I’m Elizabeth Rees from ElizaEliza and I’m a #WORLDCHANGER
This week on the #WORLDCHANGERS series, we speak to Elizabeth Rees founder and designer of ElizaEliza that creates the perfect zip purse to #carryyourcause.
Location: Cardiff, Wales
Current job: Full-time Mum, Founder of Eliza Eliza
One word that best describes how you work: Analytically
Current mobile device: iPhone XS Max
Favourite website: BBC News
First of all, tell us a little about your background and how you got to where you are today.
Before becoming a mother, I taught as a Secondary Geography Teacher and never really went back. Taking a step back to have children, made me realise that teaching wasn’t something I felt truly passionate about. Whilst I was on maternity leave, I rediscovered my love of sewing. I made a zipped pouch to organise my changing bag better and my family and friends started asking me to make these pouches for them too. Before long I was selling via Etsy and not long after, set up my website. I’ve been fortunate enough to have had so much support along the way, featured by magazines such as Stylist and In the Moment magazines as well as being shared by influencers such as Gillian Anderson. All this has helped me get to spread my message and mission of building awareness all over the world, for the causes we care for.
How can you define Eliza Eliza ethical/sustainable?
In my mind, every business should without question be ethical/sustainable. Unfortunately so many are not. The choices of who makes the materials and products we use and what they are made of should not, in my opinion, be at the detriment of someone else’s health, wellbeing or wealth. I have worked hard over the years since starting Eliza Eliza to educate, research and carefully source the materials I use. Getting to know my suppliers and not being afraid to ask questions. For example, I spent quite a bit of time, particularly early on in my business, speaking to the hemp producers I use. They are undoubtedly passionate about what they do and taught me so much about hemp’s eco-friendly advantages compared with other textile choices. Environmentally friendly and non-exploitative textile production is central to their business model, these are the businesses I want to work with now and in the future.
What motivates you?
My children motivate me. I want them to grow up understanding the importance of kindness, looking after each other and that giving back can be just as rewarding as receiving. I hope that my business shows them in just a little way how this can be done.
Tell us about a moment when you knew that it was all worth the hard work.
The first time I sent a donation to my charity was the best feeling. It wasn’t even a huge amount, but the fact that I could contribute from something I had I made and someone else had chosen to purchase was incredibly rewarding.
How does Eliza Eliza get involved with a cause or charity partner?
Sometimes it’s the cause that comes first and I research to find relevant charities to support it and other times it’s the charity that I initially discovered. But they have to work together appropriately. In some instances, I launch without a charity because it can be just as important to raise awareness around the cause as raising money. When I contact the charity, I explain what I do and we agree on a partnership agreement.
How do you recharge? What do you do when you want to forget about work?
Yoga, meditating, going for a run or walk always help me recharge. I do so much of my work through my phone, that switching it off every once in a while help give me a break and allow me to focus attention elsewhere.
What book are you currently reading?
Borrow Box allows you to digitally borrow e-books and e-audiobooks from your local library. I’ve been listening to The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor which discusses how happiness and positivity can contribute to successful futures. I’d definitely recommend.
What would you have done differently if you knew then what you know now?
Without sounding too cliché it really is the journey that counts. I love to think that I could have forgone the stresses of training and being a teacher, but there are so many lessons and skills I learnt from that time.
Fill in the blank: I’d love to see _____ answer these same questions.
You can follow Eliza Eliza at @elizaelizauk