Tell us a bit about yourself (name, location, affiliations, personal stuff).
My name is Lizette Greco and live in Southern California with my husband and our two children. I am originally from Chile, but have spent my adult life here. In college my artwork was primarily paper making, sculpture, printing, and book making. After my children were born, I started sewing Halloween costumes for them and later personalizing their presents to friends with their drawings. Lately, my creations are really the product of a full family collaboration.
What is the first thing you can remember making by hand? How and why did you make it?
I can remember making a rag doll at school, but the details are lost somewhere (hopefully) in the back of my mind.
What inspires you? Where do your ideas come from?
Well, the drawings come from our kids who are inspired by everything around them: a great story or book, a trip to the market or museum, visits from relatives, a hike in the hills or on the beach, a new food or drink, an ant infestation or a dead bird in the patio, an inspiring film or exciting game, a conversation or spat with a friend, the evening news… Sometimes it’s as simple as a glance over our shoulders as we are looking at something on the computer or reading in a book. The questions pore out and we do our best to help them find answers. Then they wander off and sometimes create a set of drawings as they process what they’ve seen, heard, smelled, felt, or even tasted. Sometimes they illustrate their own stories, write a newsletter, or catalog their toys, favorite animals, insects, or characters, etc. After sorting through what they have produced and choosing a drawing, my husband and I think about the appropriate scale, draft a pattern, and choose fabric and materials. When the piece is finished we turn back to our kids to get their impressions or further develop a story. This all sounds very methodical, but it really isn’t. There are no rules and the steps can come in a different order.
What are your favorite materials?
I’ve found amazing colors and textures in vintage, thrifted, and recycled fabrics. I get them from flea markets, thriftshops, and friends from all over who send me their amazing scraps instead of throwing them away. While they are a tool and not a material, I also love my long tweezers that help me turn those small corners inside out or reach to place stuffing inside long and skinny limbs.
What is your favorite color?
I don’t think I have a favorite color. I like color combinations such as yellow/green, brown/blue, etc.
What are your most and least two favorite films?
I can’t say that I have any favorites, but Amélie and Cinema Paradiso come to mind as two that I really enjoyed.
What are you reading right now?
I’m using Quilts by Denyse Schmidt as a reference book for a project in progress. As a family, we just finished reading The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick. It’s wonderful and now one of our favorites. We’re also on a graphic novel and manga binge as of late.
Any tips on selling handmade stuff?
If the product is sold online, having quality photographs is very important. I am still learning how to compose them well. Also, it is nice to add some personal touches to the packaging. I usually have the kids decorate them with drawings or I’ll create sewn envelopes. Finally, I often include a unexpected goodie in the package, but I won’t say what that is not to spoil the surprise.
Apart from creating things, what do you do?
I work on my sewing projects on and off throughout the day, but I’m also a mom and at this time I need to be there for my children. Together we bake, cook, play games, collect things, paint, do crafts, go for walks, etc. There’s lots to do. Children are in a constant quest for answers and amazed by simple things. I try to keep up and learn new things right along with them.
How can Etsy be improved? Any feature requests?
I like to read the Etsy blog and my only suggestion would be that the link to the blog be moved to the top of the page so more people would read it too. I’m still getting acquainted with all the new features of v2, and if I have more feedback for Etsy, I’ll make sure they hear it. I believe that’s what makes Etsy so successful – they are constantly hearing from sellers and buyers about what works and what doesn’t, and Etsy acts on it in a timely manner.