THE MAKER: ELIZABETH REES
Globe-trotter Elizabeth Rees shares her roots, her travels, and her own wallpaper projects.
You traveled quite a bit in your 20s. How did those experiences influence your career path?
I truly think those years living abroad and traveling on my own shaped me as a human, as a woman, and definitely as a leader and entrepreneur. There are so many things I learned about following my instincts and making quick decisions. I think it’s really about relying on myself and being able to say, “This is what I’m setting out to do and I’m going to do it.” And having traveled now to almost 40 countries, I took in a lot of different cultures, colors, textiles, and prints that I had never seen before, so that was really enriching for me creatively.
How did your Midwest upbringing shape how you do business?
Even though I lived in New York for almost 10 years, my Midwestern roots are really what has always made Chasing Paper successful. There’s a work ethic that people in the Midwest are brought up with. You don’t need to talk about it, you don’t need to have any real recognition for it, but you just do the work. I’ve always just kept my head down and done the work.
What is your personal style?
I really like to take bold wallpaper risks in small spaces. In my own home, we have this beautiful foyer on our second floor, and I did a really bold print there. The rest of our house is a lot of black, white, and warm neutrals, so it really stands out and pops. We also just redid our bathroom with one of our cement tile-inspired prints, and it’s this huge pop of color and print.