of The Suite Life

We love summer for a lot of reasons but our yearly company retreat tops the list! This year, Soda Pop PR invited the team to #RetreatYourself with a luxurious and relaxing stay at The Nomad in DTLA.

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The team holed up in one of the Nomad’s gorgeous corner suites to bond, share wins and challenges and talk about company growth as we head into another exciting year. As usual there was a great deal of inspiring conversation, laughter and fantastic food.

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Soda Pop PR retreats always include an epic swag bag. This year, our resident artist Sami Davis designed custom goodies to pair with Realm’s pitch perfect Strong Female Lead tees.

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After a day living the suite life, we checked into our rooms and swooned over the hotel’s attention to detail. A love of great design is something we share as a team and the Nomad is next level home inspiration!

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A Soda Pop PR retreat isn’t compete without a team dinner. Amid all of the busy days, it’s so important for us to slow down and connect on a personal level. The only thing better than taking the time to just hang out with the women we work with every day, is to hang out with them over cocktails and amazing food! After a rooftop cocktail and a quick game of “Never Have I Ever” on The Nomad rooftop, we headed to Dama, the Scopa team’s new concept which pays homage to a couple of our favorite things about Havana, Cuba.

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As we celebrate another year of Soda Pop PR, we’d like to take a moment to thank all of our clients, partners, friends and family for continuing to support us over the years. Dyan started Soda Pop PR 7 years ago with the goal of doing good work with good people and as a team we are so proud and grateful to uphold that legacy today.

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Cheers to year seven and many more,

Team Soda Pop PR

 

Summer Desktop + Phone Wallpapers

Our Valentine’s Day desktop wallpapers were such a big hit that we had to create some fresh designs to celebrate the new season! You’ll be walking around with a cocktail in one hand and your Summer-ready tech in the other with these new SPPR designs. Keep scrolling  popsicles, pool floaties, watermelon + more!

To download, click the links below each photo and then save to either your desktop or phone!

desktopmockup_summersppr_desktop_summerpopsicles-01download for desktop | phone
desktopmockup_cactus
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download for desktop | phonedesktopmockup_floaties

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download for desktop | phonedesktopmockup_cheerssppr_desktop_cocktail-01

download for desktop | phonedesktopmockup_watermelonsppr_desktop_watermelon-01

download for desktop | phone

10 Tips to DIY Your Own Floral Arrangement

Nothing brightens up a space like flowers and a trip to the Los Angeles Flower Markets is one of our favorite ways to spend a morning. To celebrate the arrival of spring, we rolled up our sleeves for a team DIY designing our own arrangements. We’re excited to share our 10 favorite tips to help you design your own!

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1. Buying the Blooms – It can be overwhelming when you begin planning an arrangement. Choosing one or two colors to focus on is a great way to narrow down the options. Try selecting either a “warm” (reds/orange/yellow) palette or a “cool” (blue/green/purple) palette and anchor your design with 2-3 prominent blooms such as dahlias, peonies or protea.

2. Don’t Forget the Foliage- You may not have noticed but most arrangements are not just flowers, but also foliage. Add vines, leafy greens, berries, vines, and even fern cuttings to design around your focal florals. Foliage adds character, texture, and shape without distracting from your floral focal points.

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3. Stripping- Many people make the mistakes of putting flowers right in the vase without any maintenance. You need to strip your flowers or they will not last as long! Stripping is the process of removing any leaves on the stems of your florals that will be submerged in your water to prevent mold. You can leave some leaves at the base of your floral to add volume, or you can remove all.

4. Add Intrigue- Contrast is essential to creating an interesting arrangement. Make sure to cut your flowers and foliage at different heights to add dimension to the arrangement and think about playing with different shapes, such as the spiky look of a dahlia with a soft anemone. Seek beauty in the juxtaposition.

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5. Don’t Rush It- Take your time while putting your arrangement together, this is the fun part! If you’re not achieving the look you want, just start again. Put on some music and let nature’s blooms guide you.

6. Think Outside the Vase- You can use just about any container for florals so feel free to design your arrangement for a favorite mug, old pasta sauce jar or the pretty container of a used up candle. Just make sure the container is waterproof and thoroughly cleaned.

7. Water- The key ingredient for good floral maintenance is water. Make sure your florals are supplied with plenty of water, and that starts right when you get home. Cut the stems immediately and put them in water until you’re ready to arrange. Then trim again before adding to your vessel. It’s best to cut on a diagonal, which exposes more of the stem to water. After you arrange your blooms, make sure to give them as much water as the container will allow so they can drink up after being transferred numerous times.

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8. Fine-Tune Blossoms- While natural beauty is more appealing than anything, not every bloom is perfect. This is where pruning comes in. If there are any buds that distract from the overall arrangement, don’t be afraid to remove them. Eliminate petals that are broken or browning and trim any leaves competing for water.

9. Keep ‘Em Cool-| Always place finished arrangements in a cool space. Check the water frequently– you would be surprised how much flowers can drink!

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10. Upgrade your Tools- You can absolutely make a beautiful arrangement with just a vase and a pair of scissors but if you’re going to be working with florals regularly we recommend a few purchases to make the process easier:

  • Pruning Shears- to strip florals with thorns and cut thicker stems
  • Floral Wire & Floral Tape- to help secure any florals. You can use wire to help wrap and arrange smaller stems as well as create structured pieces, like boutonnieres. Floral tape is self-sealing tape and can be used to wrap stems or create bouquets.
  • Clear Floral Tape– to make a grid for spaced out arrangements
  • Oasis Floral Foam– if you’re creating arrangements for an event, this floral foam is your friend! Just dunk in water and it will absorb. Stick fresh florals in and the foam will keep them hydrated and in place throughout any event. It also comes in a variety of sizes allowing you to create floral wreaths, hearts, and 3D shapes.

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Valentine’s Day Desktop Wallpapers

We are big fans of giving our screens some extra swag and this week, we’re excited to share some fun desktop wallpapers with you! Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and these sweet SPPR designs are sure to add a little love to your technology.

To download, click the links below each photo and then save to either your desktop or phone!

vdaymockup_cuteafexample_cuteafdownload for desktop | phone

vdaymockup_meltexamples_melt download for desktop | phone

vdaymockup_eyelashesexample_eyelashes download for desktop | phone

vdaymockup_foodheartsexamples_foodheartsdownload for desktop | phone

vdaymockup_pizzaexamples_pizzadownload for desktop | phone