Elizabeth Suzann – The Living Room

Elizabeth Suzann - The Living Room
Elizabeth Suzann The Living Room

The Living Room — an Elizabeth Suzann pop-up shop featuring Elizabeth Pape’s favorite artisans and makers. Photo: Flock South

Consume mindfully and live intentionally. This is the philosophy of Elizabeth Pape, fashion designer and founder of the Nashville-based clothing label Elizabeth Suzann. In a world where fast fashion and mass consumerism are cultural norms, Pape and her company have been advocating customers to buy only good things and buy them less often.

Since the inception of Elizabeth Suzann, I have had a huge design crush on the company. Each garment is designed specifically to inspire you to be your best self, to be comfortable in your own skin and to live your life clutter-free. The ideas behind ES may sound like romantic notions, but don’t be fooled. In a matter of three years, ES has become a nationally recognized design label. Proving those “notions” are exactly what consumers want.

Elizabeth Suzann The Living Room

A one-of-a-kind collection, personally sewn by Elizabeth Pape – only available at The Living Room. Photo: Flock South

In November, Pape moved her company from a small studio to a 10,000-square-foot warehouse. The company was growing at a rapid rate, and it was time to take ES to the next level. The new space has plenty of room for lean production areas for their staff of seamstresses, larger cutting and shipping tables, full-scale customer service and media offices, a large design studio just for Pape and a spacious showroom. Just like the clothing label, the warehouse is meticulously curated to be both functional and beautiful.

ES’s latest experiment is The Living Room — a pop-up shop in their showroom featuring local artisans and makers, as well as a collection of Pape’s one-of-a-kind sewn work. The pop-up opened two weeks ago, and will be open to the public on Fridays from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. until Sept. 23. I connected with Elizabeth Pape to learn more about this project and her desire to collaborate with the creative community.

Elizabeth Suzann The Living Room

Hand-crafted goods created by artisans, both locally and around the world. Photo: Flock South

The Living Room is your latest ES experiment. How did this concept develop? What’s the story?

The concept developed from the convergence of two desires I’d been feeling for a while. One was a desire to stretch my own creative muscles, to make new work that may not be as commercially viable as some of our simpler, staple garments. I was craving an outlet to explore things I might not want to commit to, things I may not understand, things that test my limits of chaos and imperfection.

The second desire was to share things that I love — beyond clothing — with our community. The work of friends, the work of customers and work that inspires me — it is constantly shaping how I see the world and the way I design, and I craved a way to bring those things to light in a public way. Carrying other brands’ products was not a concept we’d explored before, but in this format of intentional, heartfelt curation it felt right.

The combination of these two things felt like such a natural representation of my world — like I am welcoming customers into my own living room.

Elizabeth Suzann The Living Room

Hand-crafted mule shoes by Elizabeth Suzann, leather handbags designed by local talent Annie Williams, and ink-splattered ceramic planter holders by Shayna Stevenson. Photo: Flock South

Who are the artists participating in The Living Room? What can customers expect to experience at the pop-up shop?

We have goods from quite a few different artists and brands from all over the world — all of them make things I truly love and use in my own life, and many of them are actually ES customers. Learning about the incredible talented community of our customers has been one of the most rewarding parts of this business.

I will have a collection of one-of-a-kind, personally sewn work. These are pieces that aren’t available anywhere else, and a bit divergent from the rest of our collection.

The Living Room will have work available from Katia Carletti, Emil Erwin, Shayna Stevenson, Annie Williams, Maison Louise Marie, Fiele Fragrances, Emily Leonard, Zachary Gray, Land of Women, Jennifer Jeremias, Mary Mooney, Michelle Armas, Julia Kostreva, Melena Cadiz, Liza Anne, Shop ILA, Little Seed Farm and Fecht Design.

In addition to shopping, I want this to feel like a place customers can inhabit and explore — a place to come to see and experience art, listen to records, take in the incredible mural by Emily Leonard, tour our facility, and have a drink in our courtyard. Intimate and personal, and not at all like traditional retail.

Elizabeth Suzann The Living Room

Elizabeth Suzann The Living Room

One-of-a-kind collection by Elizabeth Pape, Ink-splattered ceramic mugs by Shayna Stevenson, and hand-crafted bath & body products by local company, Little Seed Farm. Photos: Flock South

Collaborating with local artisans is not a new concept for ES. Local artist Mary Mooney designed the gorgeous ES paper packaging for your shipping boxes. How did this idea unfold? Do you have future plans with other artisans?

Picturing a woman opening up a package from Elizabeth Suzann is something I do often. A package she’s curated with intention, purchasing her favorite pieces, waiting for them to be sewn and shipped — I hope it’s an experience that is anticipated, a moment that is enjoyed and savored. I want the fashion in which our garments arrive to live up to the same standards we hold the products to themselves.

I don’t like tissue-wrapped packages, especially when delivered by mail. The transportation is rough and no matter how carefully it was packed, by the time it arrives it can’t help but look tired. A sturdy, crisp wrapping paper custom-fit to our box sizes was the perfect way to enclose the clothing, but I was unhappy with the idea that so much paper was likely getting thrown out after one use. Particularly for such a specialized part of our packaging, it seemed like it deserved a bit more attention and purpose.

