Style is more than just a look. it’s a demeanor.
My mom has taught me to treat not just my clients like royalty but everyone I encounter. “Be polite and cordial always. It’s a very small world, so you never know who you are going to work with again down the line."
- Elly Deyhle
About four years ago, Elly Deyhle launched her first collection of handbags using classic textiles designed by renown architects. When we featured her handbags in 2013
, we touched on her influences from architecture and her mom’s role in the design. Today, we find out more about her greatest influence, her mom Myra, who essentially encouraged the leap into owning her own business.
“My mom is a huge part of my life! She is definitely my best friend and we talk every day. She really inspired me to work for myself; in fact she insisted! When I see something as a challenge or a problem she doesn’t see it that way, she always offers a great solution,” says Elly.
“I left my job in marketing/communications for the American Institute of Architects and people thought I was crazy. I knew I had to devote myself full time if I wanted to make this business successful. When I started selling products to boutiques for every yes I had two no's. However, I truly believed in the product and knew it could be successful. With every no I found a way to improve what I was doing and eventually turned no's into sales. My business is constantly evolving and it is so important to be open to change but also stay true to our original classic style.”
Elly’s exposure to design started very early. When Elly was growing up in Houston, Myra worked with well-known large firms SOM then Ziegler Cooper Architects as an interior designer.
“Elly spent more time with me at work and in the Houston decorative center than on the playground. She grew up appreciating my career and overall developed a love for design, “ says Myra about being a career mom.
In both style and design, “less is more,” they say, treasuring quality over quantity. This belief carries into their exotic handbag collection and now custom silk pillow venture together, with Elly heading the business and Myra supporting her as a consultant.Together, they delve into their passions for interior design, furnishings, decor, and fashion.
Meeting after work for dinner, Myra and Elly are both dressed in a minimal palette of black and white. Elly carries an orange cream haired hide handbag, one of the first prototypes from the upcoming collection.
“We are very excited. The new haired hide prototypes should be here soon! The [handbag] collection will include amazing color, fabulous chains (jewelry), and clutch to wristlet designs. We are also excited about the pillows, focusing on Scalamandre silks,” says Myra about what’s in store for both ventures.
Currently, Myra’s interior design skills are focused on furnishings at APG/Herman Miller located on Main, while Elly, on recent move to New Orleans, has picked up residential clients offering everything from basic room consultations to full-scale renovations. Eventually, they hope to work together in a business focusing on residential interiors.
When it comes to balancing life with all these passions, they echo the importance of relationships.
“This is always a difficult one because I work for myself so I feel like I’m always working. As best as possible, I try to focus on work while at work and give friends 100% while in social situations. My biggest challenge is trying to be a good businesswoman and a good friend,” Elly admits.
“Difficult sometimes, but relationships are so important. With Elly in New Orleans I must make myself reach out to my current friendships and pursue new friendships. I am committed to my work. In addition, I am so grateful to have the opportunity to mentor to the U of M Architectural department – they are fabulous; and 4th and 5th grade girls at White Station Elementary through Rotary Memphis East. With the young girls, how refreshing it is to give and not expect anything but small hugs back” says Myra.
Find out more about the Elly Deyhle handbag and pillow collection at ellydeyhle.com
Myra has also volunteered with AIA Memphis to present the Design Auction, bringing collectible iconic designs to the public. Details here
Top: Clover Canyon. Vintage Chanel pearls. Shoes: Stuart Weitzman from Joseph. Slacks: Wolford- be gone from James Davis’ women’s department.
Romper: Parker from Intermix in Miami.
Flight Restaurant and Wine Bar, Downtown Memphis