Meet Connie Lisle
Connie Lisle has made rapid success in her new custom business in her post educator life. She got her Master’s of Science from The Pennsylvania State University in the Education of Exceptional Children, with additional credits in mathematics and probability and researched best practices on teaching children. She also received her Bachelor of Arts from Queens College of the City University of New York. Her cross discipline was influenced by growing up in NYC with a textile designer mother and engineer dad. Retiring from Harwood Union HS, Duxbury, VT, June 2014, opened up her time to pursue her own custom etched slate business.
I got the idea for the slate etching when I saw some slate coasters with rough silhouettes. My son, who is an artist, did some pen and ink drawings of birds for me, and I thought it would be great to do something with more detail than the silhouettes on slate.
In February, there was an article in Seven Days about a Makerspace opening up in Burlington in March. I went to the grand opening in March and was psyched! At the time I was a high school math teacher at Harwood Union High School, in Duxbury, Vt. I told my colleagues about the Generator and how excited I was about it. Well, a few months later, I retired in June, and my colleagues in the math dept gave me a 4 month membership to the Generator. I started my membership in October of that year, and by December, I knew I could engrave slate at the level I wanted.
Connie has done custom slates for Mad River Glenn, Cabot Cheese, Trapp Family Lodge, von Trapp Lager, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, High Five Foundation, Vermont Historic Preservation Commission. She has also been staying busy with custom orders such as wedding plates and trophies.
Generator provided Connie access to a $45,000 laser engraver to try her ideas and explore the production of products over two years to see if, in fact, it would be marketable and sustainable. At Generator there was a supportive community that encouraged her every step of the way, pointed out various contacts and connections to answer a myriad of questions.
She has reached that point of success that she needed to buy her own laser cutter to be etching away more hours in a day. Her business future is strong and the hardest challenge is to not scale up too fast.
Connie Lisle is one of Generator’s top talent and demonstrates how far you can go with access to equipment and community. Generator is a platform to help people make better and to get to their next stepping stone!
Check her out at Riverslateco.com