So, we decided to work with Mary to design a custom-painted paper inspired by the color palette of our spring and signature collections. Mary came to the studio to collect fabric swatches and discuss the collection and created an original work in her trademark style of paint on acrylic sheeting.

Mary Mooney Elizabeth Suzann

Beautiful Elizabeth Suzann wrapping paper designed by local artist, Mary Mooney. Photo via Emily Howard and Elizabeth Suzann.

We had the painting scanned here in Nashville and worked with our local printer to create the wrapping paper. Seeing Mary’s abstract interpretation of my work was inspiring and moving on its own, but to know that every customer gets a little piece of art in their box makes me too happy for words.

Art is an integral part of where my inspiration comes from and why I enjoy doing what I do. We are currently working with Nashville-based Emily Leonard to paint a large scale mural on a 12-foot-by-15-foot sliding door in our warehouse. One side faces the showroom and the other side faces our production area. Bringing a beautiful work of art into both of those spaces was so exciting to me (art to benefit both our customers and our employees) — and the door was the perfect canvas. She’ll be working on the mural over the next several weeks, and you’ll be able to see the first side at The Living Room launch!

Elizabeth Suzann Emily Leonard

The Living Room mural (now complete) by Nashville-based artist, Emily Leonard. Photo via Elizabeth Suzann.

Original article via The Tennessean

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Must-See at Summer Porter Flea

Porter Flea Summer Market
Porter Flea Summer Market

Porter Flea Summer Market July 29 & 30th at Skyway Studios

Nashville’s favorite artisan market is back! The annual Porter Flea Summer Market, a modern handmade pop-up event featuring the region’s most talented artisans and designers, returns at the end of this month, on July 29th and 30th.

This year’s Porter Flea Summer Market will be held in East Nashville at Skyway Studios (3201 Dickerson Pike in Nashville), its largest venue to date. The market will showcase more than 120 vendors (40 of which are new to the market), thousands of handmade wares and 12 of the city’s finest food trucks.

What you won’t find at this event are poor quality goods, cheap knick-knacks or mediocre artwork — no need to worry, this ain’t your granny’s backyard craft fair. If there is one thing Porter Flea does well, it’s that the event’s driving forces are style, innovation and impeccable craftsmanship.

If you have attended any of the Porter Flea events in the past, you understand that they are popular. The kind of popular that results in hourlong lines just to get through the front door. If a long wait is not your idea of a fun weekend, don’t fret. The amazing Porter Flea team now offers two shortcuts: attend the Preview Market on Friday and get an exclusive first look for $25 (plus a few complimentary perks) or pay $15 for a Porter Pass and skip the lines on Saturday.

10_Melissa Weiss Pottery

Melissa Weiss Pottery

Now, on to the fun part — the must-see vendor list. The variety of vendors this year is pretty impressive. There is something for men, women, pets and kiddos. You’ll find items including locally designed apparel, shoes and handbags, beautiful prints and paintings, as well as hand-dyed men’s accessories, hand-crafted leather-rope bike locks and delicate handmade ceramics that will make you dizzy with delight. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. I can honestly say that every single vendor attending this year is going to knock your socks off. But! There are a few artisans, 10 actually, that have created wares so delicious, you will be camping days before the market opens just to get your hands on these goodies first.

1_DVRA_Black Papaya Clutch

1. DVRA – Handbags inspired by all things tropical. Favorite item: the black papaya clutch, $68.50.

2_Rise-Ramble_Louna Tunic Dress

2. Rise & Ramble – Flowy, modern collections designed from luxurious hand-dyed textiles. Favorite item: the Louna tunic dress in silk noil, $180.

3_Bean-Baily_Skinny Hanging Crystal Planter

3. Bean and Baily Ceramics – Contemporary slip-cast ceramics designed by a darling Southern duo. Favorite item: skinny hanging crystal planter, $27.

4_Native Bear

4. Native Bear – Modern bohemian stationary and gifts inspired by the earthiness and magic of the 1970s. Favorite item: orbit prints, $35.

5_Norman Leigh Hexagon

5.  Norman Leigh – High-quality reclaimed furniture, décor and accessories. Favorite items: Reclaimed Hexagon Tray $92 and Triangle Mirror $320.

6_Lonesome Traveler_Accessories for Men

6. Lonesome Traveler – Classically constructed men’s accessories designed in both vintage and new fabrics. Favorite item: Capulet’s Garden cotton necktie, $62.

7_Mary Mooney_Necklace Pendant

7. Mary Mooney – Delicate abstract expressionist paintings and jewelry in vibrant hues. Favorite item: Hand-painted necklace pendants, $110-$240.

8_MID Goods_Botanic Colonies of The United States

8. M.I.D. Goods – Nashville-based brand specializing in original hand-crafted ink/paper goods. Favorite item: Botanic colonies of the United States, $50.

9_Hechizo_Pamona Necklace

9. Hechizo – Exquisite handmade accessories inspired by global traditions and décor, using ceramics, leather and metals. Favorite item: Pamona charm necklace in tumeric, $120.

10_Natalie Joy_Mobile_MONSTERA+DELICIOSA

10. Natalie Joy of Portland – Thoughtfully hand-fabricated jewelry and brass mobiles. Favorite item: Monstera Deliciosa brass mobile, $130.

*Original post featured on the Tennessean  “10 Must-See Porter Flea Summer Market Vendors”

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