Spreading ladybug magic

Karin Lacy

Photo By Robin Epley

Four-leaf clovers, horseshoes above the door, picking up forgotten pennies on the sidewalk—all are good-luck rituals that you’ve probably done at least once. But for Karin Lacy, good luck has little glass wings. Lacy, who is affectionately known as the Ladybug Lady, distributes small glass ladybugs to those who are feeling a little down and out. Handing out the trinkets helps Lacy overcome a natural shyness, and gives her a reason to meet new people. She began the tradition in Garberville, but after handing out more than 400 ladybugs to the residents there, Lacy relocated to Chico and now wants to spread some of her magic here. Currently, the Ladybug Lady is running short on glass ladybugs. If you’d like to help her out, she can be reached at karinlacy@gmail.com.

What inspired you to give away glass ladybugs?

About six or seven years ago I saw these glass ladybugs in a catalog, and I felt compelled to order them. They were so cute. When they arrived, I knew I would want to give them as gifts to people. They were so appropriate to give away, and ever since then I’ve been giving away glass ladybugs to people.

How do you decide whom to give them to?

In Garberville, I gave glass ladybugs away to everybody, to people in the store, to cashiers, neighbors, mail deliverers, and to homeless people. I always have them in a little pouch. If there’s an opportunity, I pull them out. If I think that it would be a good situation to help them, I ask them if they are in need of good luck, and I pull out my glass ladybugs and create magic in people’s lives.

What are people’s reactions to receiving the ladybugs?

The first thing they say is “Do you make them yourself?” and I usually don’t want to say that I buy them over the Internet. I say that I make them out of thin air, and so then we smile and have a conversation. It’s always a nice exchange with another human being. It’s a random act of kindness, to give something away

What do you gain from the experience?

It always makes me feel good to surprise people and to evoke a smile from another human being.

What’s your favorite story involving one of your gifts?

One of my favorite stories is about a man in Garberville. I gave him a glass ladybug, and when I next saw him in town, he told me about the day I gave him the ladybug. He met with his wife to drive home together, and when she entered the truck, he presented her with the ladybug, because his wife loves them. He said that at the same moment, a real ladybug came in the window and landed on his wife’s hand. That is a story that sends shivers up and down my spine.