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From the Desk of Dixie

Faces of Dixie: Creative Director Lucy Young

First joining us as a Designer on Dixie's in-house graphic design team, then moving to Design Director and as a new Dixie artist in 2019, Lucy Young has worn many different hats as part of the Dixie family. We are now thrilled to introduce her as our new Creative Director! We are excited for her to take on this new role and we're confident she will bring to it the same level of artistry and graciousness she has demonstrated since she first began working for Dixie in early 2018.

Be sure to head to our website here to scroll through Lucy's Dixie artwork in our latest Holiday and Valentine Collections. Her artwork is also well showcased on her Instagram page. Not only does she have a knack for darling illustrations, but her calligraphy penmanship is exquisite. Below we have included some images of Lucy's studio as well as some shots of her artwork and calligraphy. 

Lucy kindly answered a few questions for us today about what her new job will entail, her creative vision for Dixie, and even gave us a few hints about what fun new Dixie products may be on the horizon!

What responsibilities will your new role as Creative Director encompass?

As the Creative Director, I will put on many different hats throughout the week! I am the main point of contact for our amazing Dixie artists. I receive their artwork and review it with our owner, Jennifer Hunt, to make sure it is exactly what we need before building out the products. I then work with the designers as they are building out the suites to give feedback and encouragement as they are working. This takes up a majority of each day! I also work very closely with our incredibly organized and talented Project Communications Manager, Dana Vick, to make sure all of our projects and deadlines are met. We also work together with Jennifer to prepare for photoshoots and carefully curate which suites will be styled and shot for our website, social media and our wholesale catalog. In between art and design reviews, I work with our PR team to help with any special requests and collaborations. All of these responsibilities tie in to my main goal of communicating the Dixie story and style on all of our platforms. With each suite that is designed, every styled shot of our product, every blog post—all of it should point back to our vision of blending custom art and gorgeous design to create products that inspire our audience and consumers!

What are some of your creative visions for Dixie Design in the next year or so?

I want to continue the vision that our original Creative Director, Holly Hollon, and our owner, Jennifer, have worked so hard to bring to life for Dixie, making each launch a beautifully curated selection of only the best art and design! My hope for this year is to help create enough time and space for our artists and designers to have some breathing room to really explore and push the limits with their work. There are always a million things going on—new ideas we want to test out and deadlines to be met—there just aren’t enough hours in the day to get it all done! We are working on implementing some new communication strategies and deadlines within our workflow, so I am hopeful that this will help create that space we need to work from a place of peace and inspiration rather than pressure and hustle! 

Are there any future new Dixie products or collections coming out this year that you are particularly excited about?

Jennifer is constantly coming up with new ideas of ways we can bring our artwork to new products and mediums. We have a few things in the works that I am hoping we can launch in 2020. I’m also getting SUPER excited about our spring and summer collections that will launch in March and May! Be on the lookout for all of that colorful goodness coming your way!

Can you give us any hints about holiday artwork you may be working on for the Holiday 2020 collection?

Oh this is fun! I am really excited about bringing some coastal colors into my collection this year ;) I’ll be posting sneak peeks as I am working that you will see on my Instagram account.

Do you have any creative mentors?  If so, what has been their most valuable career advice?

Holly Hollon has been an amazing mentor in so many ways! She is always willing to give design advice and share resources. I feel comfortable coming to her with questions and for guidance. She is such a gift! I am the most grateful for her reminders to not undervalue my work. She encourages me to be proud of my art. To hear these words of affirmation coming from one of my favorite designers really feeds my creative spirit. I also am inspired and pushed to be a better designer by my fellow designers at Dixie. We have such a great team and we all work to build each other up. I learn so much from our team every day!

Are there any particular creative influencers that you follow for inspiration?

I love following Emily Jeffords on Instagram! While our artistic styles are different, I resonate so much with her teaching style. She is a huge advocate for the progress and process of art, which is something I tend to forget when I am trying to meet deadlines. Her feed is gorgeous and inspiring—I never feel that sting of comparison when I see her posts. I leave feeling encouraged, which is what instagram should be for!

How would you explain Dixie Design in five words or less?

Gorgeous (we use this word so much when reviewing the art and design!), Polished, Inspiring and Flourishing :) 

Lucy, her husband Patrick and their pup, Galley

Studio shots photography: Brenna Kneiss

Family photo photography: Natalie Blevins

Merry Christmas from the Dixie Family!

