a coffee with Eleni from Thrills of the emporium + £100 voucher giveaway
This is an interview like no other - in true Style Squeeze style we might be having the same questions - but the answers make you howl with laughter
When i first joined Instagram i have a few people say to me "oh its a shame you live in Wales you would love Thrills of the emporium" - and they were right ! i started stalking ( you cant even call this following ) Eleni instagram page a while ago and the ever changing collection that is on sale is mind blowing ! Imagine my sheer delight when this cabinet of curiosities went online - you guys need to check it out ( click here ) . I mean this shop for me is full of weird and wonderful, and in the time and age when most of us want to keep their "individual style on a budget" it is so darn hard to find items that are truly original- here is where Thrills of the emporium comes in ! they pack the punch in your interiors
I have nagged Eleni for this interview and when she agreed i was edgy to introduce you to this amazing and funny lady ! -It puts things to perspective when you meet an owner behind a business and this girl - is tha bomb !
So sit back and grab a coffee or maybe not as you might end up not drinking it through laughter - and meet a lady behind Thrills of the Emporium
Can you tell our readers about yourself and your brand ?
35, female, 2 kids, divorced, GSOH I was never someone who knew what they wanted to do, never had any direction. Did ok at school, went to uni because everyone else was applying, and then floated around for a few years between the UK, Prague and Paris in HR jobs, bar work and teaching. I was brought up around auction houses as my folks had a second hand furniture shop when i was growing up – little did I know that I would end up with my own version of a second hand furniture shop! I NEVER wanted a 9-5 job in an office – i don’t know what I thought I was doing mincing around FTSE 100 companies blagging I knew what I might be talking about. And so after child no 2 and a 2 and a half year stint thinking teaching might be my calling (seriously if you think you work hard – wow – hats off to you ladies and gents!) I decided that I might not be cut out for this working for other people malarkey! I needed to do something far more personal that I was passionate about. And so one night in discussion with some friends THRILLS was born! I didn’t want a website based business, I wanted a shop. A hub for people to come in and chat and find brilliant pieces. The shop started as a vintage/retro furniture shop – but quickly evolved into something different. Instagram wasn’t even on my radar then! It was all facebook!
Here we are 4 years later. The only way i can describe THRILLS is that it’s a bit indescribable! I hope it doesn’t fit into a box. It’s cool, it’s different, it’s eat your heart out brave and bold, it’s for people who want something that changes the dynamics of their rooms and makes it fabulous. For the instagrammers who showcase their homes, it might seem old hat, but for shoppers who come in to the shop, their eyes are wide with wonder and it makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside! It’s an emporium – you never know what you will find. It’s sooo personal and it just makes me feel ridiculous every time someone tells me how much they love it.
What piece are you most proud of , or one that has a significance to you?
I couldn’t possibly answer this! There are too many amazing things, every piece is significant to me. What I am really proud of and what makes Thrills stand out though are the amazing collaborations we’ve done with other small indie businesses. We work with Elsie and Fred, MucknBrass, Nickie Kelly and MayRoseVintage to name just a few. Not only does that give them another platform to sell but I get to have the most awesome stock that is totally different to anything that might be on the high street. It’s these guys that keep Thrills ahead of the game. And I’m totally grateful to them for allowing me to represent them.
Can you tell me some of your strengths that really helped you in your design journey ?
My strengths, erm.......i think i might be winging it!! What I would say though is i run my own race. I try not to be influenced by what others are doing and I only have products in the shop that I absolutely love – i mean how can you possibly sell things that you’re not genuinely passionate about?!
What would be your tips for anyone thinking of starting their own business in design ?
Run your own race babes! People will appreciate your passion and you’ll stay true to your brand.
Can you tell me about your greatest high in your career?
Every time someone tells me THRILLS is their favourite shop.
What was your greatest failure and what did you learn from that?
Business related failure – not getting the website up and running sooner!!! Oh and huge wooden Christmas trees – Jesus h Christ – i still have 3 of them in storage from 2 years ago! What did i learn? To remember that the pinterest rabbit hole sometimes leads you to dark places you shouldn’t ever go!
Who has impacted you most in your design journey and how?
I took a trip to gods own junk yard before I opened and was hooked. The shop was still nameless – and when I saw the “THRILLS” fairground sign in there I was like this is it. I’m home. I knew from then that whatever I did in the shop it would be full of fabulous neon and fairground lighting. Neon is now totally mainstream, I mean B&M bargains have them! But I’m luckily enough to have a guy who makes personalized ones, which for me, will be timeless.
Were you artistic as a child?
Absolutely not! I wanted to be though if that counts!
Since Style Squeeze is all about small spaces - how would you squeeze most of small square footage (your tips suggestions )
Ok – well I live in a 1950s semi. Boy would I love a period property but the pockets just aren’t that deep! You do have to work that bit harder when you’re dealing with a small space. Small space and small budget. I save save save for things that I truly love. I’d rather have one awesome piece of art than 5 generics from Ikea. I have a teeny kitchen (no island – boo!) but I don’t think that limits you design wise. I think you can still do whatever you want with the space you have. I don’t believe that you need white walls to make it bigger or be minimalist to create the illusion of space. I still think you can have a layered home with lots of fab pieces without it feeling cluttered. One of the best things I’ve done is use picture ledges instead of shelves. You can fill them up but they don’t protrude too much in to the room. I probably have too many foot stools and side tables but fuck it. Who cares.
What do you do in your spare time?
What spare time?!
Do you put limitations on the work in terms of brave and bold or is there no fucks given?
Zero fucks given
Quick fire questions
design or functionality?
design definitely design – i mean what kind of function can a lifesize gold flamingo possibly have!?!
What’s the stupidest thing you’ve ever done?
Ha! Too many! Exchanging on a complete wreck of a house 9 months pregnant was fun. Starting a business with 2 kids under 2?!
Which bad habits of other people drive you crazy?
Nose picking in cars.
favourite dinosaur ;)
t-rex – with it’s teeny weird arms.
What was the worst job you have ever had?
Haha! 17 years old – summer job, cold calling selling windows WTAF!?!! Lasted 2 weeks.
would you rather Kiss a jellyfish or step on a crab?
Step on a crab, not having someone wee on my face.
Got any hidden talents ? ( what are they)
Couldn’t possibly say.... Oh head stands – i used to be bad ass at head stands until a disc came out of my neck. Too many headstands maybe?!
coffee or tea?
I had two kids under 2, coffee became my friend.
What is the one thing, you can’t live without?
My kids...you’ve got to say that haven’t you!?
In " Alternative universe if you could be any piece of furniture what would you be ?
hahaha! Hilarious - erm.....this is like Take Me Out. I’m an armchair...i know i’m an armchair – my kids always want to sit on top of me.
What was your worst decor faux -pass ?
ha when i was about 14 i had the Edward munch Scream piece in my bedroom and wanted to decorate my room around that – mum gave me free range – what was she thinking? Bright yellow paint three quarters up with dark blue at the top separated by an orange boarder!! Urgh! The most unrelaxing bedroom of ALL TIME.
who would be your idea client to work with?
You Pati – I’d bloody love to work with you.
(Hey id love to work with you too girl ;))
Told ya Eleni is just the best !
Now for the fun part for all of you x Eleni was kind enough to donate a £100 voucher for a one lucky winner
- To be in the chance of winning please:
- See my latest instagram, post and tag as many friends as you can under the insta photo
- Follow thrillsoftheemporium on instagram
competition will run till Sunday 11 of march and the winner will be picked at random and announced on my stories on Monday- Good luck everyone
To see and purchase the fantastic range of products please visit http://thrillsoftheemporium.co.uk/