If we could sum up Make it Mariko’s 2023 in one word, I would say it was WILD. It felt like a giant roller coaster with so many unexpected twists & turns, drops that knocked the wind out of me, and also thrilling pockets of joy & connection. As a small business, it was incredibly hard due to ever-shifting goalposts, staffing challenges, cash flow issues, and lower event budgets partnered with higher expectations.

We also made some amazing growth strides as a small business, too! We hired our first Senior Event Director, Genevieve, hired a new full time Administrative Business Partner, Donita, and we got our first business loan!

More importantly, 2023 taught us a lot about our VALUES as a company – we learned which kind of clients are values aligned, and which are not. We learned to hold our boundaries, how to stand up for ourselves, and how to advocate for our needs and our full rate (which we’re actively working on still getting better at).

In the end, I’m so proud of what we accomplished, and I’m proud we’re still going strong – especially at a time when small businesses are struggling and closing at unprecedented rates. Next year we have really exciting things up our sleeves as we work on some BIG moves for our company. We CANNOT wait to share it all with you.

As always, thank you for your support and for being on this journey with us.

🖤Gina Mariko

Top 10 Magical Moments of 2023

1) Launched POC Wedding Party

In 2023, we launched POC Wedding Party, a curated collective of Bay Area POC wedding vendors and creatives dedicated to diversifying the wedding industry.

2) Memorable “Wedding” of the Year 🤎🌈

This year, we had the honor of orchestrating extraordinary celebrations of love including one of our favs – the grand and joyous celebration of life for Pat and Thom, aka their “Big Fat Gay Extravaganza.” Let’s just say, it did NOT disappoint!

3) Corporate Party Highlights 🥳

Our corporate events this year were a blast! From Tigabytes and Discord to Lumin and X Holiday Party, each gathering was a testament to the perfect blend of professionalism and fun.

4) Three months of UNDISCOVERED SF Season 7

Season 7 of UNDISCOVERED SF brought three epic festivals celebrating 50 years of hip-hop in SOMA Pilipinas. With headliners like Rocky Rivera and Ruby Ibarra, we continued our mission to boost economic activity and awareness in San Francisco’s historic Filipino cultural district.

5) SPAM® Brand Partnership at UNDISCOVERED SF

Partnering with SPAM® brand at UNDISCOVERED SF brought a touch of Instagram-worthy fun with a cute musubi installation, and we created ways to highlight their new SPAM® Maple Flavored item. A delightful addition to an already vibrant event!

6) Parol Festival in Yerba Buena Gardens 🎄

Embracing the holiday spirit, we hosted the Parol Festival—an outdoor extravaganza in Yerba Buena Gardens. Let’s throw it back to dynamic festivities and seasonal cheer!

7) Pinterest’s “Positive Corner” for Holiday Joy ✨

Our collaboration with Pinterest brought joy and fun to life during the holidays! Check out our creatively designed installations that capture the essence of celebration. Blog for this one coming soon!

8) MBE Certification!

This year Make it Mariko received our official MBE Certification to be recognized as a Minority Business Enterprise! We were honored with a grant from the Warriors (!!) to complete a multi-month program to learn strategic business tips in order to work with large scale corporations. At the end of the program we did a pitch to multiple corporations, and were honored with a special Warriors jersey!

MIM is committed to diversity and inclusivity, driving our mission to create memorable and impactful experiences.

9) Joy To The City at Chase Center ☃️

A milestone achievement! Producing Joy To The City at Chase Center was a success, and the MIM team, in partnership with CA Assemblymember Matt Haney, CODE Tenderloin, and Anthony Presents achieve:

  • 5000+ attendees
  • 3500 toys and books given away
  • 850 grocery bag giveaways,
  • 500 free meals distributed
  • Headliner performances by Goapele and P-Lo

10) POC Food and Wine Festival Announcement 🍷

Get ready for the POC Food & Wine Festival! Mark your calendars for May 3-5, 2024, as we celebrate the global majority in food, wine, music, and culture. Join us in creating a community-minded space for everyone to savor and explore the finest in hospitality.

Thank you for an amazing 2023! Here’s to another great year together 🙂