We had the good fortune of connecting with Mariah Smith and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Mariah, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
During the peak of the pandemic, my hours at my full-time job had been shorted. This gave me the push I really needed to find a way to make extra income. I had been wanting to start a business for sometime, but would constantly let doubt set in. I had done lots of research into luxury picnics and being a picnic planner, as it is very popular on the west coast. One night, I stayed up and came up with a business name and made myself a business Instagram account. After that everything moved so quickly! I am officially 4 months into running my own luxury picnic business and I couldn’t be happier with my decision.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Starting a business has not been easy! I often see people glamorize the idea of “being your own boss” but it does not come without trials and tribulations. This whole business came about so spontaneously, I spent a lot of time finding things out while doing. Research is always helpful but you really aren’t able to learn what works/does not work until you try it out. I make sure to give my best with everything I do in life and this business venture has been no different. One lesson I’ve learned along the way and a piece of advice I would give to anyone thinking about starting a business is to: start a business that aligns with your lifestyle. I’m a huge romantic and I love celebrating all of life’s moments. So naturally, starting a business where I can be apart of birthday surprises, proposals, and date nights is perfect!

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If I had a best friend visiting Houston for the first time and I had to show them around in only a week, they would have the most exciting Houston trip ever. Born and raised in Houston, TX there is really not a single spot I haven’t been to and don’t already have planned on going to. Straight from the flight we would stop of the Breakfast Klub, a black owned breakfast spot near downtown. Some of my other must visit restaurants are Cool Runnings (for authentic Jamaican food) and Lost & Found (for really good food and event better cocktails). You can’t visit Houston without going to Buffalo Bayou Park and seeing the skyline. I would also really recommend visiting the Museum of Fine Arts. Houston has so many amazing restaurants and really good night life, so that would be the bulk of any itinerary.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I have always had the mentality of not speaking on my plans and sharing them when their done. I definitely used this ideal when launching my business. I did not share any news of starting my business with anyone but my grandmother for nearly a month. I wanted to be sure of my decision and the route I was taking, before letting others in. I find that sometimes we allow the opinions of others to taint our decisions and I knew this was something I really wanted to do. Once I began to share the news with my family and friends of my new business venture, the positive responses were overwhelming! I want to give a huge shoutout to my amazing grandmother, Sharon and my boyfriend, Kennedy. These two have provided me with so much support and encouragement from the very beginning.

Website: lavishpicnicshtx.com

Instagram: lavishpicnicshtx

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