I've always loved reading interviews of inspiring women who do creative and interesting work. It seems now more than ever there are endless opportunities as to what a business might look like and how one might go about achieving success. Finding trailblazers who are building their businesses off the beaten path of corporate board meetings are in a way, sharing their gifts with those of us who aspire to achieve something meaningful in what we do for a living. In my line of work as an editor and stylist I've come across dozens of just such women, many of whom I consider friends, and I thought it would be great for you to get to know some of them as well.
Laurie Furber is one remarkably talented lady. Her company Elsie Green is a frequent haunt of prop stylists, antique dealers and collectors, as well as designers looking for the perfect item that will stand out from the offerings of the big box stores. She imports containers from around the globe and the selection never ceases to make me want all. the. things! In addition, she believes in environmentally friendly design and giving back to her community through charitable causes close to her heart. I know you will adore her just as much as I do!
Tell us a little about yourself and your background.
I was that child who was always redecorating my mom's house.So it just makes sense that I would make a career for myself in home decor. I spent twelve years working as an executive at Pottery Barn, but always dreamed of having my own shop.So six years ago I left my corporate job and started Elsie Green with my husband.It's a sweet little place where I get to redecorate to my heart's content.
What’s your favorite aspect of your business?
I love how different and creative each day is.
What tools do you use to stay organized?
I make a hand written list every morning of the things I need to accomplish for Elsie Green and personal things I need to accomplish. If I skip that step, I am vastly less productive that day.I also learned the art of the vision board from a dear friend, so I always have a ten year vision board going just to keep me on track toward something bigger.
Any tips on making a house a home?
I think infusing your personality into your house is the best way to make it a home. Forget trend watching.The best homes give the appearance of being decorated over a lifetime with things the homeowner loves.
Home trends you’d like to see embraced or forgotten?
Embraced:The home library.Forgotten: Microsuede upholstery.It performs well, but it looks like car upholstery.
How do you fuel your creativity and stay inspired?
I subscribe to Grace Coddington's theory:everything is a source of inspiration. I watch movies and observe the set and costume design, go to restaurants and soak in the decor, and I never stay in a chain hotel when I travel.I always choose something small that reflects the local culture.And I love Ideat and Milk Design magazines.I always buy all the issues I can find when I'm in France.
What does a typical day look like?
There is no such thing as a typical day at Elsie Green!I might be at a photo shoot, at the flower market collecting props for the store, shopping for vintage treasures in Europe, visiting editors in New York, consulting with a design client, proofing product copy or doing laundry and emptying the dishwasher in the shop. Every day is its own unique work of art.I always make my hand written list though.
Any travel destinations you’ve been dreaming about?
Stockholm, Sweden and Turku, Finland are on my travel bucket list.
Describe your ultimate day off.
ROAD TRIP!I like the idea of driving somewhere I've never been and seeing things I've never seen, then nestling back into my home at the end of the day.
You can find out more about Elsie Green's current inventory, latest sales, and newest finds on their blog. Or follow along their daily adventures on IG! And while we're on the topic of interesting interviews here are a few items of note that caught my eye.
This amazing book featuring over a hundred creative women entrepreneurs. A collection of interviews based on Extraordinary Routines. Daily Rituals - How Artists Work with insights on historical figures.
Photos courtesy of Elsie Green. Family photo by John Dolan Photography