How I Gather

Bringing people together around a table is our greatest passion in life and we believe food is one of the most powerful tools for connection. In our series, How I Gather we go behind the scenes with our favorite foodies to see how they do it. See All

I’ve long pondered the secret of a healthy glow. Some get it from a trusted serum, others spend the day in the sun, and I’ve envied many a makeup maven for knowing how to apply their bronzer just so. But over the years, I’ve developed an eye for identifying a glow that’s lit from within. We’re at our brightest when we’re caught in the act of doing something we love with people we cherish. And the more we cultivate these moments, the more we radiate passion, energy, and a life well-lived. Lifestyle entrepreneur and co-founder of One Wednesday, Sophie Collins is a shining example of what it looks like to pursue the life you’ve always dreamed of.

With a day job in tech sales and two little ones, Sophie is no stranger to putting in long hours. Because she believes in the importance of carving out time for herself, her wake-up call is 5 o’clock on the dot. And to ensure she has the energy to get through her to-do’s, an early bedtime is non-negotiable.

Dress: Sir The Label from My Theresa (no longer available online)

I admire Sophie for her commitment to routines and dedication to her wellness rituals. But those in possession of a well-structured life know this secret, too: sticking to a schedule helps ensure that we have time for our creative passions as well. And creative passions, Sophie definitely has.

From sourcing and curating her online shop to developing healthy and delicious recipes to knowing exactly what it takes to host the perfect gathering, Sophie Collins is an entertaining expert. And today, she’s sharing the story behind her love of cooking and hosting and her tried-and-true tips for bringing people together around a beautiful table for good conversation, and of course, a memorable meal.

On Discovering Her Love of Cooking

How did you learn to cook?

Sunday dinners were always a ritual in my house growing up. Despite the fact that my parents split at a young age, the ritual held on in both of the houses I called home. Sunday dinner was always a time to break bread over a delicious meal. My mom’s spaghetti and meatballs or my dad’s massive salads with walnuts (always walnuts) were the mainstays of our family meals.

When I met my now husband (who is Italian), I took my passion for cooking to the next level. I was lucky enough to travel to Italy with his family, taking cooking classes (my favorite was one that was held on a pecorino farm). From there, my appetite for food and wine was insatiable. I read every book I could get my hands on and even enrolled in a formal course for wine education. It is, to this day, my favorite hobby.

What informs your approach to food?

My philosophy with everything I do is to feel my absolute best. Over the last ten years, I have really honed in on what that means to me, and that often starts with what’s on my plate. We try to emulate a Mediterannean-type diet at home: lots of veggies, healthy grains, olive oils, and good quality meats. And because I have two young kids, simplicity is key so we can actually get food on the table before they go to sleep.

What’s your must-have cooking tool?

Just one!? This is a tough one. I’d have to say, my lemon squeezer. It doesn’t seem like something worth buying until you have it. If you’re a citrus lover like me, it’s a must-have for mixing up Palomas and making dressings more efficient!

What are your favorite cookbooks?

  • Gjelina: Cooking From Venice, California, by Travis Lett. Gjelina is my favorite restaurant in the world! They have the best veggie recipes and it’s the first cookbook I turn to when I’m bored of my routine.
  • Cook Beautiful, by Athena Calderone. Everything Athena does is so intentional, and it inspires me to elevate my entertaining style while still cooking seemingly simple and approachable dishes. 
  • Malibu Farm Cookbook: Recipes from the California Coast, by Helene Henderson. The salmon recipe is amazing. 
  • Camille Styles Entertaining. I have always loved Camille’s approach to seasonality when it comes to hosting. From a cozy winter night in to a colorful summer bash, there is endless inspiration within those pages.
  • We made a cookbook with my husband’s Nonna’s family recipes and we cherish it so much. She was the best cook.

Table by Jeff Martin Joinery. Throws & Candles by One Wednesday.

What are a few things we’ll always find in your refrigerator? 

Lemons, limes, almond milk for smoothies, Once Upon a Farm pouches for the kids, various cheeses, Greek yogurt, apples, various hot sauces, eggs (ALWAYS), greens and herbs, and a bottle of Chablis!

Your go-to weeknight meal to eat at home?

Roasted broccoli, grilled chicken, homemade tzatziki, and a simple salad.

Get the recipe for Sophie’s Harvest Salad.

On Building a Creative Business

How did your business come to be? Tell us the story and inspiration behind it.

My co-founder Joni and I found we both faced similar struggles as working mothers. We’d meet on Wednesdays to have unfiltered discussions around navigating motherhood, work, health and everything in between. We soon realized others were likely experiencing the same challenges and decided to create a brand that would provide comfort, simplicity, and quality products that can be easily incorporated into everyday life. From there, One Wednesday was born. Our mission is to enhance the small, ritualistic tasks of being human that are often rushed or overlooked. 

