Elizabeth Cook first crossed our path at The Southern C. many moons ago. Dynamic and outgoing Elizabeth has never met a stranger and we were so impressed by her business mind and passion for design. Since our first meeting this serial entrepreneur and business maven has married, become a mother, and built and sold not one but two businesses! Not to mention her incredible ability to suss out and score at Estate Sales. She is a force to be reckoned with. It goes without saying, but we are thrilled to host Elizabeth as a Guest Curator. Continue reading to learn more about this talented woman and her current favorites from our collection. Elizabeth's responses are so thoughtful and have reminded us what a joy she is to work with. So without further adieu, and with much pleasure, we say...Introducing Guest Curator, Elizabeth Cook!
Chloe Wood - Ceviche
My son’s nursery are similar shades and he has a giant shark painting above his crib. This colorful fish is so happy and would be the perfect addition on his nearby bookshelf.
Sallie Robbins - New Beginnings
Sallie Robbins is from my hometown of Columbus, Georgia and I adore her artwork! I especially love this “new beginnings” piece as it reminds me that everyday is a new day!
Lindsey Porter - Des Fluers Pour Ma Mére I
This pattern looks like something you found find in Cabana Magazine. It is great looking and would also be a terrific wallpaper pattern or envelope liner if Lindsey ever decided to go that route.
Christy King - Six Piece Still Life
This Christy King piece simply makes me happy and I would hang in my kitchen!
Tell us about yourself.
I’m so excited to be here with you! I describe myself as a mom, wife, creative, marketing consultant, and a continual work-in-progress!
I find myself in an interesting, but wonderful season of life: I am at home (back in my hometown) with my two young children (Louisa, 3, and Hayes,1). I sold my second business, Atlanta-based public relations firm Domino Media Group, not too long ago. While pregnant with Hayes, I found myself depleted at the end of every work day and craved a proper maternity break. I had the opportunity to sell and take time to focus on my family for a bit. When my youngest was around six months old, I recognized I was a better version of myself with some sort of creative outlet and went back to work - this time in a much smaller capacity as I continue to navigate what I can and should personally take on in my current season.
I love the design world and was so impressed with the work that Susan Crater + Eliza Harris were doing over at Sister Parish Design. I especially gravitated towards the way they seemed to be reenergizing this iconic, heritage brand, to speak to the “design enthusiast” and were going direct-to-consumer (something not too common in the textile world).
I thought who would I want to work for if for someone else? That day, I sent one cold email e-mail out - to Eliza entitled - “Sister Parish Girl with an Idea”. I shared my background, and my total admiration for the Sister Parish wallpapers and textiles, and provided where I might add value to their team. I started with them a couple of weeks later and have enjoyed working solely with Sister Parish on various marketing projects across the country.
In addition, I have been sharing much more on social these days (you can find me here). I have a passion for thrifted finds as well as brands from a female-founded business. We live in such a content craze culture with the way people interact and consumer purchasing habitats constantly getting heavier in this arena. I am enjoying the connection to others, support of female-founded businesses that I relate to, and talking about the art of a curated home, and it is fulfilling a curiosity to understand more about the influencer marketing space.
What is currently on your nightstand? What are you reading?
Does my phone with my audible app count? I am someone who is constantly on the move or planted at my desk for hours. I enjoy having the backyard noise of a podcast or audible book during the day/evening as I am winding down.
During the work day, I listen primarily to more business-related content or podcasts such as my favorite “How’d She Do That”. I recently downloaded a recommendation (heard from the same podcast) from Molly Fienning behind Red Clay Hot Sauce entitled “Finish Big” - a book about how entrepreneurs gracefully exit their businesses on top! I am fascinated by the buying & selling of businesses and in another life I believe would have been in private equity.
At night, my husband usually falls asleep by 8:30 PM as he is an early riser. I will put in my headphones and listen to a more casual read. Right now, I am listening to “Nora Goes Off Script”. Most of the lifestyle books I listen to or read are recommendations from an Instagram account I follow: Aha Books. If you’re not following them, do it. They are two cute friends who read a ton and rate books by reading & wine glass emojis.
What is your favorite room in your house? Describe it.
My dining room, hands down. I worked with a local decorative artist, Emmie Ruth Wise, who hand-painted a chinoiserie mural in the style of Gracie Studio wallpapers - except I like it better! Since she hand-painted, it feels more original and we were able to make tweaks throughout the process. At one point, I grabbed a blue & white plate that I had scored from Mario Buatta's estate when it went up for auction at STAIR Galleries and she mimicked the unique border of the piece as inspiration. I also spent an incredible amount of time at our local handyware store color-matching Farrow & Ball shades. We ultimately painted the walls Verte De Terre, the trim in Pointing, and the ceiling in Teresa Green (with a ton of added white).
The vast majority of the furnishings in the space are from auctions and estate sales, including the dining table, chairs, sideboard, and mirror. The lamps are hand-me-down Nancy Corzine that was a gift from my grandmother and a chinoiserie mirror anchors that room that was purchased from Danielle Rollins’ old Atlanta home. Even my china, Royal Crown Derby’s “Gold Aves” was nabbed from EBTH during their hay day (circa 2017). If you’re interested, you can learn more about this space on House Beautiful: here.
What is your biggest score online to date?
I was fortunate enough to “win” a bid through Stair Gallery of an old box of Jayne Wrightsman’s leftover fabric originally sourced through Henri Samuel. Jayne (who was so chic that she added the ‘y ‘ to her name) you may remember was a New York fashionista who oozed style and had a magnificent collection of antiques and upholsteries. I sat a price limit for myself ahead of the sale and my bid won a box filled with over 50 yds of Pierre Frey’s “Plumettes” pattern along with corresponding Samuel & Sons trim! I had no idea where I would use it, but I had a new home that was going to need a lot of upholstery down the road and I knew a great deal when I saw it! I’m so glad I took the plunge that day and bid on the fabric. I saved about 85% over what I would have spent at our local design center using my designer’s license. That fabulous fabric now covers our upstairs playroom and always makes me smile!
What is the benefit of buying art through a collective?
You know you are supporting two small business owners with your purchase: the owner of the art collective as well as the artist themselves. Dependent on your location and schedule, an online art gallery is simply much easier to navigate. The accessibility to browse artwork from a vast array of artists (from varying demographics) in one spot online from the comfort of your home in the late hours of the night is hard to beat!
Well & Wonder as an amazing platform as well as cheerleader + supporter for so many female artists around the country! I feel like the site is such a fun outlet for discovery!
When and where do you get the biggest surge of inspiration?
The key to making a house a home? What does a home need more of and less of?
The absolute key ingredient to making any house a home is the people inside it. When it comes to furnishings, I feel pieces whose ages far surpass those of the people who dwell amongst them help as well! My home is a collected, layered, continual work in progress. I relish storied objects with history and personality which I’m sure is why those with a second, third, or even fourth life are always calling my name.
The greatest color combination that ever existed?
Blue and green - the combo gets me every time!
What’s your favorite housewarming gift?
My go-to housewarming gift is Southern Straws! A mother-and-son bakery dedicated to making good, ole’-fashioned cheese straws that put a unique spin on a classic Southern tradition.
Tell us a bit about your corner of the world – where do you live and what do you love about it?
I currently live in my hometown of Columbus, GA., a small city filled with creatives. I’ve been fortunate to be close to family while my children are small and my grandmother is living. Be sure to check out my video series “Cocktails with Gran” on IG. It’s everybody’s favorite!