July 13, 2022

Kaleidoscope Table Settings (Season 4 Episode 27)

Amy Leyden has started a tablescape company that will rent you completed place settings from 2-12. Whether it’s a baby shower or an intimate dinner for two she has you covered and there is no washing after just rinse, wrap and return.

See her designs on Instagram here:

Order at https://www.k-tablesettings.com/

Kaleidoscope Table Settings Podcast Transcript

Stephanie Hansen 0:12
Hello, everybody, and welcome to the makers of Minnesota podcast where we talk to cool people doing cool things. And we have a concept today that I’m excited about. And this podcast is going to come out in July. So we’re going to be at like high picnic season. And I’m here with Amy Lydon and she owns a business. It’s called Kaleidoscope table settings, you can find her at Kaleidoscope underscore MPLS on Instagram. And that’s important because what she does is she rents whole tablescapes for your events. And I have never seen a business like this before Amy, I thought it was so clever. Tell me how it worked. Thank

Amy Leyden 0:50
you for having me today. So yes, I have launched a small business called Kaleidoscope table settings. And it does, it provides people rolling small dinner parties and other events. With very distinct table settings. I have about a dozen or so one of a kind designs with coordinated China glassware, flatware table decor, linens, everything to set your table with minus the food. And I only rent for small parties in for as few as two people and as many as 12 guests. So I don’t do parties bigger than that I’m really focusing on one table. And then best of all, I add in that you don’t wash the dishes, you don’t wash the linens, you just rinse, rinse, wrap and return. And you can pick up from my home in southwest Minneapolis or schedule a delivery.

Stephanie Hansen 1:44
What made you think of this as a business? Did you have all this stuff around your house? And well,

Amy Leyden 1:50
a couple of things were kind of happening in tandem. My career has been in hospitality and event planning. And in that, in those many roles, I’ve thrown many parties and I’ve hosted parties and it was always the most fun to set these beautiful tables and because I think that you know, fun festive table can really set the tone for for an event. Yeah, well, I was doing that for a career as an event planner. And meanwhile, just you know, for friends and family I certainly hosted my own party so I do own China I do also have a lot of fabrics. You know most women I’d say collect shoes and handbags I’m someone who can’t pass a fabric store without coming out with a few yards of something tucked under my arm and people asked my family asked you to what are you going to do with that I just say you know something too pretty to pass up. So I I have this I love beautiful fabrics and I love beautiful china. Yes, I own some of my own sets. But I think around you know, round 2020 I think what happens is you really reminded us that what’s most important and precious is just being together with people you love and I decided at that time to kind of build an inventory and create a business where I could help people that who are hosting small in home events with designing or by renting designed you know table settings because I just think truly that you know gathering with delicious food and drink with family and friends is really good for the soul. But I think people don’t own the stuff themselves. They don’t want to own them. There’s you know, they don’t have the storage for it, but they are gathering in smaller groups and I want to be able to help them with that celebration festivity factor.

Stephanie Hansen 3:44
So do people go on your website and like identify the looks they want for like their baby shower or their intimate anniversary party

Amy Leyden 3:52
currently and again, the website just launched that’s k dash table settings.com is what the URL is currently I have you know six to eight designs showcased and I call them the happened it’s called each design is a woman’s name and many of those women are women in my life who have set beautiful tables and have been influence on me. So it will be as easy as identifying the look the design that you like, and they tend to be around colors. Generally speaking my my designs are fun and festive and brightly colored. Some are more sophisticated and more monotone a little more mature, if you will. So it right now there’s not a way to go on the website and click on it and order it and send me the date but the inquiry form gets that process started. Sure, but I think through once I receive the form through a conversation and following up with maybe some subsequent photos I think someone would feel would know what to do to them. rent from me.

Stephanie Hansen 5:01
What does it cost?

Amy Leyden 5:02
Currently the pricing is $25 per person. So if you do a setting for 12, that’s 25 times 12. And if you come and pick this, pick the items up from me and bring them back. That’s your flat cost. But you can schedule a delivery and a pickup by me and I can be hired to set the table for you.

Stephanie Hansen 5:24
And does it include flowers? Or is it just literally the flatware, the linens and the plate? Ah,

Amy Leyden 5:32
I can do the flowers for you. So I I certainly have an idea and and there are flowers as centerpieces in my designs in the photographs on my website, that is an additional charge. And I’m happy to do that for you. Or I can make a recommendation of kind of some colors or some flowers and that person could certainly go out and get them herself or himself. How

Stephanie Hansen 5:54
did you sell there? Is there another type of business that you modeled this after? Or how did you know how much to charge? How did you know that there was a need for this in the marketplace?

Amy Leyden 6:05
Well, certainly. So in my job and I do work part time marketing the McNamara Alumni Center over on the U of M campus, beautiful venue. And we see quite a few black tie galas and celebrations that have bigger budgets and do beautiful tables. So we’re used to working with some of the great vendors that are here in the Twin Cities a pray and linen effects and festivities etc. So I have some sense already from being in the industry what that costs. So I use some of that as modeling although again, part of what you’re paying in my businesses, you’re paying for the fact that I’ve already coordinated these things together for you in the design I also took a look at there’s a company out in New York City called social studies and they do something similar to this and I had reached out to them as well took a look at pricing. So a little bit of that kind of event comparison but I’d say primarily because I’m already in the industry here in the Twin Cities and I see through my job what it’s being charged. I feel like my prices are comparable to them. Do you

Stephanie Hansen 7:17
have like I noticed in one of your Instagram posts do you have like a fish platter like is there different themes for like types of food you would serve? So for instance, is there like a picnic setup and is there maybe more like a sophisticated multicourse dinner setup?

