Elizabeth Sutton is a millennial “mom-preneur” and visual artist who has taken the nouveau arts scene by storm. In 2016, Elizabeth was selected to participate in the NYDesigns incubator program, exhibited at both the Affordable Art Fair & Hamptons Designer Showhouse, and was featured by Bravo’s “Million Dollar Listing,” as well as The New York Post. In early 2017, Elizabeth donated her work to the nationally-recognized 92nd Street Y’s Spring Fundraiser as well as Lenox Health Greenwich Village and participated in both the 2017 Architectural Digest Design Show and New York Design Center’s “What’s New What’s Next.” In October 2017, Sutton hosted a fundraising event for ArtStart, which the Executive Co-Director described as “by far the most successful event” in her time with the organization. Sutton most recently launched a capsule collection with Bari Lynn Accessories for Bergdorf Goodman, was subsequently picked up by Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus and Harrod’s. In Fall 2018, Sutton will partner with Joe & The Juice in locations across New York City.
What do you consider your top 3 core values and how do they affect how you lead your business?
Honesty - My openness and honesty permeates throughout my business's identity and model. Anyone who knows me knows I am a straight shooter, direct and to the point. I try to normalize taboo subjects through my social media, but more so, I have never once been dishonest in a work environment. I don't wheel and deal and I don't lie to get what I want. I pay all my bills and my motto is collaboration in place of competition. I think it has allowed me to build a very genuine brand with loyal supporters.
Hard Work - You can be the smartest and most talented person in the world, but if you don't work hard, you won't get anywhere. People tell me I'm going to be on top because of my talent but that's not true. There are many talented artists out there. I'm going to be successful because I work 120 hours a week and I don't get discouraged when a situation doesn't go the way I hoped. I say to myself - that opportunity wasn't meant to be and it is leaving the door open for the right opportunity. I'm fully sleep deprived but I'm busting a$$ now so that I can play later. It's crunch time. I want a good life.
Kindness - Be kind. It's very simple. In life and in business. Smile at a stranger. Remember someone's name. Nothing can replace the value of kindness and good intentions. When I get screwed in business, I don't go humiliating people on my public forum. I say to myself, 'karma's a bitch' and I leave it to God. I don't retaliate. I try and do as many good deeds through my work as possible - through volunteering to help underprivileged or sick children via art therapy, or through donating to charitable organizations. God sees all and I pray it will all come back to me in the end. In life, you get what you give. Just be nice.
Can you share a time you either thought you failed, or actually did fail? How did you react and move past it, and what impact did it have on business decisions?
Once upon a time, in December 2017, my team was in a tragic and fatal car accident. My two art assistants and dear friends were driving my car, having left my birthday party, when they were struck by another vehicle. My 28 year old assistant, Juan, was killed. It was earth-shattering. Although I knew it was not my fault, at the time, I felt responsible. I felt like had I spoken to them for 1 more minute before they left, or had I changed anything about that night, or had I not asked them to come down to Miami, it wouldn't have happened. The accident brought my life and business tumbling down all at once. It took quite some time and a lot of therapy to let go of the thought that I could have somehow controlled the situation. And it took all my power to keep my life and my business up and running. Everything is God's plan and although the situation was and still is devastating, it has made me unbreakable for the future.
What types of projects do you have coming up that we can look forward to seeing in the future?
I just released my first ever tile collection with a new, major collaboration with Tilebar - a 20,000 square foot tile showroom in Chelsea. We released 3 luxurious waterjet marble collections that already won Best in Show Wall Coverings and Best in Show Floor coverings at the Architectural Digest Design Show. It is the hottest tile you've ever seen and I hope to be working with esteemed publication, Luxe Magazine, to showcase my tile which would be a dream come true. Additionally, I'll be launching a full collection of leather fashion accessories this Fall that is going to shake up the world of fashion. This summer, I will finally be launching my blog with loads of new content categories, including cooking and an entrepreneurship series. My first public art recently got installed on Wall Street, on a garage door at new high end kosher steakhouse, Wall Street Grill. And extremely exciting - I just completed painting an 8,000 square foot pool deck on Roosevelt Island that is literally visible from space. The project, MP Pool Party, now in its 5th year, is an art installation curated by luxury architecture and design firms Pliskin Architecture and K&Co for the Manhattan Park Pool Club, and this year I was chosen to complete the project. The installation got sponsored by Benjamin Moore which was particularly exciting for me, as I've been working with the brand's products since I first began painting. And now that my pool deck is complete - I'm on to my next endeavor - a pool table. In collaboration with esteemed billiards brand, Blatt Billiards, I will be painting and creating a custom pool table that will be my most prized hand painted artistic creation yet. A number of other fun collaborations in the works including some home decor products, but let me sign the contracts first before I announce. Don't want to jinx!