Tory Burch silk blouse, $295, Helmut Lang leather legging, $920, Stuart Weitzman ankle boots, $525, all @ Nordstrom, Mall of America, Bloomington, 952-883-2121, nordstrom.com; Loren Hope lion door-knocker cuff, $115, and Julie Vos lion gold bangle, $90, both @ Melly, 3327 Galleria, 952-929-9252, mellyonline.com
The pantry in Erin Newkirk’s house isn’t stocked with cookies and canned goods. Instead, the cabinets contain stacks of striped popcorn buckets, paper placemats in bold graphic prints, and glassware in every conceivable shape.
The bevy of entertaining necessities may seem excessive—but not for Newkirk, who has made a business of fostering interpersonal connections by facilitating personal correspondence and parties. A desire to help people stay in touch with their loved ones led the former General Mills marketer to found Red Stamp in 2005. Initially, the company was a calendar service to remind clients about special occasions and provide them with appropriate greeting cards. Today, the brand also creates its own lines of stationery and party décor in its signature bright prints. From greeting cards to paper coasters and placemats to acrylic cake toppers, Red Stamp helps people thank, wish, invite, and announce.
photo by john christenson
A festive spread sets the scene for making holiday memories. Banner, $28, straws, $5 for 24, coasters, $16 for 24, and dinner napkins, $25 for 24, all @ redstamp.com.
“Entertaining is just another way for people to connect,” says Newkirk. “You can put these pretty things out on the table and have a really good time.”
The company’s ideals stem directly from its owner’s embrace of everyday celebration; she cites a recent impromptu pizza party with neighbors as evidence. “We broke out the placemats and the fun cocktail napkins,” Newkirk explains. “Everything doesn’t have to be this big occasion. You can celebrate the little events that happen all the time.”
For Newkirk, that means keeping entertaining staples on hand (“Always have something bubbly in the wine fridge, something sweet in the cupboard, and something savory in the pantry—I love when people just drop by!”) and a great space for gathering. Her new home in the White Oaks neighborhood of Edina has a variety of spaces to accommodate guests. The open kitchen, living area, and deck (an ideal spot for summertime parties) were added in a renovation before Newkirk, her husband, son, two cats, and dog moved in this summer. Despite the changes, she made sure the home remained true to its original era. “It has so much charm, I wanted to stay true to the house itself,” she says.
With the help of interior designer Brooke Voss, Newkirk kept the additional space predominantly white, mixing gold accents with pops of color and graphic prints, such as a kelly-green sectional sofa and black-and-white stair runner. It’s a bright, clean aesthetic similar to that of the Red Stamp designs, and the minimalist chic merges with Newkirk’s approach to fashion.
“I’m super-inspired by home décor—just like I want people to be comfortable in my house, I want to be comfortable in what I wear,” she explains. For Newkirk, that means lots of leggings (she loves Anne M. Cramer’s), easy dresses (“Anything I can pull on that’s one piece”), chunky sweaters (her favorites come from H&M), and a focus on jewelry (many of her pieces are family heirlooms). And when in doubt, she uses the same style mindset as she does when entertaining: Keep it simple.
“When I was studying in Paris after college, I was telling a woman how intimidating it was to be walking around with all of these fabulous French women,” says Newkirk. “She said ‘toujours noir,’ which basically translates to ‘You can never go wrong with black.’ I think it’s the best fashion advice I ever received.”
ERIN NEWKIRK’S STYLE CRIB SHEET
Nordstrom. Anthropologie. Honeyshine and Victory for home goods.
BEST WAY TO WAKE UP A ROOM
“Anywhere you can add color or metallic is great—even better if they’re together. And you can totally transform a room depending on its lighting.”
FAVORITE FASHION MEMORY
New York Fashion Week. “I was at the inaugural Red Dress Collection Fashion Show, and the tents at Bryant Park were just amazing.”
MUST-HAVE HOLIDAY COCKTAIL
Champagne cocktails. Hot chocolate. “And I love a good old-fashioned.”