An Etsian since September 2006, Liz is one of the two founders of the Asheville Etsy Street Team. Her shop, cozyblue, began with a few dolls, some aprons, and lots of knit hats for the little ones. Since then, she's expanded her products to include toys, button flowers, flag banners, zippy pouches, blankets, and wool felt crowns. Sold exclusively on Etsy, her colorful and fun items are a delight to see.
About The Crafts She Creates:
What are your favorite materials to use in your crafts?
I really like to use natural materials when I can - soft merino wool yarn, wool felt, cotton fabric - also vintage fabrics, trims, and buttons.
Where do you find your inspiration?
I find inspiration in so many places. A lot of my inspiration comes from my children - kids are naturally SO creative - it's irresistable! My daughters' drawings; her love of animals, nature, and the world around us; the illustrations in the books we read together; the 'pretend play' games that she creates - it's all so imaginative, colorful, and fun. I also love to find inspiration in new fabrics, all things vintage, and japanese crafts.
How did you learn your craft or art?
Most of my crafting is self-taught. My mom taught me to use a sewing machine and read patterns when I was young. Those skills have definitely stuck with me, and everything else I've figured out along the way! I've always been a real DIY-er, and I love teaching myself new techniques, using new materials, and seeing new ideas unfold in the process.
On Etsy and Her Other Jobs:
How did you find Etsy?
A friend of mine opened a shop on Etsy. Soon after, I checked out her shop, browsed around etsy, and loved it! With some gentle nudges from good friends and family, I got my shop up and running, and was hopelessly addicted (and still am)!
Do you work another job in addition to Etsy? If so, what is it?
My most important (and very full-time) job is being the best mom I can be to my two kids - they are 4 1/2 years old (Adella), and 7 months old (Griffin). I also work as a nurse in a long-term care facility, where I've worked weekends for about 4 years.
How do you balance Etsy with other commitments?
It's a hard balance sometimes. right now, while my kids are at such a wonderfully young age, family takes top priority, and I'm pretty limited in the amount of crafting I can do. I have to prioritize on a day-to-day basis. some days I am able to devote a lot of really productive time to etsy, and other days not at all. I squeeze in my etsy time whenever I can get it! I often wish I had more time to concentrate on etsy-related things, but for now I just do what I can without overextending myself. it's really important to me to keep my creating at an enjoyable level - making the things I love and getting my stuff 'out there' a little bit at a time.
Do you have any advice to someone who is new to Etsy?
Get involved! Take time to poke around and participate in all the great things etsy has to offer - forums, virtual labs, the storque newsletter, showcases, treasuries - there are so many great folks on etsy. The more involved you get, the more you make yourself seen, and the more opportunities you can create for yourself.
And - pictures are important! Take the time to learn to shoot great photos - they make all the difference.
About the Local Scene:
What’s the best thing about living in the Asheville area?
There's just so much happening here! Arts and crafts, music, outdoor activites, great schools and opportunities for kids, the natural beauty all around, the great sense of community, lots of progressive movements happening - I could go on and on - we love Asheville!
What is your favorite off-the-beaten path place or activity in Asheville?
Well, I guess our most frequented places are parks and playgrounds :) but another fun event we look forward to each summer is the Shindig on the Green - every saturday downtown - old-timers and bluegrass pickers, cloggers, and performers - everyone just brings a picnic blanket and hangs out, enjoying the summer evenings together.
What’s your vote for best place to eat in Asheville?
We always enjoy the asheville pizza & brewing co - good food, great brews, and a super-laid back, fun atmosphere.
Random Liz Facts:
What’s your favorite movie? Actor/actress?
I'm a big movie fan, and I have many favorites. My all-time favorite is The Princess Bride. It's got it all - fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love, miracles...!
What was the last book you read? Did you like it?
Right now i'm reading 'eat, pray, love' - by Elizabeth Gilbert. Love it!