Today we welcome the super talented Liz Legg as our FACE of Birmingham. Liz is a creative force whose artistic designs include ceramics, paintings and jewelry.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Birmingham.
Tell us about Liz Legg Designs.
Creativity has been a part of my life from day one. Growing up with an artist mother, Sally Legg, my sister and I were encouraged to explore our creativity in a variety of mediums. In our playroom, we had a large crafts area with clay, paints, beads, crystal growing kits, and colored pencils. When my family traveled, my mom pointed out design details, and I gained an awareness of styles and proportions.
During my sophomore year at the University of Alabama, I fell in love with the art of jewelry. My mother took me to an antique market where I bought a variety of antique jewelry fragments. I incorporated the fragments into my own designs and became enamored with jewelry making.
I persistently researched how I could learn more about jewelry since my major was public relations. Judy Abrams, the previous owner of Etc. in Mountain Brook Village, helped me get an internship with Stephen Dweck Jewelry in New York after my sophomore year. It was such a great PR experience working with editors and stylists, but I realized I wanted to be a part of design instead.
After graduating from Alabama, I moved to both Carlsbad, CA, and New York City to learn design from the Gemological Institute of America and become a graduate gemologist. When I moved home in October 2012, I took my first ten designs to Etc. to show owners Meg Margjeka and Karen Trammell. They were the first people to buy my jewelry and have been instrumental in teaching me and helping grow my jewelry business. This has been an exciting first year, and I look forward to the transition into fine jewelry in the future.
When I started my jewelry line, I also took over my mother’s ceramics business. She worked with me for a while until she knew I was confident with the process. From the beginning, Patricia Murray with Table Matters was very encouraging and explained the business aspects of ceramics. Each design is one-of-a-kind with hand-sculpted, rich folds. In a world of mass made objects, the originality and quality of each ceramic design enhances both edgy and classical interiors. On December 5, the new lace series will go on sale. I am excited to see customer reactions to the new aesthetic.
A few months ago, I started selling paintings. My friend, Louise Pritchard, commissioned four large paintings to hang behind the bars at her wedding. After that, customers contacted me about custom abstracts. The painting business has really picked up through word of mouth and Instagram.
What did your bedroom look like as a teenage girl?
My room was all white.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
“Go for it, and never doubt.” I constantly think about this advice when I am debating approaching a new store or working on new designs. The person who gave me this advice explained that the greatest obstacle people have is themselves, and people constrain themselves with their own self doubt.
What advice would you give to others?
Look after your retailers. If you have their best interests at heart, they will have yours.
What is your favorite thing to do to relax?
Dinner with friends or a weekend at Lake Martin.
What is your favorite thing to do on a Saturday night?
Be with my friends.
Do you have a favorite local restaurant?
Tie between Jensei and Bottega Café.
What are you listening to these days?
Ellie Goulding, Klingande and Lorde
What books are you currently reading?
I am currently studying business on my own so that takes a lot of my reading time. When I am not studying, I am reading comedian Jim Gaffigan’s new book, Dad is Fat.
If your house was on fire what’s the one non-living thing you would grab?
My design sketches
What is your must-have purchase for winter 2013 or spring 2014?
Distressed Rag and Bone blue jeans. I love mine, but I have worn them so much the holes are huge.
What celebrity’s closet would you most like to have?
What fashion item would you never be caught dead wearing?
Do you have a favorite vacation spot?
I wouldn’t say I have a favorite vacation spot, and I also don’t like to repeat vacations. I appreciate traveling to explore something new, and every destination has something unique to offer.
Name three things you can’t live without excluding friends, family and God.
Definitely, my two black labs. I also could not live without travel. Whether I am going across the world or 30 minutes away, traveling is the best way to learn new things, see new design concepts, and get fresh ideas.
Thanks for sharing, Liz! To learn more about Liz Legg Designs visit her website at www.lizlegg.com.
And a huge thank you to Catherine Mayo for today’s fabulous photos! To learn more about Catherine and see more of her photography visit her website at www.catherinemayo.com.