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Exploring Life & Business with Vel Mensah of TablePop

Today we’d like to introduce you to Vel Mensah.

Hi Vel, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
I was born and raised in Liberia, West Africa. Shortly after my birth, the country plunged into its first internal conflict. My family stayed during the course of the war because my mother worked for an NGO that provided humanitarian assistance during that period. We eventually had to seek refuge in the Ivory Coast and later migrated to America and settled in New Jersey.

My entrepreneurial spirit was kindled while attending college at Rutgers University. Upon graduation, a friend and I moved to Ghana to build a social enterprise, Luxe Concierge & Consulting, which trained and staffed the local workforce and provided a menu of on-demand services for clients—including event production.

However fulfilling, I decided to return to the United States and consulted for several companies expanding to the Middle East and Africa, during that time I also earned my MBA in Energy Leadership from Texas A&M.

Although the plan was to work developing Africa’s energy sector, my passion of hosting niche events eventually led to frustration with the industry’s ecosystem and TablePop was born. Over the years, my cumulative experiences helped shape my larger mission of serving others in style. Today, with TablePop, I am bringing the same vision of community and concierge to the customers my startup serves – officially launching on Tuesday, November 9.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I am so grateful to build TablePop and have grown from the challenges experienced along the way. The idea for TablePop first came to me three years ago, after the challenge of planning an intimate dinner party for my own birthday. I was frustrated that there didn’t seem to be a seamless way for hosts to easily work with local rental companies and vendors—the current systems were all designed for professionals who were staging large-scale events.

TablePop started out as a tablescape rental company – hence the name – but the idea evolved and solidified in early 2020. Since the world of events was essentially on pause during the pandemic, I proceeded to develop the concept and even took to learning how to design aspects of the UX/UI myself! After a lot of work, the result is a solution-based platform that aggregates some of the best event vendors and professionals from across the nation into a single marketplace. It was amusingly challenging to build an event platform when we couldn’t gather and socialize, but we are a resilient society and the party must got on!

We’ve been impressed with TablePop, but for folks who might not be as familiar, what can you share with them about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I saw a gap in how current event platforms function. They are mostly large databases that facilitate the industry’s fragmented, inaccessible landscape. TablePop is working to democratize the event space, similar to the shake-up we’re seeing floral startups and interior design startups make in their respective markets. Navigating the industry does not need to come at a premium for the customer.

TablePop is a marketplace that delivers on-demand solutions for event experiences at your fingertips – and customers can use the digital platform free of charge. No need for pesky databases or endless Google searches when you can get matched with curated event professionals based on your unique event needs. All you need to do is sign up, get matched, review and select your vendors, and pay when milestones are done. It’s that simple!

TablePop is also a mission-driven start-up with the community in mind. We partner with nonprofit organizations like CISLA to ensure that fellowship is full circle.

Networking and finding a mentor can have such a positive impact on one’s life and career. Any advice?
The quality I admire most in a mentor is humility. I look for servant leaders because in my experience, they tend to be the most transparent and inspirational.

My mentors are creative solutionists who execute strategies that cultivate measurable impact in the lives of others. It could be something intangible like helping someone see their own potential through motivation or propelling them by extending your network or supporting them through acts of service.

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