Seated - Summer Unplugged

We hold space for you to gather around and be fully present in the moments of joy, peace, & the complexities of life. This is our space to be seen, felt heard and seated together. Brought to you by Seated with Strangers.

We hold space for you to gather around and be fully present in the moments of joy, peace, & the complexities of life. This is our space to be seen, felt heard and seated together. Brought to you by Seated with Strangers.


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JULY 2023 ISSUE NO. 1<br />

SEATED<br />



Fleming Street Bakery &<br />

Southern Cuisine<br />

SUMMER<br />


Making the most of your<br />

summer unplugged<br />

while connecting to your<br />

people.<br />

12<br />

places visit this<br />



SEATED<br />

We hold space for you to<br />

gather around and be fully<br />

present in the moments of<br />

joy, peace, & the complexities<br />

of life. This is our space to be<br />

seen, felt heard and seated<br />


ABOUT | PAGE 03<br />


<strong>Seated</strong> with Strangers<br />

<strong>Seated</strong> with Strangers was created with you<br />

in mind. We bring strangers together, over<br />

dinner + our podcast. We want you to feel<br />

seen and heard as we have conversations<br />

surrounding reimagining community. We<br />

leave people better and their communities.<br />

We provide space for people through<br />

our dinner parties.<br />

We provide tools for healthy<br />

communication with our signature<br />

playing cards.<br />

We connect locally encouraging to<br />

invest back into our community.<br />

We demonstrate what it looks like to<br />

love our neighbor as our self.<br />

We highlight our strangers via <strong>Seated</strong>.<br />

We have fun!<br />

2,500+ 3,500+<br />


Scan this QR code to<br />

listen to our playlist


TABLE OF<br />


Featured: Meet Qunita 6<br />

Let's Talk Money 9<br />

Wine Enthusiasts 11<br />

<strong>Summer</strong> Hair 13<br />

Staycation with Bridgett 15<br />

Self-Care + Mental Wellness 19<br />

<strong>Summer</strong> Finds 21<br />

Treat Your Body Well 22<br />

12 <strong>Summer</strong> Spots 24<br />

<strong>Summer</strong> Spots Continued 25<br />

Salon Noa 26


EDITOR'S<br />

NOTE<br />

<strong>Seated</strong> is an extension of<br />

<strong>Seated</strong> with Strangers. I<br />

wanted to continue to<br />

create space for us to feel<br />

seen, heard, valued, and<br />

considered. I remember<br />

the times that I didn’t feel<br />

any of the abovementioned.<br />

It wasn’t until I<br />

decided to pick up my pen<br />

and jot down my thoughts<br />

that I was able to find my<br />

footing in who I was, the<br />

things I needed to let go of<br />

and the space I wanted to<br />

take up. I was seated first<br />

with myself and then all<br />

others. This publication is<br />

here to remind you to have<br />

a seat with yourself first<br />

and then to make time for<br />

community.<br />

Shivawn Mitchell


Featured<br />

MEET<br />

QUINTA<br />

I<br />

think I actually fell in love with how people<br />

reacted to being served food before I fell in love<br />

with cooking. In 2nd grade I started selling peanut<br />

butter and jelly sandwiches to my neighbors for $1.<br />

(They said they were the best. LOL) Creating new<br />

dishes while at restaurants with family is my next<br />

memory of this food journey. Once I was done<br />

eating, I mixed leftovers and “plated” the creation. I<br />

only got in trouble a few times...;) I recognized my<br />

passion for cooking as a young teen and it’s only<br />

grown deeper since.<br />

Tell us your favorite dish to cook and why it’s<br />

your favorite?<br />

My favorite dish is actually a more of a method -<br />

smoking meats, whether chicken, beef, or pork, is<br />

what I enjoy the most. The smell of the smoke,<br />

seeing it rise through the air, the work put in during<br />

the long smoking sessions, and the end product -it all<br />

excites me. Smoking meats is a method connected<br />

directly to my ancestors and how they prepared<br />

meals and fed the community. The smell brings the<br />

crowd and meaty prize can feed the crowd.




F<br />

leming Street is a childhood dream come<br />

true and my way of honoring the memory of<br />

my late grandmother, Helen Ellis, who passed<br />

unexpectedly in 2021. Located in Spencer, NC,<br />

Fleming Street will daily offer sweet treats,<br />

lunch and dinner, and brunch on the weekends.<br />

This modern twist on southern cuisine is<br />

inspired by my own travels and experiences.<br />

The name Fleming Street is a nod to the street<br />

my grandparents live(d) on and where I spent<br />

many days during my childhood. It’s where we<br />

ate hot fresh biscuits baked by my grandmother<br />

for afterschool snacks, played with cousins<br />

from sunup till sundown, gathered as a family<br />

for dinners on a seemingly weekly basis. It’s<br />

where I’ve always felt the most love. Fleming<br />

Street was birthed during the pandemic. It<br />

started as a bakery acquisition with two of my<br />

aunts. I was still teaching high school, but all of<br />

my free time was spent baking treats and filling<br />

orders. Initially, orders were for personal pickup<br />

and eventually were being shipped all over<br />

the United States. At the end of the following<br />

school year, after praying and talking with my<br />

husband, Clyde, I knew the time had come to<br />

make the transition.<br />

For someone who doesn't really cook what is<br />

a dish that you would recommend them<br />

cooking?<br />

Partner with Fleming Street for all your<br />

culinary needs! LOL -I kid...mostly. :)<br />

I’d say think of a comforting and beginner<br />

friendly dish, such as roasted chicken and<br />

veggies, which can be a one pan meal. Also,<br />

there are many crockpot meals that require<br />

little experience and few ingredients. Whatever<br />

dish you choose, remember there are no<br />

accidents in cooking, only happy new dishes.<br />

How do you disconnect and make time for<br />

you?<br />

I absolutely prioritize self-care. I usually take<br />

Tuesday or Wednesday as my self-care day. No<br />

appointments or meetings scheduled, I take<br />

very few phone calls/emails, enjoy lunch at a<br />

favorite restaurant or try a new place, and<br />

binge watch tv -in silence. As the opening of the<br />

restaurant is fast approaching, I’m certain selfcare<br />

will continue but unsure how that will look<br />

with an even more hectic schedule.<br />

Once we’re open, visit Spencer, NC and let’s eat well!<br />

FB/IG @flemingstreetnc





MONEY | PAGE 07<br />

The best way to make sure you're able to enjoy your summer and not stress about how much<br />

you're spending is to having your activities factored into your budget. Budget for going out for<br />

drinks, to amusement parks, or on vacation. Don't just go on a whim because you feel like it.<br />

Don't allow others to spend your money for you and talk you into things that your bank<br />

account can't afford and they aren't willing to spend on you. Sometimes you have to say no in<br />

the present, so that you can say yes to your real goals in the future. Since it's hot outside there<br />

are a lot of fun things that you can do for free or at a low cost. Go to the beach or lake and<br />

bring your own lunch in a cooler. Explore your city like a tourist and look up some fun things<br />

near you that are going on within your budget/price range. Just make sure to surround<br />

yourself with the people that matter most to you.<br />

Budgeting should not feel like you're depriving yourself of everything, but it does require a<br />

level of discipline. You don't have to say no to your morning coffee but maybe you can<br />

decrease how much you spend on eating out each day or start packing a lunch a few days a<br />

week. Budgeting should be practical with your income and lifestyle. If you work 60-80+ hours<br />

a week meal prepping may not be practical. However, you can get more $10 meals than $20+<br />

meals to help keep your food costs low. For many of us budgeting will require for us to make<br />

less purchases on Amazon or Target runs. We can do this by creating a list of things that we<br />

need and setting the amount we will spend on them before we open the app or run to the<br />

store. This way we're able to hold ourselves accountable and stay within budget. Budgeting is<br />

about prioritizing your dream goals and not spending money on things that don't have value<br />

