Heritage Counts


Eliza Crater shares how her family is preserving the past while weaving a bright future at Sister Parish

Henry Parish and Susan Carter.

Heritage is truly at the heart of Sister Parish. What began as one of the most iconic interior design firms in American history is now a global company offering textiles, wallcoverings, accessories, tiles and more, in addition to a design studio resurrected by Sister Parish’s great- granddaughter Eliza Crater. Here, Crater takes us inside the core of the family business.

What values have enabled the company to remain a success for all these years? We think of ourselves as storytellers. We continue to find inspiration in the past to design for today. We are most interested in the stories behind the great American houses. We are an American company and the majority of our products are made in the USA. We are not only captivated by the stories about the architects and designers that build the American dream but by the people and families that these architects and designers are building for. We see our collection as an opportunity to collaborate with designers in telling their client’s stories.

The Parish Hadley collaboration was a wild success, influencing the careers of many notable designers. Why do you feel this partnership was so magical? Both Albert and Sister were extremely hardworking and driven. They played to each other’s strengths. There was a respect and appreciation between the two of them that gave room for individual creation, imagination and growth. I believe it was that unwavering trust between them and their employees that made Parish Hadley’s work so magical.

Any future collaborations you can share? Our most recent collaboration is a tile collection with Country Floors. This came about with a bit of kismet, which we think always bodes well. We were talking about a tile collaboration when out of the blue the head of Country Floors called asking to meet. We knew Parish Hadley were big customers of Country Floors, but not to the extent that we later learned.

Tiles from the collaboration with Country Floors.

Why did you relaunch the studio side of the business?
Interior decorating is my first love, so the relaunch really is more about following my passion for creating beautiful spaces. I trained under Markham Roberts, who trained under the infamous Mark Hampton, who trained under Parish Hadley. I’m really proud to know that so much of designing today is rooted back to my great grandmother and her partner, Mr. Hadley. I’m also really proud that I had the opportunity to learn from Markham and know that it’s crucial for me to always see our collection from the interior decorator’s perspective. The studio will make it so I never lose sight of who our customer is and what their needs are.

Are there any anecdotes or mantras passed down from your great-grandmother that the team still lives by?
“Innovation is often the ability to reach into the past and bring back what is good, what is beautiful, what is useful, what is lasting.”

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