I am so delighted to introduce you to Elizabeth Petrides, the founder of Elizabeth Scarlett, the most divine embroidered bags, bedding and gifts.
What made you want to start Elizabeth Scarlett?
I was always inspired by incredible women-led creative brands such as Anya Hindmarch and Emma Bridgewater and I knew I wanted to make my own unique mark. As a child I had an affinity with nature and a love of all things colourful. I wanted to create pieces that evoked feelings of joy, inspired wanderlust and captured the beauty of the world.
When you were younger what did you want to be?
I was always very artistic and loved picking up a sketchpad or paintbrush from a young age. It took me a while to figure out where this would take me, but studying at Central St Martin’s helped me experiment with all sorts of techniques and find out what suited my designs best.
What has been your favourite Elizabeth Scarlett moment to date?
Working with the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and supporting orphaned elephants felt and still feels like a real ‘pinch me’ moment. It’s a charity I’ve had a huge amount of respect and admiration for so long, and so being able to work with them to help orphaned elephants truly felt like a dream come true. I’m so excited for what the future holds for our partnership, and can’t wait to return to Kenya one day to see their incredible work up close.
What makes Elizabeth Scarlett the best of the best?
I think what makes ES so special is our mission to cultivate joy and protect wildlife. Whether that’s through the products we make, our pledge to donate 2% of annual sales to the Wild or creating colourful content inspired by the beauty of our natural world, we are truly trying to create a community of people who hold the same values as us, and I’m so proud of that.
Who is the favourite person you have worked with?
When working with Sheldrick Wildlife Trust on our Pouch for Purpose I was lucky enough to talk with Angela Sheldrick, who has been running the orphanage since 2001. Angela is such a powerhouse of a woman; she has dedicated her life to protecting wildlife and is also an incredible watercolours artist.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
To keep the heart in all that you do.
Which is your favourite piece from your current collection?
I love our new sage green Brave Bumblebee Everyday Pouch. It’s part of our charity collection for the Bumblebee Conservation Trust – we’re planting 1 hectare of wildflowers across London. I just love the Cotswold green colourway, it feels perfect for summer and very on-trend.
Who is your ultimate business inspiration?
Yvon Chouinard, the founder of Patagonia. I recently read a book all about him and I’m totally in awe of his journey. I love how despite how huge his success has been, he has always kept environmentalism fundamental to the brand.
What are 3 words to describe yourself?
Creative, caring and passionate.
What are 3 words to describe your brand?
Joyful, thoughtful and unique.
What is the secret to success?
Putting one foot in front of the other and connecting with your heart.
What advice would you give to future female generations?
I think it’s so important to manifest the life you want and do something you love every day. All of those other things like money and recognition just fall away when you’re doing something you genuinely enjoy and feel connected to.
What motivates you?
The charities we are able to support through our designs and collections and also the wonderful feedback we receive from our community, it’s so special to connect with like minded souls.
Which 3 people would make up your dream dinner party?
Daphne Sheldrick, Walt Disney, Elizabeth Gilbert
What are you grateful for?
I’m grateful for my beautiful, joyous daughter, my incredible husband and my small but passionate team.
What is one thing everyone should do?
Spend as much time within nature as possible and try to capture moments of stillness - that’s when the magic happens.
What are you reading right now?
I’m reading Inner Engineering: A Yogi’s Guide to Joy by Sadhguru
What is your spirit animal?
An elephant - they are maternal creatures that live within strong communities. They are also diligent and determined, something I strive to be.
What are you most unapologetic for?
Being messy when creative, I think you have to be brave when it comes to designing and accept that not everything will turn out how you imagined. When I’m in the zone my studio can become a bit of a tip, but that’s usually also when my best work happens.
What is the best aspect of having your own business?
Having fun and being able to work with such a creative and passionate team every day.
What is the hardest part of having your own business?
Finding time to work on the future. The here and now is often so full on and so exciting, it can sometimes be tricky to take a moment to look further into the distance.
What is something you’re currently working on?
We’ve just finished shooting our high summer collection of vivid orange and sunflower designs. We were able to take over the most incredible house and grounds for the day to capture loads of beautiful summery images, I can’t wait to share them with our community!
What will Elizabeth Scarlett look like in 10 years time?
Hopefully, it will be celebrating incredible causes, bringing lots of joy to people (and based somewhere basked in sunshine with incredible views - I vote for the South of France!)