to us in the long run.<br />

KIDS & MONEY<br />

The best way to talk to your kids about money is to be relatable.<br />

Make it into a fun game by playing Monopoly or LIFE. You can<br />

also teach them about investments by bringing up their favorite<br />

characters or companies like Disney, Nickelodeon, Busch<br />

Gardens, etc.<br />

Bring your kids in on creating family goals and the plan to reach<br />

them. That way they're starting to see that sometimes sacrifices<br />

are required and are invested in the process which will make<br />

everyone happier. Being relatable and including them in the<br />

decision-making process will help start finance conversations<br />

that will continue to evolve as they get older. Making it so that<br />

your kids understand finances when they enter adulthood and<br />

avoid a lot of costly mistakes in the future.<br />

Bri Smith, CPA<br />

A Wealth<br />

Strategist who<br />

helps families<br />

achieve financial<br />

freedom through<br />

effective financial<br />

planning. With<br />

over 5 years of<br />

experience<br />

managing finances<br />

for high earners,<br />

Bri inspires<br />

parents to build<br />

legacies, achieve<br />

dream goals, and<br />

end generational<br />

poverty.<br />


Tell us about becoming a certified<br />

wine specialist and how did you<br />

become interest in expanding your<br />

palate?<br />

<br />

I started off by taking the Wine and<br />

Spirit Education & Trust (WSET)<br />

Program Level 1 just to have a better<br />

understanding of how wines should<br />

be served and a high-level<br />

knowledge of the basic wine regions,<br />

but after taking level 1 I was hungry<br />

for more knowledge and had to<br />

continue with level 2. This process<br />

was important to me because the<br />

wine industry is predominantly<br />

Caucasian and being an African<br />

American female in this industry, I<br />

knew having a certification would be<br />

important to allow doors to be<br />

opened for me and for people to take<br />

me seriously.<br />


Wine Enthusiast<br />

After taking this level 1 course and<br />

during 21 Days of Prayer with my church,<br />

a vision was downloaded that this would<br />

become my path to being an entrepreneur.<br />

After passing WSET Level 1, which was an<br />

intense 5-week course that went deeper<br />

into the aromas, taste, and regions and<br />

passed with merit.<br />

Deana Tisdal<br />


How can we expand our<br />

palate when it comes to<br />

pairing with dinner and or<br />

lunch?<br />


If you really want to expand your<br />

palate and your taste buds to explode<br />

with happiness, it’s simple to always<br />

start with a Prosecco or Champagne<br />

while you are deciding on your meal.<br />

If you are having pasta with a<br />

creamy or white sauce, you can go<br />

for a light to medium bodied fruity<br />

or tropical off-dry white wine. If you<br />

are having a steak, it’s always safe to<br />

go with a medium to full body red. If<br />

you are having a spicy dish, it’s safe<br />

to go with a light body sweet white<br />

wine.<br />

Are there any wineries or<br />

wine events we should<br />

attend this summer?<br />

Old Westminster Winery is in Carroll<br />

County, MD and they have summer<br />

cabanas and summer greenhouses that<br />

you can rent and it’s a vibe. They serve<br />

pizzas, appetizers, charcuterie boards,<br />

and delicious pastries and all ingredients<br />

are local from Maryland. You may even<br />

run into me working there some<br />

weekends :). Reservations are highly<br />

recommended.<br />

Big Cork Winery is located in Rohersville,<br />

MD and the scenery, wine, and views are<br />

amazing. Home - Big Cork Vineyards.<br />

Wine and Culture Fest is being held<br />

this year from July 23-30 in Atlanta, GA.<br />

This event is an inclusive wine festival<br />

for the Black, Indigenous, and people<br />

of color (BIPOC) community.<br />

wineandculturefest.<br />

<br />

What is one thing you wish more people<br />

knew about you?<br />

<br />

One thing I wish more people knew<br />

about me and I’ve become bolder in<br />

sharing is that above all else my faith<br />

and relationship with God is the most<br />

important thing in my life. By putting<br />

Him first he has restored and<br />

redeemed me to the person that is<br />

displayed today.





