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Destination CALPAK IRL: A Concept

Destination CALPAK IRL: A Concept


About 5 months ago, we started to work on one of the biggest moments in our company’s history: the first ever CALPAK pop-up shop. And I, trusty designer Shelby, was lucky enough to be one of the team members to bring it to life.

As the designer, there were two major challenges to creating a pop-up across the country: one, you have to trust your gut instinct that the space you’ve chosen (through emailed photos and videos because you’re all the way across the country) is going to be right for you, and two, you have to be okay when whatever happens, just happens.

We spent the first couple of months discussing pop-up themes, concepts, activations, and locations. Once the location was finalized, we could start talking about customer experiences. We discussed things like airplane seats, hotel themes, taxi cabs, and giant-scaled versions of our luggage, but ultimately, we asked ourselves, “If CALPAK were a place, where would we be? What would we look like? What is Destination CALPAK?”

I F    C A L P A K   W E R E   A    P L A C E

Challenge #1: Take our tropical, warm, but breezy, elements and mesh them with a city that doesn’t have a palm tree in sight. Find common ground between our LA-based brand and the New York aesthetic.

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First visit:

One of the things I noticed on an early scouting trip to New York was that I love Brownstone and Greystone buildings. I guess for me, being surrounded by so much height and energy, I felt the vibes and really craved that when I got back to LA.

I also noticed how good it feels to walk around with your headphones in and to know exactly where you’re going in the midst of all of this. Even if I was wandering, I was wandering with a purpose.

T H E   M O O D

Challenge #2: Take my New York Minute energy and get it down on paper. Think about color, temperature, texture, then fluidity vs. rigidity, square vs. round, brick vs. stucco. How do you bring the outside in? How do you create a breeze in a room with no open windows? How do you create a dry environment on a rainy day?

T H E   S P A C E

Challenge #3: Seeing internet photos and knowing that this was it. This was the space we were going to use. Even when there was a hint of the previous renter and scratches on the floor, we had to make a decision and get to work.

Paint swatching:

I think I have to find a new Home Depot to go to. I spent almost an hour looking at 20 different paint swatches just to take them home and not buy anything. *insert face palm emoji*

“Granite Dust” and “Stone Brown” were the ultimate pairing once I held them under the skylight.


Challenge #4: Photoshop the sh*t out of it. Phase one started out as simple line drawings, moving boxes and simple shapes until we found a layout we liked. It’s hard to be truly inspired by a space as empty as this:

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Phase two was when we really started getting photo-realistic, trying to see if the furniture we bought was going to work well with each other. I feel it’s important to remind you that we designed a space in New York from Los Angeles.

Final installation:

Challenge #5: Remember when I said you just have to be okay when *things* happen? This is when we really had to be patient and understanding and calm and totally chill and not freak out and breathe deeply.

Three days before the pop-up opened, after we got alllllll of the furniture and product into the space, we realized there was a rain leak coming through our beautiful atrium… Onto our giant photo moment… Where our florist was desperately trying to get work done… I remember telling myself, “It’s fine, I’m fine,” multiple times.

This is Silky, fixing our leaky ceiling while I’m internally panicking and documenting it for future use.

Take a look at the gallery below to see the progress on installation day!

T I M E   T O   O P E N !

And then we were done! The leak was fixed, the product was in place, and I could go home and sleep for a century. The rest of the CALPAK team came in to be total rockstars and run every event, help with every activation, and up-sell every product to our customers and it was a total success. If you’re interested in more photos of the space, flip through the photos below!

Want us to pop-up in your city? Leave a comment below or send us an email! We’d love for you to get to know us and our products a little better.

xoxo shelby.jpg
PACKED UP for 2 Weeks in South Africa w/ Amanda Li-Paige

PACKED UP for 2 Weeks in South Africa w/ Amanda Li-Paige