11 March 2010
e is for elizabeth sorrey
Emerging accessory designer and artist from Vancouver, Elizabeth Sorrey is one amazing talent. I had the opportunity to interview her about a month ago, and as you will see, she is one of the most humble girls I've met to date. With a neutral earthy style and laid back personality, Liz embodies what it means to be an artist. Currently studying at Trinity Western University, she definitely has a dream and is striving for it. Newly engaged, she's got that glow about her - she and her beau are so perfectly matched, as he's one heck of an artist as well. Liz sells her handmade hair accessories here on Etsy, and a new collection of pieces will be available during the summer months. She's basically my family, and I can only begin to describe how genuine she is. Myself, Liz and Kelly Swanson ventured into a concealed underground parking lot full of graffiti for a photo shoot, and the pictures showcase Liz's style perfectly! She is absolutely beautiful inside and out, and that beauty is reflected directly into her art and handcrafted items.
Tell me a little bit about your headpieces – when did you start making them?
I started last year actually. I was getting tired of always being forced to do certain things in art school – I just wanted to do something with my hands. It became my outlet to do what I wanted, when I wanted!
What made you want to start selling them?
I would wear them, and so many people would comment on them. With positive feedback and support, I found the site Etsy.com and figured, if other people are making the same things I am, why shouldn’t I sell my own?
I’m glad you decided to! Etsy has so many interesting items, I love it.
Anything that you can find in a store, you can find on Etsy. It really supports everything handmade.
I agree. So how long does it take you to make one of your pieces?
It depends on what it is. Each feather is glued down individually, so sometimes up to an hour – but if it’s a clip, usually less.
And how do you determine your price range?
I pretty much decide on how much I, myself, would want to spend on something that was handmade by someone else. Usually my prices are about $5- $25, depending on how much time was spent and the materials used.
Speaking of materials, I hear you get your feathers from an actual peacock farm?
Yes! I found this one peacock farm in Langley and took home a bunch of materials from there. Other feathers I’ll order offline, even from other suppliers on Etsy.
Great! And about the type of headbands you use, they’re pretty comfortable?
I either use a soft elastic or a very skinny metal band, which won’t hurt your head, or clips, which you wouldn’t feel at all. It all depends on what people’s preferences are, really.
Of course! And I know you do custom orders as well. How do you like doing that?
Oh, I love it. I like working one-on-one with the customer to find the different styles that they want. A couple have been for dance competitions, so I’d make ones that were a little bit more glam, and then others just for friends and what not.
Awesome. So, I know you’re very artistic, of course – where do you get your inspiration from?
Well, you see these headbands everywhere now, so I’m not completely original! But I love putting my own spin on things. I take a lot of ideas from the 1920’s flapper girl, with the bold feathers – and then putting a modern twist on it.
A little vintage plus a little contemporary?
Yes! It’s all about mixing old and new together.
And does this artistic flare run in the family?
Oh yeah. My mom was an interior designer, and also a florist, so she loved doing art with her hands. My uncle was also a great artist – so I guess all my creativity ran from my mom’s side.
Seems like it! And you’re putting this creativity of yours to work at school?
I’m taking art in school – I want to eventually become an art teacher. I’m also doing graphic design and teaching ESL, which is amazing. I love the two because they’re both a way to communicate, visually and linguistically. It may seem like an odd connection, but it works.
It sounds like you have a great career path ahead of you. And also an exciting new path – married life! You’re newly engaged, congratulations!
(Laughs) Thank you!
Do you plan to continue your handmade art after marriage?
For sure, I would love to. I’ve always dreamed of having my own studio where I can create things and paint.
Continuing with your dreams – last question! How do you see yourself and your art evolving in the next five years?
My dream is to be able to travel, anywhere and everywhere. I want to be able to hopefully use my art and my schooling during my travels, and I guess where I go will determine the results!
What she's wearing: Black skinny pants from Zara, gray shirt from Old Navy, dark green bow from American Apparel, burgundy gloves from H&M, black Volcom jacket and beige leather boots from Aldo.