Made in Lowell

American Made Since 2006

Liz Smith

Lowell, Massachusetts
I make hand felted accessories, ornaments, jewelry & sewing notions. My work offers elegant whimsy for style, home & studio.

Tell us about your business.

I've made & sold things at craft shows & flea markets since I was a teenager. The internet has allowed me to do this worldwide! Now I make things full time. I have a studio in an old textile mill where I make each of my thoughtfully designed items one at a time with care. I needle felt, wet felt, crochet, & knit wool to make brooches, cozies, bowls and coasters, ornaments, and jewelry. My most-loved items are my solid wool pincushions which I sculpt with felting needles. I sell my products in my studio, at craft shows, & in shops &galleries, as well as in my Etsy shop. I also host a TV show on local access where I interview makers about the challenges and triumphs of running a small creative business. I love to learn new techniques whether or not I incorporate the new skills into my business. But I plan to continue working with wool, polymer clay, paper goods, & will soon add hand-sewn items which incorporate vintage textiles & embroidery to my offerings. Thank you!

What makes your business stand out?

Every maker infuses their work with their own creativity, I am no different. My work is influenced by color trends, popular imagery, sure, but these items I create could only come from my hands. My aesthetics are recognizable, my brand is clean, elegant, with a touch of whimsy. People return to buy my work over and over because of my very high quality craftsmanship & a modern look that still contains a hint of nostalgia.

What's the best business advice you've received?

The moment that made the biggest impression on me was actually when I was teaching Martha my project on The Martha Stewart Show in 2010. She was so calm & collected even as a few things went wrong for her in the segment. I realized that to let things go a little awry and not be totally thrown off by it but to keep moving forward was the lesson I needed to understand most. It inspired me to try hosting my own TV show even though I had to overcome terrible stage fright. Not everything will go right all the time, even (especially?) on live TV but the key is to remember you are a professional & keep going. The same is true in business. Trust in yourself, persevere! Move on. All crucial to running a business on your own. Thanks, Martha!

Mark Your Calendar

  • Nominations
    June 3–Aug. 29, 2014

    Nominate yourself or other aspiring makers.

  • Judging
    June 23–Sept. 9, 2014

    Judges will select finalists throughout this period.

    Meet the judges
  • Online Voting
    Sept. 15–Oct. 13, 2014

    Vote for your favorite American makers.

    See the finalists
  • Winners Announced
    Oct. 17, 2014

    2014 Award Winners and Audience Choice Winner announced.

    See past Award Winners
  • American Made Event
    Nov. 7–8, 2014

    Join us for our annual event in New York City.

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