Single and new to RDU in September of 2000, I was fortunate to make a few BFFs but our paths soon diverged.

My friends got married and had children more than a decade before I met my husband.  Throughout those years, the typical demands of life (raising children, working outside the home, and moving to new cities/homes)  impacted our ability to see one another regularly.

Even before Covid-19, when I was honest enough to acknowledge my longing for greater connection, I didn’t know what to do about it.  

My closest friends had always “fallen into my lap.” Because those relationships developed naturally and matured swiftly, I believed making connections and feeling a sense of community was supposed to be easy. 

Age and experience taught me otherwise.  Bringing women together, practicing hospitality and seeking opportunities for goodwill have been my focus the last several years. 

Confident I am not alone in the quest for female connectedness, I created The Table

Women of all ages who seek community can find one another here. The Table is a place where all can give, receive and learn about self. 

In this space my hope is that you’re brave, your kindness intersects the goodness of others and you experience richness in relationships afresh.

I’m glad you’re here.


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…in a time lacking in truth and certainty and filled with anguish and despair, no woman should be shamefaced in attempting to give back to the world, through her work, a portion of its lost heart.
-Louise Bogan, 1897-1970

Q/A with Renee



Q: Why did you create "I'll Set the Table?"

A: I tried using websites and apps to meet new people but they felt lacking. I thought there had to be a better tool and when I didn’t find one, I created The Table.

Q: What friend-making avenues have you tried?

A: Bumble BFF and Meetup.

Q: What did you think about those platforms?

A: On Bumble, I didn’t enjoy “swiping.” I like Meetup, but I desired a greater sense of community. I also wanted members to have more liberty to connect with one another directly.

Q: Why did you choose the name "I'll Set the Table?"

A: I want women to know they’re invited to this community and I’m glad they’re here. When a table is set there is a natural feeling of warmth. It communicates preparations being made and individuals being welcomed.

Q: What is your vision for The Table?

A: I want women to rediscover the power of human connection. We all have a measure of social insecurity, but when we resist uncomfortable situations, we rob the world of ourselves. By choosing to be brave, we open ourselves up to meaningful relationships.

Q: What helped you find connection with other women?

A: By trying the things I’ve laid out in How to have a Better Friend-Making Experience. Creating group events and planning at least two events from the start (within a short yet reasonable time frame) were helpful in my own experience.  I think doing those things attracted women who were equally serious about forming relationships. I also specifically sought women who lived near me.

Q: What stumbling blocks have you experienced in friend-making?

A: I had a habit of over-valuing “instant” chemistry. I also had to relearn that some people will gravitate to one another more than others and that’s to be expected.

Q: What advice do you have for women looking for new friends?

A: See the best in others. Choose to initiate even if it doesn’t come easily for you.  You will be richer for the experience regardless of the outcome. Friendship is foremost about women choosing to show up for one another. This article is good food for thought. 

Still curious? Read more from Renee here.

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