welcome, Elsabette Design8:31 PM
The absolutely stunning arrangements above were designed and handcrafted by Maren Andersen (MAR- rhymes with car -EN), pictured to the right. Owner and creator of Elsabette Design.
After seeing just a few of her creations I asked her if I could interview her so I could get to know more about who she is, why she began her business and what inspires her.
She was incredibly accommodating and despite the fact we both have the "gift of gab" she emailed me her answers at my request. I am a somewhat overwhelmed and scatterbrained mom of three and as much as I wanted to sit and talk for hours, I knew I'd never find the time. So thank you Maren and I hope to portray the beautiful, whimsical and free spirited person you are in this post/interview.
BB: Tell me about you, where did you grow up? What were you like? What is your favorite book, movie, color etc. ?
MA: "I grew up in the suburbs of Detroit, and moved to Utah in the Winter of 1999. I was the quiet, nerdy, artsy, quirky kid. I was either always reading or drawing. My favorite book is a toss up between Ivanhoe, Les Miserables, and Pride & Prejudice - I've read them several times. I love to laugh, and my go to movie for that is without a doubt, A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Forum.
I am an eclectic girl and my hobbies show that. I garden, make jelly, cook & bake, sew, paint (walls, canvas and paper), belly dance, shop, spend time with my family, take road trips, travel; go to the theater, ballet, symphony, Opera, museums, and concerts.
My favorite color is anything in the red family - pink, salmon, ruby, burgundy, but mostly pink. I love Spring - when the earth starts waking up after Winter. The skies clear up...add to that the hint of fresh green balmy breezes and it's pure invigoration!"
BB: When did you begin your business and why?
MA: "I started Elsabette Design in June 2010 and did my first wedding a month later. I do floral design, Interior consultations, and would like to get into party planning.
I have known my entire life that I had to do something creative for a career. When I skipped school, not that I condone it, I stayed at home teaching myself to sew. When I was younger there was a youth activity at our church for girls - some type of show off your skills and talent thing, and I had two of my friends act like mannequins while I draped yards of fabric on them into some kind of gown. For better or worse my friends still talk about it. As a little kid I wasn't sure who'd want my princess dress drawings, and as a teenager I knew there wasn't exactly a huge demand for toga dresses in real life."
BB: who or what inspires you?
MA: "That's kind of hard to answer. My grandma inspires me because she was a young widow with 5 kids and a 9th Grade education who managed to make ends meet by working hard, learning to sew, and putting her amazing cooking skills to work.
In terms of designers, I always say if I were a man, I'd be Isaac Mizrahi because we have the same curly hair, we both like men, and our favorite color is pink. He is a talented and diverse designer...then again, so is Betsy Johnson, so maybe they both inspire me."
BB: Tell me about your education. Where did you go to school? What did you study?
MA: "Instead of asking me where I went to school and what I studied, the question is where didn't I go to school and what did I study? I started off at a Community College but dropped out to work in a Professional Theater running props and follow spot, then moved up to wardrobe and ended as a stage manager.
I then moved to Utah and attended S.U.U (Southern Utah University) with the intent of studying theater. I changed majors a number of times and then decided I was sick of school, so I moved to the Salt Lake City area and attended LDS Business College and got my AAS in Interior Design.
BB: Tell me about the projects you've done. Do you have any favorites?
MA: " I just finished up Art & Soup, a charitable hospice program's annual fundraiser event in SLC. This is my 7th year helping with that. My ongoing projects are helping with a remodel of a home one room at a time, and redoing the guest bedroom in my own home.
My favorite project? Hmmm...probably helping my friend Sarah with her house remodel while helping plan her wedding reception. Her reception was going to be held at her newly remodeled home as an Open house. It was a Sear's catalog Bungalow kit home in SLC. They were updating and adding on; she wanted her home to reflect her travels to Mexico and Europe with colors and decor that was very earthy and rustic, while at the same time bright and fresh. It turned out amazing. She promises me pictures every time we talk."
BB: Where do you want to take your talents and business? Where do you see yourself in 10 years or so?
MA: "I'd like to get into planning smaller events - meaning right now I'm a one woman crew so to do a whole wedding setup for 500 would be ridiculous for me to attempt right now. I would like to work on smaller events such as Anniversary parties, Bridal or Baby showers, Holiday parties, Birthday parties - things like that. I also don't want to turn my back on Interior Design entirely. I'd love love love to decorate kid spaces - especially in a hospital type setting or for long term care and terminally ill kids."
"Aspirations? In ten years I'd like to be designing - helping make Bride's visions come true, helping to create beautiful surroundings for people to live in. Putting together little parties, getting my hands dirty, breaking the occasional nail, and splattering paint on my jeans. I'd like to have people say, "Oh, you should check out Maren's place - it's called Elsabette Design. I bet she could help you create the idea you have, or at least direct you to someone who can if she can't!"
In ten years I'd like to have expanded my business, added at least one assistant, and become certified, either AIFD (American Institute of Floral Designers) or ASID (American Society of Interior Designers). I'd like to need a store front with a workplace because Elsabette grew so busy that I just couldn't do it all alone in my basement anymore."
Thank you Maren for all of your time. It was so fun putting together this post and getting to know you even better. I have a feeling that with your talents, you will turn your dreams and aspirations into a reality.
If you or anyone you know would like to contact Elsabette Design you may do so below:
Location: Bountiful, Utah
Hours: Mon-Wed 10:00am-6:00pm
Maren: (801) 872-4116