Growing up where exposure to diversity was nurtured, Julius Spates and Jenn (Spates) Hurst cultivated open-minded perspectives. Throughout childhood, Jenn and Julius heard “imagine if” from their father, William, and “you have to have passion” from their mother, Carol. The belief that if you have the passion and are willing to work hard, anything is possible, planted the seed for Mi Casa Es Su Casa Holiday.
At the age of 17, Julius bet his cousin that he could throw a party and get 500 people to come. He threw his first party and over 600 people attended. After that, it was on and a slew of successful parties followed. In 1993, Julius used some of the money he raised from his parties to help send his sister on her senior trip. Thanks to Julius’ generosity, Jenn was able to travel to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. This experience inspired Jen so much that the following year she pursued a career with USA Student Travel, the same tour company that organized her school trip to Puerto Vallarta. In 1994, Jenn was hired as one of the youngest international tour operators in the companies history. Jenn has worked for USA student Travel, now International Student Tours (IS tours) for over 20 years, endlessly exploring her passion for travel and hospitality.
While his sister found pleasure and purpose in her travel, Julius began his love affair with the art of DJing. In 1999, Julius gained world-wide recognition as a co-founder of the production group 3Degrees Global, and was performing on the international DJ stage as Julius the Mad Thinker. Jenn frequently traveled to attend Julius’ gigs. She was inspired by Julius’ DJ sets and began envisioning the possibility of fusing music events with destinations. Jenn took Julius back to their childhood and reminded him that with their abilities and connections they could inspire their friends and families to come together and rediscover amazing.
Jenn Hurst and Julius Spates created Mi Casa Holiday in 2009. They named their event Mi Casa Es Su Casa Holiday (MCH) because “my house is your house” embraced the culture of house music and the foundation of Jenn and Julius’ multicultural upbringing. Holiday is a simple reminder that taking time for yourself is mandatory. While considering many destinations, Julius met Nickodemus at the Mosaic Spring Music Festival. Nickodemus, a New York DJ/Producer who’d been performing in Playa Del Carmen for years, offered to connect Julius with his contacts in Playa. Jenn was very familiar with the Riviera Maya and had a longstanding friendship with the president of IS Tours, Bobby Voelz. The serendipity was undeniable and solidified that Playa Del Carmen, Mexico was the location for their event.
Julius enlisted the help of talented designer Adam Gibbons and journalist Brent Crampton and to help sculpt the message of the event. Master strategist RC helped plan logistics and helped develop Jenn and Julius’ vision. Brad Hurst, Susanna Gomez, Keith Evan, AQuaBeaT, Hallex M, Abel Rogers, Sabo, Cher Carter, Tasha Guevara, Chasity Finley, Toyya Cole, Sabine, Max Pela, Eddy Plenty, Gerry Hartman, Anish Shah, Ramon Rawsoul, and many other loyal fans, dj’s, promoters, and friends supported and helped spread the word.
October 2009, fifty determined souls traveled to the white sandy beaches of Playa for what became an intimate affair with beats in paradise. While attendance has doubled every year Jenn & Julius are committed to preserving the magic experienced the first year and designed MCH to maintain a sense of intimacy regardless of growth. In nine short years, friendships have forged, life partners have met, children have been born, and new communities have connected. MCH is a classic example of how a thought, that turned into a dream, can become reality. What started out as a simple bet in their teens, led to a moment where twenty years of passion, inspiration, and encouragement all came together.