MEET Elaine: Mother, wife, former editor, freelance writer, and the founder of London Tea Dress Company.
After an completing a degree in Fashion Promotion & Illustration at the Surrey Institute of Art and Design, Elaine, now 38, pursued a career in fashion. An internship at Alexander McQueen cemented her passion for the wildly fantastical world of design, while a stint at Elle UK fed a growing intrigue into consumerism. Over 15 years of magazines later, after a stint in Dubai - where she edited Grazia and worked for Harper’s Bazaar - Elaine returned to the UK with her young family and launched London Tea Dress Company.
"Working in fashion, I was surrounded by luxury but leaving full-time employment and having children meant I couldn’t spend as frivolously as I used to," she says.
She felt there was a gap in the market for quality fashion, manufactured responsibly, and that wasn't trend driven - something marrying longevity with wearability and style. The business launched in spring 2018 offering 'everyday dresses for every eventuality'.
“Ultimately I wanted wearing dresses to be easy – styles that work equally well with flip flops, trainers or heels. And I felt there was a niche in the market for a British brand which did this. Nothing too directional. Something that championed a nostalgic, iconic and quintessentially British wardrobe staple like the tea dress."
"I don't like the idea of disposable fashion. It's far more rewarding to pull a dress out, season after season, knowing it looks - and makes you feel - great."
First and foremost, Elaine is mother to Maia, 5, and Finlay, 3, and in setting up her own business she wanted the "seemingly unachievable" work-life balance. "I’m still working on it,” she concludes.