Elizabeth Rees of Chasing Paper is making DIY-makers’ and interior designers’ dreams come true with her mix of fun, colorful, and unique wall papers that are simple to hang, easy to remove and will stick to nearly any surface. We sat down with the girl boss, whose creativity runs deep in here genes, to get the scoop on her mod office space, working in NYC, and where she finds inspiration.
Where did you start your career? How did Chasing Paper initiate?
As the third generation in my family’s printing company, ink has always been in my blood. That said, I felt it was very important for me to carve out my own space and create something that I am not only passionate about, but could also call my own. I have some great entrepreneurial role models in my life, and have always felt drawn to the idea of taking an idea and working to make it real. There is nothing better than waking up determined to make something a success.
Your office is so chic! How would you describe your style?
Is it safe to say the wallpaper was the initial inspiration for the design?
Of course! My home office started with the paper — which is our gridlock in grey and I sort of built everything around that. Adding pieces that complemented + allowed the paper to shine.
What's the creative process behind creating new patterns and graphics?
I believe that wallpaper should be fun + a little nostalgic. I gravitate to prints that have a reference to something that many folks can relate to. I work with so many talented artists and designers so most of my job is curation. Finding the gems and creating collections that will speak to the Chasing Paper women. We also consider some prints for more of an editorial feel.
What do you do when you feel uninspired?
I try not to be too hard on myself. Creativity comes in waves and sometimes trying to force it can make me feel further from the process. My incredible group of friends are typically the best antidote. A lunch or coffee or quick walk around The Whitney will often help get me back on track.
What's your favorite part about working in New York City?
New York has been the most special place to build a business – this city never lets you rest which means you are constantly being pushed outside of your comfort zone. This city also allows for a certain amount of ego (which can certainly be used for evil) but also makes dreaming big totally commonplace. No one ever laughs at my goals, rather they grab a pen and want to start mapping the route to get there!
Your paper has been used for so many cool projects, outside of just adorning walls, what innovative uses have stood out to you?
It is hard to choose one because folks are so fantastically creative with their projects. The one that I think people like the most is the blogger, Aunt Peaches, wallpapered her refrigerator….twice. It looked so great and was so unexpected. It was also a great hack for those of us who live in rentals with a fridge that might be due for an upgrade. It completely changed the way the kitchen looked, made it so much lighter + more fun!
What's the best business advise you have ever received?
What's next for Chasing Paper? Where do you see the company in 5 years?
I see Chasing Paper branching out and having more brand extensions so that there are more ways to bring CP into your home. I see a big beautiful office space to host workshops + breakfasts. I see collaborations growing with our retail partners and working with more designers.
Favorite NYC breakfast:
The next big pattern: