Saturday, April 30, 2011

Pillows + books

I imagine lawyers wake up some mornings with giant law books in their beds and they can’t remember why or how that happened. Kind of like the morning-after-shame that they spent all Friday night with their copyright law books. It’s embarrassing. 

I totally know the feeling about waking up to volumes of text in my bed. It may be a bit too early in the relationship to be talking about these things, but let's see…A 650-page whopper on how to build a business. A Zagat's guide to shopping. A costing for profit book. (Which is one of my favs…there are these cartoon drawings which actually make math fun.) And I think honestly, I've rolled over a few pencils in there too.

But so many nights, like a lawyer, or a new mom, or just about anyone who needs 48 hours in one day, I find myself just way too exhausted. It’s a lot of work, this nurturing with love thing. But it's totally worth it in the end….without risk, how could there be any beauty in the reward? 

xo, eg

p.s. Let’s keep this bit about my bed a secret…

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Back to the barter system

I think as an entrepreneur, you have to be a pragmatist. And you have to realize that you are dipping so far into the favor bank, that you'll be indebted to it for quite some time. 

So I have a simple plea. Let's go back to the barter system! Coffee for conversation? A nice dinner for helping me stuff envelopes? Maybe I ought to get a intern….

xo, eg

Monday, April 25, 2011

Rhizome Benefit at the New Museum

As you might have already guessed….Ella g can never pass up a good party! And even better when it's benefiting the arts, at one of the best institutions in downtown Manhattan. 

Rhizome, an incredible organization that dedicates itself to supporting emerging art and artists in the digital and technological world, threw a benefit party in honor of founder Mark Tribe. The rooftop at the New Museum was gorgeous on a beautiful spring night, as we listened to music from the Ducktails.

Check our good friend Ashley Suarez, fab footwear designer, toting around the Lucy bag…

xo, eg

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Coffee + Colors

There’s nothing better than a cup of coffee-cart coffee, a long walk in the city, and yards and yards of fabric.

Saturday morning, and it was fabric finding time! I make and design leather handbags, and the little bit of fabric we use is really just in the microfiber linings, and in our super-clever mesh care bags.

But seeing new colors, materials, and prints is more about finding new ideas and inspirations that we can translate into our leathers and our designs. And sometimes it's great to just be inspired and to look and see and touch. 

I’m not sure if I know any designers who don’t have a secret passion to create something other than what it is they get paid to do. I know belt designers who create their own paper goods, an old friend with an amazing knit clothing line who also designed denim by day. Another friend is an incredible footwear designer just starting out, but I swear, she could make anything she wanted by hand. 

So what was it that brought me to the fabric shop? Well….maybe you’ll see the next time you spot Ella g…..

xo, eg

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Thank god for unlimited texting

Just the other day, I realized that it’s the best idea to have your family and close friends working with you on your new projects. It’s amazing how much you can get done by simply texting the question, "What do I do next?” 

I am so blessed to have the best and most knowledgable people around me, but as my Dad said years ago, this is the time you start collecting people you not only love and trust, but start collecting the people who know more than you do. And luckily for me, that’s who I’ve always gravitated towards. 

It's also interesting to me how savvy with telecommuting and technology we’ve all become. I just had the longest conversation with my sister in regards to the biz, and all via text message! I guess it shouldn’t surprise me, as in Manhattan most relationships all evolve over texting. Hardly anyone picks up the phone anymore.

