It’s always fun meeting new people, which is why we came up with the idea of The HTF Hot Seat – a regular post to introduce you to the creative dynamites behind some of your favourite hardtofind products. This week’s seller in the spotlight: Danielle Plowman, founder of Ellie Ellie.


I’m known on hardtofind for my… personalised gifts for one-of-a-kind people, our engraved bar cufflinks and personalised map location cufflinks are especially popular, as well as our new Personalised Pillow Case Set (made famous by our Ryan Gosling sample!).

Right now I’m inspired by… botanical prints and embroidery. We’re looking forward to spring and bringing more colour and playful detail into our collections.

My favourite part of the making process is… watching our map expert Lindsay effortlessly find a customer’s specific chosen location amongst our extensive collection of old maps – sometimes places I’ve never heard of!

I work from… an old converted soap factory in the quirky seaside town of Hove, UK. Our office is painted in our signature turquoise and navy stripes. The rooms in our HQ are named after the rooms from the classic Cluedo board game, including the conservatory, which is our meeting room and represents the conservatory where it all began back in 2012. It is the same size as the tiny conservatory from which I started the business and worked in for a year before we moved into our first office and is a nice reminder of where it all started!

A typical day for me could involves… a design meeting, talking through new ideas, liaising with suppliers, visiting a trade fair. Or even cooking up a feast for the whole team, I opened up café Ellie Ellie over Black Friday weekend to keep the team going, making some English classics such as Shepard’s Pie and bacon sarnies. There’s no typical day, really!

My proudest business moment was… being told that we’re one of the top UK partners on hardtofind! It’s exciting to see our products make it across to the other side of the world, especially since Australia is a place close to my heart – I lived in Melbourne for a year before I set up Ellie Ellie, and had the best time.

When I started my business, I wish I’d known… to stop and enjoy it more. I think as an entrepreneur it’s easy once you have reached one goal to simply move onto the next one and never stop and enjoy the moment. I now make sure we stop and smell the roses from time to time, to celebrate the achievements and success of Ellie Ellie, no matter how small or big it might be. I also wish I took more photos!

I’d describe my personal style as… vintage-inspired. I love prints from British designer Orla Kiely or nautical stripes layered under a denim pinafore dress – we have to layer up over here in the UK, its cold!

My last purchase was… an industrial embroidery machine, which I’m super excited about as we can expand our range of fashion products, with endless possibilities for personalisation!

The first thing I do when I wake up is… feel refreshed. In winter, I wake up to a light alarm clock, it mimics the sunrise so I wake up naturally and slowly – even if it’s still dark outside, I wake up feeling refreshed.

The motto I live by is… there’s no point worrying about the things you can’t do, just focus on the things you can! Once you allow yourself not to be perfect all the time, you then allow yourself to be great, which in turn allows yourself to put aside (and more importantly accept that you deserve) some time to have break every now and then.

I’m hoping 2017 will bring… more exciting times and business growth for Ellie Ellie. We have plans to move our manufacturing into a bigger warehouse and test out some pop-up shops in the local area – if all goes well we may bring a pop-up to Australia one day!

Everything tastes better with a little… Prosecco of course! Although I also have to say I’m a huge fan of cheese, any cheese. I even received a cheese box subscription for Christmas, which I look forward to receiving every month and sharing with the team.


1. Map Personalised Circle Cufflinks 2. Personalised Pillow Case Set 3. Personalised Travelling Holiday Money Box 4. Personalised Morse Code Bar Cufflinks


PS. This is your guy for pet portraits and the founder of In The Daylight.

Hardtofind is Australia’s leading online curated marketplace for gifts, fashion and homewares.