Merry Christmas! As another Dixie holiday season is coming to a close, we are experiencing overwhelming gratitude for all of our loyal customers this past year. We hope this holiday season brings each of you joy, rest, and time well spent with those you love!

xoxo,

The Dixie Family

Jennifer Hunt, Founder and Owner, and Buddy Hunt, Wholesale Director

Holly Hollon, Creative Consultant and Artist

Kate King, Operations Director

Casey Snipes, Marketing Director

Lucy Young, Design Director and Artist

Shelby Boston, Design Director

Lindsey Jennings, Designer

Brennan Smith, Designer

Mary Beth Chau, Designer

Bethany Terrell, Website and Production

Sloan Crawford, Blog and Newsletter Editor

Kathleen Bunn, Production Assistant

Jennifer Phillips, Seasonal Designer 

Sarah Robbins Powell, Artist

Shanna Masters Moczygemba, Artist

Gina Langford, Artist  

Inslee Fariss, Artist  

Rachel Rogers, Artist

Abby Little Jessup, Artist

Ashley Begley, Artist 

Aly Harris (aka Willa Heart), Artist

Sarah Boyd, Operations Assistant

LaurieAnne Gonzalez, Artist

Faces of Dixie: Operations Director Kate King

Our Faces of Dixie series continues today with Dixie's Operations Director, Kate King! Kate's role is very similar to an air traffic controller... she keeps all of the various team members of Dixie on schedule and en route. 

Born in Louisiana, raised in Texas, college in South Carolina, and currently residing in Alabama, Kate considers herself truly a daughter of the South!  She is a type A personality from a family of very creative people. Kate has always seen the art of a handwritten note on beautiful stationery as her creative outlet. Dixie allows her to carry out her type A tendencies while watching beautiful art made into beautiful paper. Kate moved to Birmingham in 2013, where she lives with her husband, Stephen, their 2 young boys, and their dog. When she is not chasing her toddlers around, she loves reading, enjoying good food with friends, and getting back to Charleston any chance she can.

We cannot wait for you to read more about this important member of our Dixie family!

Our Q&A with Kate:

Hometown?

I was born in Alexandria, Louisiana, but we moved to Tyler, Texas, when I as 18 months old. So, I consider Tyler to be home. 

Alma Mater?

College of Charleston. I truly don’t think there is a better college experience than living in Downtown Charleston. I decided to apply to the College of Charleston after a vacation there. My mom and I both commented how much we loved the city and my mom said, “Well, let’s see if there’s a college, you could live here for 4 years!” I’m still just as enchanted with the city now as I was then!

What was your very first job out of school? 

My husband and I worked for a college ministry at the College of Charleston called Campus Outreach and I taught pre-school.

Favorite Dixie Product?

There are so many that I love. But I do have 4 of our notepads around the house and they definitely keep my life straight! I have been a compulsive list maker since high school, so I love to have one close at hand. I would say that my next go-to would be our thank you cards. Handwritten notes are my favorite, and if you don’t already send them, thank you notes are a great way to start incorporating them in your day-to-day life.



Favorite date night spot in Birmingham?

Our go to is Joe’s Italian in Alabaster, we love their tomato basil soup. It’s incredible! We recently went to The Essential for our 8th anniversary and it became a new favorite. The food is great, and for us the brick street felt like a tiny escape back to Charleston in the middle of downtown Birmingham. 

Favorite Birmingham spot to hang out with your boys?

We love Wildflower Park in Hoover, it’s a great shaded park where we have spent many hours! We also got a membership to the McWane Science Center last Christmas (*gift idea if you need one*) and it has been amazing! 

Favorite music to get you in the mood to work?

So, I really don’t have one thing I listen to. I bounce a little bit all over the place and I have several playlists on Spotify that I jump between depending on my mood. I do throw on Netflix in the background a lot. I like to put on shows that I’ve seen many times so that I don't have to fully pay attention and still know what’s going on. So that usually means Gilmore Girls, The Office, Parks and Recreation, Criminal Minds or NCIS.



What does a day in life as Kate look like? 

