To celebrate our 10 year anniversary, we’re celebrating the tastemakers, collaborators and like-minded business women who have championed & cherished the Lizzie Fortunato brand for over a decade. Friends for 10 is a series of short interviews that introduces you to these very women. They are our supporters and muses. Just like you, they are the people who’ve shaped our brand and made Lizzie Fortunato, well … Lizzie Fortunato. #LF10
One of my most distinct childhood memories is of our 3rd-grade birthday, where my mom arranged a series of craft projects, and the outfit envy I recall having over Taylor’s killer get-up (floral “skorts” and bad a$$ Nike sneakers). Clearly my love for crafts, fashion and Taylor started early. We went to school together for 12 years and didn’t part ways until we were 17 and heading off to college – sister and me to Duke (she visited), Taylor to Tulane and then American University in Paris (we visited). She eventually made her way back to the states and to NYC, where she founded Fox Fodder Farm, and she continues to be a major player in all of our life events (creating flowers for most of them). Thank you for all the beauty Taylor!
Q & A:
1. What is your first (or favorite!) memory of Lizzie / Kathryn / the brand?
TP: My first memory of LFJ as a brand is basically its birth! In high school, we spent hours seated cross-legged on the floor of Lizzie’s bedroom stringing beads for earrings and necklaces that Lizzie would then pitch to local stores in our area. An early memory, and maybe one of my favorites when I think of it, was coming up to New York (from Delaware) with Lizzie and her dad for the Open See at Henri Bendels. I just remember waiting in line for hours with other young designers in fashion to present her collection. I can’t remember how the day played out, but I remember that feeling of pure excitement and that was everything.
2. Are you a Lizzie (creative) or a Kathryn (business)?
TP: I’m a bit of both, but probably more of a Lizzie. I wish I had a numbers nerd like Kabs for a twin to help me run my business!
3. We just celebrated our 10 year anniversary (crazy, right?). What’s your favorite (personal) milestone that you’ve experienced in the last 10 years?
TP: My own business has hit 7 years which feels pretty wild. When I first moved to New York I didn’t have a strong sense of direction or what I wanted to do, but I saw what Lizzie and Kathryn were building together and I knew that I wanted that. I wanted to create my own business on the foundation of something I felt passionate about. They were a huge inspiration in the path I’ve since pursued as a small business owner.
4. What is your favorite Fortune Find for your home?
TP: My Black and White striped rug that Kathryn found in Portugal.
5. What is your favorite accessory (this could be a belt / a watch / a pet / whatever!); Why?
TP: My favorite accessories are a collection of jade bangles my dad gave me years ago…and any and all of my LFJ clutches!
6. What is the most random thing in your purse right now?
TP: A peach pit.
7. I am a “_____” [insert occupation here] and I am passionate about_____.
TP: Florist; Flowers, DUH!
Worlds Collide: Taylor’s floral work for Lizzie Fortunato
8. Small but impactful advice for aspiring female entrepreneurs?
TP: Be Kind, Be Honest, Be Strong.
9. What gets you out of bed in the AM?
TP: Leaving the house before the traffic hits and it takes me 45 minutes to get to the flower market instead of 20.
10. Secret to your success?
TP: I don’t know if it’s a secret, but i think a lot of my success is due to the support of friends and employees. I’m able to do what I do and was able to build a business from it, because I never was actually doing it alone. There were always people there who pushed and supported along the way.
11. My first job was _______.
TP: In a flower shop. No joke.
12. Any secret talents?
TP: I’m a really good cook if I do say so myself.
13. What is the most played song on your phone (or iPod).
TP: The entire “In The Mood For Love” Soundtrack.
14. Beach or Mountains?
TP: Tough one. Beach with mountains behind it!
15. Favorite place you’ve ever traveled?
TP: There’s a cove off a dirt road over a mountain surrounded by nothing on the island of Andros in Greece, which is currently hovering at the top of my list.
16. Would you rather win an Olympic Medal or an Academy Award?
TP: I just surprised myself and my gut said Olympic medal (I would have thought I’d say Academy Award) but actually, Olympic medal it is! You only get an Olympic medal if you actually are the best and with that comes a shit ton of hard work. There isn’t some committee deciding how good you are for you.
What Taylor Is Loving:
Shop her current and all-time favorites: