Bravitude: Deena Poythress, owner of Ellie and Eliza

Bravitude: (noun) "fullness earned by a sense of bravery"

Welcome to the first post in the Bravitude series, where we'll be spotlighting some amazing women walking BRAVELY in what God has called them to do! Today we're talking to Deena Poythress, owner of Ellie and Eliza, an Atlanta based fashion and lifestyle brand. Not only is Deena a dynamic woman, wife, mom of 2, wardrobe stylist, and new entrepreneur, she also happens to have been my best friend for the past 30+ years! :-)

 What is the inspiration behind Ellie and Eliza?

The story line behind Ellie and Eliza is two women, living different lives, connected by their love of fashion. My inspirations are strong, powerful, inspirational moms, wives, single, working, living THEIR lives; women who regardless of their ethnicity, class, upbringing, or current status in life can connect and inspire other women through their love of fashion. It's about knowing who you are and adorning yourself accordingly while inspiring others to do the same.

 What made you decide to take a leap of faith and pursue this business venture?

I've always loved fashion. Since my toddler years I've always been inspired by it. So it wasn't unlikely for me to pursue a career in it. In college, while working at a boutique, I realized that I would one day like to own my own. Well, 14 years later, after maneuvering through different careers in the fashion industry, I felt God saying it was time for me to pursue my dream. During a visit to Brooklyn, I came across a mobile boutique that made me realize my dream was doable AND saw a way of doing it in a not so common way. So I decided, let's try it. And there began Ellie and Eliza. 

 Scariest thing about starting your own business?
Relying on me!!! Lol! But so true. Working for someone I could always throw the responsibility on them. Now, I have to own up and face responsibilities myself. 
  Who or what is your fashion inspiration?
My inspiration is women who own their style. I love trends but I love women who go beyond them and make their style trendy. Iris Apfel is the perfect example of this. Regardless of the trend or the season, because she owns her look, she is always in style. 
 What are your 3 MUST-HAVE fashion items?
Classic denim jacket
Great pair of jeans 
 What is your favorite fashion item of the moment?
 Advice you'd give other moms who have dreams they'd like to fulfill but have been putting on hold?
Put yourself first!!!! This was the word God gave me when He showed me that it was time to pursue my dream. I had to put everyone else's lives on the back burner so I could live my own. Don't talk yourself in believing that you shouldn't because it's selfish or you can't because of your schedule. We make time for what we want and love. Therefore, you should be amongst the top priority on the list. Life goes on, and you only get older and weaker. So while you have the strength of your youth, do the work to make your dreams come true. Doing anything other than this is a disservice to not only you but those who you love and love you. When you pursue your best life it causes you to be the best for those who draw from you. 
 Funnest thing you've done in the last 30 days?
Shop!!! That's the fun part about owning a boutique. Well at least for me. 
 One thing you'd like to try, before the year, is over that you've never done?
I'm actually at the hair salon doing it now. Dying part of my hair purple. 

 Favorite place to travel?

  If you could be born in another decade, which one would you choose? Why?
The 20s!!! It was such a classy glamorous era. Art ruled the world and everyone was a lady or a gentleman. 
 What song best describes you?
 Do My Thang by Estelle. Right now, that's how I am living my life!
Here are a few pics from the Ellie and Eliza launch party that took place this last weekend in Atlanta! Official opening September 2015!!!
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1 comment

  • Great article! Inspiring! Beautiful and affordable clothing!

    • DeWayne