Today we’d like to introduce you to Jyothi Doughman.
Hi Jyothi, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
Honey Thyme Picnics is my pandemic baby. Like so many others, I was furloughed from my job as an events manager and my industry was flat lined for a long time. A large piece of myself was missing and I quickly realized how much I loved my job and how much I needed to collaborate with others. Once we were able to gather outside in small groups again, I began seeing other picnics popping up around town. I immediately said to myself, “I want to do that!” I began talking about it with some friends and before I knew it, I had a birthday and an anniversary to plan. Just like that, Honey Thyme Picnics was born.
San Diego has so much to offer. As a surfer, hiker and nature enthusiast, I explore the beaches and parks regularly with my son. I know almost every bit of the San Diego coastline and access points and I love finding ways to enjoy the beautiful scenery southern California has to offer and I think this may have been a bit of my inspiration for becoming a picnic artist. Another aspect about me that I think naturally gravitates me towards picnics and event production is my background in Theatre Arts. Working as a costume designer for over a decade taught me everything about the detailed production process for putting on a show. To me, creating a picnic is a lot like putting on a small production that my clients get to enjoy for a few hours, have a great experience, then go home with great memories. Theatre was a career choice because I wanted to be a part of something that was artistic, cultivated community and brought joy to people’s lives. Creating my picnics allows me to do just that, but in a much more distinctive and personal way.
These past couple of years have shown us how much we truly desire closeness and connection and I’m thrilled to have developed a business that provides such a unique experience to celebrate life with the ones we love in a safe and eco friendly way.
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
I have had so much support from family and friends and everything has unfolded rather organically for me in regards to development. However, I have had some learning curves with figuring out the best access points for different beaches and parks so that I can roll my wagon to the desired picnic site. I am currently a one woman show so being able to find a level path close to parking is very important. Accessibility is a key component, as well as, learning all of the different rules and regulations in each area. Coronado and Del Mar have very different rules and permit guidelines than San Diego and I had to learn some of that the hard way. Overall, as a first-time business owner and creating a business from scratch, the process has been remarkably smooth so far. Thank goodness!
Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I am originally from Madison, Wisconsin. I moved to Berkeley, California when I was 19 and fell in love with California and all of the amazing national parks and coastline beauty and I knew I was never going to go back to Wisconsin. I eventually moved to San Diego to attend college and received my Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Arts from UCSD. I worked as a costume designer and Wardrobe supervisor for a little over a decade for the La Jolla Playhouse, The San Diego Repertory Theatre and The Old Globe Theatre. I took time off from theatre life when I had my son and eventually transitioned my career towards event planning and management. I received my certification in Meeting and Event Planning from SDSU. I started working at the Old Globe Theatre again running events for the Philanthropy department. Eventually, I also became an event manager for Green Acre Campus Pointe and Farmer and the Seahorse, two large event companies up in La Jolla running large-scale corporate events and weddings. When the pandemic hit, my industry was completely flat lined and I was out of work for such a long time. It was and still is scary to think about what the future holds for the events industry. So much has changed regarding food safety guidelines and safe gathering protocols. I am back to work now as the Philanthropy Events Assistant at The Old Globe Theatre and it has been great to be able to produce shows again for so many during such a difficult time in our society. We are doing everything we can to keep our doors open and keep the theatre alive. Thankfully, since creating Honey Thyme Picnics, I feel like I have a side business that I will always be able to maintain alongside my career. It is a labor of love and it will continue to be safe under any restrictions as they are outside, small scale, private dining experiences. I look forward to growing my business and showing people the joys of experiencing the beautiful landscapes of San Diego or even their own backyard with a fun and elegant picnic to share with their loved ones. We all need to continue to enjoy life the best that we can and I hope to help facilitate that with my picnics.
Is there something surprising that you feel even people who know you might not know about?
I’m a rather open book, but I suppose people who know me may be surprised that I absolutely struggle with social media and online promotion. I’m very old school and I’m an energetic person so sitting on my phone or a computer is rather taxing for me. It takes me a lot of time to post and update my profiles and I way overthink the entire process and agonize over details. Creating my website was such a daunting task that I almost hired someone to do it for me and was completely willing to haul out the big bucks so that I wouldn’t have to sit hunched at my computer. However, I stuck to it and learned a lot, but once it was complete I was so relieved and knew that web design was not my calling. Thankfully, the bulk of what I do requires movement and creation so I’m certain I chose the right field for me.
- Classic Picnic – 2 Hrs | $180 – for 2 ppl – each additional Person is $20 with a max of 10 people.
- Deluxe Picnic – 2 Hrs | $220- for 2 ppl – each additional Person is $20 with a max of 10 people.
- Birthday Tea Party – 2 Hrs | $260 – for 2-5 ppl & 2 Hrs | $360 – for 6-10 ppl
- Set Up Only – 2 Hrs | $150 – for 2-5 ppl & 2 Hrs | $250 – for 6-10 ppl
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: www.honeythymepicnics.com
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/honeythymepicnics/