ON FEBRUARY 4, 2004, FACEBOOK REDEFINED “FRIEND.” PRIOR TO THE COMPANY’S LAUNCH, A FRIEND WAS AN INDIVIDUAL WITH WHOM ONE HAD CREATED A BOND OF MUTUAL AFFECTION FOSTERED THROUGH PERSONAL ENCOUNTERS AND, OCCASSIONALLY, WRITTEN CORRESPONDENCE. FACEBOOK AND ITS SOCIAL-MEDIA COLLEAGUES SYSTEMATICALLY UPGRADED THE STATUS OF ACQUAINTANCE TO FRIEND AND THEN TO STRANGER-WITH-A-SORT-OF-SIX-DEGREES-OF-SEPARATION-CONNECTION. THE NOVELIST ANDREW O’HAGAN RECENTLY REFLECTED ON THIS DEMOTION, NOTING THAT WHERE SHARED MEMORIES PREVIOUSLY SERVED AS THE FOUNDATION OF FRIENDSHIP, TODAY, WITHOUT DOCUMENTED EVIDENCE — POSTED PHOTOS, HASHTAGS, ETC. — EVEN EMBEDDED FRIENDSHIPS APPEAR FICTIONAL. YET, HE ARGUES, IT IS MOST OFTEN THESE INVISIBLE BONDS THAT SUSTAIN US THROUGH LIFE’S TRIALS.
Embracing both sides of the continuum, creative brand consultant and art director Elise Joseph is cultivating a composite classification of friend: Goodwin. Launched in the fall of 2016, Goodwin is a “women’s capsule retail concept” that involves unique, limited-edition products sold exclusively online, often created by Elise’s bonafide friends, who share a commitment to “intentional, thoughtful and quality design." That's why she named the platform goodwin, or “good friend” in Old English.
WHAT IS YOUR EARLIEST MEMORY?
When I was around five years old, my mom drove me out to the country and I got to pick out a poodle, our first dog. We surprised my older brother — I remember rolling the puppy into our house in a red wagon and the look of excitement on his face. We named him Cheddar, because he was the color of cheddar cheese.
WHAT IS THE BEST PART OF YOUR JOB?
Getting to collaborate with friends and work with artists who inspire me. And being able to work remotely.
IF YOU HAD TAKEN A DIFFERENT CAREER PATH, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
When I was a kid, I wanted to be a news anchor or TV host — ha! I quickly learned that wasn't the path for me. As a teenager, I always dreamed of working for a big fashion magazine, which is something I think would be fun to pursue if I wasn’t doing what I’m doing now.
A NASHVILLE SONG
A PICTURE YOU WISH YOU'D TAKEN
WHAT ADVICE DO YOU WISH YOU COULD GIVE YOUR 13-YEAR-OLD SELF?
Don’t be afraid of your feelings. It’s okay to sit with them and process, and then take action and keep moving forward.
WHO HAS HELPED INSPIRE YOUR CURRENT CAREER PATH?
I admire strong business ladies, like Emily Weiss from Glossier, Tyler Haney from Outdoor Voices and Sophia Amoruso [of Nasty Gal], and love hearing how they got to where they are today.
IS THERE SOMETHING YOU'VE DREAMED OF DOING FOR A LONG TIME?
I’ve always wanted to have a women’s clothing store and to live abroad in England or Scandinavia at some point. I’ve now checked one of those things off the list and hope to check off the other soon.
A SCENE YOU WOULD LIKE TO ENACT
A PERFECT STYLE MOMENT
My grandmother (and namesake) Elise with her mother
A PLACE YOU HAVE CALLED HOME
A SONG THAT GIVES YOU SWAGGER
WHAT IS THE MOST CHALLENGING PART OF BEING SELF-EMPLOYED?
Setting boundaries and turning it off at the end of the day.
HOW DO YOU DECIDE WHICH PARTS OF YOUR LIFE TO SHARE AND WHICH PARTS TO KEEP PRIVATE?
There is an ongoing balance that I am constantly striving for. I love sharing and always want to be authentic, but I also think that some things are important to savor on my own, be entirely present for and keep sacred.
YOUR GREATEST LOVE
A SONG FROM THE FIRST CONCERT YOU ATTENDED
YOUR FAVORITE CHILDHOOD PHOTO
YOUR MOST PRECIOUS OBJECT
A SONG YOU HAVE LISTENED TO 10 TIMES IN A ROW
WHAT IS THE BEST RISK YOU'VE EVER TAKEN?
Getting married again.
HOW DO YOU DEFINE SUCCESS?
Feeling centered while doing what I love and making enough money to keep the lights on.
WHAT DO YOU HOPE YOUR LIFE WILL LOOK LIKE IN 20 YEARS?
Running a brick-and-mortar (or two) for Goodwin, a couple kids, a couple dogs and a beautiful compound where our friends and family love to hangout on the weekends.
A SCREENSHOT OF YOUR LAST GOOGLE IMAGE SEARCH