We had the good fortune of connecting with Elizabeth Sutton and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Elizabeth, other than deciding to work for yourself, what else do you think played a pivotal role in your story?
When one of my closest friends, my art assistant, was killed in my car leaving my birthday party 5 years ago, it was the single most impactful moment of my life. I made the decision that I was going to dream HUGE – not big, huge – and that I was no longer going to care what anyone thought of my life and my choices, as long as I was happy.The experience also made me realize that if faced with catastrophic challenges, I am resilient enough to pull through them. I decided to chase fast, learn the perspective I was meant to, and not stop until I achieve my dreams. It is the reason I work so hard and am not scared of the word no. People think I am a workaholic (which I probably am) but that is because I absolutely love what I do and I truly believe God put me on this planet for 2 reasons – to create beautiful designs and to inspire people to not limit themselves in their mind. Life is short. When I leave this planet, I want to know that I achieved and contributed everything I could during my time here, and that those contributions will have lasting ripple effects. That is what I consider legacy.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My art is a reflection of my life – a complete transformation not only of my circumstances, but of who I am as a person. I am most proud of my children, and for the life I am building for myself. I believe my perspective, tenacity, and resilience set me apart from others. Resilience is a muscle that gets trained and built as you go through hardship. For a 32 year old, I’ve been through more hardship than most my age – parental abandonment, sexual assault, severe financial loss, divorce, miscarriage, and tragic deadly accidents. I am proud to have gotten through those hardships, as I invested the time and money into healing and working on myself to create a new, happy, fulfilling chapter. Those experiences have taught me perspective and have made me relatively fearless. Most people are too scared to take a chance. I’m too scared to not take the chance. That, combined with the talent God blessed me with, are my points of differentiation. My faith in God is what gets me through my challenges on the daily. I want the world to know 2 things about me: 1. I am one of the most prolific, creative people of my generation and I want my designs to be in every household around the world; 2. I want to inspire people to be true to who they are and not to limit themselves in the minds. To do acts of esteem in order to build self esteem and to pursue whatever it is that makes them happy. If I can impact the world in those 2 ways, I will be happy with what I achieved in life.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I’d take them to my favorite restaurants – Ishikawa, Bond St, Bar Pitti, Sushi of Gari. I’d take them to Central Park, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Natural History, the Highline, shopping around the city, a Broadway show, the Brooklyn or Bronx Botanical Gardens, or any special exhibitions NYC has going on at the time. Regarding nightlife – I’m fairly clueless and would need to rely on my team to give me those recommendations. I’m a single mom of 2 and I stopped the party scene when I was 18 so I’m a little out of date.
I’d of course take them to my new townhouse which is a beautiful showroom / gallery of my work because it is a super cool experience.
The beauty of NYC is that there are INFINITE things to do here, and all it takes in a little Googling to come up with something amazing.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I can’t just credit one person. It takes a village. On the mentor side, I have a few. My first ever mentor, Bari Erber, owner of Bari Lynn Accessories, has been more helpful to me in business than anyone in my life. She gave me hope when I was hopeless, and offered a helping hand purely out of compassion and kindness. She taught me about manufacturing, and showed me what it meant to be a true powerhouse and boss, a great mother, and a community woman all at the same time. Few people are as capable at life as Bari, and she is a source of inspiration for me – a true role model. Female mentors are important for me – when I find a female entrepreneur that also has a happy personal life and that is kind, I do my best to learn from them and keep them in my energy sphere. These ladies include Jane Glass, Pamela Pekerman, Tobi Rubinstein, Chagit Leviev, Diane Johnston, and Justyna Della Valle. Not only are they strong entrepreneurs, they are clients of my brand, they are women who actually support other women (not just the ones that say they do) and they have become incredible friends. I also owe shoutouts to Jeremy Frenkel, Alex Chompff, Neil Goldstein, Rob Bernstein, Yezzy Mechlowitz, and Andrew Fox. Each one of these individuals has contributed to my entrepreneurial strength – whether they’ve taught me important tools in business, helped me (for free) with legal advice, or given me opportunity – and always with respect and support. On the day to day – I have my team to thank. For taking the infinite ideas in my head and helping create structure and execution, and for being patient with me. Pedro Valerino, my work husband, who has been on my team and stuck by my side for 5 years, through some very hard times. The newest addition to my team – Andy Sheldon – who really believes in my creative genius and who is helping create a strategy roadmap for the future of ESC. And last but definitely not least, my best friends and my family who are there to bear all the weight of my very stressful life when I dump it on them. They are honestly the ones who get me through it, when sometimes I feel like I’m failing and I need a pep talk. And also, to tell me when I’m being a crazy person and I need to chill out.
Other: TikTok: ElizabethSuttonCo
Julian Osorio Peter Koloff