I became a textile designer inadvertently, thinking it was fashion that I loved. When I went to work in the fashion world it was there that I discovered textile design.
And a whole new world of creative possibilities opened up to me.
Fabric love began early in childhood, when I started making clothes for my dolls from my mom’s sewing scraps. Thrilled when I was old enough to use the sewing machine, my mom then taught me to sew my own clothes using commercial patterns. Countless hours were spent planning garments, sourcing materials and sewing – a pleasure that I still enjoy. One of the greatest delights for me in sewing was getting to go to the fabric store, where I could easily spend hours and the creative possibilities felt unlimited. It didn't occur to me then that someone had actually designed the fabrics.
I also loved drawing as a kid and a new box of crayons was one of my favorite things in the world. This love of drawing and of making things was why I studied design in college. Finding a career in textile design was a natural way to combine these passions, and for me it happened right when the industry was moving towards digital design. As I was learning and exploring the new digital technology, I was also drawn back to handwork, studying couture draping and French dressmaking while working in the industry as a textile designer.
Today in my work I continue to work back and forth between handmade and digital, enjoying both processes alone or in combination, whether I’m creating new print designs, making sewn projects or developing work with a client.
Upon graduation from college with a degree in Architecture, second thoughts about what sort of design career she really wanted prompted Elizabeth to move to New York City, where she landed a job in the fashion industry as a design assistant at J.Crew within a few weeks. This first job is where she subsequently discovered textile design. With encouragement from her boss, she soon transitioned from apparel designer to textile designer, finally feeling at home as this new role connected creating art, being a professional designer and her lifelong love of fabrics, handcrafts, sewing and fashion.
Several years were spent working as a textile designer full-time for well-known companies like J. Crew and Tommy Hilfiger. Then she decided to pursue a freelance career, creating successful print, woven and knit designs in most every product category, from ready-to-wear to sportswear, socks to sleepwear and bedding, for those same companies and others such as Aerie, Carole Hochman, Nautica, Hanes and Donna Karan Hosiery. She has also worked as a freelance software trainer, teaching other designers to use textile design software in their work. Currently she works as a freelance textile designer, design consultant and adjunct instructor in the Fashion Design program at SUNY Ulster.
Elizabeth received her Bachelors of Architecture from Virginia Tech. She completed courses in Apparel Construction and Textile Design at both Parsons and the School of Visual Arts in NYC. She also studied draping, couture dressmaking and tailoring, completing a 2-year-certificate program at the Maison Sapho School of French Dressmaking in NYC. She was born and raised in Virginia, with a few years spent in Rhode Island and Gaeta, Italy, and then over a decade in New York city. She now spends her time designing, teaching, sewing and knitting in New York state's beautiful Hudson River Valley where she resides with her husband, son and very loud but sweet beagle.