Featured Designer - CozyBlue June 01 2015
This month's featured designer is Liz Stiglets from CozyBlue.
I am so happy to have connected with Liz. She is a creative soul and I have enjoyed following her work on Instagram. Not only does Liz have delightful embroidery designs, she creates art prints, home goods and wearables.
Now, let's get to know Liz!
Jen: Where were you born and raised?
Liz: I wish that I had a simple answer for this, but it's actually kind of complicated. I was born in Texas and lived there until we moved to West Virginia when I was 12. Once I finished high school, I spent 3 years in Mississippi, which is where I met my husband. Together we moved to Asheville, North Carolina 16 years ago and have been here ever since! We absolutely love it and will probably stay here forever.
Jen: How did you learn to hand embroider? Did you stitch as a girl?
Liz: Like most of the arts and crafts that I do, I am a self-taught embroiderer. I’m pretty sure that I got most of my early practice in high school when my friends and I would stitch designs onto our jeans and backpacks. Growing up, my mom had embroidery supplies on hand, but I don't remember her being a serious embroiderer. She liked to sew and craft in her spare time, but I don't think there was much spare time for her as a working mother of two young girls. I’ve always been such a DIY-er, and I think embroidery was just one of those things that I picked up and figured out on my own. It's been mostly within the past few years that I have gotten more dedicated to designing patterns and really finding my artistic voice through my embroidery.
Jen: Complete this sentence. When I am not stitching, I am…
Liz: Oh geez... there's so much, isn't there? Mothering. Running. Reading. Instagramming. Driving someone somewhere. Eating food, making food, buying food, cleaning up food. Watching TV shows, listening to podcasts, sketching, screen printing, brainstorming, hiking, hanging out with friends, going to bed early, enjoying nature. Generally just trying to do the best I can, lovingly and patiently.
Jen: So, how did CozyBlue come to be?
Liz: I started selling some of my handmade items in 2007. Back then, it was mostly knit hats, Waldorf-style felt crowns, and softies. After a few years, my creative interests changed, and I started experimenting with screen printing. Eventually I began to incorporate embroidery into my screen printed pillows, and my business really took off. Since then, it's been a full time gig for me, and the CozyBlue shop has evolved pretty organically into what it is now... a reflection of my own interests and really, a huge part of how I express myself. I just make what I like, and I'm really happy to find that other folks feel connections to it too.
Jen: How would you describe your embroidery style?
Liz: That’s a hard question to answer! I think my design style is illustrative, fun, sentimental, nostalgic, simple, imaginative, unique. As far as the stitching itself, most of my work involves very basic stitches. But I like to add lots of line work and details to my designs, so for many of my patterns, patience, sharp eyes, and a steady hand are helpful.
Jen: Tell us about the process for designing your patterns. What are your inspirations?
Liz: Inspiration comes from everywhere, really. And all of my patterns begin as a rough sketch. I draw the designs in pencil and ink, sometimes re-drawing several times to get them just right. Once I am happy with the image, I scan and re-draw it digitally, and then start stitching a prototype. That's the fun part! Once that's done, I take photos and work on formatting the files, adding all of my pattern info and branding, etc.
Jen: Any plans for the year ahead?
Liz: Well, my general plan is just to keep creating things and moving forward in life and business. I have been focusing on the wholesale side of my business a lot more this year. It's been a really good direction for my little creative biz, and I really want to work on continuing the partnerships that I have made, as well as finding some new shops to carry my CozyBlue goods. The upcoming summer months can be a bit of a challenge, with the school year coming to an end for my kids (ages 7 and 11). Summertime means we spend a lot of time hiking, playing, swimming and just enjoying the free time together, but I have to fit in my work time too. So over the next few months, I plan to work mostly on sketching out new designs. That means expanding my embroidery pattern line, new t-shirt designs, and some holiday stuff too. I'm excited!
And now, you can have instant gratification. Check out the CozyBlue PDF collection and transfers at Red Thread Studio!