What does a typical day look like for you?

With two young kids, the only “productive” alone time I get is first thing in the morning. My alarm is set for 5 a.m. and the first thing I do is meditate for 20 minutes. I’ve been meditating for years, but in the last year I committed to 365 days of 20 minutes every morning. Then, I roll out my mat to flow through a pilates series. I got certified during the pandemic since we had so much more time at home and because it is by far my favorite way to move my body. (You can try some of my workouts under my “Pilates” series here.)

If my kids are still asleep, I turn on a podcast while getting ready—usually a really quick skincare and mascara routine. Everyone is up and ready to go by 7 a.m. when we try to get out for a walk first thing. I aim to get 12K steps a day and even though we only get a few steps since my 18-month-old and 4-year-old refuse to get in the stroller, the exposure to sunlight and fresh air helps us set the tone for the day (tantrums included).

I’m lucky enough to have the best nanny on the planet, so when she arrives at 8 a.m., my workday begins. This is everything from my day job in tech sales to running One Wednesday and my personal brand. My days are absolutely jam-packed. At 5 p.m., I attempt to put together a healthy dinner for our family and we eat before putting the kids down between 6 and 7 p.m. We usually wind down with a show (loving The Bear right now) and a healthy treat like dark chocolate before crawling into bed by 8:30 p.m. to read. We’re exhausted by this point!

Matchbox by Glaze Studio

On Creating a Cozy Gathering at Home

Tell us about your home. What’s your favorite part of the space?

My husband and I bought our house sight unseen (welcome to the Vancouver real estate market!). We had initially planned for small-scale upgrades but quickly realized that it was not livable (think: green shag carpet in the bathroom and a beehive in the exterior walls). Luckily, my best friend Gillian was just starting her interior design firm and my husband has incredible spatial recognition (he’s a floor plan master).

We set off on an 18-month (unplanned) renovation and turned our “Vancouver Special” into our Vancity Farmhouse. Without a doubt, my favorite space is our kitchen. It takes up the most square footage because we knew it would be the heart of our home, and it is.

What does a great gathering look like for you?

As many things prepared in advance as possible, a beautiful floral arrangement, a relaxed vibe, and my favorite people. 

What are three products you love for the table?

  1. You can never go wrong with greige linen napkins. They’re an entertaining staple of mine.
  2. Anything made by Fable (another amazing local brand).
  3. A One Wednesday Throw on the back of each chair so people can get cozy throughout the night (and it’s the best little take-home for your guests!). We recently launched candles as well, so I love to scatter them throughout the house for the most delicious seasonal scents. Glaze makes the most gorgeous matches and burl wood matchboxes that I always style with our candles since it’s usable décor.

What scares you about entertaining?

The only thing that scares me about entertaining is having to wake up at 5 a.m. the next morning to take care of my kids… for obvious reasons!

Your signature dishes for gatherings?

I love a good healthy board (my take on the cheeseboard), chicken Marbella for a big group, and my famous fish tacos (from my 5-day reset).

What’s one tip for someone who wants to host a gathering on a budget?

Keep it casual. It doesn’t need to be a sit-down meal for people to have fun! Also, don’t be afraid of a wine store. The salespeople are always so helpful at picking out wines on a budget.

Favorite question to get to know someone?

How are you really?

The perfect dinner party playlist includes:

Maggie Rogers, Leon Bridges, John Legend, John Mayer, The Head & The Heart, and a little Drake for good measure.

Go-to centerpiece solution:

This is something I almost always outsource because it can really bring a table and theme together. A beautiful arrangement goes such a long way. We are lucky to live near so many amazing and talented florists. Lately, I’ve been ordering from Kado exclusively. But when our limelight hydrangeas are blooming, there is nothing better than a pitcher with those beauties standing tall!

Get the recipe for Sophie’s Healthy Apple Crumble.

What is your no-stress party rule to live by? 

  1. Prep as much as you can in advance including pouring water into glasses and running and emptying the dishwasher.
  2. Start early (happy hour!) so you can get into bed at a reasonable time.
  3. Never wear shoes, but never ask your guests to take them off.
  4. Good food, good drinks, good music & great people are all you need.
  5. Outsource when you can.

Dream dinner guests?

Easy: my husband and my best friends. 

Fill in the blank:

A perfect meal should fill your mind, body, and soul.

It’s not a dinner party without margaritas to start and good music to finish.

Every cook should know how to make a sheet pan meal.

Follow Sophie Collins on Instagram for more inspiration.

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