Oh man…that’s a loaded question. So, since I have a 3.5 year old and an almost 2 year old, my day starts pretty early. My Dixie Day gets started once my husband leaves and takes the boys to daycare. After I pour a LARGE cup of coffee, I jump on email and making sure there’s nothing pressing. I field LOADS of emails and texts from Jennifer, Buddy for wholesale things, Kim (our customer service guru), the designers, our uploaders, and Casey for social media things. I even can be found helping ship things out. Most of the time I’m checking in with people and my trusty spreadsheets to make sure we are staying on track with all our deadlines from designs to orders. I always end my day checking orders and assigning them out to designers, so that they all have things to work on the next day when they sit down to work. 

Since we all work at different times throughout the day, I do try to be available for emergencies or questions throughout the day as needed. Honestly, most of my day could be summed up by making sure everything is moving smoothly, and everyone has the information, and tools to focus on their tasks and do their jobs well. The way I see it, if I’m doing my job correctly, then everyone else is able to do their job better and more efficiently.

Favorite Instagram account (or accounts) to follow for inspiration?

I’m not going to lie; my favorite accounts are just those of my closest friends. Having moved from Texas to South Carolina and now to Alabama, it’s the best way to stay up to date on their lives. I’m someone who has always valued deep relationships, so moving has always been hard on me. So, I love getting to see pictures of how their lives are and connecting through it.

But as far as official accounts, my favorites right now are super practical or relatable ones, I think. (As a working mom with 2 toddlers, I need all the practicality and relatability I can get!) I love Things.I.Bought.And.Liked for product recommendations, she’s so real and honest. Naptime Kitchen has great recipes, my favorites are her daily green drink, her spaghetti sauce, and her honey ginger lemon water (I have been drinking it daily this winter). K8Smallthings has great beauty/hair tips but her stories are so funny and relatable, I really love her. And lastly HolyCityChic has great style and gives me the glimpses of Charleston that I miss.

If you could spend your perfect day anywhere in the world, where would you be and what would you do?

That’s so easy! Except it wouldn’t be a day, it would have to be like a month, to roam Italy, from Rome to Milan to Venice, but I would need extra time to sit and sip wine and soak in the beauty of the Italian Countryside.

Describe Dixie Design in three words or less:

Quality, fun, classy. That goes for our products and our team! ;)

Faces of Dixie: Marketing Director Casey Snipes

Today we continue our Faces of Dixie series with our Marketing Director Extraordinaire, Casey Snipes! Casey is the face behind all of Dixie's social media and marketing platforms. 

After spending years in the world of retail, Casey eventually found her passion in styling, creative direction, and social media management. She loves being able to help clients visually capture and communicate the essence of their businesses. She has very much enjoyed stepping into the Marketing Director roll at Dixie, and wakes up extra early and extra excited on photoshoot days. Outside of work, Casey enjoys traveling with her husband, hunting for vintage clothes, reading biographies on George Washington, spending time with her two cats, Luna and Minerva, and dreaming up plans for baby Zoe's nursery (due in February!). Continue scrolling to learn about a very special holiday collection custom created just for her and for our Q&A with Casey at the bottom of the post.

True to her stylist propensities, Casey has dubbed her overall holiday aesthetic as "A Barbie Christmas in Palm Springs, Scotland," conveying her love of all things tartan, floral, and pink. Her Scottish roots truly run deep while also carrying some regal blood lines in them as well. Her great-grandmother Barbara Burnett comes from the Scottish family that lived in Crathes Castle (pictured below) in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. The gardens at Crathes Castle are renown for their inspiration of the classic, The Secret Garden, which was also written by a Burnett in Casey's family line! 

Recently having returned from a trip to Scotland, Casey shared images of the castle, the gardens, and her family's crest with Dixie artist and Creative Consultant Holly Hollon who created the beautiful artwork found in our Burnett Holiday Collection! You can see the inspiration board Holly put together for this collection on Pinterest here.

Holly flawlessly incorporated the holly, greyhound dogs, and the hunting horn, all elements of Casey's original family crest, into the modernized Burnett family crest pictured below. She was even able to give the family tartan a fun modern twist with the pink tones that are so near and dear to Casey's heart! 

Our Q&A with Casey

Where is your hometown?

I was born in Richmond, Virginia, but spent most of life growing up in Alexandria, right outside of D.C.!

What is your Alma Mater? 

Covenant College (Go Scotts!)

What was your very first job out of school? 

