Dr. Sirrita Darby, left, founder of Detroit-based Wanderlust Revolution Experience, a stylish picnic-style table setting option available through Wanderlust.
The classic picnic is getting an update thanks to a local Detroit company. Gone are the days of red blankets, wrapped sandwiches and wicker baskets. The Wanderlust Revolution Experience is redefining the luxury picnic game backed with purpose.
Dr. Sirrita Darby, a teacher by profession, founded her nonprofit Wanders Revolution as a way to use travel as a form of activism. For communities of color, traveling domestically or abroad can seem far-fetched. Through her organization, Darby helped create passport support scholarships as well as study abroad scholarships for youth, group trips and more.
“Historically, Black people have not been able to move into spaces freely on their own due to systemic oppression. I think moving and traveling on its own is a form of resistance,” says Darby. “I always tell people your movement is a part of THE movement. So, let’s make sure we’re moving and not staying in the same place shackled and not learning. Traveling helps you learn.”
Like with most things, the onset of the coronavirus pandemic forced this company to reimagine its business. With travel plans on hold, they got to work on the next stage of the business. As a teacher, Darby suffered the pains of not being in the classroom and instead put her creative passion into reimagining her brand.
Wanting to expand on the idea of creating experiences while staying true to the mission, Darby found a way to marry the thrill of a new experience with the tradition of a summer pastime.
“I kind of stumbled upon the luxury picnic business on Instagram. I was on the explore page and saw it. I saw that it was a big thing in California and Florida, but it wasn’t that big yet here in Detroit, Michigan,” says Darby. “I wanted to bring that to us and still keep up with the theme and the mission of my nonprofit.
For use with birthday parties, bridal showers or a lunch with the girls, the Wanderlust Revolution Experience caters to plenty of event ideas. Extending services to include nighttime hours, solo time and recently adding a specialty curated date night theme to the mix, Detroit’s latest in luxury is also partnering with caterers to incorporate more into the moment.
“When you think of our experiences, they do take you to another place. A lot of time we have a Moroccan theme or an Arabian theme because we do want our experiences to take you to a different place. You can feel like you’re in a different country with our experiences,” says Darby.
The customizable features allow guests to add personalized touches to any event. Details and presentation are key. Eliminating much of the party needs and details for guests, packages include tables, floor pillows, rugs, plates, cutlery, wine glasses, Bluetooth speaker and more. The business even offers setup and cleanup services. For weather, bubble tents are available.
“Those fine little details are very detail-oriented so those little things, I know, set the experience apart from other experiences,” says Darby.
Officially launched June 2021, Wanderlust Revolution Experience plans to offer more than just picnics. What began as a summer hobby is now growing into a full-scale business. Offering a full menu of additional options, partygoers can even opt to have movie night at their own home complete with projector and screen.
“We are not just doing picnics. We started off with that and then it just took off. I didn’t expect it because it was just a summer thing, something to do. Now that it has taken off, I want to continue to buy inventory and I’m doing my strategic planning for the rest of the year because I know this isn’t something I can end when the summer ends,” says Darby.
Wanting to take the experience on the road to other cities and states, the businesswoman and teacher is working towards the future. The organization hopes to be able to give other Detroiters the tools needed to create a Wanderlust moment at any time.
“The goal is to really scale this business and really reach out to other cities and really have a storefront, too. I want people to come and actually be able to buy and create the experiences on their own,” says Darby.
For more information or to book, visit the brand on Instagram @thewrexperience.