We had the pleasure of talking to Dan Seehoff, part of the father/son duo behind Sophistiplate to discuss what makes Sophistiplate unique and what it is like being a father/son team in the gift industry.
As a foodie family, Thanksgiving has always been a big deal in the Seehoff household. Each year, they cook a feast and set a beautiful table for lots of family & friends. In 2015, they were tired of doing the dishes for days on end after the big event, so they vowed to go disposable the following year. Neither Gary or Dan could find anything elegant that they'd be proud to set their table with, and thus, Sophistiplate was born!
Sophistiplate's line of wavy-shaped paper plates was a family favorite, and even caught the attention of Oprah and landed a spot on Oprah's Favorite Things. Since then, it has become their mission to create products that inspire people from all walks of life to gather around a beautiful table and break bread together.
Q: Your story starts centered around the Thanksgiving holiday. Was Thanksgiving always a big family tradition?
Yes! My family loves to cook, eat, and host, and so naturally Thanksgiving is our favorite holiday. We go all out and every year we pick a theme and curate our menu and table accordingly. We always have our entire family, extended family, and close friends over and typically are a group of 40-50 people.
Dan and Gary Seehoff
Q: What is it like being a father/son team in the gift industry?
I feel so fortunate to have the opportunity to start and build this company together with my Dad, Gary Seehoff, and our fabulous team. By necessity, we’ve structured the company so that we are dividing and conquering, and running different aspects of the business. He is running finance, operations, and product development, and I am running sales, creative, and marketing. We are also both working remotely, so being in different locations and also running different aspects of the business really helps keep our relationship intact and thriving!
Q: What was the first product you designed?
We started with our signature wavy shaped plates, which have become a cornerstone of the brand!
Q: Where do you look for tabletop or holiday trends when developing your new products?
We have such an awesome in-house design team, and are constantly looking at trends in various aspects, not only in the industry, but even in other areas like fashion and art.
Q: How do food trends influence the types of products you release?
When we design a collection, we always think about how the finished set table will come together. We make sure pieces are different yet complimentary, and ultimately look at how each piece will complement the food of the season.
Q: How has the shift to entertaining and eating at home over the last few years shaped your business?
As a family who has always loved entertaining and eating at home, we’ve always been on a mission to elevate everyday celebrations and gatherings. Over the last few years since COVID, it’s been wonderful to delight our customers and enable them to easily set a stunning table with our products.
Q: What sets Sophistiplate apart from other tabletop companies?
We have always carved a nice niche in the market by one of our main design motivations, which is making customers stop and do a double-take saying “OMG is that paper!”
Q:What excites you about the gift and home industry?
I grew up in the home and gift industry. Before starting Sophistiplate, my dad started the impulse housewares company, Evriholder Products, which I later joined. Ever since I was a kid, I was exposed to retail and trade shows and just love how much passion there is for creative, innovative products.
Q: Any hints about 2023 launches?
Our mission is to become a one-stop shop for all things home entertaining, and so we are really excited to be expanding into some new categories adjacent to what we are doing today, really “completing the table”! Can’t wait to share more soon!
Q: With Thanksgiving right around the corner, we’d love to know what is on your holiday menu?
I recently got a Traeger smoker, which I have become slightly obsessed with. So this year, our menu is taking on a Southern BBQ theme – can’t wait to smoke our turkey, and of course a good Southern BBQ would not be complete without some brisket!
Q: What is your favorite Thanksgiving dish?
Stuffing hands down! I usually keep it pretty traditional here, and always brown my butter first. If you were to ask the rest of my family though, the year after year favorite is always John Legends family Mac N Cheese recipe – a must try!
Q: Who does more of the Thanksgiving cooking?
It is truly a team effort in our house. I typically take on the protein and stuffing, my wife takes on a vegetable, my sister is a master baker and takes on dessert, my aunts take on apps and salads, my mom makes a killer soup and takes care of the table, and my dad is always manning the grill and a signature cocktail!
Set an Instagrammable table for any event or holiday with Sophistiplate's picture-perfect disposables.
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