As a sales associate at Anthropologie 

Favorite Dixie Product?

The Burnett Collection, of course, but I also am obsessed with all of our wrapping papers!

Favorite date night spot in Birmingham? 

Dinner at El Barrio will always be a favorite, and it's within walking distance to some of my favorite bars: The Atomic, Queen's Park, and Carrigan's, just to name a few!

Favorite music to get you in the mood to work?

I love working to soundtracks, my most listened-to ones would have to be the soundtracks to Amélie and Outlander, and of course during the holidays there's nothing better than the Peanuts Christmas soundtrack.

What does a day in life as Casey look like? 

Every day is different for me! Usually I spend a good bit of time on the computer planning out Dixie's social media schedules, other days I'm on location either styling photos for the next Dixie launch or working with other clients on their branding images. Most days I also spend a good amount of time watching Gilmore Girls and hanging out with my cats!

Tell us about your plans for Zoe’s nursery!

It has been such a dream come true to finally get to decorate a nursery! And for a girl?! I basically can't think about anything else. We chose a very vintage and girly looking block printed hummingbird wallpaper from Cole & Sons and then we are adding in layers of pinks, florals, and tartans, and a bamboo dresser that I'm particularly excited about! I'm also planning to add an art print of the illustration of Crathes Castle Holly created for the Burnett Collection above Zoe's crib!

Favorite Instagram account (or accounts) to follow for inspiration? 

I love following @designsponge, @imakestagram, and @carsonellis for artistic inspiration and @msmaverickmuse, @juliahengle, and @zoelaz for personal styling inspo.

If you could spend your perfect day anywhere in the world, where would you be and what would you do? 

It would definitely be spent just wandering the winding streets of Edinburgh (my favorite city on earth) while enjoying a nice crisp cider... There's not much that sounds better than that to me!

You can shop the entire Burnett Collection on our website here.

Card Photography: Mary Margaret Smith
Card Stock Image Photography: Holland Williams Photography

Styling: Casey Snipes

Faces of Dixie: Buddy Hunt

We are excited to continue our Faces of Dixie blog series this week with Dixie's Wholesale Director, Buddy Hunt! Buddy joined his wife, Jennifer, at the helm of Dixie’s Wholesale Division in the fall of 2018. After spending two decades in the financial industry, honing his sales and relationship-building skills in Minneapolis, Dallas and then back home in Birmingham, he connects Dixie with retail shops around the country and maintains valuable relationships with each new and existing Dixie account. His free time is spent with Jennifer and their two young boys, coaching soccer and basketball, watching Alabama and San Francisco 49ers football, traveling and spending time with family and friends.

Read on to learn more about Buddy's role at Dixie, how he and Jennifer met, and the history of his 49ers fandom.

Hometown 

Birmingham, Alabama

Alma Mater 

University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa

How did you and Jennifer meet/how long have you been married?

A friend of mine suggested we meet, so he called and invited her to my fraternity initiation party on February 11th, 1995. I learned later she also had a friend who wanted to introduce us, so I guess it was obvious we would make a good match. That night at the party, it took me about 2 hours to say hello. I was nervous. She still makes me nervous and we have been married 14 years. Feels like yesterday.  

Career Path leading up to Dixie

I served and still serve in the Financial Services industry. I spent 20 years in the Investments Wholesale industry and now have the daily opportunity to serve a select group of individual clients.  

Describe a day in the life of Dixie’s Wholesale Director

I simply try to do my job which is to put our stationery product in front of retailers across the country. Most of my efforts center around the use of phone calls, emails and handwritten notes. This gives me an opportunity to stay in touch with retailers who are considering or are already carrying our products.  

What is it like working side by side with Jennifer

For many people, it can be a big challenge to work with one’s spouse. For me it is a blessing. One of the reasons we get along is because we are both so focused on our daily Dixie activities. She focuses on the retail side of the business while I focus on the wholesale side of Dixie. We are accessible to each other but because we have very different skillsets and roles, we rarely talk during the work day. 

Favorite way to spend a weekend out in Birmingham

We like food, so we love great restaurants and Birmingham has plenty of them. I also have the opportunity to coach my sons (9 and 6 years of age) in soccer which is such a great outlet for me. I love watching them learn, play and mature from season to season. I will also be coaching basketball this fall. So many evenings are either filled with practices or games.  

