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Everyone has a birthday, whether we want to admit it or not – each of us has a start date. There was always a first day of school, a first boyfriend, a first date and before all of that there was a date that symbolizes our start date outside of the womb. My start date was November 30th…a few years ago….ok maybe a little more than a few years ago.

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As with any start date, something special, magical, memorable or just different happens. The special thing about this birthday was an email inviting me to join in a MakeTribe Event. I signed up as I always do because it mentioned artisans, crafts people and small business….and the name MakeTribe (http://www.maketribe.com) was intriguing. The words they have chosen to identify themselves are simple – MAKE. SIP. CHAT. How hard could this be and how much fun it could be. I could hardly wait to get more information about the event.

Domicile DC Magazine’s Tiffany Reidy explained that they were partnering with Make tribe and The Gathering Project to host a Small Business Sunday event. It was held at 600 F Street, NW at The Loft. How did I know this was an event I had to attend?? SHOPPING…oops I mean it featured artisanal foods, handmade goods, local fashion, jewelry, chocolate, granola, apple goodness and Mead. There was also a 3 course family style supper where we would meet the artisans and small business owners and GATHER. Shopping, food and meeting new friends all in the same day…I was so not going to turn this down.

My youngest daughter was my guide through this afternoon of laughter, fellowship and meeting just good folks!!!My youngest daughter was my guide through this afternoon of laughter, fellowship and meeting just good folks!!!

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My youngest daughter was my guide through this afternoon of laughter, fellowship and meeting just good folks!!!

I cannot begin to tell you how intimate the setting was at The Loft at 600 F…..but I will share a photo that demonstrates the ability to take a simple yet elegant but raw space and make it stunning!  For a medium-sized corporate meeting or event, this is such a bright, creative use of space, right near a Metro, the Shakespeare Theater and the China Town/downtown area.

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The vendors seemed to be handpicked for quality of product. To name a few there was Chocolate Jinji (www.jinjichocolate.com) Liquid Dark Chocolate is soooooooo dangerous…but I got it anyway….

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Kate Bakes Bars (www.KateBakesBars.com) Sunflower Butter Raisin Protein Bars….delicious!,Infused Spreads (www.infusedspreads.com) I fell in love with her blueberry ginger jam over the summer so I had to try her Raspberry jalapeno Jam…DELICIOUS!, Charm City Mead Works (www.charmcitymeadworks.com) offered a trio of small batch, locally made Mead in original dry, Rosemary and Cinnamon…great for gifting or sampling to be sure that it would be enjoyed as a gift…or self gifting…

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I would tell you about the Mom and daughter operation of Popcorn Queens (www.popcornqueens.com)… The Orange Cranberry popcorn is just the BEST!!!  (If only the bag was edible….hmmm)

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Cynthia has some awesome products as well.  You don’t know Cynthia do you???  Well she is the Proprietress of Karmalades (www.karmalades.com), which has some of the best smelling scrubbing souffle that has made cleaning my bathroom a sincere joy!!! As a child, my mom only allowed me to clean the powder room (giggle) my siblings had to do the bathroom’s.  I wish I had the Lemon Meringue Scrubbing Souffle back then.  I might have volunteered to actually take on one of the bathrooms….just kidding! Cleaning with a cleaner that is environmentally friendly…I will be keeping this product on hand.

b. willow (www.bwilow.com) I  would love to see more of your work.  Your passion was sincerely demonstrated in your terrariums utilizing found containers.  Truly unexpected surprises were all over your booth!! Perhaps I will check out your website and consider having one custom-made or perhaps I will take one of your upscale classes.

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After we finished self gifting, Thea and I went for a walk to get coffee as we waited for the dinner to be served.  A pre dinner affair included sharing some deliciously tart cider and instruction on how to make a bag of mulling spices.  We learned a bit about the history of mulling spices and then each of the guests had the opportunity to create our own bag of mulling spices to use later.  Such a creative way to carry the event with you, savoring the experience. Yes – I will be mulling a lot this winter, if the Farmer’s Almanac is right!

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I will not even begin to describe the dinner.  Phenomenal does not do it justice… but just share a bit…..fine cheese board with nuts and apricots from Union Market, awesome breads, delicious salad’s – one with chicken and one with fruits and greens (I tried both), the tastiest pumpkin soup with apples and pears, there was another soup option, but I did not try it – I was getting full.  We also got to sample each type of the Mead from Charm City Mead Works with our meal….delicious!!!

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After dinner, there were offerings of dessert cakes from FireHook as well as cookies and macaroons from Bisou Patisserie et Boulangerie. I never turn down dessert, but I only had a small nibble of the delicious carrot cake.  From the vintage farm table, to the fresh floral offerings throughout the room , the evening felt like a personal dinner party with a few new friends.

I simply had an awesome birthday, met new people, shopped…

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And that cute little take home bag of macaroons….I pulled out my Parisian themed cocktail napkins and well…….they were history!!!

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Thank you ladies – DomicileDC Magazine, The Gathering Project and MakeTribe for a wonderful day!!!  You are building a community in the process of gathering kindred spirits in small setting that nourish the soul.  Finding all things beautiful at a Gift and Gather in my hometown. I sincerely look forward to more events like this…….

 

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