As part of our brand, we like to recognize a wide range of influential and inspiring female entrepreneurs, designers and creators. For this profile, we interviewed Elizabeth Rees, the founder and Chasing Paper.
Chasing Paper is a thoughtfully-designed, high-quality removable wallpaper company. As the third generation in her family’s printing company, Elizabeth says that ink has always been in her blood. That said, she felt it was very important for her to carve out her own space and create something that she is not only passionate about, but could also call her own.
"I drew from my own experience. I have moved a lot in the past 10 years and each time I would get the keys to a new place I would always be excited to decorate and make the space my own. Wallpaper is an extraordinary way to transform an environment, but who wants that commitment? Not me, that’s for sure."
From the basic to bespoke print, it was important to for Elizabeth to create a product that was accessible and easy. "I believe that design should be for everyone."
Who in your industry do you admire - who has influenced you?
I love Scandinavian design + love Marimekko, they are truly a print heritage company. Their prints are so bold + iconic and work in so many different spaces. They also have such vast archives that still feel relevant + interesting. Their ability to create such natural brand extensions is something I watch and try to learn from as that is how I want to grow Chasing Paper.
Where do you go/what do you do in order to do your most creative work?
It varies, but one thing I have learned to do is take advantage + ride the creative wave when it strikes. This means, it's easy to feel pulled to answer emails or finish project decks or any of the other daily tasks I have to do, but when I get into a creative rhythm I really try to honor it, not be distracted. I am a member at The Whitney and love to listen to music and just wonder around. Travel is also a time when I can really unplug and be inspired. I love when my cell phone doesn't work in a foreign country and the feeling of being unreachable, it's been a big help to recharge my creativity.
If you could recommend one book or documentary, what would it be?
I am a big reader + am also obsessed with documentaries! I just finished "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up" by Marie Kondo and absolutely loved it. The idea of, "does this bring me joy," is my new mantra. I am making a conscious decision to simplify and complicate my life so almost every page resonated with me and gave me lots of practical advice in how to achieve that. My favorite book of all time is The Alchemist, I reread it every year and find new meaning and fall in love with its message all over again.
What trends in your industry excite you the most?
I love that botanical prints are in, anything with leaves and greenery do very well for us and I think that invokes happiness in a space. I am also loving the idea that neutrals for the home are changing. Blue + grey have been very solidly the norm for the past few years but now we are seeing more blushes and warm neutrals taking a bit more of the spotlight. Personally, I think that this is an exciting change as warmer colors make for such beautiful wallpaper!
What are your essentials for a productive day?
Macbook Air, iphone, coffee (iced coffee in summer, cappuccino in winter), and MUSIC! Good tunes makes my day go so much faster and helps me stay motivated + focused.
What was the best piece of advice you have been given?
That’s a tough one to answer, because there has been a lot of great advice along the way, but I think it goes back to the decision to start. I knew there was something here, a business to be built, an idea that I knew people would not only understand, but love. The advice was just that, to trust my gut. Lots of people have ideas, not as many put pen to paper (or ink to paper in my case), so believing in what you set out to do is extremely important. I have carried that with me because decisions only get bigger. That is not to say that I don’t make mistakes or listen to other smart people around me. It just means that Chasing Paper started with me and my instincts are the ones I ultimately need to follow.
What is one product or service under $200 that you’ve found in the past year that has changed your life?
I am absolutely obsessed with Glossier products. I am a very low maintenance beauty girl. I wear very little make up because going into Sephora is completely overwhelming for me. Glossier makes products that are light + easy on the skin and makes me look like me, but just a little more polished + dewy!
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