The Etsy Recyclers Guild Member of the month for September is our very devoted Team Leader Elizabeth Caye Patel of LizzieCaye: Unique Handmade Handbags!!! To commemorate Elizabeth's hard work and dedication to the Etsy Recyclers Guild, here is her fascinating interview that will enlighten and inspire! Elizabeth has helped the guild so very much with being a profound voice and moderator in our Etsy Recyclers Guild Team Page discussions; she has also contributed her web designing skills in making our team blog as beautiful and user-friendly as it is today! Thank you Elizabeth!
I am Elizabeth Caye Patel, hence the name LizzieCaye. I am located in Frisco, TX, which is a suburb of Dallas. I packed up my car and moved to Dallas when I was 20. I moved from Bismarck, ND. It took me about 26hrs to get here and I stopped twice to sleep in my car along the road for 2 hrs each time. It was a great adventure, and a beautiful change of scenery.
I am married to a fabulously wonderful man, who is completely supportive of what I do. I love the fact that he has so much faith in me. We are expecting our first child in just a few weeks and are super excited to welcome her into our world!
I started going to one of the community colleges in Dallas and got a job as a nanny. I did that for one year, and then got an office job as a general clerk. I was talented enough with computers, that 3 months later I was given a large raise and a a real title. That launched my computer career, which lasted 13 years and with the bulk of it being focused on web application design, usability, and accessibility. What that means is applications, or websites that are intuitive to use (you don't have to hunt and peck), are able to be used by everyone(including the ability for readers to work, text sizes that are able to be resized for vision issues, etc), and pretty enough to have someone WANT to use them. Then I got tired of all the issues that go along with having a corporate job and quit in 2007.
My business name is my childhood nickname. It just seemed to fit and have a nice ring to it. I started my business to earn a little extra cash, and to have something to do in my free time. I'm not much of a shopper, except for shoes and handbags. I love having a beautiful handbag to compliment my outfit. I'm a classic dresser, but love to do colourful, fun & funky shoes and handbags. It's where I like to make a statement. For me, making the handbags came natural, based on my love for them.
Marketing.... I think one of the hardest things to truly figure out. I think the biggest part of it, is whatever you choose to do, be consistent. Figure out your own mission and vision and put it out there frequently and consistently. Oh, and don't give up!!
In 10 years, I'd like to have 10 people working for me, and be able to focus on the designing of the handbags and the running of the business. I'd have the 10 people do the sewing, and beading of items. As well as successful enough to move it out of my house.
I believe that buying items that are handmade and recycled is just one more way to help reduce the amount of freshly made products, and I think people value handmade items more then a factory fresh item.
I grew up around artists, and for the longest time my best friend was someone who was a good 30 years older then me and a potter. Her name is Susan Davy. She is still an inspiration because she's never quit, always been consistent, but has tons of other interests. She's a great model. I believe that if you flit all over the place, and or burn yourself out, it's going to be hard to ever find success. You have to put yourself into what you do, without killing yourself at it.