July 26, 2017 • •

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 in our "Meet the Team” series is Morgan, our Cutting Team Leader. She runs an essential part of the Operations Team and is responsible for ensuring every single garment y’all order gets cut out correctly and on time. She has super high energy, is always up to the challenge (even when I need her help cutting tons of samples in the eleventh hour), and is incredibly driven to improve and optimize her team’s performance. She’s always smiling, loves to get her hands dirty and can get really into a good water balloon fight.

Meet Morgan!

Can you describe your role at Elizabeth Suzann?

I am the Cutting Team Leader, so I am at the beginning of the production process. That is, after our lovely customers place their orders and they are added into a production plan by our Fulfillment Team Leader, the ball is in my court! I first plan and coordinate how long each production plan will take to complete, and then I begin the marker making process. A marker is essentially a digital version of one long piece of fabric before it is cut. To create each marker, I pull each piece from the production plan of the same fabric and color and then try to get those patterns to fit together as closely as they can on the marker. The goal is to waste the least amount of fabric possible. Any remaining scrap fabric that we do have is recycled and used as the filling for the seats in your car. Finally, after I make those markers and the Cutting Team has finished cutting each pattern, I make sure that each piece that was ordered is then passed on to the Sewing Team.

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

I absolutely love marker making and computerized pattern drafting. I am fascinated with seeing how each piece can fit perfectly together to eliminate unnecessary waste. For me, the most fulfilling aspect is when the efficiency is above 80% - a goal I strive to hit every single time! I also love the accomplished feeling that I get at the end of each production plan when I know that every customer order went through our department and on to the next as quickly as possible.

I also find many things about my job that don't pertain to my specific title to be extremely rewarding. I am honored to work with so many incredible people who genuinely care about our customers, what we're producing, the effect our clothes have, the process in which we manufacture, and each other. I am so fulfilled by collaboration, team work, and knowing that I can make an impact on someone else's day or experience.

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

Clothing can have such an impact on someone's day. I, personally, love putting on something that makes me feel effortlessly beautiful, which is why I think I am so drawn to ES. I don't know if I have ever had a garment that has made me feel as beautiful as the Mara Jumpsuit. It's a piece that I can wear with no makeup and my hair undone and still feel so easily pulled together or with a beautiful pair of earrings and still feel so confident!

Many of the ES pieces have this effect on me. How I felt in what I was wearing wasn't something I paid much attention to when I worked in the fast fashion cycle or when I first started here. I just thought my tastes must have changed when I couldn't believe I bought a top or when I had grown two pant sizes when I took my jeans out of the dryer. In reality, those clothes weren't made or purchased with intention and clearly weren't made to last. I am still very much working on building a more ethical and sustainable wardrobe, but I am finding that I continuously reach for my more responsible purchases in my closet and yearn for more of them.

That said, the initial thing that drew me to ES was Liz's connection with her customers and employees. It is very apparent how much we mean to her and that is something that really resonates with me.

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

A typical day for me involves a lot of time planning and making markers on the computer, keeping track of our fabric inventory, organizing the workload of my department to make sure we stay on track to meet our customers' deadlines, and working with other team leaders to improve our systems of operation. We are really dedicated to always improving so that we can offer the best possible product to our customers. For me, this usually means finding ways to eliminate waste and making our time as efficient as possible.

As for rituals, I do not currently have any at work other than checking my email and calendar at the beginning of each day, but I am thinking about getting an oil diffuser to light as well. I think it'd be nice to have a little aromatherapy going on in my space to set the tone each day. I do have a ritual at home each morning. I am trying to not check my phone and spend as much intentional time as I can loving on my cat, Baxter, and my dog, Guinness. It's something that I am definitely working on it!

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

Hm! I'd have to say I feel most proud when my team surpasses our goals! There is such a buzz on the operations floor, and, when one department succeeds, we all succeed, and that is so rewarding. Specifically, I love it when we set a goal and surprise ourselves by finishing it quicker than ever before, find a new and more efficient way of doing things, problem solve through any hiccups along the way, and band together to get the best product out the door that we can. It is incredibly rewarding to feel accomplished and proud of what we're doing every day.  

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

As I mentioned earlier, I love the marker making process; however, it's a process that takes a really long time, and I actually wish I could spend more time doing it. It is so rewarding to make a marker that is really efficient, and I wish I could fit every piece together perfectly without any excess or waste. Ultimately, I guess my answer is that I struggle most with time. There is so much good stuff going on here at the warehouse, and I want to engulf myself 100%. To combat it, I try to prioritize the things that have the most impact on my Cutting Team and on the Elizabeth Suzann Team as a whole. It is something that I am continuously re-evaluating and defining each day.

