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Perspective | Elizabeth Gibson

Owner, Eliza Page

How a creative daydreamer discovered what she was meant to do all along.

When I think about style and fashion, I often imagine the drama of a photo shoot. I don’t necessarily see a particular famous face or image, but the exaggeration of magazine spreads comes to mind—the expressions, the silhouettes, the elaborate surroundings, the exotic locales.

If I think of fashionable and stylish people, I imagine my creative and artful friends who wear big sunglasses, bold jewelry, and ornate prints. They are fun to shop with, and some of them have a “look”—you know, that friend who’s always smiling, laughing, striking a pose.

I’ve never really thought of myself as one of those people who project a particular style, however. I do recognize style, and I notice details keenly, as I was taught to pay attention. The first fashionistas in my life were older female family members that I admired. As I grew up, I was educated in fashion. My mother taught me at a young age that details are what make the difference. I didn’t realize it then, but I was learning the rules.

I learned which colors went well with others, which did not, and what fabrics and styles were appropriate for different seasons or occasions. My mom sewed, so I learned how to look at the way a garment was put together and to inspect it for proper stitching, linings, and finishes. I learned how details like buttons, buckles, and trims made a difference. And I still find myself thinking things like, “I’d buy that jacket, but I’d have to swap out all the buttons.” I was also taught that with accessories you could transform something, to assert a specific look, and therefore define its style.

Of course, I sometimes departed from all those fashion rules, and sought out things that were a little different, that stood out.

Growing up in Dallas, I had many shopping and retail options, but as an avid reader and daydreamer, I loved to pore over fashion magazines and catalogs. The fashions and brands of the time told stories and created experiences in my imagination. The J. Peterman catalog, probably my first exposure to fashion journalism, was mesmerizing: printed on thick paper, with stories about each item, accompanied by detailed, hand-drawn images. Each piece evoked adventure. I craved binoculars tucked away in the rough-hewn, handmade leather accessories, paired with a long prairie skirt. The safari-themed, original Banana Republic retail store took my imagination to faraway lands: so many pockets in those military-style jackets and Bermuda shorts—I could definitely fit in all my safari necessities if I wore those garments. And the spirit of all things Ralph Lauren romanced me as well; he captured classic elegance on horseback in stripes and bold madras plaids. I envisioned exploring exotic lands in my jeans jacket and chambray.

Stand-out fashions are not routinely my personal style of dress, but I do have an independent spirit. That desire to explore and find “new” things is what fuels my love for fashion and my work in retail. It’s what can make fashion exciting, and it’s where creative and visionary style happens.

I suppose I was trained to have strong opinions, or certainly to be aware of the rules, and I do know that as an entrepreneur, you definitely have to have a solid vision. I never really imagined that I would own a jewelry store, but I always loved jewelry and creating, and I did expect that I would work for myself one day. If you are a creative person and can find a way to express yourself and your creativity in your work, it is endlessly satisfying.

It is always challenging, but I now have my dream job and I’m grateful for it each day. I get to shop, design, and create for my business. I can reinvent and grow things, and I’m surrounded by beautiful designs, designers, staff, and customers. As I travel, I pay attention to the people and cultures that I encounter along the way and draw upon that for future inspiration.

Austin is probably one of the best places in the United States to own a business. The city has its own style. It’s independent, generous in spirit, and endlessly creative. It is an evocative city, and I am happy each day to live here and watch how it grows, creates, and reinvents itself as its citizens do the same.

Credits

Photography by Wynn Myers

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