August 09, 2017 • Behind the scenes

Our team is incredible. It is like a wonderful soup, full of talented, passionate individuals with different flavors and perspectives. We all share some notes, there’s a common thread among us, but there is also a real richness and depth to this group. I have been craving a way to connect you all more deeply with the entire team that brings Elizabeth Suzann to life - the people whose hands cut and sew your clothing, the ones that answer your questions, the ones that tell our story and cultivate this thriving digital community.

Our "Meet the Team" series will highlight the ES squad, one member at a time. We’ll give you a glimpse into the personalities and minds here and also paint a more detailed picture of how we do what we do. It is my hope that, through this feature, you’ll find a deeper connection with the makers of the clothing you love and also learn something new about how we operate through the unique lens of our crew.

Next up in our "Meet the Team” series is Emily G., our Customer Relations Team Leader. She is responsible for communicating with each of you - solving problems, helping with decisions, collecting feedback, and sharing in your joy. The CR team keeps the rest of the company in tune with what our customers think, feel, and need, and that channel is so incredibly valuable. Emily is absolutely hilarious, vivacious, obsessed with Anderson Cooper, and knows everything you need to know about pop culture.

Meet Emily G.!

Can you describe your role at Elizabeth Suzann?

I am the Customer Relations Team Leader here at ES. I get to spend my days building relationships with our customers and dreaming up how we can grow and improve the department. My goal is to make sure our customers have all of the information they need to feel empowered when purchasing from us, so I spend a lot of time trying to improve the communications channels between departments so that we are all on the same page. I also act as a sort of liaison between our customers and the rest of the team. I share messages of encouragement to help everyone stay motivated and also share feedback with the production and design teams to make sure our garments are the best they can be.

Why did you choose this role and what about your job do you find the most fulfilling?

My favorite thing about my job is relationship building. I’ve worked in other customer service roles and our ES customers are truly the best! I love that I have the ability to get to know our customers on a more personal, human level and get to play a small part in their ES experience. I chose this role first because I love ES and fell in love with it once I started talking to customers. So many of my interactions with customers go far beyond the original question they asked, and I feel like I’ve gained a community of women around the world that I could call if I found myself in their city. You just don’t find that in other companies, and I’m so grateful to get to be a part of it.

What draws you to clothing? Is there something in particular that drew you to clothing at Elizabeth Suzann?

Oh my goodness - literally everything. I’ve always loved fashion, but never felt like I could participate in it in the way that I wanted. I love the way Liz thinks about clothing and that was a big part of the reason I was drawn to the brand. Clothing is something we have to wear every single day, and it says so much about who we are and/or how we’re feeling. I love the neutral colors and simple designs of ES garments and feel so confident in each of my pieces. I wore a uniform in high school, and I remember loving that I never had to think about what I was going to wear. My biggest decision in the morning was whether I was going wear a blue or white oxford shirt and it was glorious. Sometimes I feel like I’ve reverted back to that because all of the stress of finding the right outfit for the day has disappeared. Most of the clothing I wear on a daily basis is ES, and I can easily mix and match all of it so getting ready in the morning is so much easier. Add to that the elastic waistband on our pants and I was hooked.

What does your typical day look like? Do you have any routines or rituals you find important?

Right now, my typical day usually includes a lot of emails! The team is still pretty small, so I’m in the inbox most of the day. As we add new team members, I will probably start to move away from emails to focus on ways that we can continue to grow the department. That said, I know I will always take some time to respond to emails so that I can stay connected to our customers.

I also spend a lot of time communicating with other team leaders and making sure my team is informed about everything happening in the building. We are in a unique position where it’s important for us to have a pulse on what’s going on in each department so that we are giving customers the correct information. Things move so fast around here, so it can be challenging for everyone to stay up-to-date.

When I need to focus, I’ll usually do 90 minutes of silence. During this time, the goal is to have 90 straight minutes without any distractions, so I’m totally plugged in. Listening to music is something else that helps me stay focused, so you’ll usually find me with headphones on. I have a few playlists that I’ll listen to regularly, but recently Justin Bieber, Haim, and Sylvan Esso have been keeping my energy up.

When do you feel most successful or proud of your work?

I feel most successful and proud when I get testimonials from customers. We all work so hard to do what’s right for our customers, so when they email me to tell me about the experience they’ve had with us, my heart feels so happy. The last few months have been pretty high stress around here and everyone on the team is working to bring down our lead time, so it’s easy to get caught up in that. When an email comes through from a customer telling me about how much they love a garment and that it was worth the wait, it makes such a big impact on the day. I’ll also get emails from customers thanking me for the way I handled a situation and those are always a good reminder that I’m doing well. If someone is reaching out with an issue, I feel proud knowing that I was able to turn around the situation and that they are walking away happy. We have an entire corner of the office dedicated to customer photos and testimonials and it’s such a great reminder that we’re doing so much more than just selling clothing.

I’ll also get emails from customers thanking me for the way I handled a situation, and those are always a good reminder that I’m doing well. If someone is reaching out with an issue, I feel proud knowing that I was able to turn around the situation and that they are walking away happy. We have an entire corner of the office dedicated to customer photos and testimonials and it’s such a great reminder that we’re doing so much more than just selling clothing. 

What do you struggle with the most in your work, and how do you combat/overcome it?

I think the biggest struggle that I’m constantly working on is communication with each department. Especially with the growth we’ve experienced this year, things can change so quickly. I talked a little bit about this earlier, but making sure I have the most up-to-date information from each department is increasingly important. I also have a responsibility to communicate those things to my team, so it can be challenging keeping up with that. The team leaders and I are getting so much better at this, and I feel like we’re in a much better place which is really exciting to me.