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

Most people don't fully understand the length of the marker making process and how much time is spent in each department to ensure that each garment is made and treated as responsibly as possible. I think our customers and the women we're creating these pieces for might be surprised by how much we truly care about each piece that our hands touch.

You and your boyfriend have been doing a lot of home renovation! How do you come up with your vision for the projects you tackle around the house? Does it take you a while, or do you just jump right in?

When we first bought the house, we knew that it needed a lot of updating, but we both really love doing things ourselves, so it felt very natural to find a home with the perfect amount of DIY(ing). It only took a few days after closing on our home before we began to demo and draw up new plans, and we have been doing so many house projects since! 

I have been collecting inspiration through Pinterest for maybe six or seven years now, so I have lots of ideas and expectations for our home, and I am finding that the hardest part is making a list of priorities for what needs to be tackled first. Most of my ideas are a mixture of what I've seen and what I instinctually love, and I am hoping to create that same type of feeling for my home.

I also think the renovating process is something that I have naturally fallen into. I grew up watching my parents always do projects around our house, so I've never known what it was like to hire someone to remodel a bathroom or even to repair the plumbing. Adam and I are definitely first timers at this, but we're already so proud of what we've done and are excited to see what kind of home we can create with this house!

What is your favorite place in your home, and why?

Currently, my favorite part of our home is our dining area because it is the first room in the house that we have finished remodeling, and it turned out far better than either of us anticipated - it's hard to see the beauty during the process sometimes! We will be finishing our living room in the next month or so though, and I cannot wait. The first time I walked in our home I had a crystal clear vision of what that room would look like physically and how I wanted it to feel emotionally. We have almost completed the fireplace, the main project within the room, and now it just needs some fresh paint, new light fixtures, and to be finished up with my soon-to-be gallery wall. I know it will be our coziest place in the whole house.

You’re newly back in Nashville after going to school in Los Angeles. What about Nashville makes it feel like home? What about Nashville do you value most?

Yes! I first went to LA for school and ended up staying out there for a little over a year after graduating. I am so thankful for that experience because I met the love of my life, but there is nothing like home and having both Adam and my family around is ultimately what makes it feel that way. My family has also been in Nashville for many generations (one of my great uncles was one of the founders of Nashville!), and I think the things I value the most are the people, the food and obviously the music! Honestly, we have the kindest people too. I love that Nashville has such a small town feeling but is also a large city with so much to do and so many opportunities. The food and music scene is amazing, and southern food is my favorite, especially my mom's. And while country music is definitely my favorite genre, Nashville has so much of a variety that fits everyone's taste.

You have two sweet fur-babies, Guinness and Baxter. Can you talk about the role your animals play in your life?

I am obsessed with them. I was raised with at least three to five dogs at all times in my life. We even had six at once before, so you could say I come from a dog loving family. When I went to college, I wanted a dog so badly but going to school, working, and living in an apartment in downtown LA wouldn't have been fair to a dog who needs so much love and attention. With one semester left, I rescued a sweet 6-month-old kitten who my friend found abandoned on the street. I had never had a cat before, but I would have never known that this cat would change my life. Baxter is the kindest, sweetest, most loving cat in the world. He is basically a dog. He always wants to cuddle and get belly rubs, and he loves being held like a toddler - I walk around just holding him on my chest. He even growls if he hears a strange noise. He is just the best and is a huge blessing.

Then, about five months ago, Adam and I rescued our pup, Guinness, who is almost 7 months old now. He is the cutest, smartest, and goofiest pup ever! He loves to talk, and, if you tell him you love him, he says it back - I swear. He has really made our house feel like a home. We adore him, and even though he has had a few health scares, we are just so thankful he seems back on track to being a healthy and happy pup. There is nothing sweeter than the unconditional love of animals, and we can't wait to rescue our next fur baby!

You love rock climbing and outdoor sports. How did you get interested in those activities, and what keeps you motivated to pursue tough climbs and bike rides?

California is such an amazing place for rock climbing so Adam and I couldn't resist getting involved. We have since been climbing in Yosemite, Joshua Tree, and Zion, and it's just such a beautiful sport of independence and trust. You have to rely on your own body, your own mental and physical strength, and your own intuition while climbing, and your belay partner must do the same. We believe every couple should climb together because it is a great tool for any relationship to work on trust and communication. We also motivate each other, push one another, and inspire one another to keep going by watching the other succeed. Plus, there is no better view than from the top with your best friend beside you!

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

My favorite ES garment is definitely the Mara Jumpsuit in Silk Crepe! It is so flattering, so versatile, so effortless, and so simple, yet it makes such a statement every time.

View all of Morgan's ES favorites here.