Since 2016 Elle Pugh has been keeping New Zealanders covered in cosy cashmere with Elle + Riley Cashmere, the business she started with her mother Yolande Ellis. With the retail success story including stores in Queenstown, Ponsonby, Newmarket and Commercial Bay, we asked Pugh to reveal her insights and inspirations.
In one sentence, describe what you actually do in your job?
Everything. As a new business owner we share every role, design, production, sales, customer service, web design, social media, accounts, management, and my favourite part — being on the shop floor with our amazing customers and educating them about our brand.
Who or what can you thank for your success?
My mum. This dream started because of her and as my business partner she has pushed me every day to work harder, be smarter, take risks and be brave. She is the reason we are successful as a brand.
What’s the best meal you’ve ever eaten in Auckland?
Impossible to choose but we literally eat at Prego every single week and their Market Fish Risotto is so comforting and unbeatable. The Beef Tostada at Azabu… Green Goddess and Flounder at Soul Bar, the Scampi Tagliatelle at Amano…. Okay stop me now… Has anyone ever given a single answer to this question?
What’s your poison?
After our trip to Tulum last year I’m loving Casamigos Tequila on the rocks with lots of fresh lime.
What was your first job?
I worked for both my parents — cleaning and doing filing in my mum’s office and washing dishes on movie sets for my dad in the school holidays. Certainly jobs that taught me the meaning of hard work.
Best piece of advice you’ve been given?
You can’t impress everybody and things don’t have to be perfect to be wonderful.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Listen more and travel more.
What’s your favourite pastime?
Going out with my girlfriends for a solid d-floor session.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
Watching reruns of Gossip Girl on Netflix.
Where do you go to unwind?
Omaha Beach or the couch.
Who is your favourite Aucklander?
Vinci Gin-Nen. No one is better at bringing people together for a good time. The ultimate party thrower, entertainer and a genuine heart of gold human being. Auckland would not be what it is without him.