The most LUXY thing to happen to picnics since sliced bread.
Instagram is saturated with beautiful feeds, we can all admit that. So what’s rare and refreshing these days is when one actually pops out at you, sells you the dream, and makes you want to get lost in its photos and hear more about who’s behind it.
Such was the case with me, when I came upon Coast & Mingle – a business serving up luxe, curated beach picnic experiences. I mean, as if a beach outing itself isn’t fun enough! Now we’re taking it up a notch to add an element of sparkle (and by sparkle, I mean champagne) and glam (and by glam, I mean, boho chic umbrellas, ultra yum charcuteries, and even a selfie station) with the glistening sea as its backdrop.
Owned and operated by Monette Everett and Kayse Duffy, who curate each picnic – along with their husbands, Shawn Everett and Miles Duffy, who manage the business – Coast & Mingle exists to bring this innovative and creative picnic experience to an area absolutely ripe for it.
“Our inspiration came from seeing beautiful photos of luxury picnics in places like California and Australia,” said Monette. “Those two areas are well known for having perfect beaches and weather for picnics…. we decided we were going to be the ones to bring this experience to our area.”
With their backgrounds in digital marketing, client experience, and art, the women knew they could create something special. “The combination of those things makes for the perfect dynamic,” said Monette.
As soon as the seeds were firmly rooted and ready for this idea to blossom, the women got to work. “Naturally, we started with our favorite clients – our friends and family. They were our very first picnic customers, and they fell in love with the experience and concept right away.”
To figure out exactly what their picnics would look like, Monette and Kayce started by curating items from their homes and creating scenes in their own backyards. “It is important for us to deliver a finished product that we would want for ourselves. One day, we gathered some items from each of our homes and took pictures of tablescapes and settings.”
“Our first pictures were taken in our backyards, which were beautiful settings. However, it was when we took those same picnics to the Southwest Florida beaches that we knew we had something special,” said Monette.
As with many things in life – and maybe one of the reasons I was so drawn to this Instagram account in the first place – this business is all about the feels. “Our goal is to curate a picture-perfect picnic that will create life-long memories for people. The beauty is here. We exist to enhance what is already an amazing place. There is no place like it, which makes it easy for our business to call Naples home.”
Having never even thought about doing a fabulous beach picnic until I found their account on the Gram, and now slightly obsessed with wanting to partake in one, I was curious about what goes into the curation of these events full of eye candy.
I asked the ladies to pinpoint one item that is an absolute must-have for a fabulous picnic.
“Personal touches are a must,” they responded. “Most of our picnics are booked for important life events, such as proposals, birthdays, anniversaries, and in some instances winning the battle against cancer.”
“When a client books an event with us, we connect with them to learn about the occasion they are celebrating… Every Coast & Mingle picnic comes with a customized sign. We ask each client what they would like their personalized sign to say. The signs are always fun to make, because it reminds us that the client is looking forward to the event, and our job is satisfying our client’s vision.”
“One of our favorite quotes was from a gentleman who was proposing to his girlfriend. His sign read, “The story of our love is only the beginning.” They came to the picnic as a couple, and walked away from the picnic as fiancés – and that right there is so special.”
Other fine details that make these picnics feel romantic are things like handwritten cards, fresh flowers, and champagne. “We are good at surprises! … We love when gentlemen reach out to us to surprise their girlfriends – we think it is romantic. I guess you can call us the “ultimate wingman” – we plan on going all-out to make the fellas who book with us look good.”
And with their business – as with all others – one of the most important considerations is, “Location! Location! Location! We are onsite two hours before our guests so we can find the best location. Working with public beaches can be tricky. However, through our many expierences, we have found the most intimate locations for our guests. We strive to find our clients a spot that is quiet, peaceful, and has the most ideal view.”
No matter the occasion, Monette and Kayce live for the reaction, and are happy their clients are happy. “We stick around to see their initial reaction – which have all been huge smiles… When our clients walk away from their picnics more relaxed than when they walked in, that makes us happy.”