I am an entrepreneur – an artist, designer but most of all a hard-working individual striving to stand out in the competitive market of the 21st century.
How was the Elizabeth Sutton Collection born?
To give you a brief introduction to my educational and work experience, I studied marketing and finance at Baruch College – Zicklin School of Business, where I received a Bachelors in Business Administration. While in college, I worked for almost 4 years at a showroom for a wholesale fashion brand, Parker, assisting with anything from trade shows to merchandising, sample sales, store follow up, and much more – an experience I now consider priceless. In high school though, I was employed as a secretary for an Intellectual Property law firm, Gottlieb, Rackman, & Reisman, founded by my grandfather, Michael Rackman, which in hindsight, was excellent experience considering the Elizabeth Sutton Collection and the field I have now entered.
I got married at 21 (I am 29 now), right before I graduated college, and my career never quite began. While married, along with another couple, my ex-husband and I founded an in-home beauty app, Priv, that we later exited to Comcast Ventures. Though I never officially worked for Priv, I most definitely did so unofficially. Witnessing the makings and headaches of a startup was perhaps the best business experience I’ve ever acquired. I assisted with marketing (I came up with the name), recruiting, beta testing, and user experience. Mostly, I saw how complex relationships and working dynamics functioned within the business world. Aside from that, prior to beginning my art career and founding my own business, I did not have much experience.
In 2015, my ex-husband and I experienced severe financial loss and I needed to start working. Since I had experience in cooking, initially I thought I’d become a chef or open a private catering service. This all changed the moment I picked up a paintbrush in October 2015 for the first time ever! I realized painting was my life motive.
So there you have it, in a nutshell- my art career happened as a fluke! The Elizabeth Sutton Collection. No capital, no investment. Everything you see, my whole business was self-taught. Each step of the way, from painting techniques to marketing and branding to sales to sourcing suppliers and manufacturers, it was all me – no guidance, help book, no advisor. I’ve made many mistakes along the way but that is how I grow; mistakes are essential for learning. In hindsight, I wish I’d had access to a resource that would’ve saved me some costly missteps, but the truth is, they don’t teach real entrepreneurship in school – not even in art school. I’ve had interns in the past – all studying at premier design and art colleges in NY – and it is shocking how little schools teach their students about the business of art.
I am an entrepreneur. I do not limit myself to being described as an artist. I am an artist, designer, entrepreneur, and overall HUSTLER. The knowledge I gained and will be sharing with you, can be applied to almost all business spheres, especially to creative ones. My life might appear glamorous, but the truth is it’s tough. I work approximately 120 hours a week and do my best to balance between my work, kids, and private life. And…I am nowhere near where I want to be. I am almost 4 years in and just getting started, with BIG DREAMS that I’m going to turn into reality.
Believe me, I have gained invaluable insights that I’d love to share with others so that they can avoid costly mistakes, which for new businesses, can be crippling.
I believe in paying it forward. I don’t believe in competition – there is room for everybody.