The wellness beverage brand opens a lively popup experience designed to provide a recreational reset for overstressed creatives

There is perhaps no memory more universally regarded with nostalgia than the feeling of freedom associated with the school playground. With a new popup experience, hemp beverage startup, Recess succeeds in capturing it. The brand debuts its first physical retail space with Recess IRL, an experiential playground where visitors can experience the feeling of drinking Recess, connect in-real-life and introduce themselves to a larger creative community.  

The dynamic layout follows a trendy neon color scheme that is both captivating and calming; those familiar with the company’s branding will feel as though they are entering its Instagram feed come to life. In fact, a live feed of the brand's Instagram content is projected across one wall, acting as a testament to Recess' digital, direct-to-consumer beginnings.

The signature beverages are the first thing a customer sees. Carefully arranged by color scheme, they are encased in a shiny, transparent refrigerator. Customers can shop these directly in-store, as well as a small selection of branded apparel, but that’s not the main point. As planned by founder and CEO, Benjamin Witte, the popup is an experiential space before its a shopping destination. Indeed, shoppers who continue past the retail space will enter a dreamy gathering room drenched in soothing blue light and adorned with cloud decals. In lieu of traditional table-and-chair format, Recess opts for modular, funnel-shaped blocks that can be pushed, stacked and twisted in order to create a variety of relaxing recliner designs.

Although plans for the future remain generally open-ended, Witte hopes to utilize the gathering space for a nightly calendar of events, including open panels, music and any other creative divisions that could use the platform. At the end of the day, Recess IRL hopes to become the school playground for working adults. A message written on the gathering room wall sums it up best:

  • listen to your boss’s feedback
  • tell them you’ll take it into consideration
  • do what you wanted to do anyway