“A total dream to work with would be Hermione de Paula. The embroidery, the gowns, ugh, so good! I love her craftsmanship, the intricacy, the feeling her gowns evoke once you see them.” Elena van der Vleuten of Elysian wedding accessories on the brand she would love to collaborate with
As the founder, Elena van der Vleuten of Elysian explains, “we are here for the woman who wants a unique accessory that is an extension of her personality.” And, this – in a shiny, pearl-adorned nutshell – is exactly what she, and Elysian as a brand, does. The concept for Elysian was conceived when Elena herself experienced difficulties in finding a bridal headpiece that tied in with her own unique, bridal vision for the big day. It was then than Elysian was born, with the designer handcrafting and utilising old, artisan skills and only the finest of materials to create headpieces and accessories that brides across the glove would adore.
I managed to catch up with Elena to talk all things lockdown 3.0…
#1 We’ve just gone into Lockdown 3. In three words, describe how you are currently feeling…
“Worried, anxious, persistent.”
#2 Talk to us about your usual daily routine for your business and how this will change in lockdown…
“My usual daily routine exists from talking to wedding vendors on DM (such as wedding photographers and wedding planners for collaborations and shoots etc.) to ceating pieces for brides, packaging for brides and shoots, answering emails, talking to brides on DM, organising the photography and filming for the creativity process so brides can see how their piece was created (I try to do this all before my kids come home from school).
Now during lockdown it seems to be the other way around. My kids have homeschooling, so in the mornings I try to help them as much as I can, and when they are done with school and homework I can tend to my own work.”
#3 How will/does lockdown impact your business, and how can people (brides/the wedding industry) support you throughout?
“I am situated in the Netherlands and after the first lockdown rules and regulations around a lot of weddings weren’t that strict. You were allowed to have a small party or have dinner. It was a wedding but smaller. I had more brides that did push through and still wanted their wedding. Now during our second lockdown everything is much more strict. You can get married though no festivities such as a party or dinner.
This time around a lot more brides are postponing their wedding until further notice. It did have impact on my business but I am currently thinking of opening an Etsy shop next to my regular web-shop. And, I am thinking of offering more items that are not only fit for a bride but can be worn after the wedding and in daily life!
People can keep supporting me by getting in touch through DM or email if they have any hesitations or questions about bridal pieces in times of Covid. And, do follow me on Instagram so you can stay informed about new developments, giveaways or discounts.”
#4 Name three small businesses on Instagram you are supporting or would like to support more…
“Only three? Gosh, there are so many beautiful brands out there on the gram but for now I will mention these brands…
No.1 @liliacassceremonial – she is specialised in beautiful bridal separates and gowns. You can mix and match them and wear them again after your wedding.
No.2 @studio_daffodil – a boutique wedding planner with the most sophisticated style. She is a go-getter and has a very keen eye for modern, sleek and elegant weddings.
No.3 @yarabrouwer_weddings – is a photographer with a positive, warm and sunny personality who wants to get to know you on a personal level so she can capture your wedding day perfectly and as you are.
#5 Favourite lockdown snack?
“I make a mean tuna salad and putting that on a crunchy baguette is just heaven, but maybe that’s not a snack but a whole meal. 😊”
#6 What’s your most recommended lockdown pick-me-up when you’re feeling down during lockdown?
“I go out for walks as much as I can. It keeps me sane. It clears my head and having a stroll in a forest or around nature works for me. It’s my meditation moment. And, I watch a lot of animations from @aniimade. They crack me up and sometimes they are so sweet.”
#7 What’s the item you can now NEVER find in the supermarket (and consequently dreamt continuously about) during lockdown?
“Dairy free, almond free cookies, pastries and cakes! But that was even a problem before lockdown haha. I am lactose intolerant and I also have many allergies.”
#8 Name a dinner/meal or beverage choice you feel might bring someone joy to their lockdown life….
“My moms Philipino treats called bitsu-bitsu. Okay, it’s not a meal, but I know they will bring joy everywhere. They are baked – kind of like churros – but made with rice flour and you richly dip it in a sweet caramel sauce.”
#9 Talk us through what’s new at your brand…
“I started out with only bridal headpieces but nowadays I also create earrings. So, that made my range more diverse and I am very proud of them.”
#10 What’s your lockdown outfit most days? Have you, say, developed an unhealthy attachment to the elasticated waists of your leggings like myself?
“I made a conscious decision not to wear my PJs all day. If I do that I know I won’t do anything productive and Netflix the whole lockdown through.
So, I put on what I would have done before lockdown. Jeans, a blouse or a sweater.”
#11 What series have you now completed on Netflix/Amazon Prime etc.? Any recommendations?
“The Queen’s Gambit for sure! Loved the story, the characters and the sixties styling of not only the clothes but also the interior of houses or hotel rooms.”
#12 The person(s) you will hug first when social distancing is no longer in place?
“My parents and my best friends.”
#13 An act of kindness towards you that you’ve really appreciated during lockdown?
“This interview is one of them but also getting tips from followers or women who just got engaged or just having the nicest conversations with followers about anything random to anything profound.”
#14 For a little Instagram-escapism and positivity, what account would you recommend?
#15 Name three things the lockdown has made you grateful for:
No.1 “More family time due to lockdown with my husband and kids.”
No.2 “My parents are still healthy.”
No.3 “Going out for walks.”
#16 Which restaurant will you dine at first once restrictions are lifted again?
“Our favourite Thai restaurant!”
#17 What would be your five film recommendations to watch during lockdown…
LALAland, Honeyboy, The Day Will Come, Call Me by Your Name, My Neighbour Totoro.”
#18 What book would be top of your lockdown book list?
“Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman. Am I getting predictable? ;-)”
#19 Name an odd purchase you’ve made during lockdown…
“Hmmm, nope. Can’t think of any. If anything pops to mind I will definitely tell you first!”
#20 The best gift you received this festive period?
“A gift card so I can pick out a new lamp for above the dinner table!”
#21 Name a brand you would love to collaborate with…
“A total dream to work with would be Hermione de Paula. The embroidery, the gowns, ugh, so good! I love her craftsmanship, the intricacy, the feeling her gowns evoke once you see them.”
#22 What’s your advice to lockdown brides?
“Cry, be angry, scream, swear, do whatever it takes to relieve yourself from the frustration of the lockdown. But more importantly marry the way you think feels best. If it’s during lockdown or after lockdown, it’s your prerogative.”
#23 Your favourite beverage?
“Really ice cold Ginger-ale. This is as adventurous as I get, haha.”