What is your name, company name and product you sell?
I’m Elizabeth Geisler designer of the clothing line Cocoon by Elizabeth Geisler
Where did you grow up? Why do you choose to call Minnesota home?
I grew up all over the place… I was born in Edina, and moved to Kansas, Tennessee, Thailand, and then back to Minny when I was 8… So I’m mostly a Minnesota girl. I love it here and after 6 years out east studying and working in New York City I moved home to be with my family… and breathe fresh air!
What prompted you to start your own business?
Well this was a long journey but the actual formation of the company/line came about 2 years ago while I was working another fashion job and starting to take quite a few custom orders on the side… so at first it was more out of necessity to be able to order fabrics and track that income, and then about a year and half ago I moved back to Minneapolis without a job and I just felt like I could really make a real go at this. The timing was right, I am young with very little responsibility other than the basics like feeding myself … so I figured it was the best time to make this dream happen.
Tell us a little about your design process.
To be honest it really changes for me every time. Its a 3 part process and it can kind of go a few different ways but all 3 have to occur to make design work.
For me, fabric is the driving force behind what makes Cocoon by Elizabeth Geisler work. The textures, the soft feel, the color, it’s the lynch pin. So I think finding the fabrics is key to the design, if I can’t find the perfect fabric, the pieces don’t work.
I do quite a bit of sketching, but it’s the hardest thing to get going on.. I typically look at what’s going on in culture/fashion/music around the world. I find trends, look at where things seem to be moving… and ultimately choose an era and/or theme to work from. I like to have already refined my vision before I begin, that way, when I choose which sketches to move forward with they already relate and work together. Although, if I cannot come up with a direction, sometimes it can come to me the more I draw. I start to catch onto a theme by liking one sketch in particular… but that, for me, always seems to take a lot longer!
Beyond sketching I think the most important way in which a collection takes shape is through pattern making and original sample fittings. I feel that you can really only know how the collection will come together is once you see these pieces come to life on a body. I constantly ask myself “How do I make it more flattering and more comfortable?” The key to great clothing is a great fit so for me this step is absolutely crucial.
When are you the most inspired? What inspires you?
I am so inspired by the past, that sense of refinement and class that was so imperative to dressing. I really like to draw inspiration from that time as I work on new pieces. I work to find a way to make that mentality into a modern concept. Honestly I can’t say when any of this happens, because for me it’s not a switch, it just hits me.
What was your inspiration for Spring 2014 ?
Geometric patterns and shapes. I went way more modern and brighter than in past seasons, but I still have basic styles and classic lines.
Where do you hope to see Cocoon by Elizabeth Geisler in 5 years?
I’m working to expand our distribution across the U.S. now, so I hope that in 5 years I will have international clients who are wardrobing themselves in Cocoon!
TV: The Newsroom
Recently-purchased Music: Bon Jovi, for my Bon Jovi costume for Halloween
Favorite date night or GNO: I’d rather have girls night in, with a couple bottles of wine watching Dirty Dancing(also my favorite movie)
Sunday activity: Watching the Green Bay Packer football game and eating dip and wings.
Name 3 things that you absolutely must have in your workplace.
COFFEE, Aeron ergonomic chair (I’ve got a bad back!), and Music (I’m not afraid to admit that I am rocking out to One Direction right now).
Outside of your business as Showroom, do you have any other hobbies?
I love to snowboard, I am heading out west for 10 days of it, I am chomping at the bit right now just thinking about it.
Whats your favorite way to relax and “get away”?
Anytime I can spend a weekend my jammies cooking and eating with my family, that is how I wind down. Our mountain home in Big Sky Montana is the perfect getaway because you can just sit by the fire with friends and family and relax; in this crazy life, having nowhere to go can be the most fabulous thing.