My name is Heather and I may have a small obsession with Rae Dunn, the collection of incredible pottery and various household items, not the woman (though I’m sure she’s an awesome lady). Like many people in my shoes, it all started with a mug. Mine said “YOU ARE MY SUNSHINE,” a sweet reminder of my late Papa. I paid $20 for it on an app because I had to have it. The more I saw Rae Dunn on Instagram, the more I had to have. It wasn’t long before my house was filled with mugs, plates, bowls, towels, baking dishes, utensils, tea pots, butter dishes… you name it, I had it. Especially if it had a quirky saying on it (those are my fave).
I began photographing my Rae Dunn collection and found the images that I posted on social media, with Rae Dunn items, received more engagement. Apparently there is an entire community of people just like me. I snuck a Rae Dunn item into as many Instagram posts as I could, began going “dunning” and posting stories of all of my Rae Dunn finds and came up with excuse after excuse why I needed just one more piece.
I admit, at one point, my house was overrun by Dunn. The shelves in my bedroom were full, the kitchen cabinets were packed, the living room had a number of birdhouses, clocks, vases… even a Welcome sign when you walk into the front door and a broken colander in the backyard that is now a planter.
It became a weekly “date” for Super Dad to take me to a few stores to go dunning and I never returned home empty handed.
As I discovered my love of food photography, I would always find a Rae Dunn piece that complemented the dish. Something about Rae Dunn always made the food look prettier. Finding the perfect Rae Dunn item for each recipe was a challenge and became something I really enjoyed. I never expected anyone to notice those little touches.
But then it happened…
It was June 30, 2020. I was sitting on the couch when I went through my Instagram notifications and saw that Rae Dunn herself had reposted one of my images. I gasped. In fact, I gasped so loudly, my husband came running in the room to see if everything was ok. It took me what seemed like an eternity to get out the words, “She reposted my photo.” Of course he had no idea who “she” was and couldn’t possibly have joined in my excitement until he found out. I handed him my phone, he looked down and yelled, “RAE DUNN?”
Listen, this may not seem like a big deal to some, but it was a huge deal to me. I was over the moon and thought that nothing could top this moment.
I was wrong.
On August 7th, I received a DM on Instagram from Magenta (the company that manufactures the Rae Dunn line). They said that they wanted to feature four of my recipes and images in the #raedunnrecipes cookbook which was releasing the following week.
If I gasped when Rae Dunn reposted my image, you can only imagine what my reaction was this time. My friends were sure I was screaming and dancing around the house, but I was utterly speechless. My recipes, my IG name, my photos… all featured in a Rae Dunn cookbook?! I was sure I was dreaming or someone was playing a trick on me. But in fact, it was 100% real and the following week I saw it all come to life. I’m still in shock.
The book itself is currently only digital, which is great because everyone can get one. But there is the possibility that they will print it (which would be AMAZING to have as a keepsake). It’s a beautiful, exclusive, 100 page cookbook filled with delicious Instagram featured recipes. I am beyond honored to be a part of this.
You can find the full Rae Dunn Cookbook – Summer Issue 2020 here.
Super Dad doesn’t think that I’ll ever top that moment, unless Rae Dunn herself invites me out for coffee, though that’s highly unlikely . She’s much too busy creating beautiful items (though I’m here if she ever needs a break, or a friend to chat with).
A million thanks go out to Rae Dunn and the Magenta team for including me in this project. I will absolutely keep you all updated on whether or not they decide to print the recipe book.