Podcast Episode # 12: Vanessa Wilson of Crafty Gemini

Have you heard of Vanessa Wilson? Perhaps you have heard of Crafty Gemini? She is a blogger, crafter, pattern designer, video tutorial wizard and an overall fun person.

Vanessa Wilson graphic

Even though we have never met, we instantly connected through the podcast. This is a “no holds barred” episode.  We cuss (I grew up on a sportfishing boat with a bunch of men!) and talk about her childhood in New York and time in the Dominican Republic. She describes about how she and her husband have been treated in quilting stores and her worse youtube comment received to date. Plus, you might want to listen all the way until the end.  Spoiler alert!  She has some fun news related to Missouri Star Quilt Company!  I feel privileged to have been a part of this conversation and hope others also enjoy the conversation.

To listen to the podcast, you can use the player below or subscribe to the podcast from iTunes or Stitcher.

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Comments 23

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  1. This was excellent. I enjoyed learning more about both yours and Vanessa’s background and what made you go in the direction of life that you chose. I know that I’m glad I joined the CGQC. It got me back into sewing and has helped to boost my confidence. I make gifts for people from the projects she’s taught us and get requests for more and I’m gladly turning them down. Thank you for the interview.

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      Ronnie, thank you for listening. I love that we can tell our stories and (hopefully) encourage others. Congratulations on making gifts and finding your own success. 🙂

  2. Love Vanessa! Have been following her for a few years now. I’m one of those “older white ladies” that really loves the way she teaches. I Also can relate to her on so many levels even tho our backgrounds are seemingly so different. Her hubby had the perfect comment on how to handle trolls. My DH is also black, he would have said the same thing. I think she reaches so many ppl because she really can relate to pretty much anyone. Oh and btw, the soaping video of hers got me to making my own and now I have a shop on storenvy! I originally watched her because of sewing and quilting, and have made many of her projects and quilts. She is very versatile and so fun to watch. Enjoyed the podcast! Thanks!

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      Thank you! It’s so amazing to be able to reach out and inspire other people. Vanessa is an inspirational to all of us.

  3. I loved the podcast. I am a member of CGQC and also a kinda old white lady. The closest quilt shop to me is never friendly. I try to give them a chance once every year if I need something fast and it’s always the same. I travel 30 miles to one that IS friendly and I order online. So happy to have Vanessa and now I’ve subscribed to the crafty planner!!

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      Thank you for subscribing and for reminding us that even sweet “kinda old white ladies” don’t get good service. 🙁 I want our industry to be successful for all so hopefully these stores start revisiting their customer service habits.

  4. I love Vanessa because she’s approachable and so down to earth. I’m a 69 year old Black female and have sewn all my life. I still learn something from Vanessa’s videos. I especially like how she introduces new products and shows us just how they work. She is also very patient and does not make you feel like your questions are stupid. I’ll be a follower as long as I’m mentally able to comprehend. God Bless you girl!

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      Thank you, Edie! I love reading your story and knowing you support Vanessa. That love and support is what keeps us going. 🙂

  5. I was sadddened but alas not shocked to hear how badly Vanessa has been treated in local quilt shops. I remember in your interview with Chawne she said the same thing. I find myself thinking “How would these shop owners act differently if they knew what an important presence these women have online??” but of course that shouldn’t matter. EVERY customer should be treated with respect in every shop, regardless of fame, expertise, gender or skin color…or for that matter how much money they spend. I am white and in my 30s and I have been treated both well and poorly in quilt and yarn shops. When I was younger I felt like quilt shop employees didn’t take me seriously; I had more experience than they gave me credit for (I learned from my mom, who is an expert) but not necessarily much extra cash to spend. Maybe I could only buy a few fat quarters but if they were welcoming and helpful I was much more likely to return when I could afford materials for larger projects.
    I’ve also been treated badly for bringing my children with me, even when they were respectful and quiet and didn’t cause any damage. I know the issue of bringing your children into stores is a whole other can of worms, but I remember thinking that parents (and grandparents!) of young children make up a large portion of the customer base for these places, so to be unwelcoming to children will turn some of us off from shopping there, especially when these things can be purchased so easily online.

    1. I want to add to my comment earlier that I in no way mean to compare the negative experiences I’ve had in shops with the kind of treatment Vanessa described. While I have been mildly insulted in certain situations, that is not comparable to the blatantly racist treatment she has received. Orders of magnitude difference there!! I just wanted to point out that I do indeed recognize that there is a tremendous difference.

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        Susan, I think I mentioned in that podcast that my mother worked in a fabric store while I was growing up. She never once treated anyone differently because they were young, black, white, etc. I was so accustomed to this encouraging outlook on customer service (my parents also had another business while I was growing up) that I am still shocked, appalled and saddened to hear these stories. I want brick and mortar stores to be successful. They have the opportunity to provide a valuable service to our industry. Thank you again for listening. 🙂

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  7. Great Podcast I enjoy watching Vanessa and I will finally get to meet her in August when I go to MSQ for my very first retreat.. By the way I am 65 and only started sewing and Quilting 2 years ago.

  8. Thanks Vanessa, it was nice to “see” another side of you.

    I have been crafting since I was a child, mother of 3 more than wonderful adult children, grand of 5, was self employed and worked for a large education system, recently retired, lived abroad, educated, divorced and am now a widow and I am recently trying my hand at machine embroidery. I.am an American black woman (African American…really??? When I was born in Colorado, they said I was born colored, then I became a Negro, next I was black and now I am an African American…whatever :-)) I am of the “older” generation you referred to yet I can relate to every single topic of your conversation.

    Thanks for being so real and honest and as I still say “keep on keeping on”!

  9. I found Vanessa’s YouTube video for making gift bags about three years ago when I volunteered to make birthday bags for a school. I have been doing this for the last three years. Vanessa makes learning very easy, that is why I joined her Quilting club. I am white, and have experienced discrimination because of my weight. I think some people are just mean, and it makes them feel better. Looking forward to Vanessa’s new endeavors.

  10. I enjoyed your Podcast. I have studied your videos. I am planning to finally try my hand at making a baby quilt. Continue doing what you do because you are a help. Thanks.

  11. Absolutely a great story. I’ve follow Vanessa since she started on YouTube. She’s come along way. She has a wonderful way about her and can really get one motivated. I’m one of the “old white ladies” in the group. I wish more people would stop judging a person by their looks. I taught my now adult children never judge a book by its cover and that means people too. Love her to bits! Just remember Vanessa to take care of you too! ❤️❤️❤️???

  12. I love Vanessa! I found her on you tube a few years ago and have followed her ever since, (now a member of CGQC). Hearing her story I love her even more. She has such a great attitude and has helped me become a more confident sewer. I am an avid knitter, but recently took up quilting since my mother-in-law is getting older and can’t do as much quilting now. I wanted to take up the craft and carry on her traditions. I have made a shopping cart seat for my nephew, baskets for my former classroom and students and so much more just following Vanessa. Loved the podcast, will probably start following you also. Thanks!!!!

  13. I have been following Vanessa for a couple of years now. I have watched how she has progressed in her craft until she is now a full fledged “Shop Owner/Operator” of a different kind. I love how she doesn’t let anything negative get her down. I’ve watched her children grow up. They are so helpful to her too. I wish she and her husband continued success in their new Business!

  14. i enjoyed the podcast. thank you , I had an idea that you might consider in the future. I have some shades that I took down from my windows when we got new ones installed and I thought I think these would make great recycle grocery bag liners?? What do you think ?? Just an idea for a you tube video ? Not sure how to sew that kind of material to canvas or such but just thinking out loud . have a great 4th of July !!!! Lisa

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