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.
Photo Credit: Rough Southern Home
These days it’s hard to find home décor and furniture made in the U.S, let alone in your region. But over the past few years, makers and designers specializing in lighting, furniture and home accessories are popping up all over the South. Not only are they regionally made, they are all handcrafted using the highest quality of materials and the designs are exquisite.
Here are 8 Southern companies that are making waves in the home décor industry:
1. Holler Design: Home furnishings inspired and designed from traditions of the “South” with a modern, clean-line aesthetic. Each piece is locally sourced, designed and handcrafted on the family dairy farm of designer, Matt Alexander, in Tennessee.
Where in the South? Lascassas, TN
Favorite Home Goods? Beam Stool
2. Alabama Chanin: Founder Natalie Chanin, is a former NYC stylist, who left New York to return to her southern roots in Alabama. She now runs a textile manufacturing company, a café, a community center and is world-renowned fashion designer, textile designer and author. And! When she’s not too busy, she’s designing home goods that have the same richness as her textile lines. Decadent and yet, delightfully simple.
Where in the South? Florence, AL
Favorite Home Goods? Grapefruit + Watercress Candle and Facets Stripe Pillow
3. Southern Lights Electric: Vintage-industrial inspired light fixtures handcrafted by designer Adam Gatchel. Adam uses a combination of old and new techniques, as well as materials. His work can be seen in numerous restaurants and hotels across the country, including local establishments Pinewood Social, Barista Parlor, and Rolf & Daughters.
Where in the South? Nashville, TN
Favorite Home Goods? The Sputnik
4. Garza Marfa: Minimal, modern furniture with a subtle southwestern vibe. Designers, Jamey and Constance Garza, moved from LA to the creative Texan town Marfa and began designing contemporary furniture with leather and steel. Their designs are inspired from their surroundings of the high plains desert of the Trans-Pecos.
Where in the South? Marfa, TX
Favorite Home Goods? Saddle Leather Round Chair and Saddle Leather Cot
5. Rough South Home: A collection of handmade and one of a kind modern-rustic furniture, lighting and home accessories made from repurposed industrial finds. He has recently added small batch collections of tables and chairs made from local hardwoods and salvaged metals. Clark Titus is all about giving objects a second chance and designing furnishings that make a strong statement.
Where in the South? Atlanta, GA
Favorite Home Goods? Pullman Chair and Warehouse Light on Rope
6. Ann Ladson: Ann Ladson has been working with her hands for as long as she can remember. As a pastry chef, audio engineer, floral designer and metal worker, Ann has had a fascination of the material exploration of art and science. She designs jewelry, hardware, vessels and utensils – all made by hand with impeccable craftsmanship. Ladson has a beautiful understanding of composition, form and finish.
Where in the South? Charleston, SC
Favorite Home Goods? Brass Finishing Spoon
7. Moran Woodworked: A furniture company that cares about their environmental impact, as much as the design of each piece they create. They are committed to responsible selection of materials and a modern approach to design. Michael James Moran and Celia Gibson are interested in the balance of form and function, and honoring the natural beauty of wood through high quality craftsmanship.
Where in the South? Charleston, SC
Favorite Home Goods? Charred Conical Lamp
8. South of Urban: Modern, sustainable furniture designed by local designers in Atlanta. Most of the materials used are salvaged, reclaimed, and recycled. The rest of the materials are eco-conscious and within close proximity of the city. The furniture collections have a minimal, mid-century aesthetic.
Where in the South? Atlanta, GA
Favorite Home Goods? 1301 Z Lounger
Anita Schmadtke, a talented Nashville based jewelry designer, founder of Anita Schmadtke Designs and a dear friend of mine.
Anita and I go back to my store days at Nest. When you own a store, you get a lot of artisans trying to sell you their wares. And to be completely honest, most of the designs were terrible. Good people, just poorly made products. So by the time Anita had walked through my front door, I was a bit jaded. In fact, I was annoyed before the poor woman opened her mouth. Which is terrible because Anita didn’t even want to come in. Her friends pushed her into the shop (that’s what good friends do, right?) after having lunch next door. Just thinking about that day makes me giggle. Annoyed shop owner and nervous artist, the odds for a sale were not good.
But then she showed me her jewelry…
I almost fell out of my chair with surprise. Beautiful, minimal, well-crafted hammered silver with a unique twist. I had been scouring for this style all year, and no one could pair it down to the level I wanted without feeling flat. I was seeking a modern, sophisticated style that was chic, but not pretentious. Something artists, designers and taste-makers would wear whenever they wanted, with whatever they wanted. This was before minimalism was a big trend in jewelry. Everything was chunky and overly bright. Anita had something new….she was designing modern wearable art.
As you can probably guess, I took everything she had and sold her jewelry immediately. Every day, all day. I could not keep her jewelry in stock. I sold her beautiful wares until I closed my doors. Not only did she stock my shop with lovely jewelry, she became a very good friend. Cheering me on and standing by my side through so many adventures.
That was almost five years ago, and she is still making gorgeous jewelry. Her pieces can be found here in Nashville, as well as local boutiques and museums throughout the US. I can always spot an ASD piece on the street. There is just something so special in the simplicity of her designs. And now she is implementing brass and copper into her pieces, creating a whole new level of goodness.
This Friday & Saturday, you can see Anita Schmadtke’s jewelry at the Holiday Market at Studio Be. She will be featuring new designs, as well as her classic earrings and necklaces. This is a great opportunity to pick up locally made gifts for the holidays.
If you can’t make it this weekend, you can always stop into Art & Invention in East Nashville or Katy’s in Belle Meade. Both stores keep a large stock of Anita’s jewelry. And if you would like to know where ASD jewelry is sold outside of Nashville, you can contact Anita on her Facebook page here.
Whatever you do, make a point to see this jewelry in person. You will not be disappointed!