She Found Her Muse When She Pivoted From Law To Tabletop Design

Liz Curtis has always been obsessed with creating memorable decor. She loved putting together luxe tablescapes, plush floral arrangements and standout designs “But I never had the gift of cooking,” she says.

Her life transformed the summer she spent studying at home for the California Bar Exam. Just not in the way she expected. “Going stir-crazy and craving comfort food, I turned on the Food Network and decided that it couldn’t possibly be that hard to roast a chicken, particularly given that the entire process looked like it took five-minutes,” she says. ”Though it took a bit more than five-minutes to roast the chicken, the results were more than worth it.”

Curtis became smitten with a fierce case of what she calls “the call of the kitchen.” She got inspired to have weekly dinner parties for friends and colleagues. “That allowed me to up my table setting game,” says Curtis. “I quickly learned that the best dinner parties create an intimacy that allows guests to truly experience one another.”

From there she set her sights on her culinary-challenged friends hoping to learn how to cook and entertain. They asked her to create a blog that made seemingly difficult recipes easy. She also shared hosting tips. And from there, Table + Teaspoon was born.

With encouragement from family and her loyal blog following Curtis got inspired to leave the security of her corporate litigation job, Not only was Table + Teaspoon a cooking blog, it also became an event planning, interior design, and private catering firm. Then Curtis took the company one step further to make Table + Teaspoon a thriving tabletop rental service.

With the idea of making a tabletop accessible to all, individuals can rent everything from flatware to dishes, like a kind of Rent-the-Runway, but for entertaining. The inspiration hit her as she was picking up her “zillionth” order from an enormous party rental warehouse in South San Francisco.

“I thought to myself, in a city where you can order literally anything on-demand: flowers, dresses, tuxes, meals, chefs, groceries, cocktails, servers, sommeliers, why can’t you similarly order your tablescapes?,” says Curtis.

With this new idea in mind, she used her entire savings to bootstrap the vision for a kind of rent-the-table model with the goal of disrupting America’s $15 billion event rental and planning industries.

“This meant designing flatware and linens, forming relationships with glassware and dishware manufacturers, finding a suitable space to store, sanitize, and ship product, creating elegant reusable zero-waste boxes, environmental consciousness is a core value for Table + Teaspoon, that would ship both ways without breakage, negotiating shipping rates, building partnerships,”says Curtis.

She also relaunched the Table + Teaspoon site as an e-commerce platform with rental capabilities. And she was a one-woman operation. She designed the packaging with a friend who knew AutoCAD. I packed every box, washed every dish and learned about sanitizing dishwashers versus regular dishwashers. I took every box in my car to Fed Ex. Tracked every box and responded to every customer service email myself,” says Curtis. “I did the entire thing for four years. Passion kept me going.”

In 2017, Curtis expanded her operation to be nationwide. “Whether you’re planning a dinner party, client event, bridal shower, holidays with your family, or just a night in, Table + Teaspoon has you covered,” says Curtis. “The best part is that you don’t have to buy or wash anything. Instead, you rent the tablescapes.” The idea is that it’s for people who may have never thrown a party before and no idea where to begin. Alternatively, it’s also for those who just want to add the latest design to a polished aesthetic.

Most recently Table + Teaspoon, is collaborating with the chocolate company Ferrero Rocher to create the Golden Hosting Kit. The brand’s goal is to help elevate the casual dinner party up a notch or two or five. And they are offering a table setting kit which is free to rent while supplies last.

“The Golden Hosting Kit gives you a lot and you get to keep the chocolates,” says Ferrero Premium Chocolate senior vice president Mark Wakefield at Ferrero Rocher. The ensemble contains golden table runners, cloth napkins, candles & candle holders, dinnerware, a menu and place cards. Curated by Table + Teaspoon the kits are designed to emulate the chocolate’s iconic golden wrapper. Plus, the Ferrero Rocher pyramids of chocolates double as decor and offer the decadent dessert.

According to a study from Lending Tree people are spending 18% less, on average, than last year, on Thanksgiving. So both Curtis and Ferrero Rocher are doing what they can to address that. “We understand that conscientious spending will be on the mind of consumers this holiday season,” says Wakefield. “With the Golden Holiday Hosting kit being available at no cost through Table + Teaspoon, we hope every host enjoys the luxurious festivities without the hassle of planning, decorating, and cleanup.”

Their goal is to assist hosts from beginners or seasoned experts to build a special experience. Additionally, Ferrero Rocher also created a hosting guide on their website. As Wakefield explains, “It is filled with inspiration, ideas, recipes and tips to turn any special occasion into a golden experience, so both hosts and guests can truly celebrate the moment.”

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