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Elizabeth Cook Entrepreneur
Faced with an hour to yourself (perhaps a problem you don’t often have), what do you do with free time?
With an hour to myself, you can find me scrolling through the Live Auctioneers app. Live Auctioneers is the leading curator of auctions around the world and perusing all the finds is my personal version of therapy. It is my favorite way to discover storied pieces for my home and learn about the many different manufactures, brands, and artisans. I will get enveloped browsing a sale and then researching the makes or origin of the furniture I viewed along with any available anecdotes on the estate where the lots came from. My husband and I recently relocated to my hometown where I have had an enormous amount of fun sourcing unique pieces with interesting backstories for our new home.
What is the thing you bought in the last three months that you have most enjoyed?
I have, at long last, bit the bullet on a few small luxuries, that have been in the marketplace for years that have really improved my quality of life: airpods and a Spotify account. I know it sounds odd, and quite honestly I’m not sure why I haven’t done it sooner. All that to say: I’m so glad I’m on the bandwagon now.
Outside of these two things, I would say my third is not an item but a recent commission of our dining room by the inimitable Emmie Ruth Wise that I have enjoyed the most. Emmie Ruth hand-painted our dining room walls and it brings me so much joy to see this work of art each day. You can see some process shots, here.
What’s the last song you listened to?
Frozen’s “Let it Go”. With a toddler in tow, we play it on repeat around our house these days! There’s nothing quite like a cup of coffee at 7 A.M. with Idina Menzel.Did you learn anything new in the last 12 months that has surprised you?
The amount of women that left the workforce in 2020 was shocking to me. It is an astonishing number and by February 2021, the count was over 3 million. I am a part of that statistic. As such, I feel so much more empathy and love for all moms, both working and non, out there!
What is a parenting quality you admire in one of your parents, friends of siblings that you’d like to emulate when you become a mother?
I admire women who wholeheartedly believe in themselves, and encourage their children to be kind as well as empowered to feel like anything is possible. The mother of a friend of mine who is a successful artist consistently hung her child’s work around the house, integrated it on Christmas cards, and still to this day is her biggest cheerleader. My mother is constantly thinking how she can help in some way and has turned into my best friend and biggest cheerleader.
I am also a stickler for manners and as such, I have made an effort to be extremely conscious of small actions that will help instill them with my daughter and son-to-be. I recently copied the particular action of a friend of mine, Lizzie Moore. I observed her telling her young boys to look the adult they were speaking to in the eyes when apologizing or thanking them. Our children are just learning how to vocalize these things and that action alone has made a particularly large impression on me. From then on, I have made sure my daughter does the same.
2020 has dealt us all with lots of challenges - what was a low moment in 2020 and how did you overcome or face it?
To put it plainly, 2020 was a tough year for me. I owned a public relations firm, Domino Media Group, that represented over two dozen lifestyle businesses around the country from the likes of Weezie Towels to properties such as The St. Regis Hotel in Atlanta. I was trying to navigate a new normal with a then one year old at home full-time, a business that required even more attention than ever, paired with a miscarriage and a move that put me working remotely prior to the pandemic from my team.
I found myself desperately needing to take a pause and reset. My personality is one that wants to please everyone, and with work, I would find myself up all night brainstorming solutions for other people’s businesses and could not let it go until we had identified one. My off switch was nonexistent and I was trying to paddle faster than anyone around me to stay afloat. I needed to slow down and reevaluate how best to navigate my reality to take better care of both myself and my growing family.
I spoke with a woman whom I admire with a large family and successful business who told me you can do whatever you want in this world—just not always at the same time. Important things are bound to be collateral damage and there are seasons of life for everything. This conversation stuck with me and I made a change. A drastic one in hindsight as the owner of a company I had founded, but one that was necessary and right for me.
I am a firm believer that outside of a higher being, we all control the compass to our own lives in some capacity. We make choices everyday that create patterns and set us on various paths. I decided to re-write. This last year has given us all the opportunity to reflect and decide how we want to live moving forward. As I began to re-examine, I realized that I was pushing myself so hard and was not focusing on the things or people I truly valued most in this world—my family and myself.
In addition, even though I was the owner of my business, I had been building other people’s dreams for some time and was yearning to redirect that energy towards one of my own. In the midst of the pandemic, Domino grew 120% (go team!) but I then learned that even when you’re progressing on paper, you may not be internally. This was the first time I learned this lesson, and I am grateful for it.
Life, in its most perfect form, is a series of optimistic evolutions. This week I head into the hospital to welcome my second child. Additionally, I currently have a couple business ideas brewing that may or may not come to fruition. I am not entirely sure what my path holds but I am thankful to be in the now. Living in the present with a full heart and soon-to-be fuller hands was the best gift 2020 could have possibly given me and my family.What are you most looking forward to in a post-vaccine world? What bar, restaurant, or place are you most eager to visit?
I am most excited to not fret over grabbing a mask every time I am bouncing around town and the ability to travel freely, safely, and comfortably without hesitation.
Do you believe in setting personal goals? If so, how do you hold yourself accountable to them?
100%. I am a big believer in goal setting! For me, if I don’t write it down and keep myself accountable in some way—it doesn’t usually happen. I write all of my to-dos on the notes tab of my phone and usually transfer them over to a Google Doc daily. To keep myself accountable, I will organize my Google Doc into tabs of importance and entice myself with small rewards upon their completion—from an alone bath when my daughter is asleep to a cookie at the coffee shop. Productivity makes me happy and helps me feel fulfilled at the end of a day, and this system encourages it.
How important is community to you, and how do you go about building and nurturing it for your family?
It is really important to me, especially now more than ever. Without the routine of my typical workday and the unknown of everyday that being more of a stay-at-home mother entails, I crave community. I am still working on the best practice to cultivate but going back to goals, I have set-up a fair number of friend dates with the goal of one a week or so to try to get out there in a new city and create my own new normal for my community.Shop Elizabeth's Look: Smocked Cotton Dress