The most meaningful father/son(s) time is spent when we... 

Get the opportunity to talk about the day in retrospect. I like to ask our sons if they learned anything throughout the day. I always ask them what they liked most and what they liked least about the day. They usually like anything educational the least and they love P.E., recess, and sports the most.  

Favorite travel destination 

That’s a hard one. I think my most challenging, memorable and enjoyable trips have been explorative in nature. I’m a homebody, but Jennifer makes me get out and do challenging things. So our most memorable and exciting trips have been a four-day hike along the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in Peru, an exploration of Mayan ruins and other adventure activities in the Mexican jungle near the Belize border, and a three-day self-driven boat tour in the Burgundy, France region. But I must say that I probably loved the Mexico trip the most. 

Your Crimson Tide fandom is self-explanatory as an alumnus, but why the 49ers? 

There is nothing like the history of the San Francisco 49ers. The legendary players like Jerry Rice (pictured below) and Joe Montana and so many others. The Joe Montana interaction in the huddle talking about and pointing to John Candy in the stands before the winning Super Bowl drive. I also grew up a big L.A. Lakers fan. The best players were playing for San Fransisco and for the Lakers during my childhood, and I watched a bunch of those games with my Dad. Jennifer surprised me a couple of years ago with a trip to Levi's Stadium for a 49ers game with sideline passes. I got to meet Jerry Rice, see Joe Montana and slap hands with some Bama boys who play for the 49ers. It's a really fun memory. On top of all that, Jennifer and I got engaged in San Francisco, so it's a special place for a lot of reasons. 

Favorite read

When I get the chance to sit and read (which is rare – I am not the most committed reader for pleasure, to say the most) I have found that I love historical fiction.  Otherwise, I am looking at a stock chart or reading about the economy and stock market. 

Retailers can shop these wholesale products as well as more beautiful options on our website here.

Faces of Dixie: Jennifer Hunt

To kick off our new blog series, Faces of Dixie, we thought it would be fun for you all to learn a little bit more about our founder and owner Jennifer Hunt! Everyone on the Dixie team adores working for Jennifer, and we always love making her get in front of the camera and into the spotlight. Without further ado, read on to get to know our fearless leader Jennifer!

Jennifer Hunt Faces of Dixie

Where is your hometown? Russellville, Alabama...home of the Golden Tigers!

What is your Alma Mater? The University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa…Roll Tide!

What was your very first job out of school? As an associate with Arthur Andersen, formerly one of the “Big Five” public accounting firms. I fortunately switched jobs two weeks before the seriousness of the Enron scandal was disclosed. I loved the company and the people I worked with, I just couldn’t endure another busy tax season!

How did Dixie Design Collective come to be? I started Dixie to fill the gap between pricey custom-designed cards and more economically-priced, mass-produced cards. I realized there was a gap in the market when I searched the internet in late 2014 trying to find a holiday card I could customize online that had the high-end look of a custom-created piece, but with a more accessible price and a quick turnaround. Dixie launched with its first Holiday Collection in October 2015. 

What was the first Dixie product you ever ordered for yourself? My first Dixie holiday card in 2015! It was a tri-fold card that featured Holly Hollon’s Christmas Toile artwork.

Favorite date night spot in Birmingham? My favorite date night typically revolves around where we will eat! There are so many great restaurants in Birmingham we love, but if it’s last minute, we’ll probably head to Ovenbird or Bettola.

Favorite place to take your kids? For locals, we recently took the kids to the Birmingham Zoo, which has been undergoing a renovation. We were really impressed! For dinner, Bettola is kid-friendly and The Woolworth is a fun spot for kids and adults. For travel, favorite beach spots the kids love are Amelia Island Plantation and Rosemary Beach, although we try to take the kids on a new adventure each year.

Favorite music to get you in the mood to work? I’m an 80s and 90s music junkie!

What was it like when your husband, Buddy, decided to join the Dixie team full time? I put the bug in his ear for at least a year, but he wasn’t ready to make the move until last Fall and we weren’t ready for him to dive into our Wholesale division until then anyway, so the timing was perfect. People ask all the time, “How do you work with your husband?” It works beautifully for us somehow. I guess maybe the almost 25 years we’ve known each other has prepared us!

