April 14, 2009

Elsie Flannigan of Red Velvet Art and A Beautiful Mess

I’m a big fan of the sweet exuberance of Elsie Flannigan’s work and blog. There’s a simple wholesomeness — and hopefulness — about it that never fails to put a smile on my face. Learn more about this young mogul below.


Tell us a little bit about A Beautiful Mess and Red Velvet Art. Why did you start each?

I started A Beautiful Mess for fun but I never realized what a big part of my life it would become. I have really enjoyed sharing my evolving interests in art & craft. I started Red Velvet Art (RVA) 7 years ago with my sister and best friend. We started out making merch for bands and it has evolved into a way for us to encourage each other artistically and creatively.

Running your own business seems so stressful, but you seem to handle all the details so gracefully. What advice do you have about staying organized and managing a big project?

It’s actually a team effort. We try to work together really well and keep everyone in a place where they are doing the stuff that they are best at. I could never do this by myself!

What do you think the significance of the crafting movement is, particularly for young women?

I think it is amazing! The most inspiring thing for me is discovering all the stuff going on. I am just so happy to be a part of it all and helping to make the DIY industry more beautiful every day. 🙂


What most inspires you? Who most inspires you?

The most inspiring person in my life is my boyfriend, Jeremy Larson. Also, I am very inspired by my mom, who is a painter. My favorite painter is Jim Houser. My favorite band is the Flaming Lips. My favorite album of the month is the new Animal Collective. My favorite new movie is Synedoche, New York.

What’s some of the best advice you’ve ever gotten?

“What doesn’t get done, doesn’t need to get done.”

What are some things on your life list (things you want to do before you die, or as I like to think of it, to feel like your living a great life)?

Just a couple of things on my list is that I would love to visit Japan, live in a cabin, have a baby, and design my own line of children’s toys.


What’s your ideal day look like?

Wake up early-ish. Coffee with the boy. Eat pancakes. Work. Go thrift store shopping!!!

If you could invite anyone to a dinner party, living or dead, who would come?

Charlie Kaufman, Bjork, Barack Obama, and my grandma!

You just won $100 on a scratch-off. How do you spend it?

On coffee and thrift store dresses.

What’s in your fridge right now?

Pineapple, left-over pizza, and orange juice.

If you’re hungry for more q & a’s, Jen at the Haystack Needle asked to do an interview with me; you can read it here! Thanks, Jen!

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  • Rachel: Love it- yet another inspiring woman to follow. My list of blog favorites is over flowing with talent.7 years ago

  • Sara Rose: If we were going to have a girl, Elsie was a strong contender for a name.

    Back to the topic at hand. But I have to say one other thing.

    Her hair F******G ROCKS. She is so cute and your interview with her is totally charming!

    Two new things to check out! Way to brighten my day, S!7 years ago

  • anne: Love the interview! Wish she had shared her favorite thrift stores… I live in Springfield too.7 years ago

  • Yeah, her hair is great. I should have asked how she gets all that VOLUME!!!7 years ago

  • Sara Rose: I dunno. I even have curly hair and it never looks that cute.7 years ago

  • Rachel: Great interview! I love Elsie’s blog!7 years ago

  • Abbiejsmith: Fantastic! She is so original and creative!7 years ago

  • Andi: I think Elsie is a doll and have been reading her blog from back when she was big on the scrapbook scene, she does mention somewhere in there what hair products she uses. it was one of those Q&A with her readers 🙂7 years ago

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