5 Questions for Elizabeth Ball, Artist

Several years ago I moved to New York City without really any idea of what I was getting myself into or who I would meet. A few weeks after arriving, a friend of a friend from college (and a fellow Texan) named Elizabeth Ball invited me to join her at a halloween party in the Lower East Side. I woke up on halloween day to a city blanketed in white snow. Totally unprepared, I called Elizabeth to ask her if she had any ideas for a cute Halloween costume in freezing temps. Without a thought, she said, "let's be party animals! We can buy some cute animals ears and pin a tail on the back of thrift store fur coats and just be cozy!" Someone who could be that creative and practical so quickly- I knew I liked her right off the bat.

By Elizabeth Evelyn Ball

By Elizabeth Evelyn Ball

After our snowy halloween dressed as party animals, Elizabeth and I hung out constantly. Her infectious and outgoing personality was recognized by everyone she came across. It wasn't an uncommon occurrence for the bodega workers to the homeless to embrace Elizabeth and call her by name when we ventured out in our shared East Village neighborhood. 

Elizabeth Evelyn Ball's work on exposed brick

Elizabeth Evelyn Ball's work on exposed brick

Whenever I went over to Elizabeth's apartment, she was always working on a new piece of art. Her exposed brick walls adorned with her unique artistic masterpieces. It was always understood that one day Elizabeth would turn her passion for art into a full time career.

Art by Elizabeth Evelyn Ball

Art by Elizabeth Evelyn Ball

It's been several years since our East Village days, but the friendship between Elizabeth and I hasn't wavered. I was beyond excited when Elizabeth called me several weeks ago to ask me to help her with the design of her new company website, Elizabeth Evelyn Ball, launching online this January.

Elizabeth Evelyn Ball- if you could capture the essence of Elizabeth in one shot, this would be it.

Elizabeth Evelyn Ball- if you could capture the essence of Elizabeth in one shot, this would be it.

As my former New York City partner-in- crime and constant source of inspiration, It's an honor to feature Elizabeth in our 5 questions series. 

1. How I got my start...

I’ve painted for as long as I can remember and it’s something that I’ve always come back to despite whatever else I was doing. I decided to pursue art professionally after having worked at a PR firm started by a female entrepreneur where I not only handled accounts of female jewelry designers (Three Jane by Katie Schloss, and Leighelena) but also shared an office space with Inslee Farris of Inslee by Design and Roxy Te of Society Social. It was really inspiring to be surrounded by so many women going after their passions and doing their own thing.

2. Best advice I ever received...

Not to be afraid of failure but to put yourself out there and try things. A lot of successful people failed before they ever succeeded. I’ve learned that there is absolutely no shame in failing which is freeing -- You can’t succeed if you don’t try, and fear holds you back.

3. Success looks like...

Being able to support myself by doing what I love each day and creating art that makes people happy.

4. Happiness is...

Being surrounded by beautiful things and spending tons of time with loved ones.

5. My biggest inspiration... 

I find the greatest inspiration from my surroundings – I love to travel and explore new, charming places. 

If you are interested in Elizabeth's art, you can contact her directly at elizabetheball@gmail.com. Also, be sure to follow her on Instagram to see her latest works. I will also share Elizabeth's website with you as soon as it goes live this January!

A Little Beach Town Called Delray

I've spent the past few weeks in preparation for this week in particular. It's officially my last week living in South Florida. While in the process of closing one chapter of life and opening another, there are always bittersweet moments, yet there never really seems to be a right way to say goodbye to the place or people you will soon be leaving.

A box of shells souvenirs I packed up for the move to Dallas

A box of shells souvenirs I packed up for the move to Dallas

In honor of this chapter of "my beach life" closing, I'd like to share what I've found to be the best of Delray Beach in hopes that one day if you are looking for a nice little place to escape by the sea, you'll think of this quaint little beach town just 20 minutes south of Palm Beach. 

Schaffer's Tea Room on Swinton Ave

Schaffer's Tea Room on Swinton Ave

Where to Eat:

Schaffer's Tea Room: Step inside this cute little beach bungalow located right off of Swinton Ave to discovery an incredible sensory experience with cozy reading nooks, a room filled with teas sourced from around the world and a table filled with locally made treats. 

