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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Martina (Sunnie) Gonzales: The FIVE QUESTION INTERVIEW

Sunnie is the proud owner of Twelve Star Massage and active member of the Chamber of Commerce.  She opened her own practice in the fall of 2017 in her hometown of Elgin, Texas. Healing is one of her passions and she loves to learn different modalities and to educate herself in holistic healing.  She dreams to travel to different countries like Thailand and Peru to learn new massage techniques and energy work.  In her spare time she likes to do yoga, hula hoop, snorkel, and explore the different state parks here in Texas and hike.

1. Why did you choose to live in Elgin?  

I think it would be easier to say I’m just from here! I chose Elgin because I already had a clientele built from working at Heavenly Hair from 2010-2013.

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

I had been a licensed massage therapist since 2009. In 2017 I decided I wanted to have my own massage company, with Austin being saturated with massage it was an easy choice when picking a location for 12 Star Massage. 

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

  1. Everything really does happen for a reason.
  2. If they wanted to, they would.
  3. Be humble and grateful and believe in the process.

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

I have a few embroidery projects on working on. Also I’m reading a book about scared smoke and smudging to prepare for my vision quest in April. 

5. Cake or Pie?

I love pie! Key lime is my favorite! Pecan, pumpkin and blueberry are a close second. 

www.12starmassage.com


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