An Interview with Elyssa Dorf, Cheery Designs Founder

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve seen a rise in a lot of new artists whose goal is to help people make it through this difficult, unprecedented time. One of those artists is Elyssa Dorf. She is a new and up-in-coming artist who specializes in graphic design, professionally and in her free time. 

We had the chance to sit down (virtually) with her to ask her some questions about her design-centric lifestyle brand and creative studio called Cheery Designs, which she runs in her free time.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself first?

“To give you some background, I was born and raised in New York. I graduated from Skidmore College where I studied Communication Design and then completed my master’s degree at Pratt Institute in Design Management. By day, I work as a Design Strategist in the luxury travel industry and by night I run Cheery!”

What made you want to start Cheery Designs?

Cheery was born out of the idea of escape… when my anxiety acts up, art & design are my happy place. So many of my worries are about things that are out of my control and the uncertainty of this world. My Instagram, the website, and the art and cards that fill my home are my own “world” that I create and curate with 100% control. If you are new to my “Cheery World,” you can expect bright colors, real-time trends and thoughts, and an ode to all the beautiful little moments in life. I hope my art brings as much joy to you as it does to me.

That is amazing! Tell us a bit more about Cheery Designs. What’s under that cheerful umbrella?

“Under Cheery Designs, we have a design studio, Cheery Art, Cheery Cards, and more! Meaning, on the professional side I can assist with branding, logo design, email blasts, advertisements, etc. And, on the giftable side, everything from wall art to cards to homeware and an ever-expanding collection of tchotchkes.”

What makes Cheery so special?

“Cheery is intended to provide high style art that is accessible to all. All art is handmade to order so is customizable to your style and space. From pop art for the home to trend focused product design, Cheery is meant to spread as much joy to the owner, as I feel when creating my art and designs.

That really is unique! How do you do that? Basically, how do you stay on top of all of the latest trends?

“That’s a great question. My design research spans across several platforms. From Pinterest to magazines and press to media, ideas are everywhere and anywhere. Living in New York, I am always window shopping for the latest colors, patterns, and products. If you open your eyes to what the people around you are talking about, wearing and what they are doing, it is amazing where you can seek inspiration.”

Who is your inspiration for Cheery?

“From a young age, my mom always taught me to celebrate both the big and small moments in life. I grew up with a mom who made every meal and moment memorable. From widely celebrated birthdays, to the more unique April Fools celebrations, Pat Kohlhagen always reminded our family that there is something to celebrate each and every day. That is where my idea for “Cheery” was born. I wanted to bring these fond memories from my childhood into my adult life to share with my ever-growing family and friends. So, make a friend’s day, let a family member know you’re thinking about them, or treat yourself. After all, life is sweeter with a “Cheery” on top.”

How do you see Cheery growing in the next couple of years?

“My hope for Cheery is to grow into a household name. I dream of collaborations that can bring Cheery Designs onto an even broader range of products. From direct to consumer, to wholesaling, I hope to spread “Cheery” throughout the world.”

For more information about Cheery Designs and to purchase Cheery Art, visit You can also follow the official Cheery Instagram at @withacheeryontop.

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