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Beautiful design: a chat with elli’s Creative Director, Lia Griffiths

Nothing says “Happy Holidays” like sending a gorgeous card to a friend or family member. The creative team at elli knows this as well as anyone, and have spent years building a following that loves the timeless designs they produce. 

They’re on zulily today—you can find the event here—and elli’s ever-talented Creative Director, Lia Griffith was kind enough to answer a few of our questions. 

Below, Lia touches on the inspiration behind her creations, her favorite holiday to design for, and what makes elli’s offerings so perfect for zulily members. Enjoy the read, and make sure to take us up on today’s great deal here!

zulily: Thank you for joining us Lia! Will you tell us a little about your role at elli and how you arrived there?


I am the Creative Director at elli. I started with the parent company almost 4 years ago, leading creative development for the DIY wedding site. Though I do love designing for weddings, it is creating for kids and holidays that I find myself gravitating towards. The opportunity to combine the best of all in our new elli shop has been a dream come true for me.

z: What are the most important characteristics that elli’s design team share?

We love what we do! We are incredibly focused on creating really beautiful, clever and original designs. Each of us bring a different look and perspective to the site which rounds out our collection very nicely. What is the very first thing you do when starting the design process on a new project? Research. I always want to know what is trending in apparel, interior and print design.

z: Which holiday is the most fun to design for?

Christmas. I say that confidently despite the fact the team just spent the last 4 months with our heads in Christmasland. I love the traditional colors and themes for Christmas, and adding the unexpected non-traditional brings additional fun to designing for this season.

z: Do you follow the work of other designers? Who are your design role models?

I do follow the work of other designers. I have a long list of blogs that I follow and at least half of them are designer blogs. Most of my role models are people in the apparel and interior realm. I love Cynthia Rowley, Jonathan Adler and Alexander McQueen to name a few. Random, huh? 

z: elli is based in Portland, Oregon. Does working in the Pacific Northwest affect your design taste?

Other than putting a bird on it… just kidding… In some ways I think it does though, we intentionally look internationally for inspiration. One perfect example of our Northwest perspective is that we all designed “Happy Holiday” cards for the first two months of our current collection. We then realized the traditional “Merry Christmas” might be what some customers would be looking for, so we all jumped in and rounded out our designs to include Christmas.

z: The blog at ellinee.com features a variety of great DIY projects. Do you have a kid-friendly favorite that moms can do with their little ones?

We do have a lot of kid themed crafts, and though I am targeting the moms and teachers, I have had some wonderful reports of children being involved on many of my DIY projects. I aspire to create my tutorials so all levels of ability can craft. One of the favorites, and perfect for the season, is the paper snowflake. Gorgeous and easy to make!

z: Any easy DIY Halloween costume ideas you can share with our readers?

DIY Wolf Costume

I did do a post for a fun and simple DIY Halloween wolf hoodie. I made the pattern in adult, kids and baby size. This costume is super easy and oh so cute. I would love to make a whole series of animal hoodies… maybe next Halloween? So much of your work is paper based.

z: Where does Elli fit in as more people use digital devices to communicate.

I feel that printed invitations and photo card have become even more precious and a very impactful way to add that much needed personal touch in the era of digital white noise.

z: How can parents spark their little ones’ interest in art & design?

This I can speak to on a very personal level as I have a daughter who has recently bloomed as an artist. Here is my list: 1) Do art and crafts with your kids. Starting when they are young is ideal but it is never too late. Kids are natural artists. 2) Display their creations and encourage them to gift their projects to grandparents and other family members. 3) Make art and crafts accessible by keeping the tools and materials at their finger tips. One last note … I think we all can find joy in crafting and creating no matter what our age. So the craft night you set up for your kids, could be equally fun for the adults too!

z: What makes elli’s offering so perfect for zulily’s members and moms?

We offer a wonderful collection of holiday photo cards and kid’s holiday party invites as well as a nice selection of new born baby and kid’s birthday sets.

We are in LOVE with elli’s offering and encourage all you design-minded zulily moms out there to take advantage of today’s event.

Again, a big thank you to Lia for joining joining us. We’re fans for life!

Readers, who or where do you look to for design inspiration? Reblog and let us know!

Holiday from elli