In a cozy, blue studio tucked away in the mountains of Asheville, North Carolina you’ll find Liz Stiglets peacefully at her desk sketching new designs for her embroidery kit business, Cozyblue Handmade. The maker, illustrator, designer and small business owner (like many creative entrepreneurs, Liz wears many hats to make it all happen) spends her day surrounded by lush houseplants and a mountain of colorful embroidery floss, not to mention an incredibly organized catalog of embroidery kits ready for shipping.
On a sunny and crisp afternoon this past fall, Spoonflower stopped by Liz’s studio to see what’s all the buzz behind this North Carolina-based business. We can’t wait for you to get a peek inside Liz’s embroidered world!
My day starts with…
“Coffee, stretching, and some quiet time for planning my day and checking in with my goals and intentions. My favorite mornings are the ones when I wake up before anyone else. I love having some time to myself before the morning rush begins. I try to follow the ‘create before you consume’ rule, and it feels really nice to start the day without immediately opening my email or checking my phone.”
I fell in love with making goods…
“For as long as I can remember. As a kid I was always drawing and crafting things from fabric, yarn, and whatever else I could find. Later, I taught myself how to make friendship bracelets and do some simple embroidery, and eventually found my way to sewing, knitting, beadwork, paper-making… I’ve tried them all! I’ve always been crafty and curious.”
When I’m in my studio, I feel…
“Peaceful, happy, inspired and grateful.”
“Who or what influences or inspires your work and why?”
“I look for inspiration everywhere, but I always come back to nature and the world around me. Plants and flowers, houses and the sky make regular appearances in my work.”
What’s in your toolbox?
“Paper and pencil, always. I use my camera to capture images of things that I find interesting and beautiful, and my computer is integral to my process. And of course, a needle and thread.”
My proudest accomplishment over the last year is…
“Just over a year ago, we completed construction on my backyard studio. Over the past 10+ years that I’ve been in business, I’ve worked from my kitchen table, to a corner of the bedroom, to our unfinished basement. Having a dedicated work space is something I’ve worked really hard for. Finally being able to design and build the studio I envisioned has been such an incredible accomplishment, and is something I’m very proud of.”
How does Spoonflower meet your business needs?
“Having the capability to order pre-printed custom fabric, and have it made quickly and beautifully, is such a valuable piece of my business. Whether it’s a small run of fabric or a large bolt of yardage, Spoonflower allows me to get exactly what I need.”
What has been an important resource to you as a small business owner?
“As a business owner and a curious person, I’m always reading and learning, finding ways to improve my systems and reframe my thinking. I find that personal growth and business growth go hand in hand, and there are so many great books out there that it’s hard to narrow it down! I taught myself how to use Adobe® Illustrator years ago, and that has been hugely important in my design work. I found some online classes and diligently worked my way through them until I’d gathered enough skills to close the gap between rough sketches on paper and smooth digital designs. So perhaps the easiest answer to this question is: the internet.”
My favorite Spoonflower textile to work with is…
“Petal Signature Cotton™—it’s got a smooth hand, and the printing quality is crisp and bright.”