To connect with Etsy Sellers that share the unique background of growing up in a military family. To promote our art and increase our exposure to other military brats who participate,and to expand Etsy's customer base by attracting buyers through promotions and other marketing strategies.
1-Tell us a bit about yourself (name, location, affiliations, and personal stuff).Hi! My name is Elizabeth Kalka, but everyone calls me Liz. I live in San Antonio, Texas (Military City USA), which is just perfect for a Brat! I’m married to a great guy (served in the US Navy), and we have 4 sons who range in age from 2 to 12.I consider myself a Texan (part of my family arrived in Texas in the 1700s, and both of my parents were born and raised here), although I was born in Boulder, Colorado. After 20 years in the Air Force, my father retired, and we moved to the Dallas area, where I lived from the age of 10 until I left for college. Then I spent 12 years in Austin, where among other things, I attended the University of Texas (Hook ‘Em!). After my husband and I married, we settled here in San Antonio.I started The Lavender Lizard with accessories, scrubbies and crocheted necessities about 18 months ago, and this year I opened The Lavender Ladybug, which I envision as my supply and destash shop.
2-What is the first thing you can remember making by hand? How and why did you make it?I learned embroidery stitches while I was a Brownie when we were stationed in La Paz, Bolivia. I still have the first thing I made – I raided my mother’s sewing basket for buttons to embellish it. The “fabric” is very coarse, like burlap, and I signed it with my initials.
3-What inspires you? Where do your ideas come from?I am probably most inspired by yarn – different colors and textures make me think of different objects. For instance, I found this great fluffy, orange, tweedy yarn, and I thought “I just have to make pumpkins out of this!” So I did! The problem is I have more yarn and ideas for it than I have time….
4-What are your favorite materials?Well, yarn, of course! I also cross-stitch, and I am in the process of designing cross-stitch embellishments for The Lavender Ladybug.
5-What have been the most valuable lessons learned from other artists on Etsy?Patience, for sure! Also, it’s important to know that an Etsy shop is not static – you must spend time listing, photographing, editing, writing, learning, promoting, networking, renewing, blogging, checking the forums, mailing (hopefully), and keeping records. That’s after you have spent time creating in the first place.
6-Why should people buy handmade?Handmade = love! I have always cherished handmade gifts, and I love to have one-of-a-kind items that someone cared enough to make. Buying handmade is supporting an artist, and I can’t stress the importance of that enough!
7-What features/services would you most like to see on Etsy?I would love to be able to organize my favorites – I’m forever hearting items, like I’ll go on a hearting spree through Pounce or the Treasury, but good luck finding them again. I don’t have the patience (or time) to check the pages of my favorites.I would also love the ability to organize my shop without renewing items and put items into more than one shop category.
8-Apart from creating things, what do you do?Well, I parent my boys, which keeps me quite busy. I have served on PTA boards for the last 6 years (this year, I am the treasurer for the middle school PTA). I have a weekend job in retail. And every night before I go to bed, I have to read, no matter how tired I am. 9-Read any good books lately?Just finished “The 39 Clues” (Rick Riordan, the author, also lives in San Antonio), and I’m looking forward to the next one in this series (Put down the book, people – I’m going to win the prizes!)I’m also working my way through the Bones series (although I found I could not stand the TV series based on these books! Weird, huh?) My favorite place in the world is a library.
10-In ten years I'd like to be…Watching my 2 oldest sons graduate from college, DS3 graduating from high school, and seeing my youngest son enter teenage hood. Professionally, I would love to publish some of my original crochet designs.
11-How did you pick your business name and your etsy avatar?Both The Lavender Lizard and The Lavender Ladybug were named with my favorite color in mind. Also, when I was growing up, my nickname was Lizard. My friend Photoshop and I created both of my avatars.
12- What is the connection between being a Crafter and being a Brat?It doesn’t surprise me that a lot of Brats also craft. It must have something to do with the ability to be creative on the fly, to adapt to new situations quickly, and to use crafting to stay grounded in our lives. Growing up as a Brat, I was terribly shy and hated meeting new people. I still feel that way sometimes, but I also found that I can relate to most people on some level because of my life experiences. I think that’s probably true of most Brats!
Make any purchase from my shop - type the word "BRAT" in Message to Seller when you check out, and I will send you a Free mirror along with your purchase! http://littlepinkplum.etsy.com
Yea! Veteran's Day Sale! How about 20% off anything $20 and up....with 25% off the Paper Poppy Necklace! I love Veteran's Day!!!!! Convo me with your selection, and wait for the reserved listing at the sale price. http://locobead.etsy.com