June 23rd marked a memorable night for the Bay Area Japanese American Community, as well as for Make it Mariko. This was an epic night featuring the introduction to KOHO, Japantown’s new artist & culture collective as part of Japantown’s Cultural Heritage District. KOHO approached Make it Mariko (as a fellow Japanese American small business and creative), to help them produce their official Launch Party.Read More
Phew, we made it through 2021. That was seriously a whirlwind of really high highs and really low lows, but we’re overall so thankful to have made it through as a small business during such a tumultuous time where so much of the events industry was still closed.
We continued to collaborate with our production partners at AddVirtual, and as a result we were able to take on bigger clients, and we innovated the Virtual AND Hybrid event spaces like no other.
Here are some of our highlights as a team and company this year:
Brown IS Beautiful.
Huge thank you’s to everyone who came out to the first Brown is Beautiful Holiday Party celebrating POC creatives! We know that it is such a crazy time right now with the pandemic, but we also know that we still need to learn how to live our lives and find our JOY to survive this together.Read More
If this past year has taught us anything, it is that through true times of hardship, the community is the key to perseverance. For over 50 years, Pomeroy Recreation & Rehabilitation Center has been a pillar of the San Francisco community — providing recreational, vocational, and educational opportunities for people with disabilities. Through this, Pomeroy has been able to bring people from all backgrounds together and create a strong community centered around respect, diversity, and inspiring people with disabilities to live a full life.
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.
Make it Mariko is an all women-of-color team committed to curating creative, inclusive, and diverse spaces in the events industry. We’re here to challenge the status quo and pave the way for a new generation of diverse event experience curators.
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