When I was 23 years old, the bakery downstairs from my apartment in Chicago moved. At the time, I was working at Anthropologie as a Visual Manager, responsible for managing display, merchandising, and styling for a local store. My resume to date was eclectic— a stint in historical costume restoration, insurance software helpdesk developer, stage and prop production for experimental puppet theater, pottery teacher, tennis club cashier, café waitress, and some light cattle wrangling and overall stable hand. I was basically qualified to be an assistant to an aging eccentric dowager or to work for Anthropologie. (I wonder if I chose the right path?)

Clearly, none of this mattered to me when I turned to my partner (and now husband) Andrew and insisted that we open an artisanal bread shop in the now conveniently vacant space.

“Imagine the joy of owning something, of wrapping your hands around bread you’ve made, of being a space in the community for people to gather,” I gushed, standing in the middle of the (of course) sun-filled room, the air still seemingly full of flour and virtue. Looking back, I’m sure I was dressed in something suitably ridiculous—clogs and a double-breasted jacket, baker cosplay.

Andrew, of course, was dubiously inspecting the massive commercial ovens and trying to get a sense of what it would take to ensure they were worth the investment. 

“Do you know what time bakers get up?” He responded. He’s always supportive and a great dreamer, but he has a midwestern practicality that I find deeply irritating. 

Despite all odds, things really went down the road. When I get an idea, I commit. I bought some version of Opening a Bakery for Dummies. I wrote a business plan. I spoke to the bank about loans. I met with the landlord. I interviewed bakers. I developed menus. I wrote SOPs. I registered for an LLC. I might even own the domain name still. I should follow up on that. 

Reader, I was 23. I’m grateful every day that I, for whatever twist of fate, did not open this business. I can’t even remember why it didn’t come together, but a decade and a half later, I’m grateful for the work experiences and job opportunities I’ve had that led me to today. I’ve had incredible mentors and teachers who’ve given me so much insight into the way an agile and mission driven brand should run. I’ve also worked with people who, through their example, taught me a lot about what I don’t want to do as I build a company. 

But that interest in spaces, that interest in a space for the community to gather has been my passion from the beginning. I knew that when I started a business, I would always want brick and mortar to be at the heart of our mission. No surprise that both Andrew and I have ended up designing, building, and operating retail and restaurants for a living—that bakery really stuck with us.

Feste is a lifestyle brand that makes it easy for people to entertain. We have great product, services, and vendors—everything online that you need to get together offline. It’s only natural that we’re opening an amazing IRL space to help you get together, no occasion necessary. 

Our Soho store and restaurant coming together.

The ultimate gathering space, our flagship provides a space to get inspired, to play and dream up your next festivity, as well as offer unique services and hospitality experiences you can only get offline.  With space for private events, workshops, customization, and on-going activations, our shop is the perfect partner to plan your next festivity.

I think we’ve got something great in store (har har) for you. From the vintage fixtures that we hand-refinished to the signature corner booth to the custom balloon menu, we know this is gonna be an amazing place to shop, drink, eat, and party. 

Wondering what’s been going on behind those Instagram-able disco ball windows?  


These kits provide our guests more than just party supplies but everything they need, from playlists to party hats to the perfect pisco cocktail recipe, to make every gathering a scene.


Specialty party décor, stationery, one-of-a-kind pieces, games


Unique tableware, barware, linens, pantry essentials, vintage container 


Everything you need for your dinner party or last-minute soirée


Consultations, installations, private events and workshops


Artisanal balloon menu and custom bouquets


Paint it, monogram it, design it, print it, customize it, we’re here to help you dream big


Your dream vendor network at your fingertips


Champers Social Club is an all-day cafe and boutique bar with a selection of bubbles and perfect bites. We cultivate an irreverent, approachable, and inspiring space to get together, making the everyday something to celebrate. A broader list of sparkling by the glass lets our guests experiment and discover new favorites and make space for wine makers who aren’t featured on traditional wine lists. Paired with great bites, a jamming soundtrack, and a gorgeous space, it’s the perfect space to gather. Reach out now at concierge@lovefeste.com for more details on our private event space or to host a special occasion with us.


WILD & Floral Outpost is an innovative floral outpost, offering blooms by the stem, local delivery, subscriptions, event design, and installation. Dedicated to minimizing our environmental impact, we’re focused on considerate sourcing, composting, and following the seasons. Completely foam free, we prioritize buying local when the season allows and domestic when it doesn’t.

Sign up now to get the details! First 100 email sign ups get a complimentary gift at the door.

Join us to get together, no occasion necessary.

Can't visit NYC? Party with us wherever you are with our exclusive Scenes now shipping FREE. Wondering what's included in a scene? 


April 06, 2022 — Brenna Gilbert