A few words come to mind when we think of Taylor Elliott Designs- bright, cheerful and motivational! Taylor's "Dream Big, Darling" pencils were featured in our February box and she took time to chat with us about how her business got started, important life lessons and more.
Tell us a little about your business and how you got started.
I created Taylor Elliott Designs in 2013 after graduating from the University of Oklahoma. I was working in the corporate world at a very non creative job and wanted a creative outlet on the side. I started out selling home décor prints on Etsy and slowly evolved into desk accessories such as stamps, pens, pencils and notepads. We still carry some of our best selling prints but we have definitely moved into a desk accessories and small gift company.
We love the quotes and phrases on your products. What inspires your designs?
I love a good motivational saying. Most of the sayings on my products come from conversations I have with my friends and family. After the conversation is over, I think to myself, “hey that would be cute on a product!” I truly believe that a positive reminder can turn your day around.
What is the best lesson you have learned whether in business or in your personal life.
Comparison truly is the thief of joy – Owning a small business has taught me a lot about not comparing my business to those that have been in business much longer. There is no better way to crush your creativity and spirits than comparing yourself to someone else.
When you work hard and you are kind amazing things will happen—This is so true. Hard work pays off but I’ve seen a lot of small business owners that are not kind and at the end of the day, no one wants to work with or do a favor for someone who isn’t nice. So, being able to do both is really important.
Family/work balance is key. I love my business and I could work many, many hours per week on it because I love it that much. But, my business would not mean near as much to me if I didn’t get to share the excitement and successes with my husband. That means I turn off my computer and email every evening around 5:30pm so we can cook dinner together, talk about our work day and just enjoy each others company. This balance is very important to me and I believe it is an ingredient to the success of relationships and growing a business.
What does your ideal Saturday look like?
My ideal Saturday is slow and relaxing. My husband and I love to enjoy a cup of coffee (sometimes mimosas!) while we cook breakfast and get our grocery list together. We love to plan our weekly meals so going to the store on Saturdays is key to being prepared for the week ahead. We also love watching Netflix marathons, going on walks with our two Labradors and working on small projects around our house.
One place everyone must visit in his or her lifetime.
This is a bit cliché but you’ve got to visit Italy. It’s just as perfect as people say it is. And you have to visit all the tourist places: Rome, Florence, Venice, Tuscany.
The pasta, wine, art, shopping, history and gelato are some of my favorite things in Italy!