What is one thing you want others to know about your work here, or Elizabeth Suzann in general?

One thing that makes ES so special is how much every single person cares about our customers. I’ll sit in meetings with other team members and when we’re throwing ideas around, and  “how would our customers feel?” is always a question asked by people in other departments. It’s my job to advocate for customers, but I want our customers to know that every person in the building is thinking of them and has their best interests at heart. I’ve never experienced that before, and it’s just another reason I love working here.

Is there anything most people get wrong about your job, or is there something that might surprise customers to learn about your job?

Oh yeah. I think most people have a very negative view of customer service roles. It’s a valid assumption and is probably pretty accurate for other companies, but I absolutely love my job! To be honest, I didn’t think I would ever work another customer focused job again but I immediately sensed something different about ES when I applied for this job. Everyone in the company cares so much about our customers and that makes my job so much fun! I feel like most customer service jobs are just about fixing problems and dealing with angry customers. While problem-solving is definitely a large part of my job, it’s more about building relationships with our customers. I talk to customers in the same way I would talk to a friend of mine and there’s a mutual respect there. I look forward to coming into work every day, opening my inbox and recognizing the names of people who’ve emailed me. That is so different than the perception most people have about this type of work, and I’m so happy that I was entrusted with building upon that.

You have a deep love for Anderson Cooper. Can you talk about how that got started, and what makes him so unique to you as a person and news celebrity?

Oh wow. YES! To be honest, I don’t remember exactly how or when my love for him began, but I was in college. I mean honestly, that face - how could you not love him? He has a really powerful story and the way that he has been able to overcome the traumas in his life has always inspired me. I also have a lot of respect for the amount of hard work he has put into his career. He could have easily taken the easy road, but he chose to go into conflict zones and get his hands dirty which not many men of his background would be willing to do. He seems very down to earth and I appreciate his ability to bring a human element into his work. Also, his mom is freaking Gloria Vanderbilt, and I would die to have her as a friend.

I’ve been dreaming of the day when I would get to meet him in person, and that day is finally coming on October 6th. I cannot believe it’s happening and might cry when I meet him. I have no idea what I’m going to say, so any recommendations are welcome. :)

Also...THAT GIGGLE. My heart swoons every time.

You are one of the most positive people at ES! Have you always been that way? How has having a great attitude about life been an asset in good times and in rough patches?

That’s so nice of you to say! I’m definitely very intentional about the energy I bring into a room. I’m not sure if I can say that I’ve always been that way, but it’s something I’m always conscious of. I truly believe that what you put into the world will come back to you, and it’s important to me that people feel loved and appreciated by me. There have been a few times in my life where keeping a positive attitude seemed almost impossible, but I’m really lucky to have a community around me that builds me up and gives me the space to feel whatever it is that I’m feeling. I don’t like bringing a negative energy into a room, so I’m usually pretty good about giving myself a moment and then throwing a smile on my face and charging ahead. It’s incredible what a big difference a smile can make and I try not to let a day go by without laughing. We can’t always control what happens in our lives, but we can control the way we react and if you do the right thing and keep a positive attitude, you’ll be okay!

You seem to be a real “people person,” yet we also know you can be a bit of a homebody. How does that work exactly? Would you describe yourself as an extroverted introvert? What does that mean for how you structure your life and relationships?

I’m 100% an extroverted introvert. I would almost always prefer to stay at home and have a glass of wine while watching Netflix in the evenings. Don’t get me wrong, I love spending time with people, but it can be exhausting to me. I need my alone time to recharge, but I love spending time with the people I love, and we always have the best time. It’s really hard for me to say no to people, so I’m actively learning how to take care of myself. It feels selfish to say no to friends so I can go home and be by myself, but it’s really important for me to have that. I recently decided to schedule time on my calendar for alone time, so I’m hopeful that I’ll be successful in that.

You are the go-to person around the studio when it comes to pop culture. We’ve once heard you won a celebrity baby naming challenge! How did you get into keeping up with celebrity happenings, and what motivates you to be in the know?

HA! Oh my gosh, that challenge was crazy! I don’t know what first prompted me to keep up with celebrity happenings, but I probably just stumbled upon E! one afternoon after school and was hooked. I started watching E! News every night in middle school, and it just snowballed from there. Watching the news felt too overwhelming, and I was 13, so I was way more interested in learning more about the people I saw on TV every day. Social media has made it way easier to keep up with everything. I don’t actively search out celeb gossip anymore, but scrolling through my Instagram feed keeps me pretty well informed.

We know this is a tough one, but is there a celebrity or two that stand out among the rest? What about them stands out to you?

Dang, this is a tough one, but right now, I would have to say, Reese Witherspoon. I’ve always looked up to her and feel a weird connection to her. She and I are both from Nashville, and we actually went to the same school. Watching her career grow was really powerful because it showed me that a girl just like me from Nashville, TN could actually grow up to be anything she wants to be. I mean, the woman is an Oscar winning actress, producer, and she owns a production company and a clothing brand on top of being a mother of two teenagers and a toddler. That is outrageous. I don’t know how she does it, but I’ve always felt like “if Reese can do it, so can I!”

Last but not least, what is your favorite ES garment and why?

This is such a hard question! I keep going back and forth between my Harper Tunic and my Florence Pants, but I think I have to go with my Harper. If I could wear this thing every day for the rest of my life, I would be completely happy. I wear it at least three times a week and sometimes wear it to bed. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ I know that sounds gross, but here I am. Y’all. It’s just so good.

View all of Emily G.'s ES favorites here.