I recommend drinking lots of<br />

water during the summer.<br />

Drinking water will work on<br />

the internal and it will help<br />

keep your scalp hydrated.<br />

Also, when choosing<br />

protective styles for the<br />

summer months make sure<br />

you shampoo and treat before<br />

installing. This will help<br />

strengthen your tresses and<br />

ensure your hair strands will<br />

be healthy during your<br />

braiding process. Don’t leave<br />

off shampoo and/or treating<br />

your scalp.<br />

TRIM + TREAT<br />

Fawnne has over 18 years of<br />

experience in the industry with a<br />

concentration hair treatment for<br />

natural hair and healthy hair styling.<br />

She's Wedding Wire rated, Pravana<br />

Master Colorist Certified and 2017<br />

Image Award Winning Hairstylist. She<br />

has published works and competed in<br />

hair competitions. She's been awarded<br />

2018 ACHI MAGAZINE Hairstylist of<br />

the Year and is a National Educator for<br />

Influance Haircare.<br />

Use a water-based leave in conditioner daily to mist your<br />

protective style. A healthy scalp is important to ensure your hair<br />

will be in its best shape once removed. Lastly, ask your braider<br />

or stylist for braiding hair options that include toxin/ chemical<br />

free, hypoallergenic options, when selecting hair and color. This<br />

type of hair will allow for no skin and scalp irritations during<br />

your installation process. I strongly recommend to shampoo and<br />

condition your hair weekly (for those who work out) and<br />

biweekly for basic hair care steps. This will ensure that your hair<br />

and scalp are clean and healthy.




Salon Noa<br />

My Favorite hairstyle for the summertime<br />

include individual twist style options,<br />

knotless braids with extensions, curly wash n<br />

go services and a protective crown twist style.<br />

The styles are great to beat the heat and offer<br />

a carefree and easy or maintenance during<br />

the busy summer months.<br />

Hydrating products offer maximum moisture<br />

for the hair. Use a water-based leave in<br />

conditioner to mist those tresses daily. Lastly,<br />

I recommend using a serum or shine spray to<br />

seal your hair it will be light weight and offer<br />

maximum shine to your hair.<br />

Be <strong>Seated</strong> with me via Instagram: @salonnoa.<br />

Twitter: @salonnoa Facebook: Salon Noa


Bridgett's Guide to<br />

TAKING A :<br />


By Bridgett McNeill<br />

Photos Firstfruits Photography<br />

How did you determine where<br />

you were going hotel/location<br />

(what factors came into play)?<br />

I first determine my stay in a city<br />

based on the types of hotels they<br />

have. When it comes to hotels,<br />

what is most important to me is<br />

modernization, cleanliness, and<br />

how a hotel makes me feel<br />

overall. I want to feel like I’m<br />

away from home, but also at<br />

home!<br />

Sources: https://www.hoteltonight.com/<br />

https://www.instagram.com/bridgeoverwaters_/<br />

Secondly, I vet places using Trip<br />

Advisor. Real, authentic reviews<br />

don’t lie! using Trip Advisor. Real,<br />

authentic reviews don’t lie!

Where did you stay & what did<br />

you enjoy most about the hotel?<br />


My most recent staycation was in Frisco,<br />

Texas. It is my favorite city in Texas, second<br />

to Austin. I love the fact that Frisco is full of<br />

exploration, and it is constantly growing. It<br />

makes me feel as though I’m in a place of<br />

expansion when I’m there! Although Dallas is<br />

near, you literally feel like you you’re<br />

nowhere near DFW (Dallas, Fort Worth).<br />

My favorite hotels to stay at are:<br />

Canopy by Hilton, AC Hotel, and the Omni.<br />

These are all near (and walkable) the Ford<br />

Center which is central to all restaurants and<br />

shopping. Super fun and full of things to do<br />

and see.<br />

Were there any restaurants or<br />

amenities that you enjoyed?<br />

My favorite nearby restaurant that you can<br />

bike to from the hotels or drive to is Tricky<br />

Fish. The food is amazing, especially the<br />

calamari! And don’t forget the bourbon<br />

banana pudding, oh my! It does not<br />

disappoint.<br />

Perks: Canopy by Hilton bikes. Great for<br />

exploring. Ac Hotel for the Starbucks in the<br />

lobby. Omni— the entire hotel is gorgeous! A<br />

glass of wine by the fireplace is a must!

