We had the good fortune of connecting with Selah & Annie and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Selah & Annie, what principle do you value most?
At Sonoran Picnics, we value connection. The foundation of our brand centers on helping others connect with loved ones, as well as the environment (or home), which we believe happens best around a table. Aside from our picnic venture, we both have careers in relational fields and find so much joy from bringing people together. Our focus on the details frees up our guests to enjoy intentional time together in a beautiful space, without the hassle that comes with preparing food, setting up, and cleaning. We consider everything from food pairings on our handcrafted charcuterie boards to colorful themes that highlight the special occasions our guests are celebrating. We create experiences that are unique, stylish and fun with elements like conversation cards, take-home floral arrangements, and polaroid photos. Our partnerships with local businesses brings us and our guests together with the greater Phoenix community. In addition, to further our commitment to connection, we have add-on options like Picnic + Paint with a professional artist, a guided Tea Experience, and will be launching Sonoran Picnics Favors—curated gifts for our picnickers—in the coming year.
Can you give our readers an introducti
on to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
We started Sonoran Picnics to create beautiful experiences for people to enjoy with the people they love. Primarily, we set up our luxury picnics in an outdoor space to soak in the breathtaking views available all around the Phoenix valley! One of the things that sets us apart is our desire to incorporate other small businesses and their passions into our picnics. We love working with local photographers, artists, Airbnbs, food vendors, florists, etc. to ensure each picnic is unique and specially-curated for each of our picnickers! In the near future, we are launching a new afternoon tea experience with a local tea company and hope to continue offering more experiences and partnerships!
We each spent a lot of time upfront setting and communicating the expectations we each had for the business and figuring out how to have realistic goals and boundaries! Having direct communication as business partners and friends has been one of our greatest strengths and why we are so excited and motivated going into year two!
We really want people to know that we care so much about our guests and the special occasions they are celebrating. We have so much fun setting up each picnic, and every single booking is exciting. We want all of our guests to feel special and unique, which is why we take the time to talk to our guests extensively to make sure their picnic is perfect!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
One of the amazing things about Arizona is that the Red Rocks of Sedona and pine trees of Flagstaff are only 2 hours away from the Phoenix desert. If a friend was coming to Phoenix for a week, we would absolutely recommend a short road trip to Sedona or Flagstaff to beat the heat and enjoy the small town vibes. Oak Creek Canyon is where the idea for Sonoran Picnics was created, so it holds a special place in our hearts. Back in Phoenix, a perfect itinerary for us would look like starting the day by hiking Echo Canyon (Camelback Mountain). The views are simply amazing. We’d follow up the hike by getting coffee at Songbird Coffee House downtown or brunch at Prep and Pastry in Oldtown Scottsdale. Phoenix is ideal for pool days, and the Scott Hotel or Arizona Biltmore are our favorites for lounging by the pool with a cocktail in hand. We would always recommend the Phoenix Zoo to our friends, with a picnic at Papago Park to follow. The palm trees, desert landscape, and view of “Hole in the Rock” are perfect for an Arizona picnic experience! Lastly, out of town guests have to try some of our amazing Southwestern food! We recommend the Mission in Oldtown Scottsdale or Taco Guild in Uptown Phoenix.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
To us, an important aspect of being small business owners is work/life balance. A book we enjoyed reading during our first year was The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry by John Mark Comer—this gave us a lot of perspective on creating good boundaries and not getting sucked into the negative sides of “hustle” culture. We recognize that in order to be successful, we don’t need to be overworked or too busy for the things that matter most to us. We are thankful to have families, friends, and communities that support us in the victories and areas of growth and we couldn’t do it without them!
We would love to give a shout out to our amazing growing team of photographers that we partner with! They have been there for us since our launch and are always a blast to work with. Isabella Lusk Photography, Mrs. Sarah Conrad Photography, and Megan Dawn Photography are extremely talented, and the kind of photographers that make their clients feel like they’ve been friends forever.
Facebook: Sonoran Picnics
Other: Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
TaylorRae Photo + Film Isabella Lusk Photo Sarah Conrad Photography