The team behind Elsie Frieda Collection is a beautiful example of the magic that happens when women support and empower each other. In this case, the result is a fashion accessories line and “our path to success is always ‘we’ and never ‘I.’” Taking a collaborative approach to the design process, the women behind Elsie Frieda bring their unique ideas, resources, and personalities to the table. Through these different perspectives, statement pieces that are equally as colorful & unique to the women & stories behind them are created.
Based in Richmond, Virginia, the Elsie Frieda tribe spreads from Africa to Canada and at the helm is Christina Scarsella Harrison. A fashion lover at heart, Harrison found her creative outlet as a young girl through making jewelry. While taking a pause from her IT Consulting career to focus on the familiar demands of raising two young boys, Harrison discovered Heishi beads in 2018. The vibrant colors of these African vinyl beads spoke to Harrison’s maximalist style and she began designing patterns while “finding magic in the placement of each bead.”
Through a partnership with women in Ghana, Elsie Frieda’s debut collection of Heishi beaded necklaces and bracelets was introduced to a small group of friends & family with an incredible response. The beauty & challenge of these beads is finding them in the markets of Ghana. Constantly evolving as new materials are introduced and interwoven to make colorful fashion accessories, the Heishi beads remain at the core of the Collection.
It’s Harrison’s maternal grandmother, Elsie Frieda, for which the Collection is named. As a master bridge and golf player and one of the first woman to graduate Temple University, Elsie was a true trailblazer of her time. The descendant of German chocolatiers, Elsie grew up in the family’s Pennsylvania chocolate factory. Through her own example, she taught Harrison many life lessons. Most importantly - and in this order - Elsie stressed the values of kindness, hard work, and “looking good while doing it!”
In an effort to support female causes far and wide, the Elsie Frieda Collection takes philanthropic work seriously and recognizes the importance of giving back. In the few short years since launch, the team has designed pieces to benefit Breast Cancer Awareness and Feeding America’s fundraising efforts.
Elsie Frieda is constantly evolving just like the women behind the Collection. Through all the organic growth experienced as a young brand, the mission remains the same: encourage all women to celebrate their independence through hard work, kindness and “to look good while doing it!”