Our insider: Amy Burstyn Fritz, co-founder of Misette, the artistic dinnerware company she co-founded with sister, Sarah Pecaut.
On her table: Selected pieces from Misette’s Floral Collection, with inspirations as diverse as Matisse and the groovy seventies.
Summer entertaining style: Fun and fearless, with plenty of forethought. “I don’t cook, but at least I can set an impressive table!”
Can’t host without: Pre-treated linens that minimize stains and wrinkles, and can be thrown in the washing machine.
Best party trick: Curate who’s sitting next to whom – and then move them between courses. “My mom was famous for doing that. It keeps things unpredictable.”
Amy Burstyn Fritz comes by her love of dinnerware honestly. “I grew up in a household with three siblings,” she says. “Meals were special and setting the table was part of the experience.” It’s no surprise, then, that Burstyn Fritz and her sister, Sarah Pecaut – both of whom have backgrounds in art and design – would find themselves launching a dinnerware brand with plates so pretty you can either eat off them or hang them on the wall.
Both sisters have other day jobs: Burstyn Fritz owns a Toronto-based events agency and Pecaut runs the events department at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, where she’s part of the team that stages the Met Gala. When the pandemic hit, both women were inspired to bring that sense of occasion into consumers’ homes. And so, Misette (pronounced “my set”) was born in May, 2021. “It’s a made up word, a blend of mise en scene and vignette,” Burstyn Fritz says. “Our concept is about taking something artful and making it your own.”
With a strong fashion influence behind the products, which run from tablecloths to flatware and glassware, along with plates, Burstyn Fritz has plenty to choose from when company’s coming. She says her table settings are an expression of self: “I believe you should style your table the way you’d style your outfit; it’s all about pieces with personality.” She especially enjoys pulling out all the stops when hosting her group of girlfriends. “I know they’ll notice the little things and appreciate them the most!”
“Plan as much as possible but be prepared to change. If more people want to come, make room at the table. If the weather’s not great, move inside. It’s important to go with the flow.”
How to Set a Memorable Table
Done with paper plates and cookie-cutter napkins? Take your tabletop decor up a notch with these ideas from Amy Burstyn Fritz, co-founder of Misette.
- Think and act ahead: “I’m a planner, so I lay everything out in advance – sometimes even a week beforehand. That way, I don’t stress about it on the day of the event.”
- Embrace asymmetry: Not everything has to be uniform. Burstyn Fritz uses matching candlesticks that are different heights to add an element of whimsy and surprise.
- Get creative with details: “I’ve been known to use objects like eggs or gourds as place cards.”
- Involve the family: Burstyn Fritz’s two daughters love to help, so she assigns them the job of putting out the cutlery.
- Light the candles: “I know people who buy specialty candles and never burn them,” Burstyn Fritz says. “I’m a burner because candlelight makes everything better. Plus, YOLO! You can always get more.”
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