If you had to explain SSE to someone in 1 sentence, how would you explain it?
Sip Shop Eat is a one-stop-shop for people who love discovering the best in emerging food, style and drinks!
How do you choose which brands to feature at SSE?
Our application process facilitates the review of each brand. Essentially, we select brands based on their product offerings. We prioritize brands offering unique handmade products or food/drink products. We also try our best to avoid overstated products to limit competition among brands. Lastly, we look for brands expressing enthusiasm in participating in SSE. Nobody likes a drab entrepreneur who doesn't want to tell their story 1000 times (wink).
Probably when I made $75.00 at an event that I had spent $300+ to participate in. Everything at the event was an additional add on ($25 for a chair, $40 for a tent, so on and so forth), I may have even gotten a parking ticket. The event got rained out before it ended. I was so frustrated and discouraged, I just knew there was a better way of doing things.
How do you create an interactive experience with virtual events?
I wanted to get my mind off of COVID-19 and I figured so many people in our network probably needed to too. I started out by just thinking of things that I've always wanted to do but never had the chance before Quarantine. Now that we have so much time, I figured why not learn something new every chance I get. I wanted to share that personal need with the SSE community. I try to think of things that actually can be done from home and through zoom. Of course, we try to keep the zoom experiences under 45 minutes- we don't want to lose people LOL. We always encourage drinking and we always have a really good playlist playing in the background (just like at our dearly missed IRL events).
Who is someone that you look up to in your life?
MOM, of course LOL. Aside from Mom, Cathy Hughes inspires me very much- she doesn't know me, but I know her (LOL).
Most inspiring quote?
"Make a radical change in your lifestyle and begin to boldly do things which you may previously never have thought of doing, or been too hesitant to attempt. So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservation, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The
very basic core of a man's living spirit is his passion for adventure. The
joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun. If you want to get more out of life, you must lose your inclination for monotonous security and adopt a helter-skelter style of life that will at first appear to you to be crazy. But once you become accustomed to such a life you will see its full meaning and its incredible beauty.” ― Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild
How do you relax and unwind after a long day?
Glass of wine or a 420 friendly product and Reality TV or Crime shows.
How has quarantine affected your company?
Horribly. Just kidding. But seriously, COVID-19 has been really hard for us in terms of income. We're an events company. With most of our locations restricting events, we have not been able to have much revenue outside of the Virtual Pop-UPs and our virtual experiences. This of course is new for our brand and it takes time for any brand to fully and effectively pivot. Or, for their audience to adopt the transition. We've struggled like so many other brands have during this period.
On a positive note, the Virtual Pop-UP and the virtual experiences have allowed us to support and connect with brands, entrepreneurs and food/fashion loving people everywhere. That's great. We're happy that these new opportunities present us with new sales channels that we may have never thought of without COVID.
What is your favorite experience that has come out of being the founder of SSE?
Discovering brands, building relationships and seeing the brands we partner with evolve! We've seen brands go from idea to selling with us IRL for the first time to reaching amazing business milestones. It's an honor to have met such talented people and seeing those entrepreneurs fulfill their dreams. It's definitely what keeps us going.
What is your ideal day off?
Being served unlimited cocktails poolside overlooking a breathtaking view in Mykonos.
What message would you get on a custom Ryan Porter piece?
Last thing you do before going to bed?
Take my vitamins and a shot of Apple Cider Vinegar (sounds gross but it's really great for the body).
Just keep going.