Encore December 2019

Page 32

ENTERPRISE ENCORE

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Delicate Dishes provides settings to make a meal memorable story by

LISA MACKINDER

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s Kirsten Smith scrolled through Pinterest one day, she noticed pictures of china that a California company rents out for tea parties and events, and it inspired her to do something: collect china and put on a tea party for women at church, some of whom were in recovery from drugs or alcohol and others who couldn’t afford such an occasion. “I wanted to do a fancy ladies’ tea so that people could feel special — because God treasures them,” Smith says. “I wanted them to know how much they are treasured.” After that tea party, Smith became motivated to do something else with the china pieces from the tea party, realizing that renting them out could turn into a business. When Smith expressed this business idea to her husband, Scott Smith, she recalls him asking, “Is that a thing?”

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She told him about the company in California and did research to uncover local market potential. “He’s like, ‘Go for it,’” Smith says, so in 2015 she launched Delicate Dishes, a Kalamazoo company that provides vintage china, ivory china, vintage glassware, serving pieces and flatware rentals for small or large events.

As fate would have it Smith has always admired china. As a child, she would gaze into her mother’s corner china cabinet, especially at one teacup in particular that didn’t match any of the other dishes. So in 2015, Below: Teapots and teacups stand ready for a high tea or special tea event. Center: Kirsten Smith created her business, Delicate Dishes, to rent vintage china, glassware and flatware for special events. Far right: Smith has several china patterns available, including this one.