Inspired by the lost, old world of at-home hostessing, Mae brings beautiful curation and ease back to entertaining.
Designed to be the space where friends and family gather around, Mae creates one-of-a-kind boards that exceed all expectations.
Mae is a designer, mom professional hostess — living and working in the suburbs of Boston.
1. Where is your home base?
I was born and raised in Connecticut, followed by New York (Manhattan and then Brooklyn), then on to Boston, and now have settled in the suburbs of Boston — 25 minutes outside the city.
2. What led you to start Boards by Mae?
When I moved into my first New York City studio, I was working late hours and it was always easier, although less kind on my bank account, to throw together a cheese board for dinner to wind down from the day. The more I did, the more I began to enjoy playing around with different flavors, accoutrement combinations, and pairings. I started to get asked by friends and family friends to make larger boards for gatherings and parties and it really evolved from there.
3. What inspires you the most?
My son, Harrison
Architecture + interior design
When the city is silent on Sunday mornings
My father's architectural woodworking workshop
Textures, palettes, and paint swatches
4. Can you share a bit about your story and your inspiration ‘by the lost, old world of at home hostessing”?
I was always fascinated by the traditional hostess. It might be the Connecticut in me, but I love the idea of planning, grocery shopping, and prepping all week all week for a weekend gathering of family and friends in your home. I feel like this has been lost in the modern age. Especially among my younger generation who would rather meet at a bar for happy hour than come over to someone's home or apartment after work for food and drinks. I like to think that Boards can bring back that sense of at home hostessing, but with so much less effort, for the modern hostess, because whether it's a studio apartment, or a sprawling estate, the comfort in entertaining at home is like no other.
5. How does your concept of Boards, and bringing people together at home play out?
It's funny, because I feel like since I started doing Boards I've really taken more pride in my home and loving my spaces that I create. I like for the Board to be a part of the home and it's landscape. As you can see, it never looks stuffy or catered, but more of a work of love. As for the process, it always starts with who the guests are. What are they expecting, where are they most comfortable, and where will they gather? You want your guests to be comfortable and feel at home, so I always set up my Board wherever they will be. I then layout all the Boards (quantities vary depending on the group size), and start layering all the cheeses, meats and fixings. The idea is that once your Board is set up, you are then done for the night. The cheese can sit out for hours, allowing your guests to feel relaxed and at ease, and not uncomfortable with you buzzing around them all night refilling their plate. But keep the wine pouring, of course.
6. Do you have a favorite board you’ve created?
That's a tough one. They're all so different, but ONE of my favorites was for interior designers Stewart-Schafer and floral extordinatoes Putnam & Putnam. They were having Friday night drinks in Brooklyn and I created a Mediterranean summer evening board for them that I really connected with. It included some French cheeses, Italian meats and produce, and olive oil crostini.
7. What’s your design style in a few words?
When a traditionalist with an eye for details and craftmanship meets a modernist with minimalist tendancies.