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Conversations with Gloria Malaihollo and Stephanie Rende

Today we’d like to introduce you to Gloria Malaihollo and Stephanie Rende. Them and their team share their story with us below:

We are The Table Service! We are pop-up picnic based out of Orange County serving Southern California. Owners Stephanie Rende and Gloria Malaihollo.

We are two best friends from middle school who decided to start on a new venture. We originally planned to venture out in Wedding Planning. However, due to the competitive market, we quickly emerged into pop-up picnics after seeing how the picnic business was booming in Australia. We searched around in our city if there are any pop-up picnics nearby and only found three others at the time. However, two of the three was 2-3 hrs away from our location. That’s when we decided to start our own Picnic Company. We launched the company on Feb 20, 2020. Due to Covid, we were shut down two weeks later. Relaunched in June of 2020.

We started with crates and blankets for mock-ups. However, that didn’t really portray the image of the business well. We needed the low boho table to fit in with the “Boho” picnics vibe. Unfortunately, there wasn’t many low boho tables out there for sale when we started. If there was any, it was way out of our budget.

We decided to build our own. We figured, how hard can it be, right? Watched YouTube videos for DIY how to build a coffee table and just changed the measurements to fit our needs. Well, it wasn’t as easy as it looked in the videos. Hammering each nail was loud and very time-consuming, Never did we once use a power tool before.

Long story short, we now have 30 low boho tables. We’ve built everything from scratch and we still until today build our own tables. Gloria is our Carpenter.

In the process, Stephanie had also acquired a new skill set. She is our florist and she arranges all the flowers for our events. She also learned by watching YouTube videos and gone through trial and error as well.

By having everything done in house, we have more control and saved money and was able to re-purpose the funds to grow the company. Since we relaunched in June of 2020, we have completed over 400 events all throughout Southern California.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Oooh, it definitely has not been a smooth road since we started. Pop-up picnics were completely out of the norm.

Even though there was three other picnic companies prior to us starting, it was still considered a new industry. Not many city officials was aware of this type of services.

Due to Covid, we grew significantly. Because of this, it triggered a lot of people to venture out and start their own picnic company as well. We didn’t mind it at all, as it was proving that pop-up picnics is a new industry of its own due its high demand.

From this comes the trouble. City officials are now seeing picnics set up everywhere in parks and beaches all throughout Southern California. Permit was not attainable. Many picnic owners was not playing by the rules, meaning not cleaning up after each set up. Many didn’t have insurance or business license either, all this created an issue for the city and they had started banning our services on many public locations and started asking for permits.

Another issue that we face is hiring. Finding employees that are wiling to dedicate their weekends. Many thought they are applied under the impression that it would be an easy task to design, decorate and set up. Many underestimated how difficult it is to set up in public beaches and parks.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
We like to think that we specialize in uniqueness. Not one picnic looks the same. We take pride in every table design and decor. If you look at many other picnic companies, they focus more on their props and their tables are standard design for every picnic. For us, we do fun themes, colors, we constantly change the color palette depending on the season and holidays.

We are known for our amazing customer service. We have a very high retention rate. We have several clients who have booked us at least three times. They’ve also recommended us to family and friends. We typically have 40-60 events per month.

We are most proud of our achievements, our growth, and our willingness to learn new skill sets as needed. We are very proud that we’ve built our own tables and props. Very proud of learning floristry in order to save money and charge less for the clients. We are also proud to learn to market our services without any marketing experience. We are proud to have been able to create jobs when majority of people in the country was unemployed,

What sets us apart from others, we like to believe that we are trendsetters. We are constantly looking at other ways to expand, add on other services, adding unique touches to our picnic services, and improving the overall picnic experience. We have noticed that many have copied and offered the same services.

Any advice for finding a mentor or networking in general?
We still don’t have a mentor. We are just going with the flow and learning as we go. It would be really nice to have a mentor, however, for now, we do not have many free time to network and find one.

Pricing:

  • Boho Picnics Starts at $300-$1150
  • Dining Height starts at $550 – $2350
  • Picnic and Paint starts at $360 – $620
  • Micro Weddings starts at $1300 – $3000

Contact Info:


Image Credits:

@TSBFLORALCO @altheagarden_photography @CodiWilcoxPhotography @J.EmmanuelPhotograpghy

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