WHEN I FIRST spotted Christine Brown’s otherworldly bubble tent in Renton, I knew I wanted to draw it.
Brown, of West Seattle, launched her Rainy Day Picnics business in October after she was furloughed from her flight attendant job. To find a new source of income, she rekindled her creative side and purchased her signature bubble-shaped tent. To market the picnics, she had friends pose as models for social media and hoped Instagram and word-of-mouth would do the rest.
On this cloudy afternoon, I am catching up with her on the grounds of Matthews Winery in Woodinville as she sets up another luxury-style picnic, this one for a couple of recently engaged lovebirds.
I watch Brown spread rose petals over the plushy blankets and stylish pillows that cozy up the tent. The arrangement chosen by her client required meticulous coordination with other small businesses, which provided floral arrangements (Anthera Floral); handcrafted decorations (Tangerine Jewelry Shop); a grazing board of gourmet charcuterie, cheeses and fresh fruit (Grate Boards); chocolate-dipped cookies (dipped.elegance); and even professional photography to capture the occasion (Taira Marie).
“Oh my gosh; this is sooooo cute!” exclaims her client when she arrives with her fiancé. It doesn’t take long before the rosé wine starts flowing and the kisses, ahem, begin. (Yes; sketching can be awkward sometimes.)
Brown feared winter weather would dampen people’s enthusiasm for the picnics, but the response has been the opposite. People are looking for something unique to do in a year when it’s been really hard to celebrate, says Brown. And the sound of raindrops on the clear tent makes the experience even more special. “It creates even more ambience when it’s pouring,” she says.