Seven Town's Eleanor Black: Why You Should Always Try the Tea Cozy On

by Eleanor Black | 23 Mar 2024

Biographies and Interviews

Thank you, El, for taking time to answer some questions for our readers! What is it about the Toy and Game Industry that you love?


It might sound a little corny, but one of the things I love most is the visible effect it has on people when you say that you work in the Toy and Games Industry, it’s really quite visceral. There is this singular magical moment when you see them catapulted back to being a youngster. They almost always break into a grin and say ‘Really… I used to love’ and then continue to talk volubly and with fondness about their past playthings, possibly wondering where they have packed them away, and if they should dig them out again. It’s a marvellous a thing to mention your job, and have it make someone think about a happy memory. It’s something that is universally engaging and gives everyone something to talk about. Which I think is pretty special.


Do you have a mantra that you live by?


Without trust, there is nothing.


How do you define creativity?


I don’t think it can really be tied down to a definition. I think it is very different for each individual person. I truly believe that everyone has creativity within them and about them. That is why a cardboard box (insert what it transformed into here) is such a wonderful thing to play with and in when you’re a kid. I think if pushed, I would define creativity as perception and the want and the need to question how something can exist in the world in more than just one way. The comedian Billy Connaly puts it another way, and rather eloquently “Never trust a man who, when left alone in a room with a tea cozy, doesn't try it on.”


Do you have any kiddos?


I do, I have a little boy who is coming up for 4 years old. He is ever so much fun and always surprising, in a good way. We recently took a book out from the local library called Give Me Back My Bones which features the “milky ocean tossed bones” of a pirate which have been scattered over the seabed and must be reclaimed. It is an odd experience, to have your small child listing off every major bone of the human skeleton to you, self-referring as they go, but I found myself glowing with pride.  I only took the book out because I was terrified of skeletons as a child (I really was… I used to think they would chase me home at night) and I thought this might make them less intimidating. Children are so weird!


What’s the first thing you usually notice about people?


I notice their eyes and if they have smile lines around them. I instantly warm to smile lines as they cannot easily be faked, and they suggest the person is kind.


What are your favorite books?


My favourite book of all time is Three Men in a Boat, by Jerome K Jerome. I was listening to an episode of desert island discs years ago – For anyone NOT from the UK, this is a BBC Radio 4 programme where they interview people of merit and interest and ask what they would take with them to a fictional desert island - and Vic Reeves was being interviewed. He named this book, so I dutifully strolled off to the book shop, and bought a copy. It was glorious and one of the funniest things I have STILL ever read. People would actually edge away from me on the London underground when I read it as I was giggling so much. I cannot recommend it highly enough. To make it even more sentimental, my mother gave me a copy that was given to my grandfather in 1936 by his best friend, scribing it ‘This was Arnold’s (my grandfather) copy, he was the last person to read this, it will still have his fingerprints!’ It is one of my most cherished possessions.


Favorite movie of all time?


This is a toughie, but probably Bringing up Baby. I remember watching it with my mother when I was very young. Katharine Hepburn is beautiful, intelligent, mischievous and creates chaos wherever she goes, I mean… What a role model to have! She and Cary Grant are experts at physical comedy, and as this is a comedy they get away with the most subversive things, for the time it was made. It was really pushing the boundaries of the censures. Plus, they get to play with leopards. Toothy dangerous beautiful leopards. Amazingly, it was not a box office hit, and was considered ‘Silly’.


Do you have any special talents?


Hmmm, I learned to juggle in a circus skills lesson whilst I was 13 at School, and I practice aerial silks. Although it’s a while since I practiced my boat climb. I have not managed to combine the two (yet) Do those count?



What do you want to be when you grow up?


Free from all the many and heavy responsibilities of childhood. Failing that, maybe a spy?


What’s next?


I am incredibly excited, and not a little giddy to say that I have just joined the rather spectacular inventing group Seven Towns as the VP of Business Development. They are an extremely talented group focused on invention, design and development, product engineering, sourcing manufacture, evaluation of external ideas and collaboration with independent inventors. Put simply, everything you could possibly wish for under one roof in a rather beautiful Muse in Notting HIll.


It’s a dream come true to work with the whole talented and very lovely team and especially their COO Elizabeth Moody. Who I have known and respected for well over a decade. My role in the company will be very hands on, and I will be pitching to clients I already know and love, as well as many who I can’t wait to be introduced to. Seven Towns is thriving in every category, and I am truly delighted that I will be part of that success.


(Eleanor Black and Elizabeth Moody in Chicago for POP Week Inventor Pitch!)

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