Last night I went to one of the most delightful and eclectic parties I’ve attended in New York a long time. My friend Tania, whom I’m so glad to have met about a month ago, was launching her new startup, Surprise Industries. The concept is this: for twenty five bucks a pop, they will provide you with a surprise experience that can range anywhere from the absurd-yet-fun to the challenging-yet-rewarding, while always staying true to the mission of providing the unexpected. All you get is a time and place, and the rest is left to fate. (And Tania.)
Fittingly, she threw a surprise party. Basically, everyone invited was told the location, a huge industrial yet posh space in the West Village, but no one was told what they would experience. And Surprise Industries didn’t disappoint. Among the many highlights were an incredible Indian dance performance, a great improv group, an aerial yoga demo, and delicious Ethiopian food followed by flavor tripping for everyone. (Yum!)
Also present at the party was an astrologer giving readings, a henna artist, a face painter, a photographer that took pictures of attendees jumping on trampolines and a whole smattering of other random (and yes, surprising) experiences for the guests to partake in. At a certain point the whole crowd was even invited to join in for a rousing Happy Birthday for one of the attendees, which was quite fun. (I’m pretty sure he was surprised, not often that a group of like 150 strangers sings you happy birthday!)
The party closed out with a kicker, one of the founders of the startup swallowing and breathing fire. So awesome!
I admire Tania and her co-founders a lot, they’ve got a unique idea and they’re running with it. I think that promoting spontaneity, fun, the unexpected and even the uncomfortable are good things, and I wish Surprise Industries the best of luck as it gets off the ground.