“Our family dinners are always kind of a circus,” says Matthew Chambers. He is the CEO of the lifestyle site Brothers & Craft, which he owns along with his three brothers, but at this family gathering his most relevant title is “oldest brother.”
At the moment, he is casually mixing up cocktails with his brothers-turned-colleagues—Kirk Chambers, Zac Chambers and Clayton Chambers—trading barbs that are equal parts fashion insider and brotherly love. (“You look like you’re about to rob a bank in that hat,” Zac tells Clayton of his chunky knit beanie.)
Brothers & Craft was founded in 2012, “really as just a blog to talk about the stuff that we loved,” says Matthew. The timing was right—and the talent was apparent—and just as social media scene began to take shape, the Chambers brothers “little blog” took off in a big way: they now have nearly 100,000 followers on Instagram.
Today, the brothers have gathered in Asheville, North Carolina—a central meeting spot between their lives in Charleston, North Carolina, Nashville and Bristol, Tennessee—because it’s home to one of their favorite chefs, Katie Button, who is cooking tonight’s dinner.
The dinner is a rare occasion for the brothers to have some time off together – they have been working double-time as they launch their newest venture Springible, a platform for families with special needs children. Springible is one of the brothers’ most personal projects yet—it’s inspired by Matthew’s son Jude, who was diagnosed with tuberous sclerosis, a rare genetic disorder, nearly a decade ago.
“It affected all of us when Jude was diagnosed,” says Zac Chambers. “It affects the families and it’s an absolute reality check on what matters in life.”
As the rest of the family—the brothers’ wives and children— start trickling in for dinner, it becomes apparent where Matthew gets the “circus” descriptor: The kids—nine of them in all—are thrilled to see their cousins, and they tumble up the stairs together while singing tunes from Frozen and starting tickle wars. Matthew lifts Jude out of his wheelchair and into his lap for dinner. Zac and Clayton go into full uncle mode, spinning and high-fiving their nieces and nephews as they gather around the table.
“Rosé all day,” says Kirk, raising an eyebrow as he fills the adults’ glasses with a dry rosé wine—the first glass goes to his wife Bradley.
When everyone is seated, the effect is equal parts Norman Rockwell Thanksgiving and controlled chaos. The tickling and singing continue through dinner, and Kirk and Clayton pepper Chef Katie Button with questions: What’s in the lentil salad? What’s that seasoning on the vegetables?
By the time toasts have been made, dishes have been admired and everyone has finished the last bite of their gluten-free strawberry rhubart tart, the Chambers brothers are ready to get back to work, discussing their next photo shoot and their Springible launch.
“We all bring different skills to the table and, most of the time, they work together really well,” says Matthew when asked what it’s like to work with family. “But really, it works because we are brothers—the years we spent around the table together growing up and the bond that’s there because of that.”