What if two hard-working female entrepreneurs got together and organized a highly creative, interactive arts-oriented exhibit in Old City, Philadelphia?
The result would be Insta Philly, located at 219 Market Street, adjacent to Christ Church Courtyard. This is an Instagrammable experience with timed tickets so each guest (children and adults) has time to experience the vignettes and artwork in such a way that they feel as though they are part of each set and artwork piece.
By partnering with Philadelphia artists and brands to showcase the best of what Philadelphia has to offer, the dynamic duo of Katie Kupstas and Laura Eaton their exhibit features whimsey, sports, rainbows, unicorns, and more.
“Our hope with this project is that we will be the first stop in Old City for tour groups and Philly natives alike as well as being a way to bring the city together during this reopening post-Covid-19,” explains Kupstas.
“Insta Philly will also be available for children’s birthday parties of all ages. Little ones can explore and play pretend at each vignette, get excited about the colorful walls, giant unicorn, and Franklin Fountain ice cream display. Pre-teens and teens can get their best group photos and selfies with unique and beautiful backdrops.”
The artists and brands they have partnered with on the project include, Alloyius Mccilwaine of Culture Clothing, Brit Miller, Peach Bean Press, Genise Mace, Jalapeno Miller, and Franklin Fountain.
It is also important to them to have a charitable aspect to Insta Philly so they contacted Alex’s Lemonade Stand for props and they are committed to donating a portion of our proceeds back to the charity and host an actual lemonade stand in front of the space outside to collect donations.
Here Kupstas talks to PCM about the inspiration for Insta Philly and how she and Eaton hope to share their unique vision in the fall and through the winter holidays.
Why did you and Laura Eaton start this project?
Katie Kupstas: Laura and I started this project as a way to bring the community together post covid by creating a space to take photos in front of fun, Philly-centric backdrops while also supporting local artists here in the Philadelphia area. Laura and I knew the risks involved but we are both entrepreneurs and we know that hard work typically pays off. We worked tirelessly day and night along with our families and. few close friends to create a space that is happy, community-driven, and Philadelphia-centric.
How did this all come together?
Katie Kupstas: This space is a result of grit, hustle, tenacity, and hard work from 2 local female entrepreneurs. We drove to New Jersey to buy the French sofa for our dramatic space and hauled it ourselves in my mini-van. We carried plywood, installed it, hammered, nailed, tore down wallpaper, and went up and down ladders every day for three months.
What is the overall aim of Insta Philly?
Katie Kupstas: The aim of Insta Philly is to bring the community together to showcase local artists and brands in a fun Philly-centric space for everyone to enjoy. While many businesses have had to close due to Covid-19 we are thrilled to be part of the Old City Community and a destination for locals to the Philadelphia community and tourists visiting from outside the city.
Why should everyone come to Insta Philly and what should they expect?
Katie Kupstas: When guests visit Insta Philly they smile as soon as they walk in the door. The space is bright, happy, and fun! There is something for everyone. We have had guests as young as 12 months old and guests in their 80’s. Everyone loves the space because it is colorful, it’s fun to escape the real world and play pretend sometimes.
Please describe a few exhibits to me.
Katie Kupstas: We have an interactive Philly Food exhibit created by Peach Bean Press, a “phone booth” done in one of the former dressing rooms since this space used to be a local women’s boutique, huge works of art created by local Philly artists- Alloyius Mcilwaine created a large Philly slang mural installation, Britt Miller created an 11.5-foot stretch canvas with the Philly skyline and mascots.
Why is this exciting for you, Laura, the arts community, and the city?
Katie Kupstas: It is exciting that two local mom entrepreneurs were able to create this amazing space on their own while also taking care of their families, supporting local artists and the community. We hope the Philadelphia region will recognize Insta Philly as a space that is artist and Philly-centric- NOT corporate-like other similar spaces in the area.
What else do you want to tell me about this unique project?
Katie Kupstas: Insta Philly has endless opportunities. We are booking birthday parties for guests of all ages. Young ones love the space for the interactiveness and color. Tweens and teens love it for the photo opportunities and the older crowds love the fun, happy atmosphere of the space. We may add some artists too since we have gotten requests from other artists about our space and being featured.
Why do you want Insta Philly to stay around for the winter holidays?
We plan to swap out the installations that are more summer and spring-themed for fall and eventually winter/ holiday.
For more information go to:
Check out Insta Philly on this recent TV feature segment. https://www.fox29.com/video/952129