Auto biographies at times sound so pompous and self serving. But there are a few things about me that I would like to share with you. I have written this in the third person, so it will seem a bit more modest. But really, no artist is really totally modest. We have to be proud of what we do to get ourselves out there in the world. And that is a good thing. And it is a hard lesson to learn, but so worth while. So without further ado....
Elizabeth, a 1979 graduate of Endicott College with a degree in Fashion Design, resides in Erie, PA. She started her design career as a handbag and luggage designer after college. Later, she helped run a fledgling cottage industry that designed and manufactured stuffed toy lambs and sheep. Her first experience in bridal came in 1979, when she designed a headpiece and veil for her college roommate. That led to other headpieces for college friends, and later her first job in a bridal shop. After working in several bridal salons, making headpieces, doing alterations part time for ten years, and with encouragement from her dear friend Jayne, she ventured into her own design studio, Elizabeth Payne Designer/Dressmaker. From 1989 to 1997 she created custom wedding gowns and headpieces for brides that wanted something unique for their wedding day. Her love of art and fashion history lead to gowns designed with a historical theme. She also specialized in plus sizes, which at that time, there were few choices for plus size brides. Being a plus size woman her self, Elizabeth well understood the needs of this special bride when it came to finding flattering and stylish gowns. In 1997, Elizabeth was asked to join Classic Weddings of Lititz, PA. Classic Weddings is a salon she greatly respects for their fine reputation of customer service and selection of quality merchandise at a reasonable price. Elizabeth Wertz, the owner of Classic Weddings, gave Elizabeth Payne the opportunity to learn the inner workings of the retail bridal world as salon manager and buyer. Elizabeth P (known in the market as Elizabeth the short of the buying team of Elizabeth and Elizabeth!) noticed that there was a lack of quality jewelry available to brides. Jewelry designed to coordinate with her headpiece, and could be worn beyond the wedding day. Elizabeth P's headpieces evolved from handmade fabric flowers and beaded trims to jeweled headpieces made of sterling silver wire, freshwater pearls and crystal.
Elizabeth P "retired" from the retail world of bridal due to illness in 2002. But that gave the opportunity for the "birth" of Damselfly Studio. Elizabeth wanted a name for her studio that would represent work that was light and airy, feminine and that would extend beyond the bridal world. Thus, Damselfly Studio was born. Why Damselfly instead of Dragonfly like her signature pin and logo? Damselflys are smaller and lighter, more delicate and have a more feminine image. Thus the decision to name her business Damselfly Studio rather than Dragonfly Studio. Elizabeth also works with Michele and Melanie Bock, formerly known as Eves Circle. MelanieMichele design and craft beautiful couture fashion forward jewelry and headpieces. Michele generously gave Elizabeth exsposure on the Internet in 2003, and the two have been great cyber friends who collaborate and share their combined experiences to help their businesses grow.
I am greatful for the loving support of my husband Paul, who has put up with the collection of beads and crystals all over the house beyond my studio. He is my shopping companion and helper at buying shows. He points out colors and beads that I need. What a gift! He has encouraged me to follow my dreams. I am also grateful for the support of my family. Their support and belief in me has been a precious gift. And to my wonderful customers over the years. Some of my best ideas have been inspired by you!!