In June, I hosted the Kinfolk Magazine Dinner at Dock 5 at Union Market. The purpose of this dinner was to foster & nourish creative collaboration in the the DC area. And what a wonderful group of people came together to feast and fellowship. The creative talent was unreal! For this event, I was able to bring together to most wonderful group of collaborators who, together with our guests, made this dinner the most memorable dinner I’ve hosted yet. Watching each of the artists do their creative thing was really inspiring, and I can’t wait to work with all of you again!
In Part 1, I’ll be sharing about the collaborators who made the space look pretty. In Part 2, I’ll share about the food, drink, and takeaway partners, and tons of photos from the actual meal & mingle time!
Besides taking these stunning photos, the Sweet Root Village team (Lauren, Rachel, Rachele, and Joy) arrived at Dock 5 in the early morning to help us with set up. They installed the overhead green centerpiece of my dreams using these hanging brass wire pots from West Elm. I had shown them a few inspiration images on Pinterest, and they just took those images and ran with them, and put together a hanging centerpiece 1000x better than I could have ever imagined. They also spread greenery + white blooms throughout the space, in gorgeous West Elm vases and containers. The talent in that Sweet Root team is incredible, and I’m spoiled to be able to work with them!
Because Dock 5 is such a wonderfully large space, I knew I wanted to somehow create a little defined lounge area for folks to chat the night away. Ally & the West Elm DC folks were gracious to loan me a CAR LOAD of delicious props: pillows, poufs, lamps, vases & containers, etc. I got to shop the store which felt like make believe, and then my friend Paula styled the lounge beautifully. To give a sense of a “room”, we hung large banners from the rafters. Lindsay from Shrimp Salad Circus hand-lettered these banners and a few other smaller signs for me. We included some of my favorite quotes about working together. Lindsay creates custom calligraphed + hand lettered work for events & weddings and all the things, so check out her work!
My friend Nicole from Finch Sewing Studio partnered with me & donated the fabric for the napkins. She also cut and pressed the hem for the napkins. Then, Laicie & Mark Heeley picked up the fabric from Nicole, and despite losing power and other set backs (including a broken sewing machine), they painstakingly sewed 64 napkins for our dinner table. I think they worked magic 😉 Napkins are so very important to me, and these were perfect. Laicie even emailed me the night before and asked if I preferred ironed napkins for dryer-wrinkled. I asked for dryer-wrinkled 😉 Love working with folks who understand my aesthetic.
Union Market’s event space, Dock 5, is a stunning 12,000 square foot warehouse space with 22′ high ceilings, located above Union Market’s retail space. The lighting is incredible, and the space is so easy to work in. I was thrilled because all of our guests were able to sit at one.long.dinner.table. This long table dinner was the largest I’ve hosted, coming in at a grand 64 feet. It felt like a third child that night….I had dreamt of it for what felt like ages, it was so rewarding to see it actually come to life, with the assistance of so many helping hands.
Since this was a creative networking event, I put together a small booklet which included a short bio of all our partners and guests. My friend Jennifer Olmstead of Tonic Site Shop designed all our printed paper material, including the booklet and our menu. I’ve always been a fan of Jen’s work (back before I met her in person, I would stalk her xanga…and no, I don’t remember the link to hers or mind, ha). She is another person who gets me. In the weeks prior to the dinner, I sent her some papery inspiration and BAM she delivered. She even designed the subtle “+” theme you’ll see throughout the event.
I was so so blessed to recently meet Melissa of Livingston Letterpress who lovingly letterpress printed our menu and booklet cover, AND hand stitched the booklets together. She welcomed me into her studio about 1 week before the dinner and showed me her equipment (which includes a 100+ year old machine and lots of gorgeous paper). We chatted about design & printing ideas, and dreamed of possibly hosting a workshop together. She executed everything perfectly, and delivered the menus and booklets to me the day of the dinner, all wrapped up like a Christmas present. I almost died when I unwrapped those menus. Melissa did a wonderful job, and I cannot thank her enough! The paper elements on the dinner table really completed the table!
Last but certainly not least, I have to thank Paula, Anna, Talia, and Bekah all arrived with me in the early morning to unload the cars and start set up. They helped with Naomi, ran errands, prepped food, assisted with food service, cleared tables, carried huge containers of ice & water all day long, picked up our oysters, swept, climbed ladders, and probably bled, sweat, and cried. They were serious ROCK STARS, and I’m so grateful for their selfless spirits. And a huge thank you to my new friend Stephanie who was a God-send at dinner time and for clean up. She arrived just when we were all feeling like we couldn’t go on, and was a breath of fresh air.
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU, to everyone! And if you’ve made it this far reading, thank you! In my next post, I’ll share about our food, drink, and takeaway partners, and the guests who made this dinner worth it!
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