Live Softly


Koskela Interview with Elise, Founder of Live Softly

International Women’s Day: Celebrating
Women In Design

Interviews with 12 of the inspiring women we get to work with at Koskela.

To celebrate International Women’s Day we asked 12 women with flourishing creative businesses about the highlights of working in the design industry and what makes them tick.

Countless pearls of wisdom have been revealed by these incredible ladies. Keep reading for plenty of inspiration and thought-provoking insights!

Elise Slater - Live Softly

Elise Slater / Live Softly

How long have you worked in the design industry?
I went straight from high school to UTS to study Fashion Design and have worked in the design industry ever since – so 17 years long! I've worked across all areas from fashion design and trend forecasting, to my current role as a design educator and founder of my own small social enterprise design company, Live Softly.

What is your favourite part of the job?
At the moment I have three jobs; as a designer for Live Softly, educator and art therapist, and I love how all are design related and interweave, I feel like all of my skills gathered over the last 17 years have now found their expression in the world, and that makes me feel creatively enriched everyday. My other favourite part of the job is hearing how Live Softly resonates with other people and how they interact with it's story, this project has lead me to meet many wonderful people who are also passionate about social enterprise and ethical design.

What is your proudest achievement?
Working with my community of marginalised artisans in Nepal and bringing the project to life has been a wonderfully rewarding journey, and being accepted in to my favourite design stores in the world, including Koskela and Selfridges in London was beyond exciting; it meant the project had a place in the world.

Do you have a personal mantra/philosophy that you live by?
The name of my project, Live Softly, is also the mantra I design and live by. Live Softly embraces the Buddhist philosophy to do no harm and to tread softly on the world. I believe in mindful design and have always been an advocate for sustainability and design for change. I believe in educating customers about the provenance of textiles, connecting them with the stories of how things are made. As designers we need to connect people to the making process so they can treasure what they own as a means to combat disposable design. My mantra is to create happy makers, happy customers and a happy planet.

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elise slater