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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
The Living Room mural (now complete) by Nashville-based artist, Emily Leonard. Photo via Elizabeth Suzann.
Original article via The Tennessean
If you missed my 12th & Broad piece last week on Wilder and Pennyweight, this is a must-read!
Josh and Ivy Elrod of Wilder continue to break the mold in the Nashville retail scene. Less than a year old, the contemporary design boutique in Germantown has already been featured in W Magazine and the New York Post. Progressively innovative, always connecting, and giddily pushing boundaries with non-obvious pairings – Wilder is transforming the traditional market place in our fair city.
So it is was no surprise when they announced the summer long collaboration with the incredibly talented stylist, blogger and creative consultant, Elise Joseph of Pennyweight . A three-month Pennyweight pop-up curated by Elise Joseph at Wilder. This is what I call summer bliss!
The pop-up kicked off on Tuesday, May 26th and will run through Sunday, August 16th. Just a few weeks in and the response from the public has been incredible. The pairing of this dynamic trio has created a lot of buzz not only locally, but nationally as well.
“As soon as we met Elise we knew she was a natural person for us to collaborate with,” said Josh and Ivy Elrod, owners of Wilder. “The most exciting part of developing Wilder has been the energy and inspiration we get from encountering new people and vibing together.”
The Nashville native is also collaborating with designers to create several limited edition pieces, exclusively for the event. “It is such a dream to be able to take aspects of what I do online and share it in person – to connect with people in a more authentic way,” said Elise. “I’m thrilled beyond words to team up with Ivy and Josh, and think my collection will pair nicely with their cool, modern aesthetic.”
Pennyweight will offer select pieces from emerging designers like Jesse Kamm, Kieley Kimmel, Wal & Pai, Kathleen Whitaker, Lauren Winter, 7115 by Szeki, Another Feather, Beatrice Valenzuela, Electric Feathers and more. Local designers include Annie Williams, Jamie & The Jones, Josi Faye, Ceri Hoover and Elizabeth Suzann.
“We want Wilder to be a place that sparks us as people and as artists, and incorporating Elise’s keen eye into the mix is layering a dynamism to the already lively conversation,” said Josh and Ivy.
So don’t walk, run to Wilder. This limited edition of decadently high-quality goods won’t last long. I can tell you from experience, a trip to Wilder will not be disappointing. The shop is more than a room of beautiful objects, it’s a transcendent experience.
I don’t know about your Instagram feed, but mine is not chocked full of selfies and babies covered in spaghetti. I use Instagram as a design magazine, an endless source of daily inspiration. Designers, home décor products, fashion, travel, prop-styling, photography – everything I want and need in one place.
I won’t lie, I have an addiction to my IG feed. Its design porn. Yes, porn. A feast of beautifully curated photos that are downright sexy. As of late, the Nashville feeds have been at the top of my list. This city never ceases to amaze me with its incredible talent and creativity.
If you are looking for a new designer, photographer, maker or you are simply in need of new inspiration, check out these fantastic Nashville IG accounts I featured last week on 12th & Broad.
1. Pencil and Paper Co : The signature style of the Nashville couple, Benjamin and Gen Sohr, is bright whites with an unexpected kick of vibrant color. This feed is full of contrast and dazzling designs. They post design inspirations, favorite home décor products and sneak peaks of their latest projects. The dynamic duo has been featured in many design publications, like Domino Magazine and Matchbook.
2. Camellia Fiber Company : Rebekka’s feed is full of light and airy photo’s in shades of whites, grays and blush. Featuring her hand-spun yarns, gatherings with friends, baked goods and darling photo-shoots.
3 . Bleubird : Miss James is a mother of four, writer, blogger, co-founder of Mother Magazine and fantastic photographer. Her Instagram feed is all about the beauty of being a wife and mother. Gorgeous photos of giggling children, home décor, family outings and James favorite things.
4. Local Milk : Moody neutrals and delicious photos of decadent food. Beth Kirby is a talented photographer, prop-stylist and recipe developer. She is all about perfecting the art of slow living. Her feed is dark with heavy grays and always the right amount of natural light. Food prop-styling at its finest.
5. Elizabeth Suzann : Thoughtfully designed, timeless essentials created by the talented Elizabeth Suzann. White, black and tan color scheme photos in minimal high style. Elizabeth’s photos take you to the most peaceful of places. Each photo is curated to perfection, just like her stunning collections.
6. Pennyweight : Elise Joseph knows style, marketing and branding. “Curate” seems to be her middle name. She has an incredible knack to edit and know how much is just enough. A plethora of ideas and inspiration in fashion and home décor.
7. Chelsea Petaja : Hand-lettering, paper goods and a keen eye for beautiful designs. Chelsea’s Instagram feed is a breath of fresh air. Photos in shades of white with a strong point of view. She and her husband, Tec, are always traveling and every photo has you coveting their lives.
8. Tec Petaja : Tec is an extremely talented photographer, and we are so lucky to have him in our city. From Nashville weddings to exotic islands to the highest of mountains, this feed brings you on a stunning photography journey.
9. Nutrition Stripped : Delicious food and healthy? McKel Hill presents daily photos of beautifully photographed food and teaches you how to make them. A wonderful (and very pretty) guide to living whole and well.
10. Consider the Wldflwrs : Emily is a self-taught photographer, designer and maker of Consider the Wldfwers jewelry. Her feed has a delicate, romantic feel – full of dainty jewelry and floral workshops. Elegant, soft and continually fresh.
This chilly weather has me thinking about my trip to Montreal next month. When I booked this trip, it was mid July. The last thing I wanted to do was shop for parka’s and boots. But now that the temperatures have dropped, all I can think about are those parka’s and boots. I’m daydreaming about all the wonderful things I might wear in this winter wonderland. So many layers, textures, colors and options. And boots! Oh, how I love a good pair of boots.
Here in the south, we rarely get snow. And when we do, it’s usually one day and a few inches. We like to call it snowpocalypse. It’s where everyone loses their damn minds, cries about the low temps and doesn’t leave their home for at least a week. So, I am really excited about going to a city where the snow falls in feet, the people take the cold temps in stride and winter is celebrated with festivals and outdoor activities. And of course, the part where I get to go shopping for new clothes.
Here are a few things I hope to put in my suitcase:
Winter Coats: Rud By Rudsak Belted Puffer Coat & Top Shop Faux Fur Trim Parka
Hats + Scarves: Aleksandra Knit Beanie, Rippled Fans Infinity Scarf, Metallic Fleck Cowl & Mesmerize Knit Earband
Snow Boots: Joan of Artic Wedge, Conquest Carly Boot, Joan of Artic Boot & Tofino Felt Boot