Have you ever met a woman who you are instantly inspired by and totally drawn to? Elizabeth Heard White, an amazing southern trend setter and design influencer, is totally that girl. Her energy is insane – in this amazing calm, chic and upbeat way. She also happens to be one of the nicest, and most talented, people I’ve met in Atlanta.
Recently, Elizabeth launched a beautiful hair accessories online and wholesale business, Elizabeth Heard. It has taken off like a rocket and some of the biggest names in design have taken notice. I mean, if Martha Stewart is a fan I think it’s safe to say she’s on to something – and not just because she has the cutest tagline EVER (flair for the hair.)
True story – I have the rhino gold barrette from her party animal collection – and I accidentally packed it away during our bathroom remodel. I had a minor meltdown when I realized I’m going to be separated from it for a month. My husband suggested I get another, which is the most inconsiderate thing I’ve ever heard. I can’t just REPLACE it – she’s (yes, it’s a girl rhino) not dead – and I have a relationship with that rhino. I would never, ever do something like that. See you in a couple weeks, my gold plated friend with a 50mm Barrette Back.
Let’s learn more about Elizabeth, shall we? Also, totally check out her A Girl With Flair section on her website – super fun profiles of other inspiring women.
Why did you start Elizabeth Heard?
I have an unabashed obsession and am a forever fan of hair barrettes, and have since childhood. From swimming to sleeping, you would rarely find me without one. My love for barrettes stayed in tact but I noticed a niche in the market for quality and unique hair accessories. I took weekend courses at Parsons School of Design while working and living in NYC post graduation from SMU in Dallas, TX where I honed my skills for crafting custom hair wear. I wanted to start a line years ago but between work and life—I never seemed to find the time. Upon moving to Atlanta in Fall 2014, I had some more time on my hands and felt like there was really “no time like the present” or else it was going to be a forever daydream.
What were you doing before you started your company?
I worked in PR prior to launching Elizabeth Heard and have continued on a freelance basis throughout. My day job has helped fund my barrette business and vice versa. Most recently, I created a small site for my PR services, www.dominomediagroup.com. My barrettes now live under the Domino umbrella and LLC.
How does your personal style impact the hair accessories you design?
Tons. I’d like to think of my personal style as “polished with pop”. I love taking on traditional pieces and jazzing them up with something unexpected and that’s a lot of what we do with the barrettes. The barrette itself is polished and by adding elements such as one-of-a-kind slices of agate to the hair or cork to bamboo—it adds some spunk. Playing on the brand’s overall mission of celebrating a well-lived life full of flair through a rich and fun product array.
Who are your biggest influences?
My mom and grandmother (both ooze lots of flair of their own) but really, I just admire strong happy women who beat to their own drums. I am constantly amazed by the creative strength and community in Atlanta. I really look up to women like artist Sally King Benedict, Rosa Thunder of Factory Girls, Riley of Gunner & Lux (talk about a girl boss!), and Tova Gelford of Lookbook Atlanta.
Elizabeth Heard has appeared on Good Morning America, Glamour.com and MarthaStewart.com to name a few amazing places – where is your dream placement?
Peachtree Roadies, of course. 🙂 Outside of Peachtree Roadies, I don’t think I really have a dream placement but more dream collaborations and collections that would lead to larger press placements. I’m very grateful for all the support and love the barrettes have received thus far.
What obstacles did you face and how did you overcome them?
I feel like just about everyone was confused when I started making barrettes. They are a niche product and when I began working with vendors for particular pieces to assemble with my barrettes—I think they would humor me by making a few and then as the line grew, prices would rise and I’ve learned a lot about the important of putting things in writing.
I am also just a believer is in “saying yes and figuring it out after”. When Good Morning America confirmed us for their segment, I had around 400 barrettes to my name and needed closer to 4,000 for initial deliveries. I rented an apartment, hired two girls, my sister flew home, and together we put together + sent out every single order. My cell phone number was the customer service line and continues to be post GMA for inquiries. Anything is possible, it’s just believing that they are and understanding that customer service is king have been my two biggest takeaways from the experience.
Tell us what outfit you feel most fabulous in
I have a pair of blue tassel earrings that I always feel fun and semi-wild in, flats, and a barrette to pull back my locks.
Where is your favorite place to shop in Atlanta?
I love the hunt for a good deal so Scott’s Antique Market is my absolute favorite place to shop. I also love W.Port (Emily is the cutest shop owner in town), Huff Harrington, Peridot, and Made Again-a shop that supports local emerging designers.
What design trends are you most looking forward to this year?
I am big chinoiserie fan so i’m really excited about our new bamboo barrettes.