In the past six months I’ve been pursuing what is truly my life dream — to own and operate my own event venue & retreat center with a focus on uplifting creatives of color. Over the past 10 years as an Event Producer in the San Francisco Bay Area, I’ve grown tired of being a guest in other people’s spaces and have longed for my own space to curate and craft. I’ve grown tired of being at the mercy of other people’s rules, of constantly seeing our community and our favorite events displaced from their long-time venues, and having zero control over that reality.
My whole life I always thought that I wanted babies. No strike that, I assumed that I would have babies. You know the kids’ rhyme, “First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby with the baby carriage.” We sang this song at each other tauntingly, knowing that these were the steps of our future adulthood. Everything we were taught in school as little girls, every future scenario we were told to dream, and every book we read, included a future where we were to one day get married, get pregnant, birth babies, and have our own families. I knew I wanted 1 boy and 1 girl, just like my brother and I. I kept a notebook with all my future baby name ideas. I dreamed of what kind of mother I’d be, and how I’d raise my kids.
What a roller coaster year of emotions 2020 has been. In January, we started off the year by losing one of our team members – Marco Jastillana – and could sense that it was going to be a rough one in general. Only to arrive in March to a worldwide pandemic and Shelter-in-place order. The entire live events industry was shut down, and we lost 81% of all our income.
I had no idea what was to come of Make it Mariko, but we weren’t going to sit around and wait to find out. We pivoted quickly with our event partners at AddVirtual, and started producing virtual events in April. It’s been a crazy adventure since then with hardly any breaks.
We planned 48 events in 2020
(a 17% increase from last year)!
27 were Virtual events.
Now in December, instead of having to shut down our business, I’m SO GRATEFUL to say that we’re celebrating our 5-Year Anniversary for Make it Mariko! I know that many others in the events industry weren’t so lucky, and for that, I have nothing but endless GRATITUDE for our Clients, Event Partners, and Vendors who stood by our side, referred us for virtual events, and helped this ALL WOMEN-OF-COLOR SMALL BIZ THRIVE!
Here’s a countdown of some of our favorite magical, meaningful moments in true Make it Mariko form. ENJOY 🙂
With endless gratitude, joy, and hope,
Founder & Owner
HELLO DECEMBER💜💛 What a year 2020 has been for us all. We’re reflecting back on where @makeitmariko was at in March before the first shutdown happened — Before we *lost 81% of all our income*, and before all live events were canceled for the year.
Here we are now in December — We were able to pivot our business model to virtual events by partnering with our event brother @rjkoolraul, save our small business and our employees, and even enjoy a tiny bit of growth while at it. We’re SO incredibly thankful for it all, knowing that so many other event businesses were not as fortunate.
On Weds December 30th, we’re so GRATEFUL to be able to celebrate:
- 🥳 The 5-Year Anniversary of Make it Mariko
- 🎈🎂The birthday of our founder @ginamariko
- 🚀 The official launch of @rjkoolraul’s new virtual production company, AddVirtual!!
Through our struggles, challenges, and stress, there is always SO much to be thankful for and to CELEBRATE. Thank you everyone for being a part of this journey with us 🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾
– It made me scared, angry, and uncertain.
– It made me start to see people as viruses, instead of human beings.
– It made me judgmental of others who weren’t following the rules.
2019 was filled with so many incredible milestones for the Make It Mariko team. This was a special event for us because it was a celebration of the new decade, Gina’s birthday, and the 4th anniversary of Make It Mariko. On her 30th birthday, Gina created Make It Mariko as a gift to herself. Over the years, the team has grown and evolved and we’re excited to see what this new decade has in store for us!
To celebrate the start of a new decade, we threw our first ever New Year’s Eve party! We collaborated with our Undiscovered event partners 7th West and Creative Transit Agency plus Full Out Studios to pull off this amazing celebration. Read More
2018 was an epic year for Make it Mariko for many reasons. First off, it was my first year going FULL TIME with Make it Mariko. Yup, it was only this past February that I quit Google X and took the leap to focus on my business. It feels like it’s been 2 years though! We did so much this year. Since quitting, Make it Mariko has been thriving and expanding our reach in the community, and we’re so thankful!Read More