|"... if you do follow your bliss
you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all
the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to
be living is the one you are living. When you can see that,
you begin to meet people who are in your field of bliss, and
they open doors to you. I say, follow your bliss and don't
be afraid, and doors will open where you didn't know they were
going to be."
– Joseph Campbell
This is my grandmother, Margaret, gazing down
into the face of her granddaughter: me! –future seamstress!
Little did she know that one day all the skills she taught
this wiggling little girl would turn into a fulfilling business
and bring so much joy and happiness.
My grandmother Margaret showed me around
the sewing machine when I was very young. She taught me how to use
patterns, but never stopped me when I wanted to go off the beaten
path. Being allowed the creative freedom to try things and to simply
have fun eventually became the basis for my business as an adult.
Making my own patterns is part of the process that is challenging
and gratifying for me, and the unconventional approach that I was
allowed as a child still carries over into my work.
I went to the University of Texas
in Austin and received a degree in photojournalism after playing
around a few years in fine art. I love photography, but never
made it a full time career. While working various
jobs and freelancing several years for The
Austin Chronicle, I continued to sew as a hobby. For fun I ended
up outfitting local musicians in funky outfits, including fur and
vinyl hats. Demand eventually sparked an interest in having a little
side business making costumey hats. Hat making was fun, and I
gained some very useful experience setting up for festivals, parties,
and even dabbling in wholesale, but eventually my interest waned
and fizzled out completely. Hat making was not my calling.
I seriously don't remember the first purse I made, or how I
found myself in business again, but I think it's because it happened
so gradually. I sewed purses for years and sold
to several local businesses as a way to make money to travel. It
was all for fun. The demand increased until it became clear I had
to make a decision about how much time and energy I wanted to put
into my purse making. It was sort of taking over my life.That's
when I realized my hobby was also my "thing" and
that perhaps I could make a go at it as a real business.
In September 2004, I opened a website and it has become my main
venue for selling the bolsas.
And then there's the...
In the last moments of December, 2011,
I found myself feeling burned out. Bad. Sewing is joyful business
for me, but to do it every day all day for months and months can
take down even the most passionate designer. I needed a break. But
for someone who is energized by creating, a break means diving into
another project, not a siesta. Inspired by images from an old professor,
my interest in my own photography was sparked again and off I went.
Weeks later, I found myself with film in my camera, a renewed membership
to a darkroom, and fulfillment beyond words. Find my work here: lizpotterphotography.com
Need to contact me? click here.