It’s the perfect time to eat and drink outside. Pittsburgh companions Colleen Pedicord and Tierra Thorne are looking for the best way to have a purposeful and beautiful picnic. They are the founders of Blanket & Board, an event planning company that started in June 2020 with an emphasis on providing compassionate experiences while giving back to the community.
“At the time Tierra and I were working together as a social worker at a childhood trauma treatment center, but George Floyd had just been killed. We were in the middle of a pandemic and everyone was stressed. I felt, was scared, and was scared, “Colleen told Incline. “We were on her porch at Tierra’s house, making a pork chop, and thought, ‘This should be a thing.'”
“Originally, we wanted to be self-sufficient on Sundays and bring people together in a safe and socially detached way,” added Tierra. “Besides, we both love nature. We’re all so inspiring that we’re in nature and it’s very quiet to be in the park. “
What started as a backyard event and was a safe way for friends and family to get together during a pandemic quickly gained traction and became a number of popular pop-up picnics around the city.
“People really needed it,” said Tierra. “You really had to get out.”
you Book a picnic with blanket & board, Flowers, candles, blankets, pillows, as well as pork platters with fresh fruit and vegetables, meat and cheese, bagels and crackers (doesn’t it contain vegan or gluten? Don’t worry? Please). .. They also have options for you). Simply appear at the park of your choice at a set time and the arrangement is ready for your picnic enjoyment.
We met Colleen and Tierra at the Blanket & Board 1st Anniversary Ceremony. Below is our interview, edited for clarity and length.
Blanket & Board founders Colleen Pedicord and Tierra Thorne (📸: Rebecca Sufrin courtesy Ceiling & board)
Francesca: Happy birthday! What is your favorite piece of Blanket & Board so far?
Colleen: I like the creative side of it. Creating this cute space for others is really great. At some point these people just lay down after they finished the picnic and played that couple card game that we built into the picnic. We got there so early that we watched for about 15 minutes.
Country: They held hands and passed the cards back and forth. You told us it was the best anniversary? [celebration] We said: “Yes! We did it! ”
We also have picnics for young girls through Fro Gang and they only felt like princesses for one day. These children, who have so much trauma, cannot live their best lives every day. But for the past two hours we’ve been waiting for them with our hands and feet, telling them how beautiful they are and telling them not to worry about anything. We love it and think this is an annual event.
How has your career as a social worker influenced your entrepreneurial mission?
Colleen: Our main role as social workers is to stand up and speak in vulnerable and poorly served communities. Our understanding of ourselves and others revolves around the term “people in the environment”. In short, we pay close attention to environmental factors and how changes in space and circumstances can support happiness. The biggest part of creating a safe environment is having a network of people who feel like we are in our physical space and who we belong to.
Blanket & Board is about creating a nice and relaxed atmosphere in which everyone can come together, eat and celebrate together. We want to use our business as a platform not only to let outsiders experience the healing powers of nature, but also to promote self-care and relationships.
Country: Also, I’m black in Pittsburgh. For someone who looks like me, it’s not a city with many options. I know that I am one of the really lucky people. And I want to shed some light on the problems and differences blacks have in Pittsburgh. There is data.. you can literally go anywhere in the United States. Blacks can move to Arkansas and extend their life expectancy by three years. Thats so bad.
Picnic with blanket and board in Pittsburgh Park. (📸: ceiling & board)
A portion of Blanket & Board’s income is donated to local and non-profit organizations. Why is it an integral part of your business and what local organizations have you supported so far?
Colleen: The emphasis on support resources within the community is important to us. In 2021, Healthy village, Gangsters here and there, Sisters PGH, Strong woman, strong girl,and When she is fine.. These are local organizations that focus on building support systems for local youth and women.
Donate part of the proceeds to a local non-profit organization. This is because nonprofits are visible. It would be nice if there was a presence on Instagram. But we already have a job. I have noticed that several more picnic shops are emerging in Pittsburgh. After realizing this is happening, we want to remain true to our mission to serve other minorities in Pittsburgh and women-run businesses.
Some of the most valuable conversations happen when you are sitting at the table, eating, and being surrounded by good companions. Blanket & Board came when people really wanted to have those experiences and needed to go out. What kind of conversations do picnics inspire?
Country: I want you to consider the person you are sitting with as someone you very carefully cherish in your life.
Colleen: An open and safe conversation where people can ask questions and talk about anything in a safe place. We have a lot of birthdays, anniversaries and girls brunch. Sometimes we forget to celebrate people in our lives who support us. We choose the people around us every day.
Country: I also want you to feel uncomfortable. It’s just a reality. Things aren’t always pink and cream in color. It’s difficult to have a lot of conversations.
Colleen: Many “difficult” conversations these days come with privileges. Acknowledging privileges does not mean dismissing your experience, and having privileges does not mean that you will not face difficulties or that you will work hard in your life. Depending on who you are, it means you essentially started with a ladder, and if everyone wants to live in a world that deserves a fair chance, it is relationships with others. It is important to be aware of your experiences. When you are aware of your privileges, you can use them to create space for understanding and understanding.
Friends and business partners, Colleen and Tierra (📸: Rebecca Sufrin courtesy Ceiling & board)
Do you have a hearty anecdote to share over a past picnic?
Colleen: There was this very nice couple who adopted a couple of children and they just left the nest. They said, “Oh my god, I had to find something to do during COVID.” We sat down with them after their picnic and hung out for an hour. He also said there was a woman who gave birth to a baby during the pandemic, which gave her and her husband a reason to go out and feel normal. It also enabled her children to meet other children for the first time.
Country: I’m having a picnic with a neighbor I’ve known for 40 years. It’s really cute. My mother and daughter, who booked a picnic at the start of school last year, are having a picnic again this year.
Read these full Q&A for tips on how to organize a B&B get-together and what to expect when booking a picnic for Tierra and Colleen picnic supplies.
What are the most important things for a picnic?
Country: Fresh flowers, wine, pork … and games! What triggers a conversation.
Colleen: Fairy lights and food. Speaking of games, we have a deck with that Really curious Cards for the picnic. This is a black-owned conversation card game aimed at empathy.
Blanket & Board Charcuterie Spread. (📸: Rebecca Sufrin Courtesy Blanket & Board)
‘Burgh – Any tips for The Incline readers on how to have a good B&B style picnic?
Country: I think people are the most important part of a picnic. We can put it all together, but if you don’t have a good companion, it’s not a good picnic.
Colleen: In addition to blankets and food, you really need a good view. And there are plenty of places in Pittsburgh with breathtaking views. One of our favorite picnic spots is the West End Overlook.
What can people expect when they book a blanket and board picnic?
Country: Our niche is more than just a picnic. It’s space, sensation. I think that’s what separates us. Compassion, Intention and Our Mission when people book [with us], You know your money is worth it.
Colleen: You can also expect our attention to detail. Some allow us more creative freedom, others give us more orientation. You can customize the color scheme and chalk board to suit your picnic. We are also really environmentally friendly. All items are reusable or biodegradable.
🌻 Are you looking for something other than a pop-up picnic? You can order an office-wide DIY picnic box or book a blanket and board to create a wicker table for your next party. For more information on blanket & board services, Visit their website And follow them Instagram..
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