On the Craft Industry Alliance podcast today I’m talking about YouTube with The Crafty Gemini, Vanessa Vargas Wilson.
Being a YouTube star was certainly an unexpected career path for Vanessa. While in law school she yearned for a creative outlet and asked her mother to teach her to sew. She took to it immediately. When friends began requesting that she make them things, Vanessa said she’d rather teach them the skills to sew themselves, which she soon did through a local community college.
She mentioned to her husband that teaching the same project over and over again was beginning to feel tiresome and he suggested that they videotape it and put it online. And that was the genesis of The Crafty Gemini.
Vanessa has been posting weekly instructional videos on YouTube since 2009. She teaches viewers how to do everything from sewing and quilting to organic gardening and canning. The Crafty Gemini YouTube channel has 162,000 subscribers and over 15 million views.
In 2011 Vanessa’s career on YouTube was transformed when she won the YouTube NextUp contest. The prize included $35,000 in cash plus equipment, training, and networking all provided by YouTube.
Today, Vanessa has a fulfilling and profitable YouTube business. In our conversation we talk about:
- putting a camera in your sports bra
- her winning entry in the NextUp contest and how it changed her outlook
- being Latina in the online sewing community
- her husband’s comment, ” It’s not your tutorials, it’s you that they love”
- where the money comes from when you have a YouTube-based business
- living on a 5-acre homestead (and raising and slaughtering chickens)
And, of course, I asked Vanessa to recommend great stuff she’s enjoying right now. She recommends:
- arm knitting
- cuisenaire rods
- Daring Greatly- How the Courage to be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead by Brené Brown
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