Inspired by her three young children, Elisha Bailez started the company Peek a Book Rooms and began creating imaginative, luxury bedding and artwork that are admired by both children and parents alike. Whether you want a complete designer nursery, an adorable kid’s gift, or a child’s bedroom makeover, this custom-designed collection allows you to create a unique look for your little one. Elisha has created adorable characters from Hi Flyin’ Monkeys to Ballerina Bunnies that are sure to come alive in your child’s room and make them feel surrounded by friends and fun! I had the pleasure of meeting Elisha at last year’s ABC Kids Expo and it’s so inspiring to see how passionate she is about her work. The interview below reveals the same, so I invite you to meet Elisha and check out some of her beautiful designs!
How would you define the Peek-a-Boo Rooms style philosophy?
My company philosophy is Mommies making beautiful products for other Mommies. There are 7 Mommy artisans & professionals that work to make up a Peek a Boo Room: Elisha (artist), Maria (cut & sew workroom), Mary Scott & Catrice & Maria (embroidery), Suzi Q (canvas printing & fab), and Diana (accountant & genius). I am a huge believer in the Toyota Lean style business. The entire process for the business takes place in Atlanta. Every detail, from the design, materials used, packaging, and on time delivery represents our top-notch quality. Always!
What inspired you to become an artist and start a business?
I grew up with art. My Mom is and artist and we always had a studio in the home. She had her big wood easel and canvases all over the place. She kept a little easel next to hers with a jar of sour candy balls. After having my own children, it seemed natural to start painting and set up a studio. I have my own big wooden easel and my Mom bought the little one for my “little ones”; it was natural.
Why did you choose to create children’s art and room decor?
I have three children (3yr, 5yr, and 7yr) and my art moved from figures and landscapes to storybook murals. Murals on their walls, churches walls, schools walls….I eventually ran out of walls so canvas was the next step. All the paintings come from a story I have made up for my children: Monkey’s flying airplanes, Shy little Lambs, and Little Buddy the boy’s best friend. From the art comes the inspiration for embroidery, color, texture, and design. It unfolds easily to make a whole room that has both art and practical function.
What is your favorite part of your daily work when you reflect on the day, what is most rewarding?
Inviting my children into the world of art on a daily basis is such a rewarding gift!
How do you balance being a mother and an artist? Do you have any tips for other moms wanting to start their own business?
OK, so we all know…it’s all about the kids but to find time for yourself and your interest with little ones around is a challenge that can be done. Having boundaries works well for me; I have set times that are for the kids (like after school homework & fun Fridays) and set times that are for me (Peek a Boo Rooms, Wine with friends, etc.). And I have to schedule it or it won’t happen, one will gobble up the other.
Starting a business is easy, keeping it is tough. If you’re tough, go for it!
If you had to pick a favorite piece from your collection, what would it be?
Beach Baby on the Seashore large landscape. It was my first one for Peek a Boo Rooms and takes me back to the beginning days of the business. It also is a painting from a difficult time in my life when I was trying to get pregnant. I took many trips to the beach; which is my healing place. I’m a cancer birthday, my mother is a cancer, and my first born child is a cancer.
What sets Peek-a-Boo Rooms apart from other designers in your industry?
As artists, we all have a particular style of art. My style is very easy to see. The soft colors, storybook compositions, and sweet little animals are certainly a standout. I make the art the center of the design, from there I pull my colors from my pallet and search for textiles. The final step is pulling the shapes & patterns in final room design. I think that is unique process and creates a design that is equally unique.
Do you have any news that you would like to share, perhaps about upcoming designs or introductions to your line?
It has been a very busy and “fast out of the gate” 2012! I have 3 new designs coming out in the Spring at Rosenberry Rooms. First, is Little Dreamer: a sleepy owl who just can’t seem to stay awake. Next, is So Coco: a black beauty who stands out in a sea of pink. And then there is, The Boys are Back in Town: a tribute to my two sons who love the classic Thin Lizzy rock song and love to dance and air guitar when it’s on. And what a sight that is 😉
Now…Just for Fun
Favorite Food – Grilled shrimp tacos & a margarita, yum!
Favorite TV Show – Dr Oz, a bit obsessed really, I DVR all the shows
Favorite Movie – Who has time for a movie?
Favorite Weekend Activity – Hiking with the kids and some occasional trail running
Favorite Band – Kings of Leon