Welcome to our latest blog series, where we shine a spotlight on one of the many talented South Australian businesses, brands and creatives currently making strides in the wedding and engagement industry.
Known for their elaborate designs and one of a kind dresses featuring a combination of fine silks, lace and embellishments, Liz and Shirley of Eliza French have been in the industry since 1986. The two combined forces in 2008 and have since made even more bride’s dreams come true through their passion, dedication and talent.
We spoke with Liz to find out all about the South Australian brand’s story, from the creative process to the valuable lessons learned during her many years designing.
Tell us a bit about yourself?
I have been designing for 30 years. I signed up at Elizabeth TAFE campus with three small children who I put in their day care facility, 3 days a week for 3 years. I was determined to go through with the complete certificate course (which I did), and I have never looked back.
Did you always know you wanted to design dresses? When was this passion born?
I started the Eliza French label in 2008 with my dear friend Shirley Vozzo. We worked together till May 2014. Sadly Shirley lost her battle with breast cancer.
To cope with the loss of Shirley and my beautiful sister who passed away a year earlier, also with breast cancer, I threw myself into my work. It was the only way I could get through the grief, and I still believe that my work saved me.
What do you love about working in the Wedding industry?
The wedding industry is such an exciting place to work! You get to be a part of your bride's journey, from the first consultation to the wedding day. I go and dress all my brides on their wedding day!
I love making sure everything is perfect, and getting to see all of the other suppliers' input for the day - it’s just wonderful to see everything and everyone come together.
It’s sad at the moment with what’s going on with COVID 19, most of my brides have postponed their weddings into 2021. I feel for all the other suppliers during this time (you know what they’re saying - “we’re all in this together”). We’ve all had to adjust to these unprecedented times, but hopefully it won’t be too long before we can all get back to some sense of normality.
What makes an Eliza French piece different from any other?
My passion and love for each gown that I make.
My last bride Megan couldn’t bear to box her gown away, so she had it especially framed and displays it in her home. She says that it's a work of art and needs to be seen.
Is there a dress or piece you’ve made that was particularly special to you?
I don’t think I can choose a favourite, they’re all my favourite! I feel that each time I create a gown for my brides they are given a part of me.
What is one of the greatest lessons you’ve learned throughout your career?
Always stay positive and happy and everything will be ok. I also always ensure I make time for my family.
I have a wonderful husband, 3 beautiful children and 8 grandchildren. I’m very blessed.
“To sew is to love, a love of time, dedication, sacrifice and beauty…..a vision of elegance stays true in our eyes and our love creates stunning works of art” - Elisabetta Chiera and Shirley Vozzo.
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