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Austin woman behind turquoise table trend that's spreading worldwide

This National Night Out, you might notice more people gathering around turquoise tables in their yards, and it's actually a trend that started with one woman in Austin -- and now spreading all around the world. (CBS Austin)

This National Night Out, you might notice more people gathering around turquoise tables in their yards, and it's actually a trend that started with one woman in Austin -- and now spreading all around the world.

When Kristin Schell moved to Austin with her husband, Tony, three years ago, she realized that it was difficult to meet neighbors.

"I started noticing that garage doors would go up, and garage doors would go down, and people would disappear behind them," said Schell.

So to test a hypothesis, she painted a table turquoise and put in her front yard. Then she moved all her family's back yard activities to the front yard.

It quickly became a symbol to neighbors that her yard was a place they could come and gather.

The first time Schell gave it a try, she sat outside at the turquoise table with her journal. She says that within ten minutes, she met a new neighbor who would soon become a good friend.

Three years later, turquoise tables are popping up in front yards all over the Austin area, in 40 other states and five countries.

In the spring, Schell's story was part of a "Love Where You Live" campaign in Texas, which hundreds of churches participated in.

Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo was part of the campaign, and encouraged participants to get to know the people who live around them, in order help make communities stronger and safer.

"I think the difference is neighbors that know neighbors, neighbors that know each other, neighbors that know what belongs, what doesn’t belong," said Acevedo Tuesday.

Schell is currently working with publishers to finish a book about "The Turquoise Table." It will be out in stores next month.

Her website is frontyardpeople.com.

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