Podcast: Crafty Celebrity and Internet Jealousy, with Vickie Howell

09 Jan 2013


All images in this post from Vickie Howell, used with permission.

Crafty Celebrity and Internet Jealousy, with Vickie Howell

In the seven years I've been making these podcasts, I've generally steered away from interviewing "crafty celebrities" – not for any personal reasons, but because I've always felt that well-known crafters are already getting a lot of coverage. I've always wanted this show to be about people you may not have met yet.

But a few months back, I was doing a little video interview with Vickie Howell about her newest knitting book. And in that interview, she said something really thought-provoking: she said that it's very important to her that the successes she's achieved in craft don't end up making other crafters feel bad, or lesser.

I knew that was the seed of an amazing podcast – a discussion about the internet jealousy we all feel at times, and about what it's like to feel those feelings when you're also a leader in your community. I was thrilled that Vickie agreed to talk with me along these lines, and even more thrilled with her honest take these two big topics.

I believe so strongly that this conversation has value for all crafters, I'm putting this one up for free, permanently, so as many people as possible can listen to it. I hope it gives you some big, chewy new thoughts.


Links for You:

• Visit Vickie's Bernat page, where you can learn more about her and her yarn line Sheep(ish), and get some free patterns.

• At Vickie's own website, you can learn more about her books, connect with video from her TV days, read her blog, and link to even more patterns.

• Social media-wise, you can connect with Vickie on Twitter, Facebook, Ravelry, and Pinterest.

• Here's a post (and some great comment discussion from a while back: On Fame and Celebrity (Mostly, the Crafty Internet Kind)

• Here's another earlier post, on internet jealousy. We also had some interesting discussion on Google+ on this topic.

• ...And here's the original video I did with Vickie about Step It Up Knits.



Thanks for sharing this podcast, I enjoyed the commentary by both yourself and Vicki. I think its a very timely topic especially now that the internet makes it so easy for smaller designers to share what they are doing.

Great podcast, it really gave me a lot to think about. I am impressed at how honest she was. I realized from listening to this that I have been pulling myself back too much in my creative endeavors.

Thank you so much, Cynthia! I'd hazard a guess that different neighborhoods of the craft community have different celebrities at this point, but the names Vickie mentioned in the podcast are all people I consider celebrity crafters: Jenny Ryan of http://www.sublimestitching.com, Kathy Cano Murillo of http://www.craftychica.com, Traci Bautista http://www.treicdesigns.com/, Jennifer Perkins http://naughtysecretaryclub.blogspot.com/... and I feel like I'm forgetting someone. Any suggestions, folks out there?

This interview was really interesting! I was fascinated listening to Vickie's perspective on the business of being a crafter who is also a private contractor and savvy self promoter. Diane, your questions were refreshing and deeper than I was expecting, thank you for this podcast. Also, who are the "big names" in crafting? I have haphazardly looked around websites, not realizing the greater community, so I would like to know a few names of the folks considered the big names.

That it does! There was a section I ended up editing out for flow, where Vickie talked about being very inspired by Aztec design and wanting to create a line of jewelry. But she understands that, while this idea is compelling, it doesn't really support the business she's worked so hard to build. I struggle with creative focus all the time and will always be a dabbler, but Vickie's a wonderful example of the power of telling a single, coherent story with your brand. Thank you for commenting, Marti!

Wonderful food for thought. It's nice to hear from "crafty superstars" and know they are just like many of us, like me! Her comment about crafty creatives being distracted by so many inspirations resonated with me. Her career just proves if you pick a direction and work really hard, you can make be successful.

What a great interview, thank you! I admire people such as yourself and Vickie who can make a living at crafting, you all work so hard. I have to admit, I can be jealous of people who actually make money doing anything remotely related to crafting and sometimes feel guilty that I can't contribute to my family doing what I love. But after listening in on your conversation it not only makes me appreciate you guys that much more, but I feel so much better about being just a crafter who loves to make things for the sake of making things.

WOW... the raw honesty Vickie shares is humbling. She still gives us all a good example to go by. This was fun, Diane, and informative! Sooo much has happened in 5 years. I wonder what will be next?! :o)

Thank you, Tammy! It really is night and day. I'm definitely excited to see how far the community has come in terms of craftsmanship, evolving new ideas, and presentation in just five years. The problems of scale that persist online do make life more complicated for all of us, but even so, I imagine we'll travel to even newer and more interesting creative territory in the next five years. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment!

Diane and Vickie, Thank you for a fabulous podcast! I loved hearing Vickie's perspective and found the discussion thought-provoking. It's still amazing to see how much has changed in just 5 years.

Thank you so much for this. I am in a crafty rut so to speak and this was a great "pep talk" and very inspiring!

Wowzers. I had to take notes to keep my head straight! What a wonderful podcast, and I thank you both for bringing it to us.

What spoke to me was hearing about Vickie's process. Often times when someone represents a company (and have to keep projects under wraps) the community only sees the product. Where as the rest of us are tweeting about having to rip out our work or start over it can sometimes feel like the crafty celebs of our world are like, "Oh this old thing?"

I also think that a lot of the conversation about how big the web has gotten comes back to the theme of your right people. Yes, the web it huge and daunting and overstimulating. But if you can find your right people, whether you be a business person or someone simply seeking inspiration, I believe you are far more likely to benefit from the content you are viewing.

Thanks so much to you and Vickie for this awesome podcast episode.

Great! As a crafter, I really try not to compare myself to others, as I am "just me". But I do so enjoy some of the "Rockstars" of the craftworld. I have been found that the few I was able to meet were so encouraging and kind. I have friends who are so stressed out over Pinterest, or Martha Stewart etc...Just do what it is you love. Thanks for this!