Introduce yourself! Who are you?
I'm Miraya, pronounced Mi-ray-ah like a ray of sunshine. I grew up in Santa Cruz, CA, went to school at UC Berkeley then moved straight to NYC where I lived for 5 years. I just moved back to the Bay Area. I've been planning elaborate events since I was 10 years old and started my events studio Pop Productions three years ago.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
My mom used to always tell me you look your best when you're wearing a smile and anyone who knows me would tell you I smile a lot. Clients often mention my sunny disposition. Even on a stressful day a smile makes me and others around feel me better. 

Have you ever had anyone doubt you? How did that make you feel?
One of my first jobs out of college I was an account manager at a tech company and my manager said that I cared too much about the job and took things too personally. I was so upset about this at the time because I thought caring was a good thing, I wanted my clients to be happy. Instead my manager made me feel guilty. I think I've been learning it's just about finding the right people to work with who appreciate my dedication. 

Why do you love to travel?
I love traveling to explore new trends, flavors and styles from different cultures. Tasting desserts in Belgium, cocktails in London, shopping from boutiques in Israel, it's just so exhilarating and fun! Some of my favorite souvenirs are matchbooks from restaurants I've been to all around the world as a memory of the delicious foods. 

How do you manage your work-life balance?
Each day is so different and I am always trying to get better with work-life balance. When I lived alone in New York there would be days where I didn't leave the apartment at all because I was in a bubble of work. Now living with my boyfriend there is a bit more forced balance because we'll have dinner and make plans, so I have to be more disciplined with the hours I am working so that we can spend time together. I like planning trips for after events because if I don't purchase a ticket to go somewhere I'll just keep working, so it's a nice reward and forced vacation.

What is your favorite meal?
Dessert is definitely my favorite meal, which is why I founded a dessert festival, Dessert Goals! I see more creativity in desserts than any other type of food. 

What do you do on a daily basis to grow and move forward?
I'm a big list maker, it helps me organize my thoughts and focus on what needs to get done. I'll make a bullet point list with all my tasks and then sort it by projects and priority. Lists help me stay sane. 

If you weren’t doing the job you have now, what would you be doing?
When I was younger I so wanted to be an actress, I was obsessed with musical theater. I don't know if I would have had the thick skin needed with the rejection but if I hadn't realized my other love, event planning, could be a career, I might have tried to pursue acting. 

What is something on your bucket list?
A really want to get a dog or cat in the near future. I always grew up with animals and I have a serious pet craving. When I see a cute dog on the street or cat through a window I can't help but stare. 

Where do you find inspiration?
Since I was in middle school theater sourcing for costumes, I have loved going thrift shopping to look for inspirations. Beautiful patters on dresses, unique dishes, interesting books, there are so many fun stories. One of my favorite weekend afternoon activities is browsing local thrift shops.

More About Miraya

Miraya Berke creates experiences that spark delight! She is the founder of Pop Productions, an events studio that thoughtfully crafts experiences to connect brands with communities. Miraya co-founded Dessert Goals, a dessert festival celebrating discovery and fun. She loves sweets, travel, thrifting and movies. Miraya just moved from New York to the Bay Area. 

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