On Being “Confidently Different” In Life, Love, and Business: A Beautiful Q&A With Elizabeth Hague
Elizabeth Hague does things differently. From my very first interaction with this #GIRLBOSS (fun fact: we met through Instagram!), I could instantly tell she's the kind of woman who lives life out loud. Her energy is magnetic. I wanted to interview her before I really even understood who she was (a seriously bada$$ woman on a mission), what she did (branding wizardry), or where she was from (Atlanta, GA).
I’ve since scrolled through all of Elizabeth’s Instagram posts, read her wedding story (OMG, btw) and have spent many hours deliberating over whether or not littlefoolbook is ready for a re-brand because that’s how badly I want to work with her.
She’s the Creative Director, Brand Strategist, and co-founder of Wildcat Echo, the company she built from the ground up with her husband and partner in creative crime. She’s a woman with a mind of her own, an affinity for a good gin cocktail, and a rad philosophy on the power of being “confidently different.”
Without further ado, a beautiful Q&A with Elizabeth Hague…
HEY GIRL! Let’s start with the basics. Can you tell me a little bit about yourself?
I'm a proud 4th generation business owner who believes in the American Dream. I'm currently living in the most diverse town in all of the Southern United States. I'm a smart business woman who loves a good gin cocktail and all forms of carbs.
Smart biz woman you are!...Speaking of which, tell me a bit about your business? What's your mission at Wildcat Echo?
We're a brand experience firm. Our mission is to sharpen flat, boring brands into killer marketing tools. We work with both existing and new companies creating verbal, visual, and digital brand systems.
“We influence how people feel about your business by building you the best brand experiences.”
I love it, and I love that you’re a 4th generation business owner. What motivated you to become an entrepreneur?
I have a degree in Fine Arts. I studied in Paris as a dirt poor student that somehow always scraped together enough euros for wine and bread. I graduated directly into the worst downturn economy America had seen since the market crash of 1929.
A degree in art and a horrific market lead me to a job in Corporate America. I worked on a marketing team serving other big name corporations: MLB, Harley Davidson, Target, Walmart, Amazon.com, etc. I fell in love with the apparel industry there. Beauty, fashion, image. I hid out in a cubicle for a few years until I was headhunted by a private dotcom to be a part of a scrappy 3 person team.
Eventually, I realized that I had the chops to open my own business. Thus, Wildcat Echo was born.
OKAY. So I’ve done some IG stalking...Let me see if I've got this right — your business partner is your husband? (Amazing, BTW.) How do the two of you make it work in love and business?
Honestly? I could write a book.
The short version: RESPECT.
The long version: It's all about being professional. For example, even though we share an office all of our conversations are in our team Slack. If I have a question I Slack it to him and vice versa.
We're both crazy busy. We have large accounts that rely on us to solve real communication-related roadblocks. We love and respect each other too much to steal that focus.
That's what boss level respect looks like.
Speaking of love and respect, what kind of role does "Self-Love" play in your life and/or business?
Loving myself is a practiced skill.
I'm the boss, so it's easy for me to show up to the office not showered, wearing the same yoga pants 3 days in a row. Been there, done that, and no one appreciates it. It doesn't help me stay productive.
I have to stay on top of my self-care routine, hard. Marching to the beat of your own drum is exhausting and difficult. It's easy to put everyone and everything before yourself.
So what does self-care actually look like in your daily life?
I treat myself in small ways every day. I take 75 minute lunch breaks. I've extended my daily skincare routine. I don't work past 6:30pm, EVER.
It's the little things that add up.
We're all so busy, we have to carve out little pockets of "us" time here and there. We have to treat ourselves often, in small ways, so that we can all keep working hard and being boss.
SO. Basically, you’re the walking, breathing definition of a #girlboss and you also know how to love and take care of yourself. Do you ever feel vulnerable?
I ALWAYS feel vulnerable when I'm doing something new for the first time.
I'm a recovering perfectionist, and failing is still wildly uncomfortable for me. If you don't try, you can't be truly great, right? If I feel vulnerable I tell myself that the sooner I try, (and probably fail), the sooner I'll be an expert.
It's been a huge help in getting over newbie jitters.
Switching gears...What's your morning routine? How do you prep for a day of being BOSS.
I am not a morning person. I really hate mornings. Did I mention I dislike mornings? It's not cute.
I spend more time treating myself in the AM to help motivate me to get on with my day.
My longer skin routine is in the morning. I love having a mini-spa experience to look forward to. I treat myself to different healthy breakfast foods. A smoothie bowl takes 5 seconds to make, but it's so fancy feeling. I love it. Or, I'll try a new coffee roast. Small, simple luxuries go a long way toward waking me up.
I also never schedule meetings before 10 am. It's total bliss.
What is your personal definition of "Beauty"?
BEING CONFIDENTLY DIFFERENT. (!!!!!*) I can't yell that loud enough.
Being comfortable in your own skin is the ultimate chic look. No one is you, embrace it! You can make a paper bag look haute if you're feeling it. Be different! Feel it, strut it, make it work. Stay wild, stay weird!
*exclamation points, mine.
My favorite question to ask all my guests — How have you coped with growing up GIRL in a culture that's obsessed with *a very certain standard* of beauty? How has (or hasn't it) shaped your experiences as a woman today?
We've all heard so many conflicting pieces of advice about what we should be. We all need to be curvy-thin-flawless-faced-natural-beauties that need more makeup.
Ok, but all those things contradict each other, so...
I personally stopped listening to what other people thought was right for me a long time ago. Screw 'em.
You can't possibly be everything everyone wants you to be. Being yourself isn't easy, but you become woke AF and that's reward enough.
Do you have a go-to favorite beauty product? What is it? And why?
NARS BB Cream. Even if I am dead on my feet that day my skin will be hydrated, even and SPF protected, damnit.
Can you describe your current beauty regime?
I'm in my 30's, so I focus on my skin. My current routine is a riff on the 10-step Korean skincare craze. I love the daily mini-relaxation time.
I enjoy wearing less make-up, so it's vital I stay on top of keeping my skin happy. I gotta have my glow!
What do you absolutely LOVE about yourself (go ahead, don't be shy!)
I have a great body shape and I've cultivated a strong style around it.
It took me forever to figure out how to dress this body. Every woman should know their body composition, type, and shape! It makes shopping so much more satisfying.
And on the flipside, when you’re feeling less than your best... How do you summon confidence on a "down day"?
If I'm feeling a lack of confidence I always pause and remind myself that I've felt that way before and I'm still standing. Whatever it is that has me upset or uncomfortable is temporary! How I react, speak, and handle myself is much more permanent. It's an awesome way to stay in perspective.
Book of the moment?
Song of the moment?
Time of day?
Nail polish color?
Website to frequent?
Way to unwind?
Podcast to listen to?
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