Latoya Rodriguez shares the story behind her craft and the exciting plans she has for 2019 and beyond. With a completely full calendar on her left and a five-week old baby on her right, Latoya Rodriguez of Deep Love Picnics has her hands well and truly full. But she wouldn’t want it any other way. The highly creative mother of four children under nine is fulfilling a lifelong styling dream with her business Deep Love Picnics in her home town on the Sunshine Coast. Latoya worked as a beauty therapist before she had her first three children, but always had a creative side to her that she loved sharing at events with family and friends. She and her husband David wanted to use her talents alongside their affinity for outdoor activities to offer picnic styling and event planning to locals who couldn’t find the time to organise that sort of thing for themselves. “I’ve always wanted to do styling and event planning, but with three kids at the time, we wanted to come into it on a smaller scale. We thought two-people picnics would offer that element where I can get creative. We wanted to do something completely different that we hadn’t seen before. We love being outdoors, especially with kids and making them leave their technology and screens behind. We love doing things as a family or even just the two of us,” she explains. After talking to a lot of people, they realised picnics were something people were doing less and less. “They don’t have time to organise special date nights or things like that to switch off and connect together,” she says. Latoya styled a few mock picnics and put them on Facebook to see what sort of reaction she would get and things exploded from there. “It happened really, really quickly and we made our first booking in the first week,” she says. Deep Love Picnics After a month in business, Visit Sunshine Coast approached them and asked if they could style an event. They shared a post of their styling online and demand grew. Latoya started with two-people picnics and has grown to now offer large-scale events, including formal corporate events with around 100 people. They also offer activities at their picnics, including, but not limited to, yoga classes and flower crown workshops. “It’s been great and we love every minute of it. The two-people picnics are still the most popular for anniversaries, date nights or proposals. We also do birthdays and hen’s parties for people who are after something a little different and special.” After a year of business, Latoya decided to push her creativity further and began studying wedding planning and styling. “That’s when we launched Deep Love Weddings. We found we had so many wedding enquiries but they thought all we did was on-the-ground picnics. So we decided to separate the two.”

“Depending on the time of day we piece together the food, refreshments, styling and flowers. We use all local, handmade and organic produce and we offer local flowers and candles. We try and keep it all within the Sunshine Coast.”

While Deep Love Weddings was launched in July of 2017, Latoya had to take a step back while she was pregnant with baby number four, but is excited to announce she’ll offer weddings again in 2019. But that’s not to say Latoya has ever let anything get in her way. “I styled a wedding one week after he was born. I strapped him into my Baby Bjorn and off we went.” Latoya says her children are all extremely helpful and are used to her busy schedule. She also has the help of her partner David, who works full time with his own business, plus her talented assistant Ashley. So how does a Deep Love Picnic work? Latoya says they come to an agreed location, which they will style depending on the package, then leave to let the magic happen; 40 minutes before they’re ready to go home, the client will message Latoya and she will return to pack it all up. “We don’t put time limits on it because we found we didn’t want to restrict people to a certain time frame,” she explains. Deep Love Picnics offers several different packages including one very exciting helicopter proposal package that’s coordinated with Ocean View Helicopters. “Depending on the time of day, we piece together the food, refreshments, styling and flowers. We use all local, handmade and organic produce and we offer local flowers and candles. We try and keep it all within the Sunshine Coast.” Latoya adds that whenever they organise an event, people comment the quality of food is second-to-none. She loves that she can promote local businesses and bring more business to the Sunshine Coast through her styling. And the most exciting part of the job? “We love being challenged and thrown a few curve balls,” she says. “Everyone has a different style, so our picnics change depending on what that person likes. We’ve even done a rockabilly proposal and an outdoor cinema proposal. We’ll accommodate according to the person.” Next the time you’re organising a hen’s party, birthday celebration, or corporate event, or you have a big proposal idea in mind, look no further than Deep Love Picnics for quality styling and a unique experience. Phone: 0448 128 327]]>