When did your career in the creative industries begin?
My mom was an art teacher, so creativity was an important part of my life for as long as I can remember. I studied studio art in college, and then I began my career working for an art retailer--moving into the gallery business, and then ultimately working on commercial art and design. I've been doing that for the past 24 years. My main focus has been in the fashion world, designing art and professional products, but my handmade business actually started about six years ago when I founded Love Eliza, LLC.
How did you come up with the idea for your company, Love Eliza, LLC?
As I mentioned, I work in fashion, and I'm a creative director for a watch company. I do a lot of work that starts by hand, but it always somehow ends up in a digital format. Basically, I spent so much time on the computer, I had to make specific time to make things by hand to soothe my own creative soul.
I'd work at the office during the day, and then I'd come home at night and I would make the cutest handmade jewelry. I made so much of it, that I just started giving it away as gifts. I made my friend a necklace inspired by Vanderpump Rules, and it was a spilled glass with gems as the splash, and my friend loved it so much. She showed her aunt, who also wanted her own necklace. Well, her aunt Luann de Lesseps, aka the Countess from Real Housewives of New York. So, I made her some spilled wine necklaces, and she and Ramona wore them on the show. She credited me on social media, and I went viral. I then received so many orders, I established Love Eliza, LLC as a real business. So, that was 2015. I still get requests for those necklaces, but I finally retired them. I love making things by hand, but making a million of the same thing just isn't as much fun all the time.
In 2018, I started the podcast “Craft Hangout” to support other creatives focusing on the handmade aspect, kind of as an inspiration destination. It’s a podcast with a fun and upbeat edge. It's been such a hit that I've been really putting everything into “Craft Hangout”, a project by Love Eliza LLC. I still love making things but I'm doing it in a new way, and it feels really good to have this project that connects me to the rest of the community and also acts as a support to other creators.
Have you attended Creativation in past years?
I haven't. I learned about it in March 2018, and it had already passed for 2018. Then in 2019, I signed up to go but then I was unable to make the trip. I thought I'd probably go this year and found out it’s virtual; so it’s a no brainer.
What was the deciding factor in teaching a session during Creativation+?
I love the craft and creative community, and I am obsessed with the community over competition aspect; that's always a key factor in our tribe. With all my conversations with leaders in our industry, my own experience in the craft world, plus my background of over 20 years in the creative field, I just have so much to give and share. I just feel like it's unfair for me to keep it all to myself. So, I decided to teach a creative Creativation+ session.
Can you talk a bit about what your session will cover?
I will be covering macro craft trends for 2021 and beyond. I'm going to cover the key six macro trends, and then zero in on some micro trends. Whether you're an indie maker or a big corporate craft company, these trends can help you with your business or your creative projects by really just understanding how your work can fit into what's happening in the world. You know, understanding trends doesn't mean a rose gold and blush or another hot combo; it's so much deeper. It's about our behaviors. It's about what we want; it's what we're looking for, and ultimately how we can delight our audience and customers.
Why are you excited about attending Creativation+?
I am so excited about attending Creativation+. I've heard so many positive experiences from guests who've been on my show. For example, Amy Tangerine made her big connection at Creativation, and Amanda Sanpoly talks so highly of Creativation and had an incredible experience in the beginning of her craft career. Kathy and Steve from Mod Podge are always doing videos from the event. I also just love when craft companies do their big reveals for new products.
Do you have any tips for getting the most out of the virtual event?
I'd say that the event is all about learning and connection. I think those attending should be clear with what you want to get out of it. But, you should also be flexible. If it seems like you're going to get more out of it in a different direction, you know, make that pivot. I'd also say make genuine connections with other creatives, but most of all, have fun, because we all have a common interest and we all get excited about making things and being creative.
Eliza has a day job in fashion accessories in NYC but has a passion for making art and craft by hand. In 2018, she launched the podcast Craft Hangout as an inspiration destination for crafty peeps looking to get motivated, gain insight, and have fun. She loves making jewelry, painting, drawing, marker rendering, customizing sneakers, textile/apparel art, sculpting in air dry clay, creating insane toys, and is down for trying any new supply she finds at the craft store. She is a Murderino/aka fan of the podcast MFM, and is obsessed with watching anything true crime while she crafts.