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Creative Womens Dinners

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Creative Women's Dinner, Charleston (at the office of Basic Projects) captured by photographer (and guest!) Olivia Rae James

Among the best moments of 2016, were the Creative Womens Dinners that we hosted in New York, Los Angeles, and Charleston. These dinners were born a few years ago when Kathryn and I moved to Brooklyn and finally had proper tables to gather friends (and friends of friends) around.

They have since blossomed into bigger affairs where we connect different female artists, entrepreneurs, and creative thinkers around the table. The result is great food, new friendships, and even collaborations.

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The place settings at the LA Women's Dinner, hosted by our old, dear friend Kate Berg. Photograph by Monica Wang
"For twin sisters Lizzie and Kathryn Fortunato, creativity and connection is the key to success... The self-starter and her sister were constantly meeting other female creatives, sharing advice and building friendships, and realizing this connection was what would continue to drive the business forward. They began hosting Creative Womens Dinners in hopes of bringing more entrepreneurs together" - Rue Magazine
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Mix-matched table linens scoured from Kate and her mom's collections, as well as our own Fortune Finds, adorned the tables at our LA Creative Women's Dinner. Photographed by Monica Wang.
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Kathryn and I at the LA Creative Women's Dinner, which was attended by artists, fashion designers, writers, entrepreneurs, and political activists. It was a beautiful balmy evening when the conversation went long into the night!

Part of the joy of these dinners is that they started around my dining table, so they were never overly formal or “perfect”. My sister made a meat lasagna for our very first one and people trekked out to Clinton Hill for the get-together. These dinners are meant to be welcoming; a place where women can trade ideas, empathize, and help one another.

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A casual Brooklyn Creative Women's Dinner in Kathryn's kitchen. We crammed in for summer pasta and great conversation.
It's not about having all the chairs match or having the perfect table settings. These evenings are about women crowding around and coming together.
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Outside at Kathryn's Clinton Hill home where we drank rose and spritzes pre-dinner. Photo by Sasha Israel
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The incredible women behind Table BK who prepared a beautiful meal for our early August, Brooklyn Creative Women's Dinner. Photograph by Sasha Israel

Our Charleston, SC Creative Women’s Dinner was held in the beautiful office of one of our oldest and closest friends, Kate Towill. This late-November dinner was just days after the 2016 Presidential Election and many of us were filled with emotion. It was an evening where we articulated our  hopes, fears, and ideas for the future. It was a time when many of us were distressed, but an evening that was buoyed by hope and support. Kathryn toasted this dinner and noted how more than ever, it’s important to surround ourselves with positive women who inspire and encourage us. I couldn’t agree more.

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Kathryn toasts the crowd at our Charleston, SC Creative Women's Dinner in late November, 2016. Photographed by Olivia Rae James
Kathryn toasted this evening and noted how more than ever, it's important to surround ourselves with positive women who inspire and encourage us. I couldn't agree more.
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We are very resourceful! Here: our hand-drawn place cards alongside runners and napkins (by Caroline Z. Hurley) that we brought from our own kitchens. Photographed by Olivia Rae James
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Did we mention we love good food? Feast prepared the amazing meal for our Charleston Creative Women's Dinner. Photographed by Olivia Rae James
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Toasting each other! LA Creative Womens Dinner, late August 2016. Photograph by Monica Wang
The Creative Women's Dinners leave me feeling inspired and energized. I am so grateful for the incredible women I have met as a small business owner.
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Photograph by Olivia Rae James
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Photograph by Sasha Israel
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Photograph by Sasha Israel
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Photograph by Olivia Rae James
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Photograph by Olivia Rae James
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Photograph by Olivia Rae James
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Photograph by Monica Wang
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Photograph by Olivia Rae James

A huge THANK YOU to the hosts, caterers, helpers, and most of all the women who have made these dinners come to life. What started as a humble gathering  in my kitchen has transformed into tremendous evenings where I consistently find myself in awe of the creative females around me. Here’s to #GirlPower and many more #CreativeWomensDinners in 2017.