This is the very first Dwell Dinner, August 2016.  A gathering of roommates and friends that turned into much more.

How did Dwell Dinner really get started? Let me tell you a story.

I studied abroad for a semester in Spain and when you study abroad you have a lot more downtime to think. I really got to wondering what is it that I want to do with my life. I was just a sophomore in college at the time. The world was my oyster. I was studying Advertising and Public Relations, Spanish, maybe Fine Arts, and still exploring. I knew I wanted to do something creative with photography or design.  I didn’t just want to be a portrait photographer like everyone else (not that that’s bad by any means, it just wasn’t me), I wanted more else, something deeper, more meaningful but I wasn’t sure what that something else was.

From my time in Spain (over 8 summers) and traveling I realized I loved people and cultures, more that I thought. Each person is so different, unique, and has something to offer the world whether they know it or not.  I also had a passion for quarterly publications. My first publication was Kinfolk (like many who get into the world of lifestyle publications and concept shops). Whenever I traveled to a new big city I would go in search of a new publication, rather than see the Louvre (yes, this did happen). In many of these lifestyle magazines I discovered that stylized long table dinner gatherings were a thing. I wanted desperately to attend one. But none were in my area or if they were they cost well over my college budget.

Since high school I loved cooking fresh, healthy dishes. I was that girl that brought her own lunches to school and would go home and cook new recipes. It was also a way to occupy my time as I did not have the best friendship experience in high school, like many of go through during that strange phase of life. I was a “floater”, one that floats between friend groups across school, clubs, work, and other activities. I had lots of friendly acquaintances, but no true deep friendships. I’m still learning how to have friends.

It was from those experiences that cultivated a deep desire in my heart to bring people together in a new way. In a way where we felt true connection, to know and be known by those around us. To tell are fears and dreams. To learn from those wiser and more experienced than us. To laugh or to cry or to simply witness the lives of others.

So, I created Dwell Dinner. I had no plan other than to get my friends together and host a dinner.

I had combined my passions: photography, design, people, healthy food, and cooking.

The rest is another story.

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