Inquiry Pop-Up

Inquiry Pop-Up is a vacay meets salon meets dinner party, for a carefully curated coterie of women, in a spectacular and remote location. It’s five days of personal and professional inquiry, intoxicating conversations, and bread-breaking with a different luminary from the arts, design, business and culture.


A salon meets residency meets workshop meets retreat meets dinner party. It’s none of the above and at the same time all of it. An invitation to Inquiry Pop-up feels familiar enough, and yet like nothing you’ve experienced. I’ve been told it’s the answer to an (unconscious) prayer.

Invitations go to my cohort—persons of action*.
Action mavens in fact. Just like me.
That’s probably why we’re friends.

We’re curious. Resourceful. Take risks.
We’re compelled to create. Anew.

Often what we’re making is prioritized over
expanding perspective
fueling up
‘re-educating the eye’
{as the dear Bill Cunningham would say.}

And even if we do allow for equilibrium between intake and output,
have we lately?
Or often enough?

Inquiry Pop-up is THAT.


Inquiry Pop-up

Inquiry Pop-up 2018 | Marrakech, Morocco is reserved for alumni only. Luminaries include: Interior Designer Valérie Barkowski, Hotelier and Humanitarian Maryam Montague, Organic Farmer and Chef Souhail of Domaine Souvage and Calligrapher Hamza Abderrahim.

PIONEERTOWN, CA was the location of 2017’s Pop−up. Ocotillo, talent, and freethinking are the keys to the area’s mystique. And from personal experience, the allure of the Valley is directly linked to it being just within reach of remote, and still far−out, baby. Yes, there’s magic in the high desert, and the limited yet refined amenities available in Pioneertown offers a unique experience of luxury—allowing guests to discover, create, integrate, nap, and dream like nowhere else. #trust

Each day we woke up at our chosen lodging (Modern Cabin? Geodesic Dome? Off-the-grid?) and we communed at our private retreat just outside of town: Hatch House at Rimrock Ranch. The ranch is 11 acres of unpretentious cowboy cool. Perched at the base of the Wildlands Conservancy, studded with flowering cacti, spectacular sunsets, and faraway coyote howls. The ranch also includes a plunge pool, hammocks, and outdoor fireplaces—and it was all ours. We had lots of room to spread out, and plenty of corners to tuck into.


We ate well and cheaply and drank well and cheaply and slept well and warm together and loved each other.
— Ernest Hemingway

Partcipants utilize Inquiry Pop-up much like a residency, too. A time created to work on whatever it is you’ve been wanting to get to. But haven’t. Including, nothing at all. And to inspire (action! reverie!), invited are people I deeply respect to share their ideas and practices with you: Subverting the expected, searching for deeper meaning and context, liberating feelings of inadequacy, and investigating creative solutions to complex problems. Through workshops, open dialogues, walk-abouts and play, perspectives on business, creativity and life awaken. A scintillating reverberation extends into our community dinners, where each evening we gussy up, sip wine, and eat delicious food—while engaging in stellar conversations with new friends, and our guests of honor. The connections forged at our soirées are exactly the fuel necessary to stoke the next day’s fire, and the next…


Guests of Honor are fixin’ to illuminate, chew the cud, confuse and amuse.

Spring 2017 Luminaries
Sarah Gottesdiener | Intersectional feminist and Visual Magician
Liz Robb | Post-minimalist Weaver and Desert Wayfarer
Dana Balicki | Transformational Coach and Modern Mystic
Pallavi Sen | Artist Wunderkind and Unapologetic Instagrammer
Chelsea Fullerton Jones | Moment Capturer and Delight Creator

Read about them all, here.

Spring 2016
Jasen & Allison Bowes | Non-linear Design Thinkers and Brand Disruptors
Hope Ginsburg | Artist, Identity Explorer and Land Breather
Lindsay Mack | Intuitive Alchemist
Kellie Brooks | Hospitality Revolutionary and Integrative Storyteller
Rebecca Gates | Aural Polymath
Jana La Brasca | Art Brainiac with a Mellow Aromatic Side Hustle

Spring 2015
Malia Mills | Maven and Swimsuit & Ready-to-Wear Designer
Simone Rubi | Designer, Musician, Chef, Third-space Creator
Jen Leonard | Journalist and Design Lead at IDEO
Ashley North Compton | Alchemist and Mixologist
Kathleen Shannon | Truth Seeker and Brand Strategist

Photos of the good vibes the Pop-up: Pioneertown can be found here. And go here to see a gallery of both Pop-ups in Marfa.


*For now, and the foreseen future, Inquiry Pop-up invitations are sent to those I know, personally. This way everyone is assured that all attendees are curious humans, possessing grit and unparalleled camaraderie. But I’m fully open to making new friends. Always. If you think you’d absolutely LOVE Inquiry Pop-up, let’s connect via email or social media to begin our mutual admiration society. hello [at] jennifer elsner [dot] com.

Photos, with permission, by: Wynn Myers, Nick Simonite and Choate House. Lettering, compliments of Rebecca Rubensaal of Mr. Boddington

Inquiry Pop-up is a Viewers Like You, Co. Production.