It all started with an engagement shower. Lindsey Rose King was working long hours as a political consultant in Washington, D.C., and wanted to fête her newly affianced friend, only to find herself running around town searching for tableware, and trying to come up with a signature drink.
"I was just tired," King says. "A light bulb went on in my head: There has to be a better way for working women to connect with friends, to invite them into their homes and host casual gatherings."
With that, a new business was born. After moving from D.C. to Houston with her husband in 2016, King launched Mostess, a stylishly curated box of goodies designed to make party-planning and hosting as easy as pie. (Note: pie not included.) King starts with a mood board full of colors, textures, scents and perhaps a product or two, which she turns into the basis for a seasonally inspired gathering, releasing a new box every quarter.
"For fall, I had this idea of being bundled up on couch with big throw; a home-y, casual, family vibe and you can see how the products stem from it. There are earthy elements, homestyle recipes, things that can easily transition from family gatherings to tailgating. ... I try to think about it from a guest point of view—if you're invited over to watch football, how do you want to feel?" says King.
Each box is packaged and shipped from Houston and includes 10 full-size home decor and hosting products that are designed to indulge each of the senses—everything from an antler bottle holder and a slate coasters to cookies and craft cocktail mixers—plus two sharable food recipes, four ideas for seasonal cocktails and mocktails, and modern entertaining and styling tips, all wrapped up in an exceptionally luxurious package.
"There's a heavy emphasis on the drink recipes because I believe the first thing you should do when someone walks into your house is offer them a drink, whether that's something alcoholic or sparkling water," says King. Another product she likes to focus on is including a textile element in every box, from linen embroidered coasters to table runners. "If you ask someone if they want linens, they say 'Absolutely not, that's what my grandmother uses.' But that has been one of the top things customers love."
Each individual Mostess box is $135, or users can sign up for a membership to receive each seasonal collection, billed either seasonally (at $125) or annually (at $480, or $120 per box). The most popular items from each past box are also available to purchase individually through the Mostess market. King says she sees people purchasing them as gifts—especially hostess gifts—but that many also love the experience of receiving each box themselves, and let it inspire them to throw more parties with less effort and spend quality time with friends.
"Looking at past generations, the way my mom and grandmother would welcome people into their homes, it wasn't a huge ordeal. They knew how to just make it work. For my generation, people think unless they can host a 12-person dinner and cook everything themselves they can't do it," says King. "I think part of it is that we spend so much time looking at Instagram and Pinterest ... you almost can be overwhelmed by it. So hopefully this little box can inspire you or make you feel like you've got it pulled together. That was part of the goal, to create this culture in our generation."