Amy Leyden 7:33
Yeah, great question. My my designs I have five kind of base sets of 12 China so so you get the dinner plate, the salad plate, the dessert plate, the tea, you know the cup and saucer butter plate I have five of those sets one of those is a beautiful vintage Casselton pink China that is will be fabulous for bridal showers girl baby showers events to which mostly probably women are at because it’s a beautiful pink, lovely and I see those for more. You know birthdays as I said, showers etc. Then I’ve got a very lovely grey so that might have a little more can be more appealing to more masculine or maybe mixed company or masculine dinner parties. I’ve got a vintage glassware and goblets. But then I also have contemporary I would say my styles are they’re not themed around. The really it’s more than the overall tone and design. As opposed to this is in a very few come with table decor that’s specific to a birthday or something specific.

Stephanie Hansen 8:50
This is like my, this is like my dream job because I mean you can go to like Goodwill and ARKS Value Village and just find tons and tons of tablescape items. I’m so jealous. Yeah,

Amy Leyden 9:03
well it has been fun and I do love particularly off the beaten path. antique shops. If I’m driving up north or I’m going south. I’ve got a beautiful set of cashews was a salt and pepper shaker. But they’re just these eloquent silver love birds. You know they’re eight inches long. There’s so beautifully done. Well that salt and pepper shakers. I did find that those fish plates that you’re referencing, certainly could be used with a fish entree of some kind. And those were a dozen of those. I snatched those up. Yeah, so it has been really fun finding these one of a kind table top kind of accessories to bring into my designs.

Stephanie Hansen 9:48
You know who has good inexpensive items occasionally and you have to find them on sale but anthropology has a lot of good accessories that are pretty If and if you can get them on sale, they’re reasonably priced.

Amy Leyden 10:03
Yes, that is a great suggestion. And I even think there are things that I love to look things that people wouldn’t think of putting on their table. I’m designing a piece that it’s not on the website or on Instagram. Yeah, but I it’s a it’s the denim tablecloth, and I pair it with these. Kind of I’m thinking kind of red bandana says napkins, of spin thinking of the the white fish plates. I have some vintage brown goblets. And there’s a little bit of brown in between these denim patches on the tablecloth, but I’m thinking of trying to get make like a runner of a slab of wood. Yep, most down the center of this table. And that could be like a charcuterie, which of course are real hot, big right now. So I also like and I’m naturally good at thinking of taking objects and things that people wouldn’t think to put on a table and to use those

Stephanie Hansen 10:58
are their trends right now and tablescapes. And what are they? Well, I think

Amy Leyden 11:03
I definitely think people love you’re there. They love the experience of sitting at the table. So I believe, you know, my my table claws, many of which are custom made, by the way with the fabrics that I mentioned earlier. People love to do the tactile they wanted the I think what’s important is what does this goblet feel in my hand? How about this fork, knife and spoon they might want to run their their hand across the fabric of the table. So I think when people are sitting down and dining, they’re taking all of those senses in and I think my my business does a good job of being very visually stimulating, tactically stimulating course the food will be fabulous. When people bring that in, through the cater candles. I mean, people always have loved all kinds of candles and bringing in that kind of ambiance and extending a dinner party into the evening. Certainly that lighting is could really add to that the mood.

Stephanie Hansen 12:06
Yeah, I noticed that gold silverware seems to be back into

Amy Leyden 12:10
Yep. And I have one set of gold silverware. I will say you know, when you talk about trends a little bit, if I could just add, you know, I think when you look at my site, and what I have my colors, as I said are very bright. And I do think that when I when I the the registries for bridal showers now, most of the options for dinner were you know, tend to be the black, the white or the gray. And that was not at all the case, you know, when I got married decades ago. So I feel like again, there’s lots of room for more joy at the dinner table or the luncheon table, because I think that there isn’t as much of those more colorful patterns being offered. And I saw, I will have to do have another setting not photographed yet on the site. But I’m it’s black and silver, and a little bit of copper. So I want to acknowledge that though that not everything I do is bright, but there and some people that’s too it’s too festive. They want to look that’s a little more perhaps contemporary or more slick, or sleek, I should say. And so I am working on some some designs for those more kind of organic tones, if you will.

Stephanie Hansen 13:33
Right. I love it. It’s really clever. Amy, I’m excited for you. I think it’s a fun idea. And I hope people reach out for their events. And it sounds like you can offer pretty much anything if given enough time and the price point and that you’ve got your real expert here. So I appreciate having the opportunity to talk to you.

Amy Leyden 13:53
Absolutely. I’m happy to do that. Thank you so much, Stephanie. Yes, and

Stephanie Hansen 13:57
you can find Amy at k dash table settings.com at Kaleidoscope underscore MPLS on Instagram, and I’m looking forward to seeing what you come up with over the next couple of months. Great. Thanks, Amy. All right, thanks. Definitely. Bye bye

Transcribed by https://otter.ai