If home decor and textiles is your thing then In Her Hands is a must-follow. Think: handwoven wall hangings in the dreamiest of colours and textures. Today we’re talking to In Her Hands founder, Lizmari Cunliffe – wife, mum, creative and textile designer.
Meet Lizmari Cunliffe – wife, mum, pastor and creative. Liz is one of life’s true gems, and one who just oozes kindness, hospitality and creativity.
Lizmari is a textile design graduate, and outside of her new role as a mum, she weaves. What she creates are the most beautiful and textural wall hangings in the dreamiest of colours.
What started as a hobby has quickly become a business, which Liz has recently rebranded from Lizmari Co to In Her Hands. Her pieces are all handwoven using a technique called ‘off loom’ weaving.
Today I’m excited to be sharing a glimpse into the life of Lizmari, and her gorgeous weaving business: In Her Hands
Let’s start with a little bit about yourself…
I grew up in South Africa and moved to New Zealand ten years ago. I studied textile design at Massey University in Wellington, and I now live in Hamilton with my husband, Patrick, and baby girl, Thea (six months old).
At the moment I am a full time mum and part time creative – and loving every second of it (well almost every second, not so much the early morning wake up calls though!). When I’m not on maternity leave I work as creative manager at ARISE Church in Hamilton and as a young adults pastor alongside my husband.
A few things I love:
- My family. Of course, I love my husband and daughter, but also my siblings – they mean the world to me.
- I couldn’t function without my early morning chemex and eggs on toast (made by Pat).
- I love quiet nights in with the family, but I also love having our house full of people we love.
- I love pottering around the house, making our house a home and adding some character and personality to it.
- We love God & our church family. Don’t know what we would do without it.
Where does the name ‘In Her Hands’ come from?
My beautiful mum passed away three years ago. She was a big inspiration to me in my creative journey – always encouraging and challenging me.
At her funeral I read from Proverbs 31 – The Wife of Noble Character. This beautiful piece summed my mum up perfectly. Just the other day while feeding Thea I read it again and verse 19 stood out to me:
In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers”
I love that, just like my mum, this woman used what was in her hands (in this passage it was tools used for spinning) to make a difference in her family and community.
I believe that life’s not about having everything but about being content with what you have in your hand. It’s about using what is available to create beautiful things out of nothing – my mum was particularly good at that.
We have so many things calling for our attention which often leaves us thinking that we need every new product on the market. But I reckon that while chasing those things we often miss what is in our hands right now.
It’s with these hands that we look after our families, help our communities and care for ourselves while enjoying the season we are in.
What inspired you to start weaving?
I learned how to weave at university. It was only a small part of one of the papers I took but I instantly loved it. I stopped doing it after university and only started again last year as a hobby which has, surprisingly, turned into a business.
I love working with my hands – I find it very therapeutic. I also love working with lush textures and pretty colours. It definitely lifts my mood!
I’ve never been super fond of machinery and am a little technologically challenged so ‘off loom’ weaving is right up my alley. I love how it can be as organic or precise as you’d like it to be, and there’s really no right or wrong!
What are your thoughts on balancing motherhood, working and creativity?
I am lucky enough to have a whole year of maternity leave. But as much as I love being a mum and running our household, I always knew that I’d need to do something on the side to fuel my creativity and to keep me sane! (In saying that, at the end of the day Thea is my main priority and if she needs me I will drop everything for her.)
I think as a mum it’s important to do something just for you. Endless amounts of washing, feeding, cooking and cleaning isn’t always so inspiring but I seem to enjoy it more when I have a few side projects on the go.
I remember as a child I used to paint with my mum in her garage studio. She used to do little drawings for me on fabric that I would then paint it, keeping me busy for hours. She always had creative projects on the go, though she never forced me to be creative – but by just watching her it sparked something inside of me. I hope to do the same for Thea.
Thea already loves music and can stare at her daddy playing the guitar for hours. So hopefully by us just doing what we love she will be inspired to do the same one day.
*Photos courtesy of Lisa Christensen and In Her Hands’ Instagram