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DINNER WITH FRIENDS | SAMANTHA THOMPSON

ftyXF_JVnJMQen0B-CINSJ0W4tSK3XN_5kCIuS-ZTScMeet my dear friend, Samantha Thompson. You might recognize her from our Well Dressed Creative feature or you might have her of her company – Standard Wax – mainly because we have a giant love affair with their candles and can’t get enough of them (seriously, get the White Tea & Thyme – it’s divine).

We started a new series called Dinner With Friends (you might remember #girlboss Candice kicking it off a few weeks ago). Think of this series as Tablemakers in practicum. We realize not everyone has a beautiful desert space to host their friends, or has access to exotic ingredients for unique recipes. But, that’s really not the point of all of this. At the end of the day our goal is to encourage you to invite people over. Impromptu dinner party, Bachelor watching party, it’s almost Friday and we had a shitty week party, whatever it is – gather up some folks and hang out!

That being said, we couldn’t think of anyone who exemplifies this better that Samantha. She is quick to host, always down for a dinner party, and doesn’t fret over a messy house – god love her, right? So dive in, scroll down, and check out what entertaining means to Sam and be inspired!

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What does entertaining mean to you?

It means bringing people together. I never have people over to cook, or make the house cute, or decorate a table. I do it so I can see my friends and family and spend meaningful time together.

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How do you like to make people feel welcome when they come over?

Food, drinks, music. That’s really all you need. I used to think a party had to have some sort of over-the-top theme or menu, but when it all boils down, people just want to spend time together. I also don’t like to be rushing around a kitchen when people come over. I try to do as much as I can so that when the first guest arrives, they aren’t shoved into a corner to sip a drink alone. They feel welcome because I’m genuinely excited to see them, instead of stressed about finishing an extravagant recipe.

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What is your favorite “go-to”?

A party game, a recipe, favorite cocktail, etc. Recently it’s sangria. It’s delicious, I usually have the ingredients lying around, and it can be ready within an hour!

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What makes you nervous about having people over?

Nothing! Are you supposed to be nervous? My house can be a mess and I can order takeout instead of cooking, but as long as my people are there I’m happy.

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Tell us about tonight? How did you plan?

How did you come up with the recipes, etc? I just wanted to spend a low-key night with some girlfriends over dinner and drinks. The catch? I was right in the middle of the “whole 30” diet (if you don’t know, it’s no processed foods, no added sugar, no dairy, etc etc etc). It sounds crazy, especially since I’m a vegetarian, but I was feeling so amazing I didn’t want to break the diet just for the party. I also didn’t want to eat a “special” meal while everyone else had something mouth-watering and full of cheese and butter. So, I decided to experiment and plan the whole menu around the whole30 diet, but not tell anyone and see if they noticed. But like I’ve said, I don’t want to be tired and stressed from cooking, I want to spend time with my friends! So, all of the food was from a local restaurant. Blasphemous? Maybe. But it’s how I roll, and I would never try to hide it. We had hummus and fresh tomatoes, grilled chicken with garlic potato puree, tahini cauliflower, mixed beans, sautéed mushrooms, and then I made lots of sangria. LOTS of sangria.

Y4BAmoF5_HsyO4-BQFXXZesLB-ilPBfeat1ASd-VWK4,QSC82wTwrOWOdijkctF3ND0dfPsyQMih7qQ3ONNTOF4Give us your favorite entertaining tip!

I own a candle company, so I might be a little partial, but I think candles add a sense of “togetherness” to any room or table. Before people come over, I light a few around the house, and always have a few on the table with some flowers. Everything instantly looks put together with about 5 minutes of prep time.

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Photography by Carlee Komar | Florals by Bask + Terra | Centerpiece Candles by Standard Waxlauren

WDC | SAMANTHA THOMPSON

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Samantha Thompson, owner & candle maker of stellar candle company, Standard Wax, is all about bringing art into your everyday. Inspired by the erratic landscape of the desert and the beautiful treks through the forests of Arizona (yes, they have some), this little powerhouse & her wonderful business partner Andrew, are forces to be reckoned with. The savvy business gal behind the brand, Samantha has unstoppable wit, crazy fun charm, and killer personal style. Get to what it means to run a creative company well, plus what personal style means to this bombshell!

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Full  name: Samantha Thompson

Age: 28

Location: Tempe, AZ

Current title/company: Owner + Candle Maker, Standard Wax

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How long have you been a full-time Creative?

Standard Wax started about three years ago, but I went truly full-time (as in quit my day job) eight months ago. Up until then, I was a double-time creative! It’s been so liberating, since I can focus all of my time on one thing that I love, instead of basically working two (more than) full-time jobs.

What is your day-to-day work routine like?

Haha! It doesn’t exist. I’m not a very routine-driven person. I know a lot of people with non-traditional jobs find it important to have a routine, a schedule and create a normal day-to-day, but not me! I know what needs to get done, when it needs to be done by, and love that I can work at my own pace. Sometimes I’ll be up at 5 a.m. working on emails or budgets or accounting in my pajamas, and realize at 5 p.m. that I’m still in PJs and forgot to take breaks to eat. Other days call for inspiration and spontaneous afternoon adventures. And sometimes I simply make candles from 9-5. I think it’s important to be flexible and do what makes you most productive, even if what’s going to make you productive that day isn’t what some think of as “real work”.

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Best part about being a business owner?

The community. There are a lot things that are awesome about owning a business, but you’ve probably heard them all. What I had no idea about are the amazing opportunities to meet other people in different fields, who all want to collaborate. I’ve met some of the greatest people at events, workshops and even on the Internet, all because of Standard Wax.

What is some advice you wish you would have had before you got started?

To be patient. Things are going to happen that you don’t understand, or don’t like, but having the patience to wait out those hard/weird/confusing/stressful times is so important. Instead of getting frustrated, just know that the clarity will always come. And when it does, you suddenly see why these things that weren’t so great had to happen.

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What is the key to making a foolproof, creative, yet professional outfit?

For me, it’s all about comfort. You have to be comfortable to be confident, and if you’re confident you can almost wear whatever you want. I love outfits that are super versatile. Some days I will make candles, go to a meeting, and then go on a spontaneous adventure into the desert – and I love that I can wear the same outfit to all three! I live in leggings, for this reason. My key to creating the perfect outfit is accessories. Hats, jackets, jewelry. You can dress up leggings, pull together skinny jeans and a t-shirt, or give the same outfit you wore three days ago (it happens, no shame) a new life.

Any tips for having a well-balanced closet?

Solids and accessories. Call me boring (I like to call it classic) but I wear skinny pants of some sort and a plain shirt almost every day. Sometimes maybe it’s a simple dress. These things almost never go out of style, so you can spend money on quality items and keep them around! As trends change, I just re-evaluate my accessory situation. Shoes, bags, jackets, hats (hats are the best), jewelry… These are the things that make the outfit for me.

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