What does a day in life as owner of Dixie look like? No day is ever the same! While there are areas I work on consistently, each day presents new items and issues to tackle, whether expected or not. I serve as problem solver, coordinator of special projects and collaborations, supervisor of Dixie’s creative and operations directors, overseer of website updates and software creation, financial analyzer, new product developer, marketing and PR liaison, and general manager of all things Dixie. Outside of Dixie, I'm mom and wife, so balancing everything is always a work in progress! 

Favorite Instagram account to follow for inspiration? Pencil and Paper Co. (@pencilandpaperco) is a favorite for both interiors and creative inspiration as well as gorgeous clothing and accessories ideas. I love following Gen’s travel adventures too!

If you could spend your perfect day anywhere in the world, where would you be and what would you do? Right now, I have a major itch to head back to Europe. I think Spain, the south of France and northern Italy are the spots I’ll be researching next. But we also just visited with some sweet ladies from El Salvador when we were at AmericasMart last month. They sold us on their beautiful country and gave us all the info for the best places to visit while there, so I’m super interested in taking the family there soon too! While visiting any place, I love to do more authentic and adventure activities and, of course, eat good food!

What’s your best piece of advice for an ambitious young woman who’s interested in owning her own business? I might have too much advice on this subject!

WHY. Why do you want to start this business? Is it a quality of life issue? Do you dream of working for yourself and setting your own schedule? Do you love your idea so much that you must share it? Whatever it is that’s motivating you, decide what your goal is and then move toward it with an enthusiasm that borders irrationality.

START. Do not let the overwhelming nature of starting a business keep you from it, but do your due diligence and do not take it all on yourself. Get the assistance you need from the beginning – you will keep your sanity and your company will likely propel at a quicker rate. If funds are tight, find an advisor to help guide your decisions. Be optimistic, but cautiously and armed with loads of information.

COMMIT. Go in knowing that your idea is likely not going to take off overnight. Be persistent and have confidence your concept is a good one. It typically takes at least THREE years before you know if your company is going to work. If you go in knowing that, you can put your head down and keep moving toward your goal, even during those tougher early years.

NETWORK. Networking is a major factor in the success of your business. In today’s world that is so saturated with imagery and content, partner with brands and companies where you can both leverage exposure. And don’t underestimate the power of joining or creating a group where you can bounce ideas off like-minded people. There’s room for everyone, so help each other, don’t hinder.

ENGAGE. Positively engage with your team and your customers. Make sure the team you build knows how important they are to you and the success of your company. Your company environment will trickle down to your customers and the service your team provides. Excellent customer interaction is vital – there are too many options for people to go elsewhere if customer service is an issue.

ASSESS. Assess what’s working and what’s not working. Do not be afraid of failure. Failure in areas is almost guaranteed and pushes you to the right decisions. Make necessary, thoughtful adjustments along the way to ensure the desired trajectory for your company.

What do you see as being NEXT for Dixie? We have some fun projects in the works that will be announced later this year and in 2020. Dixie’s 4th birthday is coming up in October and I’m so proud of what our team has accomplished in such a short time. We’ve been taking note of customer requests and we have some exciting things happening soon!

Merry Christmas from the Dixie Family!

Merry Christmas to you and yours! The Dixie family is tremendously grateful for the exciting holiday season we have had and for the support from our wonderful customers throughout this past year. Wishing you a season of joy and love with your family and friends! 

XO,

The Dixie Family

Jennifer Hunt, Founder and Owner

Photo and Styling by Christina Brockman of Huckleberry Collective

Holly Hollon, Creative Director and Dixie Artist
Photo and Styling by Christina Brockman of Huckleberry Collective

Kate King, Operations Director

Sloan Crawford, Marketing Coordinator

Bethany Terrell, Website and Production Assistant

Eden Flora, Dixie Artist

Sarah Robins Powell, Dixie Artist

Inslee Fariss, Dixie Artist

Gina Langford, Dixie Artist

Laurie Anne Gonzalez, Dixie Artist

Rachel Rogers, Dixie Artist

Shanna Masters, Dixie Artist 

Willa Heart, Dixie Artist

Bonnie Cross, Dixie Artist 

 

 

A Tradition of Entertaining - Nothing could be Finer than to be in Carolina

Nothing could be finer than to be in North Carolina for Thanksgiving, especially if you are a member of the McElwee family who gathers together every year to celebrate this favorite holiday.  Our own Dixie designer Addie McElwee's family gathering was extra special this past year as the extended clan of 50 brothers, sisters, and cousins gathered in Statesville, North Carolina to celebrate the 100th birthday of the house where their grandparents lived and raised four children.

