Allswell with Emily Schildt
We’re continually inspired by people who practice living Allswell every single day. People who take life by the reigns, and take vacations. People who take risks, and then take naps. We believe that Allswell is a philosophy that celebrates both physical and emotional comfort - when all is well in the world and in your space.
In Allswell with… we get up close and in bed with interesting people doing interesting things, and find out what living Allswell means to them. First up, Emily Schildt, founder of Pop Up Grocer and Brand Marketer Extraordinaire.
It may be safe to say Emily Schildt dreams about food. This natural-born storyteller has spent the better part of her professional life working with major food brands (she was the pioneer behind Chobani’s social media rise to stardom), dining (solo) in some of the city’s best-loved restaurants and globe-trotting to hunt down snacks and food items that delight not only the palate, but the palette. Her love affair with food - and good packaging - has paid off, and we’re all about to be better for it with the opening of Pop Up Grocer this fall in Manhattan. With PUG, as it’s affectionately known as, Emily has made it her professional mission to bring inspiration to the grocery aisle.
From yogurt to well, more yogurt (You are the mind behind Pop Up Grocer, quite possibly the world’s most aesthetically pleasing grocery store. How did this idea “pop up” in your mind? What inspired you? What challenges did you face? Any surprises? And where are you popping up next?):
“Well, first, thank you! It truly is a labor of love and I’m feeling so overwhelmed by the enthusiasm around what we’re doing. I’ve been ruminating on grocery for some time, as I’ve been in the space for the entirety of my career and grocery stores are my favorite place to hang out. I put together a few business proposals over the past couple years, and ultimately, I just couldn’t wrap my head around building a permanent physical retail space. It is so capital heavy and I don’t come from money and I’ve never fundraised before. Asking for money doesn’t come easily to me, either. So, I pretty much closed the door on it. And then one day, I went to a pop-up shop and a lightbulb went off. I found my way into my dream!
At Pop Up Grocer we introduce people to the latest and greatest in grocery items, from food and beverage to home and body care. I love sourcing the products we feature. There’s so much creativity in this space, with the use of plant-based ingredients and inventive flavors, plus all the beautiful packaging design.
After New York this fall, we’re heading to Los Angeles to open our next store in early 2020 and currently finalizing our showcase of amazing brands. It’s our aim to outdo ourselves each time, so it’s going to be pretty great.”
On keeping a (rigid) routine:
“I’m a morning person, so typically I wake up around 5:30 or 6:00 a.m. and head to the gym. I like to get there before I’m really even awake. It helps to stir me and invigorate me for the day. After, I have a double espresso with oat milk. I do those two things pretty much every day. If it’s a Monday, I spend most of the day researching and reading the news, trends, etc., and planning out my week. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday I do the bulk of my to-do list. And on Fridays, I have all my meetings. But also, there’s a lot that happens outside of that rigid schedule.”
What keeps you up at night?
“What doesn’t keep me up at night? I run a small business! I’m usually making a list of things that need to get done, or people I need to follow up with. I’m also busy doubting all of the decisions I’ve made in life up to this point. You know, light stuff.”
On solo dining (and sparking a movement among women to do the same, and share it):
“Solo Date Night was and is something I do wholeheartedly for myself, and only myself, and that’s what makes it so special. In a nutshell, every Thursday, I take myself out to an indulgent dinner. I spend the full couple hours wholly engaged in the space and the experience. I don’t use my phone or read a book. It’s just me and the possibilities of the evening. I knew it was something that could really resonate with other women when I started to tell people about the practice. Women were so astounded that not only would I not be ashamed to be alone in public, but to invest that amount of time, intentionally, on being alone. The reaction pushed me to talk about it, because I couldn’t believe that in New York City of all places, where the most independent, self-aware, progressive women arguably live, women were astounded. How would they react then, in other parts of the country or world?”
On solo travel:
“I go to Italy every year around Thanksgiving. Italy has my whole heart. The more I’ve been fortunate to travel, the more I understand the difference between travel and vacation. Italy is vacation for me. It’s familiar enough at this point for me to relax. I don’t have a list of places to visit. I’m not paying an excessive amount in tours and museum admission. I love being there and just being. I sit on a bench for a couple hours. I stroll without a destination. I linger, I chat. I eat a gazillion snacks. Travel, especially alone, has strengthened my relationship with myself. I love hanging out with me. I’m really good fun. And we always agree on what to do.”
On acceptance (the realization that “having it all” is not actually real):
“One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned over the past couple years is that ‘Having it all’ is a fallacy. If I’m doing really well in my career, I’m probably dropping the ball in my friendships. I’m definitely not dating. Right now, in the thick of our 2nd store opening, I couldn’t tell you what the heck is going on in the world. You have to pick and choose. There are only so many balls you can have in the air at once, or else they fall. No one is special. No one has more hours in the day than you; it all comes down to how we individually prioritize, and how that changes with the seasons of our lives. But no matter what, every day, I carve time for myself. I’m #1. I go to the gym. I drink my coffee. I make a nice breakfast. I read something.”
Your home style in three words:
Relaxed, cozy, maximalist.
What’s your bed like?
Too many throw pillows.
Favorite sleeping position:
On my side, hugging a pillow.
How many hours a night do you sleep:
Not much of a late-night snacker. But maybe, bed wine?
Your NYC Neighborhood:
Your go-to NYC spot:
Café Altro Paradiso
After a long day, we’ll find you at:
Gemma at The Bowery Hotel
Head here to find some peace:
Lobby of the Greenwich Hotel
And here for inspiration:
Anywhere I can be bored. Whenever I don’t have to think, I do a lot of thinking.
“Done is better than perfect.”