Create Dinners are quarterly gatherings where 16 creatively-driven women, most of whom have never met before, come together and share a meal, conversation, and inspirational experience. Every single attendee brings something both literally and figuratively to the table, and the nights success, from the tablescape to the food to the entertainment, relies upon the groups collective efforts. Dinner No. 8 focused on love. The theme for this dinner was Philia, which is one of the Greek words for love, the kind of love you experience in friendship. It was very fitting that Valentine's Day was right around the corner.
Below is a list of contributors directly from Create Dinners:
Sofia Draco - Sofia is an actual Greek Goddess. Not only does she sing, style, take beautiful photos, and so much more, but she's an incredible cook. She went above and beyond creating us a Greek feast. She grew up spending time in Greece, and learned to cook with her sweet Grandmother. You could taste the love in each of these dishes, you guys. There was so much care and intentionality baked, mixed, and stirred into each one. Sofia also brought amazing journals for everyone to take home with them from a Scandinavian brand called Low Key Goods. They're so minimal and cute and I love the pages aren't lined so you can write or sketch!
Elise Cahill - Elise ran our social media for the night! She was so intentional this time around about planning out the story, interviewing different attendees, and showing off all the details. If you missed it, you're in luck -- it's highlighted at the top of our Instagram so we can watch it fooooorever. Elise also put together our wardrobe inspiration that we sent out prior to the dinner, called "Mod-iterranean." It was perfect.
Allegra Edwards - Allegra worked with Elise on our social media game for the night, and she also closed out the night with a beautiful passage talking about friendship. My favorite part read, "[Friendship is] the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person – having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all right out, just as they are, chaff and grain together; certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then with the breath of kindness blow the rest away.”
Victoria Wall Harris - Victoria gets extra points because she is not only putting together a video for us so we can remember the night, but she also loaned us her home for the night. #HilltopStudios is INCREDIBLE. The view, the layout, the beautiful design... if you're ever in need of a place for a shoot or event, this is your spot. Thank you, thank you, Victoria and Harris fam for letting us bombard!
Rebecca Buenik - Rebecca hand-crafted ceramic plates for us! She works as a stylist here in LA, but casually has this talent up her sleeves. They were so beautiful, you guys. She did a speckled clay with pink and green alternating rims. On the face of the plates, she painted subtle geometric shapes, that so nicely tied to our modern love theme. I loved this detail from the night!
Elizabeth Kennedy - Elizabeth is the owner of a handwoven blanket shop called Paradise People. They carry such beautiful pieces. For this dinner, she brought all of the blankets, which are actually amazing duvets, for us to sit on while we ate. I literally felt like we were in Greece when we were down on the ground, one with the earth, snuggled up in Paradise People goodness.
Kailey Howell - Kailey was our stylist for the evening! She spearheaded the incredible tablescape set-up, deciding how and where everything would be placed, and also, this is huge, MADE the table that we ate on. I wish you could have all seen her transformation, going from jeans, down on ground with power tools screwing on the legs of this table, to a five-minute disappearance and re-emergence as a beautiful white swan.
Aimee Rawlins - As mentioned above, Aimee wrote us a piece about self-love and read it aloud to kick off our dinner time together. Her writing was both funny and sentimental, and I think every single person around the table was able to relate to her vulnerability and sincerity that was shared. So glad we have another creative in our LA mix via Aimee!
Laura Williams - Laura was our florist for the evening. One of my favorite types of creatives are working a typical nine-to-five job for a while, and then realize they want to quit and follow their passion. That is Laura, and I am so thankful that's part of her story because her flowers were gorgeous! One of the colors in our palette, was blue, and she brought that in a perfectly subtle way with blue thistle.
Dominique Toney - Dominique was our entertainment for the evening! As mentioned above, she did a spoken performance as we shared dessert together, but she also gifted everyone with music. She performs all over Los Angeles, and is SO talented! It was a pleasure to have her around the table, and her talk was the perfect ending to our time together, leaving us all feeling inspired.
Kristine Claghorn - Kristine brought everyone perfume! She creates her own custom fragrances, and let me tell you, this past week, I have never smelled so lovely. She brought three scents for everyone to choose from, all so different and unique. We were truly spoiled by the swag at this dinner.
