I have always loved collecting antique linen napkins. So I was thrilled when I found a company that is creating fine embroidered linens for a new generation and is making it fun to once again set a beautiful table. That’s why Malia Dreyer, of Lettermade, is DoSayGive’s first Profile in Refinement.
DoSayGive: Your modern traditionalist brand is both lovely and inspiring. Can you tell us how Lettermade got started?
Malia: After graduating from a small liberal arts college in Winter Park (Rollins College), I was on the Advancement team for a private Christian Classical school (fundraising, events, and a little bit of marketing!). Embroidery started as just a fun hobby that quickly turned into an absolute love and passion! Lettermade then began from my appreciation for a great monogram and embroidered linens.
DoSayGive: What is the inspiration behind Lettermade’s mission?
Malia: My sweet grandmother is probably the biggest influence behind Lettermade and its mission. She was the epitome of hospitality; she always made her home welcoming and delightful for anyone who came to visit. In her home, having pretty linens and a well-made bed was not so much about what the linens looked like, as it was more of a representation of how she wanted to treat her guests and her own daughters. My mom and aunts (a family with lots of girls!) have nothing but good memories of how kindly and selflessly my grandmother treated others and I hope people can use Lettemade products to do the same.
DoSayGive: You have a multitude of monograms to choose from, so I have to ask, why do you think monograms are so appealing?
Malia: One reason I think monograms are so appealing is because they really do tell a story! When a bride gets married and she’s gifted with a set of monogrammed dinner napkins, her monogram symbolizes a new chapter in her life and the start of a family as a newlywed! Gifting a monogrammed item (like a set of cocktail napkins!) really feels so much more personal to me. Whenever I’ve received a monogrammed item, I really felt like that person took the extra time to think of something that I would keep and enjoy! Monograms add such a wonderful traditional touch, but can be updated in great contemporary styles and colors.
DoSayGive: I think it’s such a paradox when people spend so much time and effort creating a beautiful, sumptuous meal and then totally dull it down by breaking out the cheap paper napkins. Tell me why you want to bring back the habit of using real linens at meals?
Malia: It’s a little bit like that saying when you buy something nice, you’ll take better care of it- the focus at the dinner table tends to be on what’s important (community, family, conversation, and life!) versus rushing to “the next thing”. It’s about enhancing the environment where we take time to sit down and enjoy dinner with family and friends (creating an atmosphere where dinner is the occasion)!
DoSayGive: I’ve been bringing out my linen napkins for family dinners lately. How does using fine linens enhance our meals with our families?
Malia: Growing up, it was always an expectation that my sister or I would set the table before dinner (except for pizza night, of course!). It was really important to my parents for us to eat together and have family time (talking about our day and having time together with no distractions!). After growing up with this tradition, I hope I will always have this in my family one day! Setting a beautiful table and then having a homemade meal somehow really helps slow life down a bit.
DoSayGive: You say these gorgeous linens can be keepsakes. Can you elaborate?
Malia: My grandmother also taught me that well-made linens can be keepsakes, too. I remember one year she gave me a ladies’ handkerchief with Christmas bells embroidered in one of the corners – it was one of the first pieces of embroidery that I remember having. To this day I still keep it on my desk as a reminder of her faith, attitude, and appreciation for a beautifully made item. She’s had Alzheimer’s for 15 years and so treasures like this mean so much to me.
DoSayGive: Thank you, Malia! I love what you are doing with Lettermade and am so thankful that you let us profile you for this post!
Besides being lovely in our own homes, I think a set of embroidered napkins also makes a fabulous gift – for weddings, showers, anniversaries, and even Christmas! A set of Lettermade’s cocktail napkins starts at $42 and you can choose from a variety of classic and modern designs.
And this is the week to stock up on all those fall and holiday gifts because Lettermade is offering
FREE SHIPPING for DoSayGive readers with code “DOSAYGIVE”(OFFER ENDED). Visit their website at www.shoplettermade.com to see all of their beautiful designs and to take advantage of this special offer.
And to top it all off, Lettermade is also giving away a set of custom monogram cocktail napkins to one of DoSayGive’s Instagram followers. Find me on Instagram @dosaygive or click the square Instagram box to the right of this post to enter!
Do you use real napkins at dinner or when entertaining? Would love to know!