Q&A with Elizabeth Stanhope
Founder & Designer at Elizabeth Stanhope
How would you describe yourself ?
I am a very proud mother of my three girls Olivia, Ruby and Daisy, and excited to become a family of nine when I marry my partner Rob, who has four children, next year. I am obsessed by all things
interiors and love and adore my work. I am a creative person and really enjoy working with people.
A bit more about you...
I did think initially that I would like to be a therapist and went to university to study psychology. Unfortunately, this was only a matter of weeks after losing my Dad in a farming accident and when I arrived at university in Brighton I had a complete change of heart and was lucky enough to switch my course to an art and design degree.
During my first year at university I renovated a three storey former bed and breakfast which six of us lived in at the same time as pretty much gutting it. It was a brilliant experience and one that really helped get me through that first year without Dad.
After uni I went to London and got a job working for a showhouse company. I would spend three weeks a month designing, and sourcing then head off somewhere in the country with two other designers. We’d check into some excellent place that my friend, Paul, had spent hours trawling the internet to find, like a National Trust windmill or lighthouse and we’d have a happy week ‘moving in’ to the showhouses. It was a lot of fun and a great start to my interiors career.
“Some of my best experiences
have been the projects I have
been lucky enough to work on”
After working in London for a few years I settled back in Leicestershire and began working freelance. It was at this time that I began working with my Mum for her business in Rutland. After a year or so Mum
decided to retire at which point, I bought her business and the rest is history.
Who are your greatest influences?
The most influential people in my life have always been the people closest to me, my parents taught me and my brother to aim high and work hard. My team are a daily inspiration to me and my children most definitely my fiercest critics!
The people whose children I looked after when I nannied before going to university certainly influenced my future decision making. These were strong successful ladies; a film producer, a master baker and a lingerie designer who all worked hard to juggle family life and a successful career. I took a lot from the experiences I had with them.
What have been some of your best experiences at work?
Some of my best experiences have been the projects I have been lucky enough to work on; a hotel in Tuscany, the Headmaster’s house at Eton College, a bowling alley in the grounds of a country house, a beautiful Norfolk Mill and store and product design for NPEAL cashmere. All completely different and that really sums up part of the excitement doing what we do, you can never be sure of who’s going to step into your world next.
Traditional vs contemporary style?
I am not remotely fixed on a style; I am passionate about good design whether it be contemporary or traditional. What would you consider your greatest achievement? Raising three of the most excellent human beings.
What would your super-power be?
The power to create more time please.