Every parent can attest that they dread the day when their children choose their friends over their family. The day when the table becomes set for just two and the swarming madness of suppertime ceases. For Elizabeth White and Jacquelyn Buckner, the talented sisters behind the evolved Twine & Twig jewelry and lifestyle line, the answer is Sundays spent with a mass of friends and family.
In its most simplistic form, the girls gather at Jacquelyn’s most cherished watering hole, the popular Plaza Midwood brewery Resident Culture. With its effortlessly cool and family-friendly vibe, the brewery opens its doors to the most serious of craft-beer enthusiasts, as well as the most harried of parents. It is this open-air, down-home atmosphere that allows Jacquelyn to have, as she puts it, her “Sunday Fun Day.”
There are epic games of Rummikub, endless battles at the Go-Fish table, and volumes of good grub thanks to the brewery’s steady rotation of food trucks. Beyond the gaming and grazing, a common thread resonates – to spend the final hours of your weekend with a breeze at a brewery with loved ones in toe undoubtedly results in a fantastic collection of family-time memories.
These memories are an absolute reflection of the respect and adoration that the sisters hold for their mother, Meb Wentz. As a single mother, Meb wanted the girls to always feel like the house was full – full of energy, full of love, and most of all, full of people. Her gatherings were never about the food. Rather, they were simply about the conversation and community of friends her girls learned to know as “framily.” It was an awesome mixture of chaos and cool, where the kids could run like crazy, and the adults could cocktail and fascinate over the week ahead.
Elizabeth’s home is no different. On any given Sunday, you could be trailblazed by a kid roller-skating down the front hallway or may find yourself in debate over the making of a new business model. “I see our table as not only a place to gather with friends but a place to learn how to run a business!” Elizabeth says. “It is a place where everyone at the dinner adds value, a place where it becomes somehow fun to learn again,” Jacquelyn says.
And what an education they have received. From friends like Urban Ministry enthusiast, Ethan Grossman, the sisters learned that their philanthropic efforts needed to be tangible. It is this notion that inspired Elizabeth and Jacquelyn to create charity driven collections like the Water and Low Country collections, where proceeds benefit a designated not-for-profit dear to theirhearts. There is always a beat to the purpose of their collaborations, a way to give back and remain grounded in their community.
They are compelled to share their good tidings with not only those less fortunate but also with the grand supporters they have encountered since the brand’s inception in 2013. There is an unspoken need to thank friends like Max Nicholson (better known as the man behind favorite deli shop, Sandwich Max).
“There were endless nights of cutting suede or branding leather, and sure enough, you would find someone like Max out in the garage, beer in hand, just there ready to help,” Elizabeth explains. Both sisters joke, “It is not uncommon to find cheap labor among our dinner guests!” Humor aside, Elizabeth and Jacquelyn agree that honoring their friends’ stewardship with simple things like an invitation to Sunday supper is just a nod to the thanks they deserve.
The open-door policy at Elizabeth’s is an understatement. While there are always many friends to thank, there are just as many new acquaintances to be made. And this grand collection of people on Sundays is a direct result of “the more, the merrier” policy instituted by Elizabeth. “I’d rather open my home to thirty than cook for the mere five that live under my roof,” she says. Luckily, Elizabeth had the opportunity to collaborate with architect Ruard Veltman in creating an informal dining area that allowed everyone to just “pile in.”
The result? A very casual, yet dynamic space that features a custom-built table (also designed by Ruard Veltman) that can easily seat twenty people and enables Elizabeth to showcase her true talent: tablescaping. She conceptualizes a table like one would fashion an outfit. She considers the season, the color, the palette, the undertones, and the need to layer. Her table is dramatic and simultaneously subtle. It is a perfect balance of new and old with blush-hued linens from West Elm and stormy, faux bois plates from B.D. Jefferies placed effortlessly with vintage sterling, and floral-filled mason jars.
The table itself is crowned by a chandelier made of reclaimed wood, dusted in a cloud-like plume of pampas grass and Lunaria. The creation, a design by boutique florist Nectar, Inc., was intended to be light and airy. “We wanted the overall look to be subtle but exotic, comfortable but high end,” says Karisa Pennell, owner and lead designer. Natural and textural in design, the look was softly elegant and produced a subtle nod to the season.
Food is an integral part of the table and should harmonize with the table’s decorative elements. However, Elizabeth elects to never formally plate. “The meal needs to be playful, yet sophisticated,” she says. With a vegan husband, a meat-loving sister, and the unpredictable appetites of young children, it is understandable that a typical menu writes like a ten-course meal. But this never overwhelms as long as you maintain Elizabeth’s mantra to “over prepare, over serve, and always treat friends like family. We are all ‘framily,’ after all.”