Every shared meal is a celebration.
That's the philosophy Amy Leyden remembers from her upbringing. Her mother
always set a beautiful table, seeing it not as a fussy chore but as a way of showing love and caring to her
family and guests.
As an adult, Leyden amassed a collection of china, an assortment of
glassware and yards of fabric for sewing her own tablecloths and napkins.
"I love fabric like most women love shoes and handbags," Leyden says. "I'm a
graphic designer, and I love seeing how color and texture and shapes come together. I can see in my mind how
different elements will create a beautiful table."
She realized not everyone had her gift. Then the pandemic hit, and it dawned
on her that people would be at home for every birthday, anniversary and bar mitzvah. That spurred her to
her skills into a business.
Leyden launched Kaleidoscope
) in May, renting out unique table
for up to 24 people. She delivers and will set up everything needed to transform an everyday dining room
Clients can select from set offerings or give Leyden a color palette or
general idea of what they want, and she surprises them. Leyden sets up and leaves, and after the party the
rinse and pack up the dishes (in protective sleeves that Leyden designed) and she picks them up. The cost is
a person, plus a setup and delivery fee that varies.
Leyden notices that her younger clients don't want to own china or silver —
they don't want to store or clean it. Older clients, on the other hand, often talk about having dishes and
glasses passed down from grandma that they rarely use. Leyden will consult with them to create designs that
their heirlooms feel contemporary.
"I love nostalgia, and I mostly want people to use these pieces that are
part of their family traditions," she says.
It fits with her upbringing and philosophy.