ICYMI, we opened up our very own LAYOP Clothing flagship store two weeks ago. The four-day event was simply amazing, as we received visitors from across the globe. From day one supporters to first-time customers, people showered into our new store with positivity and good vibes.
One of the highlights of Grand Opening Weekend was the "Meet The Designers" event. This event was truly special as it gave customers an exclusive opportunity to actually meet the people behind the LAYOP designs (Andre Thomas - CEO and Founder of LAYOP Clothing Company and Lizz Gault - Creator of LAYOP Kids).
Today, we've dedicated to highlight Lizz as she has allowed us to learn more about her artistic and unique abilities as a talented designer, loving wife and mother.
Name: Elizabeth (Lizz) Gault
Occupation/Location: I am a married, mother of two boys, artist/designer, who resides in Missouri near the Kansas City area.
Background/Inspiration: From a very young age, I've always loved drawing. Art was my only outlet to express myself since we didn't have the money for me to join other activities. Growing up, I was introduced to the Japanese art form called Anime. Early morning and weekend Anime shows, Toonami and Miyazaki films, were a major influence for me. I was always drawing my favorite anime characters or making up my own. My dream career, when I was young, was to become a cartoonist. Or to at least be doing something related with art. I just wanted to get my art out there for others to see.
After graduating high school, I attended Missouri Western State University where I had majored in Graphic Design. Still very into the Anime, I had taken several trips to visit my sister, who at the time was living in Schaumburg, IL. I attended Anime Central (my first big Anime convention back in 2007). I had already been attending conventions around the Kansas City area since early 2003 and dressed up a couple times, either buying online or going to local thrift store putting stuff together. My sister then introduced me to the world of Cosplay, people who go all out making their costumes, attending conventions to show off their work and even competing for awards and so many other aspects to this hobby. I was instantly hooked on this new art form of Cosplaying. Now, I would turn my love of drawing these characters to life with creating their costumes for me to wear.
With this new passion, I transferred to the Illinois Institute of Art - Schaumburg, with my sister, to major in their Fashion Design program that just happened to reopen. I wanted to learn how to make my own cosplays. My sister taught me the basics to sewing, so when I actually did start classes, I would have some knowledge to know what I was actually doing lol. I witnessed that being naturally artistic really helped me throughout the process. I was able to sketch out my designs and see visually what I wanted to create and bring to life. As much as I loved my time learning about the Fashion world and growing in my sewing skills, I ended up choosing a different path in life.
I returned back home to Missouri and over the next couple years I got engaged, married and ended up starting a family. Despite the recent events, I never gave up on passion for Cosplay. After having my first son, a year later got really serious into my Cosplay hobby in late 2012. Trying not to forgot the skills I learned while taking fashion classes and what my sister had taught me, I came up with the online handle Waterlily. I started a Facebook page to share with others my creations and possibly help inspire and answer Cosplay related questions.
LAYOP Connection: In 2014, I was introduced to LAYOP Clothing from my family. After about a year later, the idea of them wanting to branch out and start a children's line was brought up to me. Many LAYOP customers were requesting a kids line and my name surfaced. After seeing my work, they asked if I would be interested in working with them.
Initially, I was a little nervous since I hadn't done much drawing. I was focusing more on my Cosplay hobby. With the encouragement of my husband, I took a leap of faith and accepted. I began working on designs for LAYOP in May 2015. My first designs were released in September 2015. Seeing my designs being printed on apparel and then being sold online was so surreal to me! My art was finally being available to the world. It was very exciting to see that it was well received.
I was able to attend the Grand Opening weekend events and experienced first hand customers walking into the store and buying my designs. After little over a year working with LAYOP, it's been exciting to create designs for their children's line. It's been truly inspiring to watch the business grow from online to opening its first store. I'm looking forward to seeing where this cool company goes. I'm so thankful and blessed with the opportunity that I was given to work with this company.
Currently, I spend my time working on creating new designs for LAYOP Kids. As a hobby, I love creating new cosplays of beloved characters to share with others. I'm incredibly happy and thankful that I'm able to do both my passions from home with my husband and my two boys who help inspire me. I also receive lots of support from family and friends who support my art.
Good luck LAYOP...we did it! :-)