As one half of Australian modern-bohemian fashion brand, Spell Designs, Elizabeth Briedis is a creative inspiration. Based in idyllic Byron Bay, Spell Designs has expanded from humble beginnings to establishing somewhat of a cult-following – their gypsy prints, vintage-inspired lace and embroidered designs now recognised the world over.
Capturing the essence of the female spirit, the feminine designs speak of nostalgia, beauty and freedom…
Spell Designs is renowned for its bohemian and feminine clothing. How do you hope women feel when they are wearing your designs?
We hope they feel illuminated. The intention behind our collections is to empower a woman to shine, rather than blend in or hide behind anything.
You’ve described living in Byron Bay as being “surrounded by healthy and creative like-minded souls”. Do you believe that living a healthy lifestyle can impact your success?
I think that there are so many ways to view and measure success, but I believe that nurturing all aspects of yourself leads to greater success in all aspects of your life. In a professional sense, the clearer your mind and the more energised you are each day, the more you’re able to achieve. It’s so wonderful to be surrounded by a team who value healthy living – it permeates through every part of our business.
You have such a large online tribe, how do you think this has shaped the evolution of your brand?
Our online community are loyal, beautiful and communicative – they ask lots of questions and are really passionate. Of course, with that kind of passion comes expectations – our customers expect a lot of us and we really try to live up to those expectations. We have an open, honest and often vulnerable approach to communicating with our Spell community. As we’ve matured as a brand and embarked on a sustainability journey, this level of transparency has been very valuable.
In a number of interviews you have mentioned the difficulties of being a working mum. What advice do you have for new working mums?
It is super hard. I used to cry at work because I felt so sad for leaving my babies at home and then frustrated at home because I had heaps of work to do. But as they grow up a natural balance forms and all of a sudden it just falls into place. My advice is – go easy on yourself and trust that the balance will come naturally. I have friends who are full-time mums and they’re all struggling trying to find time to balance their mum life with something creative for themselves. So I think it’s going to be a juggle whatever the dynamic. Once, in those super difficult moments, my mum told me, “Don’t worry, no one ever died from tiredness” – and at the time it really comforted me!
What does inner beauty mean to you?
I always loved that illustration in Roald Dahl’s, The Twits, that showed a lady who thought ugly thoughts, grew up to be an ugly old witch… but that if you have good thoughts, no matter what you look like you can never be ugly. To me, that illustrated what inner beauty is, having positive thoughts and intentions.
Can you give us an example of a time you’ve listened to your gut instinct?
It happens all the time. I remember in our first few years of business, my sister and I walked around the industrial estate where our offices are and ‘felt’ into which office would be best for us. We found our dream office and walked in and asked if we could have the space. They were moving out in a month so we moved straight in. Another time I decided we needed to hire our first employee so I started drafting a facebook ad and then a girl walked in off the street and asked for a job – she worked with us for years. We’ve always just let our gut guide us and even when we get it wrong, we learn so much it feels like it was right!
What do you do to get your daily GLOW on?
Snuggle my kids. Drink as much water as is humanly possible. (And does a coffee glow count?)
If only the… days were longer.
I’d rather be… here… than anywhere else.
Sometimes when I wake up… I can’t wait for my kids to jump into bed with me.
What does inner beauty mean to you? Let us know by joining the conversation @TheBeautyChef.