#HappyMonday: Meet Elizabeth Scarlett
If you run your own business, Monday's are always amazing! Monday's are a clean slate, a chance to write down your goals for the week and crack on!
In our #HappyMonday series, we're interviewing inspiration women in business and asking them everything from how do they motivate themselves, all the way to their tips for success.
This week, we're beyond excited to share Elizabeth Elsey's story - Founder of home, interiors and decor brand Elizabeth Scarlett.
Combining an enduring love of soft textiles with an eye for detail, Elizabeth Scarlett is a leading luxury homewares and gifting brand, based in London. Each of Elizabeth Scarlett's designs are inspired by founder Elizabeth Elsey's travels and brought into the world by her love for textiles and hand-drawn illustrations.
We were first introduced to Elizabeth Scarlett in a small boutique in St James, Barbados, and shortly after browsing Instagram we were hooked (like many others) on her designs!
When did you know you wanted to start your own business?
I’ve always known I wanted a business. My parents are both self-made entrepreneurs, so I’ve grown up around that. I always admired the likes of interiors and accessories brands like House of Hackney and Cath Kidston, and loved reading interior magazines and making mood boards in my sketch books with images and textiles that inspired me. I always dreamed about having a creative business but wasn’t sure about how to get there. Eventually I realised you just have to take a leap and I felt I was 100% ready when I was 25 and had a bit more experience of the industry under my belt after working for Tesco HQ in fashion and then soon after developing interior designs with John Lewis & Debenhams.
Have you always been artistic and where did the inspiration for your first designs come from?
I’ve always been creative and would draw intricate designs from a young age of either animals, flowers or nature. I see the world in quite a soft, light way and I like to find ways to share that. My parents have a place in the South of France where I spent a lot of time growing up and the inspiration from my designs always seems to derive from there, the soothing colours, delicate patterns and soft textures. I also pick up inspiration whenever I travel, for example my latest collection was inspired by a trip to Bali.
We all have ideas for businesses, but how did you know that this was the one that you needed to pursue?
With my background in art and design and from the work I’d already done in the interiors and fashion industry, along with my personal interests - an accessories brand really felt like the one. I think that it’s good not to stray too far from what you know in business and evolve from there. I felt like I had the skills and experience to make this work, along with a load of passion for the industry.
Would you say social media has helped you grow the Elizabeth Scarlett brand?
It’s been incredibly important. When I decided I wanted to create a brand, the first thing I did was set up a facebook page and shamelessly email everyone I knew with my intent and asked them to "like" the page. This also made me feel like I couldn’t go backwards and had to make it happen. Social media has been brilliant for sharing my story from start to finish and now I work with influencers who become my spokeswomen for the brand and share with their community. Instagram to date, is still where my highest percentage of sales are directed from.
Do you have any tips for social media success based on your own experience? I know people love holiday and lifestyle inspiration on social media!
It took me a while to get there as it’s important to experiment with what works best for your brand, but I soon realised a strong overall aesthetic that looks consistent and recognisable is very important. I always look at the bigger picture of my feed from a birdseye view as well as the messaging and language on each post. I also recommend being thoughtful about colours, detail, and clutter. The competition is so high and we’re constantly seeing so many products and imagery everyday it’s important to have a strong sense of self and what your brand represents.
When you run your own business, a lot of people find it difficult to get that work/life balance. How do you balance your work with doing the things that you love doing outside of the office?
I balance my time by splitting it into personal and work time, always trying to maximise what I can achieve in the week with clear focus and drive. But the evenings and weekends are my time and I make sure to exercise, see friends, cook and spend as much time as I can outdoors. Being barefoot in the garden or in Hampstead Heath is always very healing and I like to find time to connect and spend quality with the people I care about. That’s always a great way to reset.
When did you know it was time to get help and employ someone?
I knew it was time when I really felt like I was preventing the business going forward without hiring someone to help me. I also accept that although I have my strengths, its good to find people with different strengths to build a really strong and powerful team of passionate people!
What's your favourite motivational tune to blast out on a Monday?
What a Fool Believes – The Doobie Brothers
What's the best piece of advice you've been given, and who gave it to you?
“First, think. Second, believe. Third, dream. And finally, dare” – Walt Disney.
Do you have any tips for other young women looking to start their own business?
Take (considered) risks, don’t worry about what other people think/say, have confidence in yourself, your talents and your abilities.
Our current favourites from Elizabeth Scarlett is the Jungle Leaf Cushion, Jungle Leaf Lotus Candle (which smells divine!) and our favourite Jungle Leaf Beach Pouch . The perfect home and summer accessories!