Today I’m beyond thrilled to bring you a Q & A with the beautiful creative soul that is Elizabeth, or @ehpyle of Bottle Branch. I’ve admired Elizabeth’s work greatly since I first laid eyes on it. She has an incredible Instagram account, a beautiful blog, and a thriving business on Etsy. I’ve always wanted to know more about her and she has graciously agreed to share her journey with us. Thank you so much, Elizabeth.
So let’s get started!
Q. Who are you and why are you here ;)
I’m Elizabeth. I’m a former botanist, avid gardener, printmaker, photographer and mother of four. I first connected with Barb on instagram, where we share a love of flowers, nature and still life photography. I’ve since been honored to send her some of my own work though Bottle Branch, and loved watching her #sunday_sundries hash tag take off and soar. I was thrilled when she asked me to write a little about Bottle Branch, my botanical photography and paper goods business.
Q. So, can you tell me more about what a botanist is/does?
Yes! Botanists are the people who professionally identify plants in the wild (as opposed to horticulturalists, who study garden plants) and I studied Botany in graduate school. I spent hours in the field collecting plant samples and learning to identify plants by their subtle details – distinctive leaf shapes, elegant branching patterns, delicate flower structures. I like to think these years of close observation inform the botanically inspired art I now make. Even now, I try to identify the plants I work with. To me, naming a plant is part of truly knowing it, and a knowing plants is my passion.
Q. How did you get from being a botanist to starting Bottle Branch, the shop?
When my youngest child was born, I went from working mom to stay-at-home mom. I took up printmaking, wrote for a parenting blog, dabbled in needlework, and started gardening a lot. (Like Barb, I’m a fan of trying new things, as fearlessly as possible.) I grew vegetables, perennials, annuals and lots of cutting flowers– cosmos, zinnias, calendula, scabiosa, nigella, and more. As my garden grew, I developed a fascination with arranging and photographing flowers and plants.
My shop was born in late 2015, when I took a leap and listed a few silkscreened linens, woodcut prints, and photo cards in a shop on etsy. It has grown over the past year, and shifted to mostly photography and paper goods, but at its core, Bottle Branch was born from my passion for plants, flowers, and making things.
Q. How did you choose the name Bottle Branch?
I grew up in the southeast USA where a small stream or trickle of water is known as a “branch” and the one that ran behind my house was called Bottle Branch. I spent hours there with my siblings and neighbors, swinging on rope swings, looking for cray fish and chasing a single elusive bull frog. It was a place of joy, discovery, untamed nature. So, in 2013, when I started an open-ended blog about creativity and nature, I named it Bottle Branch in the hopes that it would be a place to share moments of joy and discovery; a place to marvel at the wonders of nature; and place to chase a single grandiose idea, even if it never worked out.
So here I am, still chasing that joy and wonder, and delighted to have had the chance to share my story with you.
Thank you so much Elizabeth. I’ve so enjoyed learning more about you and your shop and I’m sure my readers have as well.
And now, we’re in luck, as Elizabeth would like to offer a giveaway of a set of 5 “winter” theme cards from her shop!
All you need do is simply leave a comment here on my blog, on this post and you’ll be entered into the contest. Draw to be made Friday, December 16th at 1:00 pm MST.
**Please note that Christmas is coming :) and Elizabeth will be closing her shop and enjoying this sacred season with her family, so delivery may not be until the new year.**
Again, thank you so much Elizabeth, for sharing your story and for the beautiful giveaway! Your cards are exquisite!
Here’s where to find Elizabeth:
Etsy: Bottle Branch
Pinterest: Bottle Branch
Instagram: @ehpyle and @bottlebranch
Blog: Bottle Branch (you might want to check out Elizabeth’s time-lapse capture of a strawflower opening up … it’s astonishing!)
Good luck on the draw everyone!
COMMENTS CLOSED – WE HAVE A WINNER (TO BE ANNOUNCED) YAY!!