Cherisa Cromer: THE FIVE QUESTION INTERVIEW 

Cherisa Cromer is an abstract artist on a journey to create art that sparks JOY! She lives with her family in Austin.

1. Why did you move to Central Texas? 

My move to Central Texas was mostly just because we love Austin! We love the weirdness, the music and arts scene, all of it. As soon as I landed a choir director position at Elgin High School, we made the move!

I live in Community First! Village in Austin, Texas which is a 51-acre master planned community that provides affordable, permanent housing and a supportive community for men and women coming out of chronic homelessness. This transformative residential program exists to love and serve our neighbors who have been living on the streets, while also empowering the surrounding community into a lifestyle of service with the homeless. Below is a little video about the village, that does a much better job of explaining what is going on here than I ever could. You can also go to MLF.org for more information!

2. What compels you to spend time creating?

Creating is the thing that has always given me energy, joy, and freedom. I found renewed time for it (in the form of painting) during quarantine last year, and have not been able to stop the creative juices from flowing!

3. Tell me three things you’ve learned in the past five years.

This is such a hard question! I have learned a lot about myself & those I love through the study of something called the enneagram. 

I have learned that the busy-ness that we celebrate in our culture is not necessarily the best way to live, and am on a journey to finding a much simpler, slower pace of life for my family and I.

I have learned that there is nothing real but this moment, right where you are. And 99% of the time, the moment you’re in is pretty good. I’m trying to live that way. 

4. What are you currently making, reading, watching, or listening to?

I’m currently watching a lot of Olympics! (this interview occurred earlier this summer) My daughter does volleyball & track, so we’re super into the beach/indoor volleyball and all of the track & field events. I also have been obsessed with painting with alcohol inks and/or high flow acrylics, which is something I can’t get enough of experimenting & playing with!

5. Cake or Pie?

Cake, definitely.

@cherisacromerart


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Elizabeth Marzec: The Five Question Interview

Elizabeth Marzec wearing one of her whimsical headbands.

As Program Manager for Elgin Parks & Recreation, Elizabeth Marzec’s creativity shines. When she’s not applying for grants, training and managing recreation center staff, lifeguards, and coordinating community volunteers, she creates and facilitates many unique events, programs, and classes for the Elgin community. In her spare time she creates whimsical pieces to wear, paints, and is a self-confessed dabbler.

She is an avid reader, gardener, and loves to travel.

1. Why did you move to Elgin? 

I went to university in Georgetown, TX and liked the small town vibe, so after living and working in downtown Austin for half a decade, my fiancé and I decided we wanted to buy a house in a town near Austin. We looked at a few towns and finally settled on Elgin because of all of the things it offered. There were events and programs, and a sense of vibrancy that we didn’t see in any of the other towns that we looked at.

2. What compels you to spend time creating?

Creativity is the spice of life. I create to keep my imagination sharp, to express my creativity, to explore new ideas. To be frank, I don’t have a picture of what my life would look like without a creative outlet. I’m fortunate that in my chosen career I get to express my creativity in a number of different ways.

3. Tell me three things you’ve learned in the past five years.

  1. You’re nothing without your community. Find your people and build those relationships.
  2. Burn out is real, and self-care is necessary. You can only help others when you take care of yourself first.
  3. Most people love to help, partner or collaborate on projects, you just have to ask.

4. What are you currently making, reading, watching, or listening to?

Lately I’ve been playing with resin in order to preserve flowers, but I’m still learning about it. Otherwise I’ve been practicing water colors and line drawings. When it comes to crafting, I’m a bit of a dabbler, so the house is always full of the strange and unusual. That, and true crime podcasts.

5. Cake or Pie?

Cake for sure, but it has to be home made with real icing… or even better, fruit! Something I’m currently planning on is baking a cake and soaking at least one layer in Elgin Meadery’s Strawberry and Vanilla mead, then layering it with cream and strawberries! 

@elle_marzec


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Lauren Benson: The Five Question Interview

Lauren Benson, owner of Brigid’s Blessings Massage Therapy is trained in Swedish, sports, deep tissue, hot stone massage, aromatherapy, and other modalities.  Her interest in women’s health prompted her to begin her current training as a Postpartum Doula with Birthing Advocacy.

Lauren is passionate about organic gardening, horseback riding, and sustainable living and lives on a homestead outside of Elgin with her family and their dog, horses, and chickens.

1. Why did you move to Elgin? 

My husband and I moved to Elgin five and a half years ago after years of suburban living down the road in Hutto. I started gardening at our house there and that progressed to me bugging him for years about moving to a house with more land. In 2015 we made the decision to begin actively looking for acreage and our little log cabin on 5 acres here in Elgin was the first and only one we looked at before taking the plunge! I didn’t know much about Elgin prior to moving here, except that I passed through it on the way to Houston, but we have felt so welcomed by like minded folks we have met and hope to help the community grow and keep that small town feel as it grows. 

2. What compelled you to create a business in Elgin?

I have wanted to create a business of some sort in our town since moving here to offer something back to the town, but at the time was dependent on my salary from my day job. After starting our family and staying home, I began toying with different ideas and kept coming back to my training in massage therapy. After discussing my goals with my husband we decided that we could add a studio space here on our property and Brigid’s Blessings Massage Therapy was born in February 2021 (the studio was completed in May!). I hope to grow my business to include doula and child birth education services (I am training for my postpartum doula certification at the moment!) and expanding my massage modality trainings to offer a variety of healing and support services to our area. I’ve always wanted to be the wise woman in the woods from old fairy tales, so I just like to think I am in my early stage of that! 

3. Tell me three things you’ve learned in the past five years.

I have learned SO much in the past five years, but to narrow them down to three would be:

1) how much resilience and hard work living in the country takes – between caring for animals, caring for a little one, and caring for the land breaks are rare! The winter storm this past February really hammered this one home.

2) how to become a better horsewoman – I dreamed of having horses my whole life and purchased my first ones two months after moving to our land, there is so much to learn and you can always do better with them!

3) how truly hard and rewarding parenthood is – one of the reasons I am drawn to postpartum doula work is because the postpartum period is such a hard and under-discussed period in a family’s life and I want to help make that transition smoother for people. It has been so exhausting to have a kiddo, but a big hug or hearing a happy giggle really brings you back to the rewards. 

4. What are you currently making, reading, watching, or listening to?

Oh this is hard! I’m currently reading textbooks for my doula training, so I am in the middle of Revolutionary Mothering: Love on the Front Lines. I am not big on podcasts, so if I am listening to anything while I’m working in the yard or in the car its usually a local Austin band I love, Shane Smith & The Saints, or Turnpike Troubadours. 

5. Cake or Pie?

Pie (even though this one was tough!) 


bridgidsbessingsmassage.com


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