You seriously think it is easy and fun to be young in SL? That we just hop around in our cute pink sneakers and summer dresses? Spend our time on a beach, eating ice cream and look pretty? Nope!
Being a young person in SL can be hard work when it comes to making yourself pretty without gliding straight into the Slutty department. And there is more: We need sneakers, hoodies, sweatpants, baseball caps, suggarda… no, hang on, let’s go back to baseball caps. You know we want ones that fit, that work with our hair and come in pretty colors – and of course we want to be able to change those colors, and the hair, and… well, everything. There is just one problem: Try finding that in SL.
So you can understand my delight when I found exactly that at an event – I think it was a Kustom9. There was this hair, with a cap and even a windbreaker. I had to investigate, fully ready to be disappointed the next minute. Got the demo, went home, opened the box and there it was, called Milena: three sizes (S, M and )L, one unrigged with resizer, one Hoodie fit – and that was not all; there were also two Style Kits, one normal and one Hoodie Fit, and two HUDs – one for the hair and one for the accessories. Well, let the games begin, I thought, and gave it a good try.
And it worked, yup, it did. It fitted nicely and gave me plenty of options, many colors and textures. Just what a girl needs.
Needless to say it had to be mine, and after ransacking her pretty store – complete of course with a cute, little fox – I was a happy and pretty girl.
Of course #foxy features hairs without caps and headgear too, but they all have something very special about them. All are very versatile and easy to change one way or another.
The Tonic Blog: Hello Liza, and thank you for taking some time off your busy schedule to talk with us. Looking at your releases over the past month you certainly are a very busy bee. From the first idea in your head until finally releasing a new hair, how long does it take you and how many hours do you have to put in?
Liza: Haha, I feel quite self-conscious about this, because I feel like any other designer does it faster. It’s a very time-consuming thing for me; I move and change every tiny strand of hair time and time again, until it’s perfect for me. Bear in mind, adding multiple styles to the same hair adds a lot of making time! So, depending on the amount of styles and length, with six to eight hours a day (with snack breaks and cat breaks), it takes three to five days to complete the mesh, and two to three more days for rigging, texturing and scripting (and with style HUDs there’s a lot of scripting). Sometimes things don’t go as planned and all-nighters come into play; it happens!
The Tonic Blog: One of the reasons I am such a big lover of your work is that you include hats, caps or other headgear sometimes, always with options to change colors, styles and so on. Isn’t this something very complicated to do, and do you see your customers loving those features? Or am I the only one?
Liza: Hair accessories can be very complicated to do; that’s why I love collaborating with other brands and have them make an accessory – for example, my friend MoonRabbit made caps for my hair, and FAKEICON made fancy hair gems. I think an accessory gives your hair a lot of options for outfits, while also being optional most of the time – for those that prefer a bare hairstyle. I sure hope my customers love the accessories as much as I do; they’re always fun to style!
The Tonic Blog: Despite your hair creations being very special, your prices are still very reasonable. Want to tell us about your pricing strategy please?
Liza: When I first started making hair I simply looked at how other designers priced theirs and priced mine the same, as I thought it would be what the customer is most comfortable with. With the style change system I only raised the initial price very slightly, while offering a lot more customization to the customer. I wanted to allow people to use their new hair with multiple outfits and looks (like if you need your hair flipped from one side to another to avoid clipping, or toggle accessories) while keeping it affordable 🙂
The Tonic Blog: Currently there is a lot of talk about Animesh and to a lesser degree Baked-In-Mesh. Any of these new and upcoming technologies will have any influence on your work?
Liza: I am still quite new to the whole Animesh topic, but would love to try and see what can be done in regards of hair-making using the new features. So far I’ve only seen Animesh pets, while Bento worked wonders in terms of hair animations. But I’m always curious about new technologies and how they can be used with the products I make.
The Tonic Blog: Who do think should come and have a look at your shop and products? Is there a certain target group you have in mind when creating something new?
Liza: When I was developing the idea behind Foxy, my idea was to create content for flirty, fun and playful people – maybe even a little sassy sometimes! I always try to find trendy styles and looks, and some catchy phrases or words to use on accessories. I had a chance to chat with some of my #teamFoxy people (my store group) and they’re just so cute, kind and fun-loving – exactly who I hoped would wear my creations! ♥
The Tonic Blog: To be honest I can’t remember if I first found you at a Kustom9 or a Colllabor88 event, but in any case you seem to enjoy working together with clothing designers to create awesome clothing/hair combinations, fitted to work together. Is this something we can look forward to in the future?
Liza: I love working on clothing & hair combos so much! There were a couple more projects in discussion; they didn’t yet happen due to busy schedules, but I’m definitely hoping to bring out some interesting combinations for you guys this year!
The Tonic Blog: And of course I have to ask you: What is in the making? What can we look forward to? Is there anything planned with regards to a Tonic-compatible clothing/hair combination?
Liza: I have a lot of ideas in mind, and a lot of ideas from customers; I will be working on that step by step, but I also hope some unexpected and exciting opportunities will come up this year, like new collaborations, projects – time will tell! I hope the Tonic body will grow its follower base and more brands will make their clothing compatible. I understand it’s hard on clothing creators with the amount of bodies out there. Wishing Tonic body, and your blog, a lot of success! Looking forward to reading other creators’ stories and other articles ♥
The Tonic Blog: Thank you so much Liza for taking the time to speak to us. We certainly enjoyed having you, and we are all looking forward to your future creations.
And yes, Liza really is as nice as she appears in this interview – always friendly, always happy to help, and she always has some nice words for her customers. It’s certainly worth visiting her store, especially considering her hair won’t break the bank.