Please meet JaTaun, the amazing Mom behind Five Star Pop Ups, a luxury pop-up al fresco dining experience. A local native to Socal, this Mom has found time to turn her passion into a beautiful dinning experience for others. Most days you will find her on the beach setting up stunning backdrops for proposals, dates and birthday parties. Find out more about Five Star Pop Ups events, what advice JaTaun would give to other Moms looking to start a new venture and how she makes self-care a priority in her daily life. And don’t forget to contact JaTaun for your next pop-up dining needs.
How did you figure out that you had a passion for pop-up al fresco dining? I discovered my love for al fresco dining when I was very young setting up tea parties with my grandmother. It was always so much more beautiful outdoors. I’ve always loved setting tables with beautiful linens like my grandmother as well. This love for table settings continued as an adult. I would always bring my tablecloth and silk florals everywhere. My friends would always expect me to pull real wine glasses out of my purse. It was a regular thing for me.
What was your first pop-up dining experience? My first real pop-up dining experience was at a jazz festival in Los Angeles years ago. It was my first time attending. I knew that attendees were allowed to set up their own camp to enjoy the show. I was beyond excited about it. By the time I finished setting up, several people were coming over to ask about our table. Our area looked similar to the outdoor seating at a cafe in Paris. The florals were fresh and I brought real glassware of course. It was magical.
Where is your favorite location to have a pop-up al fresco dining experience? The beach. a park, your backyard, etc..? My absolute favorite place is definitely the beach. There is no better backdrop than the ocean and no better sound than the crashing waves. This is also the most popular pop-up destination for our clients. It takes the entire experience to another level.
Tell us about your favorite pop-up experience you have done for someone else thus far? My absolute favorite would be an intimate wedding proposal at a secluded beach in Newport. It was simply perfection. We set up our luxe teepee and adorned it with white roses. We had red rose petals in the shape of a heart which is where the proposal took place. The crystal chandelier sparkled the entire time. All of the beachgoers in the area clapped and cheered after the proposal took place. It was all very special.
How important is it for you to have a passion outside of being a Mother? I feel like moms focus 99% of their attention and energy on their children. I found that I didn’t really have time to focus on anything I was passionate about because I was obsessed with making sure that my daughter was prepared for her Math test, or gets to dance class on time. My son often needs to do some recording at a studio or needs to make up a piano class. Managing your children’s school activities, doctor’s appointments, dental appointments, and extracurricular commitments is simply exhausting. You can definitely lose yourself while you’re trying to make them great. The problem is that if you are exhausted, this is what they learn. I found that my children are much more disciplined now that they see how much hard work mom puts in to make her vision come to life. It has also given me more purpose. My babies will grow up and live their own lives. I have to find my joy within myself and this is what makes me happy.
Why did you decide to raise your family in Southern California? My husband and I are both So Cal natives. We were actually neighbors so our support system is really strong here. The thought that some children have to travel to see a beach is unreal to me. It’s a part of our culture and how I was raised. I’ve traveled quite a bit during my career in healthcare administration, so I’ve been able to experience how it feels to live in other parts of the country. Although I have some favorites, I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. I’m spoiled by the weather and the city life. I’m a true Cali girl for sure.
How do you practice self-care? My self-care routine isn’t consistent. Sometimes I just like to take a day to lay out on my swing bed and read something unrelated to work. Sometimes I meditate in my home gym while running my essential oil diffuser. I’m a huge Peloton fan so when I can squeeze in a ride, it always recharges me. Self-care is definitely something that I struggle with though. I usually wait for my body to tell me when it’s time. I really want to be more proactive with it. It’s a work in progress.
What is your favorite go to meal that the whole family will eat? I’m mostly pescatarian so salmon with brown rice and seasonal veggies is a fan favorite here. I’m sure my family would tell you that they’re over it, but I’m the chef so…. My kid’s favorite would be homemade spinach burgers.
What is your least favorite mom job? (i.e. packing lunches, dishes, bath time, etc…) My least favorite job as a mom would have to be making lunches. I’m the mom who pays for the school lunch ahead of time because I already know that I don’t want to do it. Quarantine has been a struggle because I was responsible for feeding my own kids. I really feel like being responsible for feeding two humans 3 meals a day is excessive. I mean, I know my grandmothers did it, but they were superhumans. It’s hard enough to remember to eat myself. I am beyond grateful for the schools and these amazing lunch companies that allow you to pick out your kid’s lunch selections for the month. I should invest in them.
What advice would you give to another Mom that also wants to take that leap into following their dreams of starting a new business? It may seem like you don’t have time to get started. You may be exhausted. It may be overwhelming. Just know that you can take it one step at a time. Just do one thing every night before going to bed. Give yourself that goal. If you check just one item off the list every day, imagine how many steps you have taken in two weeks. This was how I got started. I made a long list of to-dos, and I would check one off every day. That one checkmark felt so good, and it felt even better a month later when I had 30 checkmarks. You will be off and running before you know it. 🙂
Have you surprised your husband yet with a pop-up dining experience just for the two of you? No, he actually surprised me when I set up for our daughter’s birthday. I had also scheduled a photoshoot because, well, moms don’t do anything without killing two birds with one stone. I thought we would pack up and head home, but he arranged for the kids to be picked up and I got to sit in one of my pop-ups for the first time since we started. It was perfect.