Family lore has it that in the mid-60s, several cousins were attending the same summer camp in the North Carolina mountains and didn't recognize each other. Estelle McElwee - one of the first generation of McElwees to grow up in the house on West End Avenue - said "we cannot have that" and thus began the tradition of gathering together every Thanksgiving.  The four siblings have long since passed and with great anticipation the 12 cousins and their families continue the tradition to this day - with the number growing every year!

Currently owned by Shelly and Nate McElwee, the home continues to be a "work in progress," but it is with heartfelt pride that the house remains a gathering place for all to come home to.  When they hosted the family several years ago, a scavenger hunt was planned for the younger cousins to find and learn about special places in Statesville that were part of their heritage.



Many hours of preparation go into hosting such a large group.  Shelly, an Interior Designer, was faced with the challenge of seating 50 people.  Once she decided where to put all the tables, she began to gather items such as magnolia, candles and bittersweet to accompany different patterns of china,  including Blue Willow. It resulted in a warm and inviting tablescape for all to enjoy, whether seated on the screened-in porch or in the dining room.


The McElwees plan to gather at a cousins house near Charleston this year, with a couple of new people joining the clan - a bride and a baby!! As they gather around the table and sing the Doxology, they will give thanks for their many blessings, for those who they've loved and lost, for those who started this wonderful tradition and for the new generation of cousins in hopes that they will continue to gather for many years to come! 

Dixie has created a menu this year for the McElwees' Thanksgiving celebration. You can make a menu for your own party or gathering using any of our invitation designs. Shop designs from our 2017 Holiday Collection here

Photography: Amanda Caldwell Photography

Myka Meier's Takeaways from Dixie's Etiquette & Entrepreneurship Luncheon

Dixie's Creative Director Holly Hollon and Dixie Founder Jennifer Hunt with Etiquette Expert Myka Meier

The Dixie Design team is still on cloud nine from the fabulous two-day event series we hosted featuring modern-day etiquette expert Myka Meier. Be sure to scroll through our latest blog post and our Instagram page to experience the amazing Paper Petals Plates evening event. The next day we hosted an Etiquette & Entrepreneurship luncheon focused on the creative career woman.  We enjoyed the gorgeous space at the John Hand Club and delicious food by Kathy G & Co. on stunning Tea and Old Roses china while Myka led us in a fun and interactive discussion about etiquette in the modern day workplace. 

Just in case you were unable to make our etiquette luncheon, we wanted to share with you some of our most memorable takeaways from Myka.

To all of the entrepreneurs at the luncheon, Myka firmly insisted on the necessity of making a lasting first impression. Someone’s first impression of you is formed in the first seven seconds of your time together…that’s it!

So, whether you are facing a job interview or you have a career-launching presentation to make, you will want to make those seven seconds really count! Here is what Myka recommends:

  • Know the room before you walk in!  Be sure to thoroughly research your audience, so you can easily maneuver conversations towards individuals’ interests and skills, as well as avoid any potentially uncomfortable topics.
  • Small details count!  Be sure to make sure that all of your accessories (i.e. notepad, pen, cell phone case) portray a professional appearance.
  • Social media sweep!  Myka gave the statistic that 65 percent of people google you the minute you call them or email them! Be sure that your online presence is something that you would be comfortable with a potential boss or potential client seeing.
  • Check your voice!  Myka taught us that everyone needs to work on either their pitch, their pace, or their pauses when engaged in verbal communication.
  • Shoulders back!  Does anybody else hear their mother’s insistent voice in their head when “posture” is mentioned? Myka taught us that people who stand up straight exude more confidence than their slouching neighbors. She also taught us to look at people in the left eye if you want to show them compassion or in the right eye if you want to appear authoritative.

If you were able to join us for our Paper Petals Plates evening event or for this luncheon, we want to sincerely say THANK YOU for making the both events so successful and delightful! We hope to see you again really soon.

Also, a huge thank you to our luncheon event sponsors, Regions HerVision HerLegacy and Birmingham MagazineAnd to Alisha Crossley for these beautiful images!