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Inspiring Conversations with Charmaine Dalton of The Charming Picnic

Today we’d like to introduce you to Charmaine Dalton.

Hi Charmaine, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I grew up in a family of creatives and passionate people. Both my parents have been creative and positive inspirations for me from the very beginning. My mother has always been creative in every aspect of our lives, whether it was food, art and DIY projects, photography, event planning for parties, home decor, and so much more. She always incorporated creativity, exploration, and curiosity for the world for me and my siblings. My father is an award-winning international architect and he designed stunning buildings from shopping malls like Bella Terra and The Grove to resorts and amusement parks across the world.

Growing up, I was always taught the importance of hard work through education, but my parents also taught me how to find joy in the little things of life like exploring nature or having a picnic in our gorgeous backyard of Orange County’s beaches, parks, and mountains. After graduating UCI in 2015, I wanted to start a business where I could provide value to people along with chasing my passions and creative dreams, but I wasn’t exactly sure where to start. I ended up pursuing a career where I got to help numerous people find their dream job, which was very rewarding and I met some of the best people from it. I also worked part-time as a Wedding Event Assistant for Tala Events, which was amazing!

I’ve always had a love for nature, amazing food, and luxury picnics, and a few years ago, I realized that there were no picnic businesses in Orange County. I wanted to share my love for picnics with the community, but I started a new full-time job and I pushed my dreams on the back-burner. I continued to have beautifully styled picnics with friends and family, but I decided to take the leap of starting The Charming Picnic in the midst of a pandemic earlier this year. I thought that it would be the perfect time to launch the picnic service because so many people were missing out on special celebrations like birthdays, anniversaries, and more. I wanted to create an experience where people could safely enjoy their time with a special picnic in a beautiful setting. I launched The Charming Picnic at the end of July and we’ve had 70 picnic events in three months! I wouldn’t have been able to do this without the support and help from my husband and family. We are so grateful for the amount of love and support that we’ve been receiving from our community, and we can’t wait to grow and provide more fun picnic events!

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
It’s been a relatively smooth road so far, but there will be obstacles and challenges with every business. The key to overcoming those obstacles is to keep an open mind and to be positive that there will always be a solution. We’ve had minor setbacks, but we have always persevered and found a way to solve any minor issues. Building and running a business takes a lot of time and energy, but I enjoy every part of it. A typical day for me would go from responding to inquiries, prepping for picnics, managing our social media accounts, designing floral arrangements, styling each picnic event, cleaning up, and more. Each picnic event can take up to 6 hours from prepping to cleaning up, but seeing our client’s joy after each picnic is worth all the extra time and effort we put into our picnics!

We’ve been impressed with The Charming Picnic, 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?
The Charming Picnic provides luxury picnic services at the beautiful beaches, parks, or homes in Orange County, California. Each 2-hour luxury picnic includes a rental setup of our premium beach umbrella, picnic table, seating, rugs, décor, Bluetooth speaker, and customizable chalkboard. A seasonal charcuterie board, snacks, desserts, beverages, and a fresh floral arrangement to take home are also included. We take care of set up and clean up, and our guests just show up to enjoy their time with their loved ones. We have hosted picnic events for birthdays, anniversaries, proposals, bridal showers, and more!

We are proud of providing exceptional customer service, delicious and fresh food, and an event that our clients will cherish forever. We take care of every detail and we will work with our clients to make their vision come to life if they have any specific requests. We will also take the extra mile (literally) to give our clients the best spot for their picnic. We have been fully booked every week and weekend so far, but we made a promise to always deliver the best picnic experiences for all of our clients. We want to create long term relationships with our clients, so all of our past clients will receive discounts if they would like to book another picnic in the future.

Is there a quality that you most attribute to your success?
I believe that having grit is the most important characteristic to my success with The Charming Picnic. The definition of grit by Angela Duckworth is passion and sustained persistence applied toward long-term achievement, and I have resonated with that definition for as long as I can remember. I have always given 100% of my efforts to whatever I set my mind to, and I stayed resilient and flexible to whatever challenges that came up. I believe that if you put your energy, passion, and love to whatever you want to accomplish, you will be successful. All it takes is courage to take risks, lots of hard work, and a burning passion that keeps you up at night because of your excitement!

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Image Credits

Jaylee Clarke, Max Gheysens

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