Why is it important to take staycations ?<br />


I’ve always believed in traveling ever since I<br />

experienced my first, in-state flight during<br />

my senior year in high school. There are so<br />

many people who have never left their city,<br />

let alone traveled 2-3 hours away from home.<br />

This is especially true for people who tend to<br />

live in small cities and towns.<br />

When I lived in NYC, I never understood why<br />

locals never explored their own city. Most<br />

leave it up to the tourists. This goes to show<br />

how we take for granted our city, region, and<br />

state. We leave imagination and exploration<br />

on the table, which leads to limitation.<br />

Allowing your mind to take in new<br />

information just by doing something<br />

different allows you to see past your own<br />

horizon.<br />

Tips you would give someone when<br />

planning a staycation? ?<br />

Highly recommend using the app,<br />

HotelTonight. I’ve been a member since<br />

January 2016, and I am currently at level 8<br />

(woot!). When it comes to a staycation, I<br />

honestly like picking a hotel in the moment—<br />

meaning, the day of or the day before. A<br />

Staycation isn’t all about heavy planning but<br />

rather leaving the opportunity to be a tourist<br />

in your own city/state.


<strong>Seated</strong> with Strangers is known for<br />

bringing strangers together to have<br />

healthy conversations. What is one<br />

thing you wish more people knew<br />

about you?<br />

If you leave the hotel picking to<br />

me, I will not disappoint!<br />

<br />

I’m most active on Instagram,<br />

bridgeoverwaters__. Come, have<br />

a seat, and check out my travel<br />





<br />

We’ve heard take care of ourselves and how important it is to pour into ourselves. Give us three action steps<br />

that we can incorporate in our everyday lives.<br />

<br />

<br />

First, have someone who you can talk to. We were not created to be alone. This doesn’t<br />

necessarily mean that you have to be coupled up. It means that you have a person that<br />

you can be yourself with. Someone you can call that can talk you off the ledge when<br />

you need it. Someone that will be gut-level honest with you. Everyone needs that type of person in their life.<br />

<br />

Second, do not take life so seriously. Life is meant to be enjoyed. Take a few moments each day to think of something<br />

or do something fun. Get your grind on but find time for fun.<br />

<br />

Finally, be grateful. There are a lot of people in this world that has it worse than you do.<br />

We tend to get caught up in our “stuff” that we forget to be grateful for what we do<br />

have. Every night before going to bed, you should list three things for which you are<br />


SELF CARE | PAGE 17<br />

Self Care & Mental Wellness<br />

<br />

During the pandemic we saw people start to invest in their mental health. How can therapist,<br />

counselor make sure that they unplug and take care of themselves as they serve their clients?<br />

<br />

A counselor should have a counselor or that friend that I referred to in the first question. We have to<br />

learn that we are people too. We listen to a lot of people’s “stuff”, we have to know how to distance<br />

ourselves from people’s stuff. The phrase that we need to leave work at work is very true for the<br />

counselor.<br />

<br />

This is our unplug series how do you unplug and show up for yourself?<br />

How do I unplug? I do counseling! When you know that you are born to do something, you enjoy doing<br />

it. I was born to do therapy. I love it. It gives me great pleasure to watch as someone’s life is changed.<br />

Now, to be completely honest, I absolutely abhor the paperwork that goes with it, so I unplug from it by<br />

doing something with my family/friends or read, which is my other fun thing to do. Another way I<br />

unplug from the dreaded paperwork is to play spades on my iPad.<br />

<br />

How can we stay connected with you?<br />

You can go visit my website


SUMMER<br />





By Ginger Fitchett<br />

We all want summertime fine bodies but it’s<br />

important to equally care about our<br />

bodies 365. What are your three go to home<br />

workouts?<br />

As new mom, I started implementing home workouts into my routine more regularly.<br />

Usually, I do full body HIIT workouts from the Orangetheory app. They’re all under 25<br />

minutes and included with my membership. I also look on Pinterest for workouts. I’ll<br />

include keywords like “no weights” “upper body” “lower body” etc. YouTube also has tons<br />

of great workouts. Sometimes, I’ll do rebounder workouts (mini trampoline workouts)<br />

from the San Fran Fitness channel. Netflix also recently added some fitness content with<br />

Nike. I actually do not create my own workouts. I highly prefer guided workouts or<br />

workouts I find online.<br />

P.S. I’m rarely ever “feeling it” but I put mind over matter. I remind myself that I have<br />

goals. You never regret a workout after it’s finished.<br />

Tell us about your defining moment when you<br />

decided you needed to be consistent with your<br />

fitness?<br />

My defining moment actually came in my junior year of college. Up<br />

to that point, I’d been a student athlete my whole life. I realized that<br />

was coming to an end and my health and fitness would now be my<br />

responsibility. So, I got into taking classes at local gyms and looking<br />

up workouts on social media. Shortly after I graduated college, I had<br />

three gym memberships and I was using them all.