I’m such a visual person that I need to see something written before I understand it completely. But text conferencing? It’s actually pretty cool….maybe when we grow big, we’ll all just have iphones and message each other to get things done. And what will our corporate culture be like? Why will people want to work with us? To be continued….

xo, eg

Saturday, April 16, 2011

SOFA Expo and the New Collectors/Young Designers Night at the Park Armory

We had a brilliant evening at the Park Armory where good friend Calina Reid, Children's Director at Burberry, took our Mini Lucy out for a test drive.She completely rocked our Mini Lucy in black. She loved toting around the easy-to-wear bag (and loved the compliments too).
The SOFA event was fabulous, and no it wasn’t about sofas and furniture, but instead it’s a contemporary art show at the Armory where international galleries and designers get together and display their work. Last night was the New Collectors/Young Designers Cocktail Party, sponsored by Absolut Vodka, where artists, curators, designers, collectors, and the usual art crowd get together to mingle and browse (or shop!). This show was incredibly inspiring, with everything from gorgeous glass pieces to large scale paintings and huge steel sculptures. The art got me thinking about all the fantastic new bags I want to design. But first things first….selling our first collection!

xo, ella g

Friday, April 15, 2011

Some things are forever

Balancing a full time job, the passion to create my dream, and a personal life… It’s a challenge. Someone once told me to think of my life like the radar system that airline pilots use. As long as everything was in the same central area, you were good. It would fall into place in the way it needed to be. You would create balance.

One thing I’ve learned about myself as a leader is that I’m not much of a control freak. I want to make sure that everything works and that everything works in the way that I want and need it to. But as for the details, that’s why I ask the people I love for help.  I’ve seen far too many businesses fail because there’s a lack of trust.

Some things are for forever. The way you feel about certain people, the way your work makes you feel when you’ve succeeded, and the way you know you just have to make your business work, because your happiness depends on it. These things don’t go away. They are you.

I like to remember that idea at times when I can’t seem to figure out how to go forward….but really? Everything isn’t just for "right now." And it’s taken 30 years for me to see that. Most things stay with us for a lifetime. And thank god, or whomever you believe in, for that. We’re all better people for the things that we can’t just simply kick out of our systems.

The world of Ella g is just starting…..if you want to come along for the ride, it’d be fabulous to have company. If you’d rather sit this one out, well, we'll miss you. Because I'm pretty sure Ella g is a forever thing.

xo, ella g

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

We're official!

Just when I thought my brain couldn’t absorb more information or details, I received a large manila envelope from the Department of Trademark Registration. It felt super-thin, and I was hoping it wasn’t a rejection letter, or a letter requesting payment (these are coming more and more as this business grows), but instead….it was my Official Certificate of Trademark Registration! 

Congratulations Ella g! We are now an official brand! I am so excited and so pleased. After months and months of papers, filing, letters, and trying to understand legal documents, we finally made it….now let’s get to selling these bags! 

Now I just have to make sure I can use the logo without the weird gray square around it. Wasn’t someone supposed to get me a trademark lawyer? And where’s my coffee? How come I’m the only one photocopying around here?

xo, ella g

Monday, April 11, 2011

Spring Gala and socializing with Manhattan's elite

The New Museum’s Annual Spring Gala event was so fab! It’s always fun to tote new Ella g products to these events, wear gorgeous dresses, dance to funky bands, and meet new friends. And we happened to leave a few of our new Ella g postcards lying around on tables next to the latest edition of Interview Magazine, who helped to sponsor the event.

Ella g staff got to celebrate spring with some fun celebs, including Charlotte Ronson, Rose McGowan, and Jeff Koons. Check out Patrick McMullan’s photos of the party. He’s one of my fav photographers, because his team always happens to be at the parties and events we're at, and sometimes I’m lucky enough to be snapped in a shot—even if it's only my foot!

A great new band, Hess is More, played a live set for us, and they were so fun and fresh that they had all the art-heads on the dance floor before long. Wonderful evening! 

xo, ella g

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

New Museum Spring Gala

Heading out to the New Museum Spring Gala party tonight. I'm really excited to promote the new line! Hoping to get more pictures, publicity and buzz. And I have to admit, attending a really great Manhattan party is never a bad thing either.

xo, ella g

Friday, April 1, 2011

April Fools

Headed to Dallas tomorrow to visit some friends, and hopefully do some research on the market down there. There’s a lot of money in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, so for a small start up, there’s quite a bit of market potential. Looking forward to checking it out!

xo, ella g