Photos courtesy of Aversa PR & Adorned by Aisha
Winter 2020 may feel different, but there’s still plenty of magic in the air and the season must be celebrated! Local businesses owners, like Aisha Maria Loeks of Adorned by Aisha, look forward to this time of year and her vintage-inspired hand-made jewelry line has been gaining popularity in craft shows, makers’ events and large festivals like the Philadelphia Flower Show and Christmas Village. But, the current Covid-19 pandemic forced events nationwide to cancel. Many boutiques carrying Aisha’s products shut down and wholesale orders stopped coming in. Though she still sells through her website and Etsy, a large chunk of the income generated by Adorned by Aisha was wiped out.
Fortunately, she had a back up plan- one that takes a lot of love and a lot of imagination. Her second business, A Dash of Magic Events, is a fun side gig that gives Aisha and her colleagues the ability to spread magic and cheer year round by bringing the highest quality story-book and fantasy characters to parties and events. She adjusted her services to include COVID-friendly princess masks to match each handmade costume, created new rules for photos and socially distanced visits, and re-shaped her packages for smaller audiences and budgets.
On 11/28, 12/5 and 12/12, families can experience more than a dash of her magic by safely participating in a special event at Germantown Garden Grill where Aisha will bring a favorite wintery character to life. Grab your little ones, bundle up and get ready to be enchanted in Northern Liberties with the Snow Queen Brunch at the Igloos.
“Everyone will get to take a photo with the Snow Queen in front of a beautiful backdrop fit for winter royalty- with masks of course! Then, when seated, the Snow Queen will have a grand entrance and visit each table,” she says. “Each kid can have an experience with her- whether they want to ask her questions, hear her story, or sing a song. Plus all tables will have frozen-themed activity sheets and a special souvenir.”
Aisha has always loved the world of make believe. She was a part of theatre scene at her junior high and high schools in New Mexico, then went on to study at Santa Fe University of Art and Design where she earned her BFA in technical theater. “I personally love to dress up in costumes, dance, sing and act,” she says.
When babysitting her much younger little sisters, she would entertain them by dressing up and bringing fairy tales to life. She loved this so much that she wanted to continue sparking joy in children even after creating her jewelry brand. A Dash of Magic started as a non-profit with a team of volunteers visiting local hospitals and charities in princess couture (that Aisha would design and make of course), but after getting requests from many parents asking if they could hire party princesses for their personal occasions, A Dash of Magic Events was born.
With the recent help of the Northern Liberties’ Business Improvement District, she was able to partner with Germantown Garden Grill for the upcoming Snow Queen Brunch. The BID and their PR firm Aversa PR make sure neighborhood businesses have opportunities to work together and cross promote their goods and services. Aisha was introduced to the owners of the igloos and everyone pitched in to bring the idea of an enchanted brunch to life.
Tickets are $15 per person for an igloo or $10 per person for an outdoor table. Food and drink is pay as you go, so come hungry and enjoy some hot beverages too! A portion of each ticket sale will help provide a free princess appearance for children in need through the Salvation Army. Germantown Garden Grill also follows all Covid safety precautions and capacity is limited to less than 10% of the entire venue. Everyone above the age of two must wear a mask to and from their dining table.
If an enchanted brunch with the Snow Queen isn’t your cup of tea, visit www.adornedbyaisha.com to pick out a gift for the fantasy fanatics in your life! They will love Aisha’s fairy-tale vials and punk princess pins. Her favorite princesses? “The Little Mermaid! I love her costume! I love her hair! And I love her songs,” she says. “But I was also born in the ‘80s and grew up in the ‘90s, so all those princesses are my favorites- like Belle [from Beauty and the Beast] and Jasmine [from Aladdin].
You can shop Aisha’s collection safely in person for a limited time at the Northern Liberties Holiday Pop-up Shops; she will be there on November 29th and December 6th. If you’re more comfortable at home, Adorned by Aisha is offering free shipping. Some of her best sellers include her nature-inspired jewelry made with real seeds and flowers that she picked herself while outdoors, preserving them inside of glass. She can also create custom lockets and pendants with family photos or your favorite quote from a book. “Those are popular because they are customizable and make a great gift,” she says.
Aisha knows the Snow Queen brunches will be tons of fun and is grateful for the supportive community in Philadelphia. “I moved to Boston to work for the world renowned Huntington Theater sewing and designing costumes. After I left that job to Adorned by Aisha, I was looking for an east coast city that really celebrated local artists and small businesses. Philadelphia truly does that!”
Jewelry photos by Sachi Anand Photography