We are all busy – and you are a mom of a<br />

toddler. How do you find the time to<br />

stay consistent with working out? Do you<br />

have a scheduling cheat code?<br />

Definitely no cheat code. (lol) When my daughter was a baby, I looked up<br />

workouts I could do using her as weight or with the stroller. I have found<br />

workouts I can do while she’s at the park (those are great). I try to work off<br />

her sleep schedule. She likes to<br />

sleep in late, so I try to work out earlier in the morning. My family is a huge<br />

help with watching her, so that I can leave for an hour or two and hit the<br />

gym. I also have goals in mind. At first as a mom, I started working out 4<br />

times a week. Now, I try to work out five<br />

days a week. You have to find what works for you.<br />

You attended SWS dinner party in Texas…tell<br />

us one thing you walked away<br />

with that still sticks with you today?<br />

I loved that I went to dinner with strangers, and after a few<br />

minutes I could see multiple similarities and connections<br />

amongst all of us. As much hate and division that we see on a<br />

regular basis, it was a great reminder that we all have more<br />

in common than you’d<br />

think.<br />

Website: www.gingerfitchett.com<br />

IG: gingernfit<br />

TikTok:<br />

You can also check out my podcast Get Up Ten on<br />

most major streaming platforms.

1<br />

SUMMER<br />


2<br />

Book Club Bar<br />

The East Village's boozy<br />

bookstore! Open 9ammidnight<br />

Su-Wed, until<br />

1am Th, Fri, Sat<br />

Riverboat Tour<br />

Take a leisurely<br />

ride down the<br />

Delta River, part of<br />

the Nashville<br />

motorcoach trip.<br />

Sober Social<br />

Cocktail culture with<br />

handcrafted nonalcoholic<br />

cocktails.<br />

Recommend<br />

reservations Wed-Sun.<br />

Ruby Scoops<br />

Ruby Scoops uses<br />

ingredients from local<br />

farms to bring you the<br />

finest, richest ice<br />

creams, sorbets, &<br />

baked goods.<br />

Black Boy Joy Art<br />

A Marvelous Black Boy<br />

Art Show is an<br />

exhibition tour that<br />

features the work of<br />

black male visual<br />

artists and artisans.<br />

Blanket Bingo<br />

Bring your blanket,<br />

lawn chairs or snag one<br />

of the tables at the park<br />

for a night of fun,<br />

music and prizes.

1<br />

2<br />

SUMMER<br />

SPOTS TO<br />

VISIT<br />

Indie House<br />

Using professionalgrade<br />

perfumers notes<br />

& accords, you will<br />

handcraft a custom Eau<br />

de Parfum. Classes for<br />

men & women.<br />

Rocky Mountaineer<br />

Rail journeys through<br />

the Canadian Rockies<br />

and American<br />

Southwest are<br />

scheduled to show<br />

guests all of the scenery<br />

Taste of Chicago<br />

Returns to Grant Park<br />

with three days of food,<br />

music, and dancing.<br />

Enjoy dozens of<br />

Chicago’s top food<br />

vendors<br />

Stax Museum<br />

The Stax Museum of<br />

American Soul Music is<br />

a museum located in<br />

Memphis, Tennessee.<br />

The Family Reunion<br />

Was created to<br />

celebrate the Black and<br />

Brown contributions to<br />

the food industry. (sold<br />

out but put a pin in it)<br />

Good Times Jazz Bar<br />

Was born out of a<br />

desire to bring Great<br />

Southern fare, Fine<br />

wines and the best in<br />

Jazz into one relaxing<br />


Advertisment | PAGE 23

collaborate@shivawnmitchell.com<br />

6802 Paragon Place Suite 410<br />

Richmond, VA 23230<br />

<strong>Seated</strong> is a quarterly published magazine that<br />

allows strangers to stay connected beyond our<br />

dinner parties and podcast. We want to share<br />

with you what you find important in our<br />

community. <strong>Seated</strong> is made with you in mind.<br />

<br />

<br />

Copyright 2023. All rights reserved.<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

www.seatedwithstrangers.com<br />


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