Kristin Violet - Kristin made our beautiful menus that dressed up our tablescape! They had some really cool modern design elements incorporated, and of course, some pink :) I love the printed menus because it's another little take home favor for people to carry out with them. I always love to bring mine home and show my husband (so he is jealous that he isn't a woman and didn't get to come, haha) but also because they're just pretty and the foods are so elaborate.
Crystal Jackson - Crystal crafted our custom cocktail. As I noted up top, it was a Pink French 75. There was a little grapefruit juice involved, a little simple syrup, a little gin, and a little champagne. Let's not forget those candy hearts and pink sugar rims. Everyone was tickled PINK to be drinking this tasty beverage.
Leah Guerrero - Leah runs her own company called Brujita. For this dinner, she brought everyone her amazing White Magic Facial Mask and Rose Geranium Hydrosol. Leah brought such a calming presence to our dinner and I love seeing how passionate she is about natural skincare. So thankful for her knowledge that was shared and that we got another fun take home that we've all been enjoying.
Tetia Stroud - Tetia is the face behind Letter Bliss! She can write anything your heart desires in many different styles of calligraphy. For this dinner, she made us a beautiful hand painted quote board that read, "Love is all we have, the only way each can help the other" by Euripides. It was the perfect "north star" to have at the head of the table for the night, guiding our thoughts and discussion.
I need to give a major shout out to a new favorite store in Brooklyn, NY called Five and Six Textiles. They provided all of our napkins and runners for the evening. All of their textiles are woven and come from Côte d'Ivoire. Doesn't that just sound fancy? I couldn't recommend them more -- their napkins make for a perfect host gift or would be a great treat to yourself!
We had the pleasure of joining The Cause Bar when they hosted their first event, The Cause Bar Winter Dinner. The dinner was held to bring together like minded individuals in support of The Cause Bar's mission and cause of empowering a social good lifestyle. The Cause Bar seeks to inspire through elevated storytelling about bold movements driving positive change in our world, while creating an inclusive and kind community. For The Cause Bar Winter Dinner, generously donated items by social impact brands were included in the table setting. "Peace" baskets from Indego Africa, a 501c3 empowering female artisans in Rwanda and Ghana, were placed at each setting. Bib & Sola, a brand on a mission of fighting plastic pollution through beautifully designed glassware pieces, provided carafes and thank you gifts. On the part favors were handmade holiday ornaments provided by Imani Collective, a brand working tirelessly to break the generational cycle of poverty by employing artisans in Kenya. Our cream linens beautifully balanced the holiday color theme.
Every year before the craze of the holidays we like to get together with friends for our annual Paradise People holiday party. This year we partnered with some amazing friends to bring this dinner to life. Chef Greg Arnold of Dark Horse Organic made amazing plant based dishes and gifted each guest one of this Fermented Dijon spreads. One of his dishes was a winter salad which included beet confit, spiced granola, persimmon, chicory, spinach, daikon and Dark Horse Organic Charcoal and Pine Pollen Vinaigrette. Local ceramicist, Lucy Michel, provided her adored loop vases which made a beautiful addition to our table scapes. Earth + Element brought the beauty of the Earth's elements into our home with their one of a kind serving dishes. Our dishes, Hasami Porcelain, is designed by Taku Shinomoto in Venice, CA, and made in Nagasaki, a port city in southwestern Japan long known for both its manufacture of pottery and international trade. Big thanks to Tenzo for introducing us to these unique dishes. It isn't a party until we've payed a visit to our favorite Hi-Lo Liquor . They provided us with a great biodynamic natural wine recommendation which paired perfectly with our plant based meal. We ended the meal by lighting intention cards from UnitedOther.
We hope all of our friends had a lovely holiday and thank you for your continued support.
Emily Cadenhead, designer of Perle Mer, shared her beautiful Ojai home with us where she lives with her husband and two children.
Paradise is Sunday afternoon with nothing to do but snuggle my babies or the cliche tropical beach! I also love the mountains in the summer... the off beaten path in general...
My dream work day is every day I work for myself no matter how much more work it is!
I love Oprah I wish she could come to dinner... She is my hero.
The Witches Almanac