Mastering the Art of Etiquette: Insights from Maria Grumet, the Extraordinary Mind behind Old Soul Etiquette

Welcome to the refined world of etiquette as we sit down with the extraordinary Maria, the visionary behind Old Soul Etiquette. With grace and poise, Maria shares her profound insights on the significance of manners in our modern society, providing a glimpse into the transformative power of proper etiquette. Keep reading to explore the art of gracious living, inspired by Maria’s wisdom and passion for proper etiquette. Get ready to be inspired and discover the beauty of refined living with Old Soul Etiquette.

Can you share a bit about your background and the story behind the creation of “Old Soul Etiquette”?

I have had a passion for etiquette for as long as I can remember! I began my professional career in corporate fashion. While working and living in NYC, I attended an Etiquette class at The Plaza Hotel. It was there I learned that there was an opportunity for me to pursue something I adore so deeply. I found that I was unable to fulfill my greatest passion of wanting to help people become their very best selves through my corporate job at the time. I went on to complete my first certification to teach youth, business, and social etiquette, and launched Old Soul Etiquette in June of 2021. I have since left my corporate job, and am building the brand and life of my dreams. I simply want to help make the world a kinder and more fabulous place.

What is the most common misconception about etiquette, and why is it important to uphold proper etiquette?

The biggest misconception about etiquette is that it is antiquated and snobby. Etiquette is simply a set of guidelines to help you behave in a way where you are both being the best version of yourself, and showing the utmost amount of kindness and respect to those around you. Etiquette matters because being kind to others and showing up with confidence will never be antiquated.

From what age should etiquette be taught, and what are some key lessons that can be introduced to young children?

Now, I am not a parent yet, however I think the idea of etiquette can be introduced quite early in life. When you are writing a thank you card, involve your child in the process, and teach them the purpose of what you are doing. You can even encourage them to draw their own picture on the card for an extra special touch. Teaching children to include another child playing alone is teaching them good etiquette. Teaching your child how to introduce themselves and properly greet people are also among the fundamentals of proper etiquette. I would also suggest introducing the idea of setting the table correctly for dinner, and adding etiquette and manners books to their children’s libraries.

Is there a particular commonly accepted etiquette rule that you personally disagree with? If so, what is it and why do you hold that viewpoint?

I disagree with not wearing white after Labor Day. That is an old rule in the United States that originated in the 1800’s. It was a way to represent that you were wealthy enough to afford a vacation beyond the end of summer (Labor Day). I encourage wearing white all year around!

People often associate etiquette primarily with table manners. What are some common dining etiquette mistakes that you frequently come across?

The most common mistakes I encounter when it comes to dining etiquette is usually with glassware. People hold stemmed glasses by the bowl of the glass instead of the stem. I also see the dreaded lipstick ring around glasses from time to time! The biggest dining etiquette mistake, however, is mistreating the service staff.

What is the proper way to decline an RSVP? Should there be an effort to make it up to the host in some way? If so, what suggestions do you have for making amends?

The proper way to turn down an RSVP is to simply notify the host you are unable to attend the event. There is no need for an extended explanation. If it is a wedding, shower, or birthday event, you can make it up to them by sending a gift in your absence.

Who is a person you greatly admire for their elegance? If you had the opportunity to take them out for lunch, where would be your ideal choice of restaurant?

Audrey Hepburn is someone I have always admired when it comes to elegance. Not only because of her natural beauty, and the way she effortlessly carried herself, but also in the way she dedicated herself to bettering the world. If I had the opportunity to have lunch with her, I would take her to my favorite restaurant in NYC, Palma.

Can you share three tips that people can do to level up their elegance (without spending a dime)?

Slow down walking, talking, and eating, greet everyone you encounter with a genuine smile, and keep your spaces around you neat and beautiful whether that be your home, desk, or car.

For a lot of people, receiving compliments can be really hard. Can you give us some tips on how to accept compliments gracefully?

There is one way to accept a compliment, and that is by simply saying thank you. Avoid belittling the compliment by saying something like, “Oh, this dress? I’ve had it for years, it cost me nearly nothing!”

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