Meet Nicole

Hey y'all! I'm Nicole & I capture authentic moments for classically elegant, unconventionally adventurous couples who believe in stylish simplicity. 

Vendor Spotlight: KITH + KIN

Vendor Spotlight

If you know me even a little, you know I’m a tea person. All day, everyday. Tea is my coffee. So when I met a local vendor who specialized in planning tea parties, you know I was going to be all about that! And, come on, a whole morning of getting to photograph gorgeous tea cups and sample macarons? That’s right up my alley. So sit back, pour yourself a spot of tea, and enjoy today’s vendor spotlight with KITH + KIN!

Meet Romy!

Romy is the sweet owner behind KITH + KIN. And yes, she’s exactly as happy and fun as she looks 🙂 I’ve loved getting to know her this past year through our Tuesday’s Together group here in Chicago. Romy lives in Lakeview with her fiance who is a chef (and a pretty amazing one from the looks of the meals Romy shares pictures of!) and her cat Maxine.

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What services does KITH + KIN provide?

KITH + KIN is an event services company that focuses on tea. Think tea parties and ceremonial tea events. We offer bridal day-of packages, serve businesses with employee and client engagement events, pop-ups, classes, tastings, workshops and we have a Meetup called Sunday Tea Club.

How did you get started in this business?

My grandmother had a tea salon in Bolivia, and I grew up in there doing everything from bussing tables, baking, doing dishes and later on I managed it. She sold it when she retired at 85 but it is still in operation, sixty years later. She has been an inspiration as an entrepreneur because she was also one of the founders of the Bolivian Female Professionals and Entrepreneurs Association and she was a mentor to two generations of female entrepreneurs in Bolivia. Because of this inspiration,  I always dreamed of having my own tea salon.

As it is right now we do not have a tea salon culture in the states and I wanted to be able to have a business that wasn’t brick and mortar, so I came up with this business model.

To prepare to own my business, I decided (over ten years ago) that I needed to learn all of the “stations” of a salon first. So I moved to Chicago to attend the best pastry school in the U.S. The French Pastry School. I then worked at Eleven Madison Park in NYC (three Michelin stars, San Pellegrino’s Best Restaurant in the world), Aria Resort and Casino in Las Vegas (five star, five diamond hotel), and was the maitre D’ at Spiaggia (one Michelin star) in Chicago, among others.

Once I felt ready to take my experience in both pastry and service into the world, I dove into opening KITH + KIN. Tea has always been a part of my life, so I was always taking classes, learning, tasting and refining my palate. I learn more about tea everyday.

What is your favorite part about the work you do?

My favorite part about working in the service industry in general is the feeling I get from seeing people enjoy the moment that you, as a service, team or restaurant are helping create.

People take that special time in their day, week, month, just to take a break from the mundane, to not think about their life-admin items like doctors appointments, or work meetings, etc. and to focus on whomever they are spending that moment with or just alone, to take a moment for themselves. I think that is so special, and it is a privilege I don’t take lightly.

On the selfish side, my favorite part about the work I do is that I get to do MY FAVORITE THING IN THE WORLD: drink tea and eat pastries all the time. I mean, I drink tea all the time, and I get to try some amazing teas and eat some amazing food and that just makes me feel so happy.  

What is your favorite kind of tea? Least favorite?

I dont have one specific favorite tea, it all depends on mood, season, occasion, etc.

But as a type, I love Chinese Oolongs. Thomas (my fiance) and I have a pretty amazing personal stash of teas and we are always buying more Chinese teas. I love black teas, Pu’erhs and greens as well. … I’m a tea geek so if I start talking about one, I start talking about them all haha.

For more recognizable “mainstream” teas I do love Earl Grey and for when I am power working on my laptop I like some easy-drinking greens like Jades and Gunpowders which I can just refill the pot 1000 times.

Least favorite, I’d have to say that I am just not a fan of Genmaicha. Genmaicha is a Japanese green tea combined with roasted brown rice.

What’s been your favorite tea party you’ve planned so far?

It’s hard to say because they’re all so different, but I had a group of ladies who were celebrating their graduation from their Masters program, and it was hosted at the rooftop of a high-rise building.

Even though it was picnic style and we had to use some disposables due to wind and city regulations, the weather was absolutely perfect, and the view of the city was legendary.

The experience of having a tea party on the rooftop of a Chicago building with the skyline and Lake Michigan as the backdrop is definitely Top 3 ever. All the ladies were wearing hats or flower crowns and dresses; it was so ethereal, my favorite!

How do you decide what food to pair with the teas you are serving at a party?

I take a lot of things into consideration. Dietary restrictions that we can know ahead of time definitely get the menu started.

In general I plan a menu that has several options for pairings in regards to both teas and food. The traditional options are always good pairings and a great guide to get started.

When I plan a pop-up or a themed event, we go into detail in regards to complementary flavors and textures. Pairing food and beverage is a process that really depends on what is being served that can’t be summarized quickly. But everyone who plans a menu should have enough experience, knowledge and practice taking their mental inventory of flavors, techniques, seasonality, regions, terroir, classic pairings, experimentation, etc. and play with them to create harmony between what is being served.

Where do you find all your china?

I am always treasure-hunting at vintage stores and Estate Sales for vintage china. When it comes to larger events, we have some more contemporary larger sets created specifically for events, or sometimes we rent when we need a more specific table design.

Thanks to Romy for sharing a bit about her business! If you’d like to connect with KITH + KIN, you can do so here:



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