The Shoulda, Coulda, Wouldas

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As human beings we are often programmed to live life in forward retrospect. While time is moving forward your mind keeps going back. I like to call this a case of the shoulda, coulda, wouldas. Often times this is brought on by menial daily things like ‘I shoulda said something to that mom who looked at my daughter a little crooked- she knows nothing about our life.” Or, “I coulda managed that employee differently.” Or, “If I woulda known she was a raging lunatic, I wouldn’t have invited her into my home for girl’s night.” Most of these things can be handled with an extra glass of wine, a more developed managerial plan, or a pass on the girl’s night in favor of staying in and eating takeout in bed.

But, when tragedy strikes the shoulda, coulda wouldas aren’t as easily solved.

You find yourself at a loss for words or even the ability intellectualize what has happened. Your brain is foggy for days or even weeks as you process emotions you didn’t know you were capable of. The shoulda, coulda, wouldas aren’t as concrete now as they were when it came to the mean moms or problem employee. The tragic shoulda, coulda, wouldas can suffocate you. Leave you feeling helpless and sometimes hopeless.

The recent passing of an icon, Kate Spade, had me in shock for days. Though I never met her, our lives were very much paralleled. We both had fashion businesses we built with our husbands. She started her business a few years before I did and I always looked to her as a beacon of hope. If she could do it, maybe I could too? Even though the first handbag factory I met with in Brooklyn rejected me by saying “I only make Kate Spade handbags” I never felt at odds with her- no not even in the slightest. I had this feeling that we were both just two women who believed in ourselves and wanted to live our dreams everyday.

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When the alert came through on my phone about Kate’s suicide it brought me to my knees. I was truly sad, as though I had lost a friend. To be honest, wasn’t Kate everyone’s friend? Even if you didn’t carry her products, there is no doubt the corners of your mouth turn upward when you see her brand. I poured myself into reading all the articles I could about her in an effort to find answers. The shoulda, coulda, wouldas crept into my mind – the illusive questions that we will never know because we are thinking of them in retrospect.

As I read more and more about her, I started to understand our similarities and how creativity, art and design fuels us. But, I also got to thinking about how draining living a creative life can be. You pour your heart into creating something people may or may not like or even worse into things that never come to life. And, in Kate and I’s case we are both under the pressure of running businesses tied to our creativity. The pervasive feeling of having to move on to the next thing to create something bigger and better feels like a hamster wheel of never feeling ‘done’ or ‘brilliant’ enough. It can be lonely and intoxicating all at the same time.

Should we have seen this coming? Could someone have helped? Would the help have made a difference? We will never know.

But what I do know is this. The retrospective shoulda, coulda, wouldas are healthy for a little while, and then they are debilitating. We cannot trap ourselves in the past in hopes of changing it.

We can shoulda, coulda, woulda to learn but not to live.

As my business has changed over the years I have caught myself ‘reminiscing’ in the shoulda, coulda, wouldas more than I should. I have let myself get bogged down with answers I’ll never know about scenarios that will never replay themselves. I’ve learned through a series of both fortunate and unfortunate events that life will keep moving without you. If you allow yourself to stay back with the shoulda, coulda, wouldas the life you eventually go back to has moved on without you. You have to show up everyday. You have to fight the good fight. You have to live with purpose- even when the shoulda, coulda, wouldas invade your psyche.

You SHOULDN’T fall backwards while trying to move forward. Think of what you COULD miss, WOULD you really want that? Because, it’s right here, right now, where we find each other, and with each other we have all we need.

Rest in peace Kate. I hope heaven is as colorful as the legacy you left behind.

XO, Elaine

Women For Women.


Where would we be without each other?

We all know that our friendships with the most important women in our lives are often our deepest and most profound love stories. As women, we get it. We all have an unspoken understanding of what it means to be a woman – the overwhelming impossibility of it all: our sensitive, vulnerable, breakable hearts, our complicated body and lady parts, our innate drive for perfectionism, our desire to be the best Mother in the world, our unbound, infinite love we have for our children, our dutiful, caretaking spirits… I guess you could say, intimacy begets intimacy and a new found emphasis on female support and friendship isn’t just good for some women; it’s good for all women. With this new awareness around bringing more women in to boardrooms, government and leading Hollywood roles, I am hopeful we are on our way to real, tangible change.

