Holiday Tastemaker: Mrs. Southern Social
In anticipation of the holiday season, Fig & Dove is excited to bring back its Holiday Tastemaker Series! We are pleased to introduce Mary Hollis Huddleston, also known as Mrs. Southern Social, as our first tastemaker of the 2022 Holiday series. We have long admired her classic style, sense of humor and motto of “Southern charm without lifting an arm!”
The Story Behind Mrs. Southern Social
Mary is a Nashville native who believes in the power of delegation. Influenced by watching her mother and grandmother entertain, Mary describes herself as a “modern Southern woman” who takes full advantage of the modern convenience of help when hosting. We love that! She shares ideas, inspiration and contacts on her blog and social media platforms to make hosting easier, one gathering at a time!
For years, Mary has shared her collection of Fig & Dove with her social media community. Colleen was excited to finally meet her at the Southern Coterie Summit at Sea Island in January of 2022. Mary gave a wonderful presentation, and our team was delighted to make an in-person connection afterward. Ever since we have enjoyed following her, seeing how she styles our products in her home and reading her book, Without A Hitch. We are thrilled for her upcoming product collection with Dillards and Southern Living.
Q + A
Despite working and being a busy mom of two, you make being an entertaining expert look so easy! We know you are the queen of delegating, but is there anything you actually don’t delegate and love to do (besides math homework!)?
I genuinely love planning and setting my table. Even when I delegate the flowers, I tend to do an inspiration board for my florist, so they can see what I envision. I definitely recommend planning your table a few days in advance if you can. Even though I have a lot of experience, I still end up trying a bunch of things before I get it right (swapping out glassware, changing napkins, etc.). I love a full table, so if something looks off to you, my #1 tip is identifying any “holes” and using candles, greenery, and ornaments to fill them. It makes everything look bountiful and beautiful. Classic is always in style, so if you’re in a design rut, just lean into the idea of an elegant, simple table (you don’t need 5 patterns of china!) with a lush centerpiece (again, that’s where the candles and greenery come in). I promise it will look great.
What is your go-to hostess gift?
An orchid, sets of dinner napkins (add a monogram for a special touch), or something from Caroline’s Cakes or Southern Baked Pie. Depending on the recipient, I also love things like bud vases, sets of notecards, custom paper cocktail napkins, and puzzles.
Is there a recipe that your family and/or friends look most forward to each holiday season?
I’m not really a cook (hence all the delegating, ha!) BUT one of my specialties is Christmas Morning Breakfast Casserole. It’s a cheese and sausage casserole and you can find the recipe on my blog. The best part is that you assemble it the night before and just bake it in the morning. Delicious and easy!
With the upcoming holiday season, what is the one tradition you and your family look forward to the most?
We always have a fun night with the kids where we take them to look at Christmas lights in their PJs. We load them into the car with post-bath popcorn and snacks and just drive around, taking in all the pretty decorations. We love it.
Where do you look for your inspiration?
I love Aerin Lauder’s style. It’s classic and modern at the same time which is what I’m drawn to. I also love India Hicks. I know that the Bahamas/Palm Beach vibe is really popular right now, and I think she always nails it in such a chic way.
Fig & Dove Favorites
Fig & Dove for Bauble Stockings Kate at Bauble Stockings is the loveliest, and I really admire the brand she’s built. When it comes to setting a holiday scene, you have to think about the whole room. I love adding décor to the backs of my dining room chairs, and these stockings are perfect for that. If you have fabric chairs, use straight pins to attach the stockings; otherwise use some pretty ribbon that matches your table.
Acrylic Stackable Candle Holders I LOVE these chic candle holders and appreciate their clever design. I already talked about how important candles are on a holiday table, especially because dim overhead lighting + candlelight make everything and everyone look better. Small candle holders like this make it easy to discreetly fill the holes on your table to make it seem full and bountiful.
Wreath Sashes I’m a big believer in reusing décor – we all just have SO much stuff. This is a great example of something you can use again and again, plus it folds up to nothing. I have one in a neutral color so I can use it year-round. It’s the perfect thing to dress up a Trader Joe’s wreath at Christmas…easy and elegant!
Nube Melamine Serving Bowls I’m obsessed with these designs! I’m loving a cleaner, more organic look these days and you can’t even tell these are melamine. I’m an advocate for anything that serves double duty, and you can use the large bowl as a serving piece to hold a potted orchid, or fill it up with ornaments as décor for your coffee table or console.
Olive Branch Collection Calling all gift shoppers: you’ll find the perfect present in this collection. These pieces are elegant, have a great price point, and would look good in any style of home. Use the bowls for nuts/appetizers or as a catchall for jewelry, and the trays would be equally lovely as serving pieces or perched on a bathroom vanity. The $28 bottle stopper is the perfect thing to add to your gift closet…your Secret Santa problem solved!