I first discovered Izzie’s through one of those moments of serendipity that seem so much a part of Second Life®. It was back in 2009, I think, or 2008 and I was desperately searching for some studded tights. I spent hours going from store to store to store to store, most of them stores that left me awestruck with their awfulness thanks to the sort of things that come up in search when you used search terms like stud or studded. I asked in the Fashion Bloggers group and was sent hither and yon, but no luck. No one had what I wanted. I decided to be Scarlett and “think about it tomorrow” and logged out for the night.
When I returned the next day, I got a new item notice, probably via FashCon since that was when FashCon was still the it group, and it was from Izzie’s announcing studded tights. I also was helpfully sent a dozen copies of the notice from bloggers who remembered my frustration the night before. It was one of those wonderful moments. I felt like Izzie Button, the Izzie’s creator, had made them just for me, though of course, it was incredibly unlikely that she turned out several pairs of stockings, boxed and made vendor pics for them all overnight. Still, that is how it felt. Since then, I have no idea how often I have worn those tights. I still have them. They are wonderful and indestructible. They will be in my inventory when Linden Labs turns out the lights for the last time sometime in the far, far distant future.
It’s Only Fashion: What was your first day in Second Life like? What made you stick it out through the learning curve?
Izzie Button: My first day in Second Life I spent reading freebie blogs and SL forums and finding out how everything works, followed by freebie shopping and trying to improve my avatar appearance. I was fascinated by the fact that everything I bought and saw was created by SL users themselves and I was wondering if I could do that too. I went to gaming places and “earned” my first lindens with gambling and I used that money to finance upload costs of my textures I needed to create my first clothing items.
IOF: What’s the craziest thing you ever did in Second Life? Most exciting? Silliest?
IB: Most exciting thing was for sure when I opened my own store in SL and sold my first items, I would never have thought that anyone would buy anything from me. Actually every “first” was exciting, when I got invited to a fashion event as creator, when bloggers applied to blog for my store, when I became a blogger myself lol….
Every time I learned something new and could use it for my creations to improve them, that’s actually very exciting for me, to see a progress, getting better with time. I love trying out new things. It never gets boring.
A lot of silliness and craziness I can live out with my partner Sam Laszlo, there’s seriously not a day we don’t make anything funny/silly and we’re laughing our heads off wearing funny clothes while making weird dance moves, making funny photoshoots (see toilet pic) or just testing how people react on us doing silly things in public. Oh and I only say “sheep” – people who visited my sim this summer and fall, will know what i mean hehe ;P
IOF: When did you begin creating? What was the first thing you made. Did you save it? Did it work?
IB: That went pretty fast actually, the moment I realized that it is possible to be a content creator in SL I started researching how everything works, watching and reading tons of tutorials. After a few days, I tried making my first prim item, spotlights which I offered (and still offer) as dollarbies at my marketplace store. For me it’s not to believe, that this spotlights set, the very first thing I ever made in SL and as simple as it is made out of a prim sphere and a torus, is till now the best selling item I’ve ever made, so yes, I’d say it worked out pretty well 😀 It’s so outdated but I don’t have the heart to delete it, since there are lots of emotions connected to it.
IB: Well, my store name Izzie’s wasn’t the most creative idea I ever had. I just thought I’m gonna pick a simple name, that’s easy for people to remember, so I named it after my avatar. Plus I wanted people to feel home at my store like they were going to a friend – let’s go to Izzie’s! That was the idea lol. My avatar is named after my favorite character from Grey’s Anatomy at that time.
IB: The most challenging part for me is to constantly learn new things and improve my skills, both technical and social. Moving forward, letting things go and going in different directions out of my comfort zone. Also finding a middle way between what my customers want, what I want, the pressure of attending events and constantly keeping my products up to date for various mesh body parts/mesh bodies are things I’m struggling with a lot. And a lack of inspiration sometimes. Most rewarding is the feedback from customers that you get and when you made people happy with your products, that’s a great feeling.
IOF: Where do you get inspiration for your designs? What is your process like?
IB: I love to go shopping in SL and when I’m looking for an item and I don’t find what I’m looking for, I just consider making it myself. That is really most of the time the case. Also I get lots of suggestions from customers who send me pictures of items they want. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and have an idea for an item or I get inspired by the weirdest things like an animated gif from a girl getting hit by a snowball on Plurk (see the Snowball Hit pic) or i see a RL cat sitting on a shelf and I get the idea to make a wooden Cat Shelf. If I’m purposely looking for inspiration, I find it most of the time scrolling through pics on the internet, in magazines or RL and I end up making something I saw there adding my own touch to it. Most of the time it evolves into something completely different.
IOF: How do your first and second life design aesthetics resemble and contrast with each other? How would you describe your design aesthetic? Who is your customer – the person you are thinking of when you design?
IB: I only create, what I would wear and also buy myself, so during the creating process I always think to myself would I buy this? If my answer is yes, I continue. Lots of things also go right away in trash or never get finished when I’m not 100% content. It’s a wonderful feeling when my customers enjoy the same things as I do. I love casual, natural, simple and cute things, just like in RL. I love animals, simple jewelry you can wear everyday, natural, soft and cute skins, not too much make-up and sometimes unusual or fun things. Most things I wear in SL I would also wear in real life (except formal gowns or costumes).
IOF: How has your second life changed your first life?
IB: SL is a huge part of my first life, since it’s my source of income. It has changed my life in so many ways, I’ve learned so many things, not only with creating, also in social aspects (different cultures, dealing with people in general, english language…). My hobby is my job now and working from home, being my own boss having the freedom to do what I love and enjoy, is the best thing that could have happened to me.
IOF: Is there anything else you would like to share with readers?
IB: I want to thank my customers and friends for the constant support and feedback that keeps me going and motivates me <3