By creating an arguably stronger cultural focus around women; I believe female friendships, mentorships and overall support for one another can multiply. As a result, helping women increase their professional power and fulfill their highest potential could create a ripple affect that subsequently reduces gender inequality.

When women work together, they also succeed together. We all NEED to embrace the Tina Fey/Amy Poehler, Gayle/Oprah love fests! Celebrating female friendships, rather than competition between women will help the next generation of women embrace, rather than resent, the strong women around them. Plus, let’s be honest between juggling all your roles as a woman, it’s just too damn hard to keep up with the competition- so pull up a seat, pour a glass of wine and cheers to the power of being a woman.


xo, E

We’re Excited To Announce…

Dear Friends,

I can’t wait to share with you some exciting news! I’ve come to the realization in recent weeks that when change comes, opportunity awakens. Whether it’s your business or personal life, it’s important to not only adapt to change but eagerly embrace it as a platform for growth and innovation.

That’s where the golden egg lies, and that’s where new opportunities to rewrite your story live.

It’s important to take these opportunities and begin your new chapter, and business is no exception. I’ve been an entrepreneur most of my adult life, and I can honestly say that I’ve never experienced such a major evolution in how business is done today. The last few months, we’ve faced this change head on. We’ve done the hard work, asked ourselves the tough questions, and taken a closer look at our business. As a result, we’ve come out stronger, and in the process become more courageous, creative, and innovative.

We recognize that YOU, our valued customers, want to engage with retail brands across multiple platforms, in varying places and at a pace that changes constantly. We exist to serve our customers, and we are taking this opportunity to serve them in the way they want and need to be served.

So, with that, I’m THRILLED to announce, drum roll please… Elaine Turner Elite – our new personal stylist service.

A.k.a. – our golden egg.


Indulge me for a minute so I can tell you a little bit about it. We believe we have found a better way to bring our brand into more women’s lives, not only here in the great state of Texas, but nationally as well. By launching the Elite stylists and integrating them into our stores and website, we feel we are engaging in a new, more effective way to do business. It is a completely different strategy for serving our clients. And, from where I sit, the future of retail entrepreneurship isn’t confined by walls or time clocks – it is defined by you and your desire to be the best version of your future self. Elaine Turner Elite is a concept that comes from our core DNA; using our fashion platform to empower women, change lives and make a difference. I built this company to fulfill my own desire to become a successful female entrepreneur and this model empowers others to do the same. In the end, that’s what we’re all about and why our motors run: to empower women.

Our Elite Stylists are independent, specially trained personal stylists who will build intimate relationships with their network of clients through 1-on-1 personal styling sessions, in-home trunk shows and special events. We are unique in that we create a fully curated lifestyle brand including apparel, handbags, shoes and jewelry. You will be part of an exceptional team where you can and will make a difference. As an Elite Stylist, you’ll be able to embrace your passion for fashion while owning your journey along the way. We understand beginning a new chapter in your life is exciting and the most important thing to realize is that YOU hold the pen to this story.


Here’s what we can offer you:


An Elite Stylist is just another word for Badass Girl Boss. You get to be the CEO of your own business. You call the shots. As a team, we’ll help give you all the tools and support needed to succeed. From there, we give you the freedom to do you.


One of the best things about becoming an Elite Stylist is being able to work whenever, wherever. Whether it’s at your favorite coffee shop or directly from home, the flexibility to manage your business is revolved around you. Giving you a work-life balance you’ll love.


We are better together. Joining Elaine Turner Elite is more than being a stylist—it’s about becoming a part of a community that empowers women and changes lives. Our deep-rooted mission is to help women feel beautiful inside and out. You’ll be able to share this mission and be the bridge between the consumer and our brand, along with countless other women. There’s nothing more fulfilling than being a part of a like-minded community who not only share the same passion but are committed to making a change.


I know sometimes it might seem difficult to grab that pen and write—but you are capable of owning your story. We feel confident we can reinvent the retail landscape as we know it, but more importantly, you can reinvent your life in a way that makes you proud. We want to help you write your narrative.

If you feel empowered to change and begin your journey, Email me at for more. You can also visit our website to submit an application.

I’d love to get your feedback and tell you all that this program has to offer.

Let’s join forces and write our stories together.