Lately, I've been thinking about what it means to make something long-lasting in the digital age.
With vanishing photos and viral stories, we have collectively rewritten the rules when it comes to the consequences of creating without consideration for the big picture. And without careful moderation, online consumption can end up stifling offline innovation. But for Pop Up Grocer's Emily Schildt, consumption continues to take on a more dynamic meaning outside of the predicated confines of the digital landscape.
Throughout her career in the food and lifestyle industries, Emily has mastered the art of building brands that take a bite into culturally-relevant conversations. She has also created environments for modern customers to consume (and discover) new things without technological distraction. Perhaps what is most impressive is that while the nature of Emily's work is fleeting, her projects are a creative reminder that if we can embrace the little moments—no matter how quickly they may pass—we can remain connected to them for a lifetime.
In many ways, this sentiment has always been ingrained in Emily's creative perspective. Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Emily began cultivating her curiosity at a young age. "I've always been independent, that was the dynamic in my family growing up," Emily tells me when I ask her about her initial relationship with things like making and creativity. "I guess I've sort of always been a maker. Like when I was a kid, I would come up with ways to entertain myself—games, playing house, whatever. That translated into adulthood in the form of things that I could potentially someday make money from but also still be entertained by."
Eventually, Emily's interests culminated in marketing-focused roles at renowned companies in New York City, including Chobani and Fohr Card. She later went on to spearhead thoughtful entrepreneurial ventures like Bitten, as well as Sourdough, her communications consultancy which also produced a successful holiday pop-up shop.
However, it was when I first met Emily as she co-founded Thing of Wonder, a no-phone dinner series focused on reinvigorating creativity and connection through theme-specific talks and activities, that I recognized her innate talent for making one-time occurrences mean something beyond that particular moment—along with the vehicle that has been a connecting thread throughout her endeavors: food.