Interview of the Week: Leigh with ElizaLeigh

ElizaLeigh is made up of two sisters who sew and craft together and have joined forces to create this fun Etsy shop. I sat down and talked to Leigh, who is a never ending well of bubbly fun. Leigh has a degree in English and writes advertising copy by day, and fictional works like children's books and poetry in her spare time.

Her crafty partner in crime and sister, Eliza, has a degree in Graphic Design and Fine Art. She says,” I sew, draw, paint, write...just about anything you can thing of that is hands on and creative.” She also says she is quite jealous of her sister, who seems to feel the same about her. Ahh…sisters!

Both sisters have a talent for sewing anything that will stand still, and continuing to push each other to do more. My favorite thing in their shop? This apron, partly for the vintage feel and beautiful craftsmanship, and partly because the description says, “That's me in the apron. Nice to meet you.” Nice to meet you too, Leigh.

Corinne: So, if I am getting this right, Eliza is the artist, and you’re the witty writer?
Leigh: That would be correct. We are two sisters. We took pieces from both of our names and we merged them to come up with our shop name. Eliza comes first because LeighEliza just gets tangled up on the tongue. Try it out loud. See?

Corinne: What do you currently write for?
Leigh: I work in the advertising industry, so a better question is who do I not write for. I have a very extensive client list and have written/produced both locally, nationally and internationally. But, I don’t want to give names.

Corinne: Where do you get your inspiration?
Leigh: I would say we get our inspiration from what we imagine the world should look like. I think if it was left up to my sister and I, the sky would be purple and the grass would be polka dotted.

Corinne: What do you think sets you apart from your competition?
Leigh: Just being who we are sets up apart. Like snowflakes, no two creatives are ever the same. We did grow up in a small town, however, where sewing and crafting were just a part of everyday life. After both of us studying and getting Fine Arts degrees, I think we just married our past and present to come up with what we make now.

Corinne: What medium do you work in the most?
Leigh: We both deal a lot with textiles, just because of the obvious variety that offers. But Eliza is also a very fine painter and artist and I am a writer by profession. So as long as we get to work in the creative medium, we’re pretty happy!

Corinne: Do you plan on adding some of Eliza's paintings to the shop sometime?
Leigh: Eliza has actually done some hand painting on one of the pillows and I would love to see her do more. She is exploring fabric painting and is hoping to do a series of illustrated pillows and blankets.

Corinne: Do you do a lot of craft shows? Which do you do better at, Etsy or craft shows?
Leigh: We’ve just started really putting ourselves out there, so Etsy is where we spend our time right now. However, we’ve been tossing the idea of art fairs back and forth and may try one or two very soon.

Corinne: What textile lovely in your shop is your favorite right now?
Leigh: Eliza’s favorite is her “Don’t you just love this fabric” baby quilt.
Leigh: My favorite is the “Big Eyed Critter Pillow!” I really enjoy seeing what my sister comes up with. She constantly surprises me. Of course, she might say the same thing about me.

Corinne: Who is the artist who inspires you the most?
Leigh: Oh wow, that is a huge question! We both are inspired by art that tells a story or some kind of emotion. When the exhibition for the women of Gee’s Bend came through our area Eliza went like five times! Just looking at the quilts brought tears to her eyes due to the stories she could feel in the pieces. I am affected in much the same way by music and poetry.

Corinne: You call yourself small town, where in the world is ElizaLeigh?
Leigh: While we didn’t start out here, we are both living in and loving the great city of Louisville, Kentucky. I know coming from a small town, this is the “big city” to me.

Corinne: Do you two live together? How close in age are you?
Leigh: We don’t live together, but we don’t live too far apart. Eliza is a little over three years older than me. I think I started my creative choices by watching her.

Corinne: I know I have trouble keeping you two straight online, do other people have this problem too?
Leigh: It happens, but we are both so involved it doesn’t really throw people. All of the items that are created by me are signed by Leigh and vice versa on Eliza. We plan on doing some collaborative projects and those will be signed by us both. If people have questions, we generally both know how to handle them.

Corinne: What do you do to get over creative block or to take a break from creating?
Leigh: My sis can get lost in a good book faster than anyone I’ve ever seen. I watch horror movies and reality television. (Guess which one of us got better grades?) Getting over a block is usually taken care of by a good long browse in a fabric store.

Corinne: I think I saw a mention somewhere of a blog that is shiny and new. Do you blog in addition to your etsy shop?
Leigh: We do have a blog that we’ve just gotten started. It’s http://elizaleigh.wordpress.com./ You can also see our Flickr page there as well. Eliza takes the photos.

Corinne: If you could give just one tip to a newbie to selling their craft online, what would it be?
Leigh: Do what you love! As long as you love what you’re doing, you will continue to do it and other people will recognize that in your art.

Corinne: Wow, GREAT tip! I couldn’t agree more! So, I know you two are quite the duo, but if the two of you were trapped on a desert island and were allowed one thing, what would it be? Do you think you would still be as close?
Leigh: Well, I know that Eliza would have some kind of book. I would have Diet Coke! I guess she could read to me and I would let her have a sip or two...so we would probably stay pretty close. Plus she’s a lot taller than me and I would need someone to grab the coconuts.

You can visit ElizaLeigh at their Etsy shop at: elizaleigh.etsy.com


Holly said...

These two ladies rock the house! Keep it up girls!

Unknown said...

These interviews are great, I have enjoyed all of them. Doing good, Corinne!