Charly Rowe: The Five Question Interview

Charly Rowe is the creator and force of nature behind Irish Tulip Designs. Her energy and humor shine through in both her blog and the pieces she designs and crochets. She lives in Elgin with her two children and husband.

1. Why did you move to Elgin? 

My family moved to Elgin because of my husband’s high school teaching/football coaching job at  ELGIN ISD. To be completely honest, I was not happy with the move because it was in the opposite direction of any of our family and I wouldn’t know anyone. With that being said, over the last 2 years Elgin has become home for us and the community has embraced my family with so much love and compassion that I can’t imagine us ever leaving! 

2. What compels you to spend time creating?

I feel like I have always had an eye for what something CAN BE. The feeling of starting with something rejected or even nothing…that I can turn into something that could potentially bring a smile to someone’s face is absolutely euphoric to me. I honestly feel like my brain never stops and is always searching to make something better. Basically, I don’t sit still very well. Working in the medical field the last 10 years, though not all bad, can take you to dark places, especially this past year with working on a COVID ICU in downtown ATX. My job brought me face to face with more death and heartache than I had ever been faced with and I just got to a place where I just felt only failure and fear.  Creating/ crocheting is a safe place for me to run where I can express what I need to and never fail because it’s just me creating what I want. 

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

Only 3? I feel like I’m learning something new everyday but if I had to choose the most important 3 it would be…

1. It’s ok to be the real you even if it’s not all perfect. I’ve always felt a need to make a room feel happy even if I wasn’t. I would neglect my reality to make others’ reality better and honestly they weren’t getting the real me. Transparency is freeing because you have nothing to hide. 

2. Laughter truly is the best medicine, laughing while crying is apparently my new favorite emotion. HA

3. Make sure to tell people in the little moments what they mean to you. It truly could change their day and you have no idea the impact you make.

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

Reading: A book on sign language (ASL)

Watching: I’ve been stuck on John Wayne movies (The Quiet Man) and I feel like I’m always stuck on The Office… ALWAYS.

Listening to: Right now I am in a Linda Ronstadt/ Lorretta Lynn phase but if you ask me next week then it will probably be Harry Belafonte or The Killers… My love for music truly encompasses all genres and changes with what kinds of mood i’m in. 

Making: Is it just me or do all makers have multiple projects going at once? One of my favs right now has to do with my passion for transparency and bringing laughter into reality. A new cozy with sarcastic patches to bring a smile to your day! I’m also working on a blanket right now that I have been itching to make for about a year.  

5. Cake or Pie?

“Pie, pie, me oh my,
Nothing tastes better, wet, salty and dry,
all at once – oh, well it’s pie.
Apple and pumpkin and mince and black bottom,
I’ll come to your place every day if you’ve got ’em.
Pie, me oh my, I love piiiiieeeeeee”

-Pie Song from the movie Michael-

Definitely Pie!!!

irishtulipdesigns.com

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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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