Luna Rosa: My favorite brunch spot. It's located right on A1A across from the beach and has pretty much anything you could ever ask for in one place. Hint: Get their early to put your name on the waiting list. 

Green Owl: A mom and pop diner from a bygone era that serves the most simple breakfasts - think scrambled eggs, white bread toast, black coffee. Tip: Cash Only

J&J Seafood Bar and Grill: This small Delray oyster establishment has been ranked for having the best Oysters in Delray for years. Even with the the newer, trendier seafood joints popping up in town, your hotel concierge will tell you that this place is still the best. 

Park Tavern: If you like new American food with a trendy bar scene, this is your spot. Tip: You have to order the deviled eggs!

Kilwins: The most amazing homemade ice cream I never had before coming here. They have seasonal flavors like pumpkin pie as well as your traditional all American vanilla. Hint: Look for fresh fudge samples by the front entrance. 

Home furnishings from Morley, Delray Beach

Home furnishings from Morley, Delray Beach

Where to Shop: 

Nest: The cutest little antique shop ever. They have everything from art deco inspired lucite chairs from the 70's to ottoman's draped in vintage fabrics. 

Periwinkle: Best clothing and accessories on Atlantic Avenue. New arrivals daily from designers like Diane Von Furstenberg, Trina Turk and Joie. Also, don't forget to check out their sale room for some great last season finds. 

Wags to Riches: This is my favorite place for an afternoon smile, literally. Inside the store is filled with the cutest little real puppies from Morkies to French Bulldogs. Even if you don't need a pet, you have to at least stop by and say hi. 

Morley: A favorite new store on Atlantic Avenue filled with the best home items for your beach bungalow along with clothes from cult-favorite jetsetter brands like Calypso. The store is also man-friendly with several men's clothing lines and and even a tiki bar and TV for watching the games!

The Seagate Beach Club, available exclusively to guests of the Seagate Hotel & Spa

The Seagate Beach Club, available exclusively to guests of the Seagate Hotel & Spa

Where to Stay:

The Seagate Hotel & Spa: Huge hotel rooms, great seafood restaurant, incredible spa, a private country club, beach club and walkability to the beach. This is by far the nicest hotel on Atlantic Avenue with direct beach access. 

The Sundy House: This Victorian home turned hotel is known for its five star service, serene rooms and incredible Sunday brunch. 

The Colony Hotel: Located right in the center of downtown Delray, The Colony is built inside of a historic building boasting old school charm, early morning yoga classes and ease of access to all the amenities that Delray has to offer. 

Designer Spotlight: Dezso by Sara Beltran

A couple of years ago, I worked for a boutique Public Relations firm in New York that specialized in lifestyle, fashion and healthcare PR. One of my favorite clients to work with was an amazing non-profit organization called Project Paz. Based in New York, Project Paz's goal is to raise money to help promote peace in Juarez, hosting annual fundraising events where 100% of profits support community development programs for Juarez's future. 

Designer, Sara Beltran

Designer, Sara Beltran

Born in El Paso, many with families still in Juarez, the founders of the organization are extremely passionate about the cause and use their individual talents to raise awareness and funds for the organization. One such member is Sara Beltran, who I worked closely with on a Project Art fundraiser we organized in 2012. As part of the fundraiser, Sara designed a collection of Project Paz jewelry that we sold in conjunction with ShopLatitude to raise funds for Juarez. 

As someone who is constantly inspired by beach, sand and surf, I couldn't help but immediately fall head-over-heels in love when I learned more about Sara's line called Deszo, which translates from Latin to mean "Desire." 

Fossilized Shark Tooth Necklaces, Dezso by Sara Beltran

Fossilized Shark Tooth Necklaces, Dezso by Sara Beltran

Sara Beltran started her career over a decade ago as a stylist in New York, but her childhood romance for beach life and seashells was never far off. Eventually, Sara decided to take a seashell necklace she made for fun and turn it into a business, her unique beach-chic designs quickly garnering an international cult following.

Today, Dezso is a constant fixture on the pages of Harper's Bazaar, W Magazine and ELLE for the polki diamonds, fossilized shark teeth and shells that Sara handpicks from beaches around the world and then casts in 18K pink gold.

Earrings, Dezso by Sara Beltran

Earrings, Dezso by Sara Beltran

You can shop Dezso by Sara Beltran online at Net-a-Porter and Barney's or at high-end retail boutiques internationally.