Guest Feature: Blake Shine and Courtney Nichols
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This week we sat down (virtually of course) with Blake Shine and Courtney Nichols, co-founders of the in-home experience Of The Night. The two recently joined forces to creatively "curat[e] whimsical, tangible events", during the pandemic.
Of The Night: Creating Tangible Experiences During Lockdown
2020: the year we all became renowned bakers, home cooks, craft mixologists, and Tik-Tok stars. Our living rooms were turned into workshops and our bedrooms into offices, as we frantically searched for some semblance of structure.
As advocates for transformative moments of evening escapades, Courtney Nichols and I realized we couldn’t sit back idly and watch our community dull. So we didn’t. We realized it was time to shift from mourning all the things we couldn’t do and instead start celebrating new, innovative ways of gathering. We decided we weren’t going to wait for things to go “back to normal.”
It took a minute to figure out exactly what our contribution would be, since our combined experience is centered around curating whimsical, tangible events. Courtney is the Founder of Disco Dining Club and I design immersive comedy stages for various music festivals, such as Lightning in a Bottle and Desert Hearts.
Curating events was my career, but festivals were also my social and creative outlet. When I realized my skills didn’t translate seamlessly to digital, I became worried I would have to come up with a backup plan. After a couple phone calls, Courtney and I decided there is no backup plan when you are in love with what you do. And so, we came up with Of the Night.
Hand-delivered to doorsteps in Los Angeles & Portland, Of the Night packages are thematic party capsules that have the makings of a perfect night out, translated into a perfect night in. Each Of the Night package is designed for a party of 2, with their own theatrical narrative and includes snacks, beverages, eclectic decor, playful accessories, campy activities, a curated playlist, and other surprises. Every month we release a new wave of themes and a featured package from a collaboration with a brand or artist. Courtney and I also believe that having fun and doing good should be synonymous, so 10% of proceeds benefit oscillating charitable organizations.
We are still very much discovering our own journey and figuring out our process of theme releases, order and delivery schedules and how to incorporate more local brands in our packages. So far it’s just the two of us on the team (as we started Of the Night as a creative side project), but we have quickly realized it has potential to be something much larger. Before COVID, Courtney and my work was sporadic due to the amount of time and space needed to develop, market and execute a quality event. With Of the Night, we are able to curate experiences every weekend and release new narratives every month, something unimaginable in the offline space.
Of the Night is our way of confronting the current moment head on and inspiring our community to take back their weekends and to rediscover their limitless, creative potential. We also want to advocate for other creators who feel that the widespread transition into virtual events doesn’t feel right for them. We’ve realized that this time is best used discovering what your unique contribution can be and how you can uphold a sense of community.
We are currently looking to expand our Of The Night team by adding someone well versed in business development, finance, and investment. Ideally this person will help us expand to new cities and facilitate our featured packages in collaboration with record labels, to be released with their virtual livestreams and festivals. You can check out our current themes here and you can connect with us at Ofthenight@discodiningclub.com or on Instagram @OftheNight.club.