One of the Babes: Ellen Bruxvoort of @ellenbeezy
Meet Ellen Bruxvoort of @ellenbeezy. This crafty babe has weaved her way onto the vendor list for our August meet at Cheer Up's, and we're excited to see some of her wares in real life soon! Get to know her in our #bossbabesATX Q&A below:
Q: What inspired you to start your business? Did you have any role models or learn from someone, in particular?
A: I noticed last year that weaving was beginning to really resurface as an art form, and it caught me in a time of my life where I was really thirsty for a new creative outlet. It had been giving these soft, little timid knocks on my door for a few months, and finally one day I woke up and was like, "Okay today is the day! I built a loom, bought yarn, watched YouTube videos, pored through hashtags (power of social media, am I right?) and went at it. My boyfriend Chris (of @chrislongceramics) was so extremely supportive throughout the whole process. I owe a lot to him for encouraging me to keep creating and introducing me to the market community, as he's been at it for the better part of a decade. Much of what I've learned is thanks to him, even though our mediums are entirely different, much of the process is similar. I feel fortunate to have someone this close to me who has stuck with his art form long enough to support himself, because that alone is some powerful encouragement.
Q: Do you have any tidbits of advice for people with passions, in general?
A: Just try it! Whatever the hell it is. You literally have nothing to lose. Money will always come back around. You have a life full of time to try anything. And if you ever find something that excites you enough to keep finding new ways to do it again... That's when you've got a zinger. Don't stop! Everyone wants to stop at least once, but keep at it as long as you truly feel that way. And even if you never find "that thing," well who cares? Now you've acquired a rainbow of skills because at least you tried.
Q: What have been your favorite moments of creativity?
A: I think one of my favorite moments was when I finished weaving my first clutch. I knew I wanted to do it and I started and stopped weaving probably dozens of times in a fit of frustration or exhaustion or just feeling like it would never end. It took me so. long. to finish. Tiny, tiny linen fibers just stacked on top of each other one by one, over and over. But, oh man, when I cut that guy off the loom, I was freaking out. It was like giving birth or something. I had been nursing this thing for months, and then suddenly I was holding it in my hands, and I couldn't have felt more proud. It was the best thing I had ever made at the time, and I still haven't had the heart to sell it (may never will).
Q: What have been your most challenging moments in your career, thus far?
The biggest hiccups are when I set up to vend at a market and don't sell anything or sell barely enough to pay the booth fee. I love making the work that I do, and it's not that I'm really "in it for the money." It's just that I have to be conscious of those times when it's easy to slip and feel down on myself. Those are the days when I am reminded to keep going, be thankful for the exposure, the conversation, and ultimately the community that makes it all possible.
Q: What's your day job (if this business isn't your day job)?
I work at Thunderbird Coffee on Manor and on Koenig! Pop in and say hi! Most mornings I'm buzzed on coffee and slingin' breakfast tacos like, well, you know, ALL OF AUSTIN on any given morning.
Your favorite band: Modest Mouse will always be the easy answer to this question, and I know the answer is always expected to change, but it never does. I also feel obligated to shoutout to Hikes (Chris' band) and Chipper Jones, as together, they will begin their ascent from Austin to Canada on tour this fall. Cheers to those boys for makin' it happen!
Your favorite book: "Share Your Work" by Austin Kleon (following his other bestseller, "Steal Like an Artist").
Your local Austin gem: Shout out to the Raw Paw community! Those folks have been endlessly encouraging to me and many of our friends as artists of all breeds. They are doing truly tremendous work in this city, and I'm stoked to have people like them in my life to keep the good juices flowin'.
Your social media handles: @ellenbeezy on Instagram
You can purchase this babe's goods online here.