When was the last time you sat down with a group of strangers and considered a question like, “Do you know you don’t have to prove your worth?” Boise’s very own Social Community pop-up (SoCo) does just that. Created by Kristin Reed, SoCo is a weekly pop-up event designed to provide time for inner reflection and to build deep and meaningful relationships within the Boise community. I recently got the chance to sit down with Kristin to learn more about how SoCo came to be.
In 2016, Kristin conducted an independent study that analyzed the happiness of American adults. The findings disappointed her. “I refuse to resign myself to a life that looks like, I have to do what I have to do and that’s it.” She said. “I thought to myself, Is there something we could do to enrich our life experience? Or increase the chances that people could experience more satisfaction in life?”
That same year Kristin moved to Boise from Boston. Facing a completely new dynamic of people and lifestyle, she was eager to start making meaningful connections in the valley. With the vision to create a lasting difference in not only her own life but in the lives of others as well, SoCo was born.
“In order to start to feel more satisfaction and joy in your relationships, you have to be willing to spend time and reflect on your life.”
SoCo has gone through a few variations over its lifespan. In June 2019, it started as a way to help children open up about their emotions. After the first season, Kristin reevaluated what she wanted from the program. Using her educational background and experience in the non-profit space, she steered SoCo in a direction that more aligned with her passion for helping adults.
The pop-up is now a two-hour event split into two parts. The first hour is designed to be free-time where participants can spend their time as they please, either socializing or doing small mindfulness-centered activities such as journaling or crafting. The second hour is community building, where everyone who attends participates in a game that Kristin has carefully created. Kristin says this set up is intentional. “In order to start to feel more satisfaction and joy in your relationships, you have to be willing to spend time and reflect on your life by practicing mindfulness.”
Kristin hopes that SoCo is a place where people can build a community to be heard, understood, and valued, even when opinions differ. She has guest speakers lined up for the upcoming season and is constantly creating new games to help foster connections and meaningful relationships.