Grad creates YouTube sewing empire
BY JARED MISNER (4JM)
Vanessa Wilson, (JD 08), aka the Crafty Gemini, has sewn herself an alternative career after graduating from the University of Florida Levin College of Law. She has created a YouTube sewing empire, amassing more than 1.1 million views of her 60-plus videos.
It all started with a single handmade bag she made during law school. “Originally, I just started to show my friends (my bags), but then I started getting e-mails from all over the world,” Wilson said of her YouTube videos, one of which has more than 101,000 views.
But to say this YouTube stardom started with that single bag would be only a half truth.
After Wilson began selling crafts to her friends, she began uploading the videos as tutorials. Wilson’s husband filmed her first videos with a digital camera and a “$3 tripod.”
“I sometimes had to tuck the camera into my sports bra to get the best shot,” Wilson said.
Then she won an award that revolutionized her life.
In April 2011 she won a $35,000 check and $1,000 electronics gift card that comes with YouTube’s annual NextUP award that highlights the website’s 25 most prominent members.
“Vanessa has this amazing screen presence,” Annie Baxter, YouTube’s communications manager, said. “Vanessa has this charisma that just comes through.”
And in September, Wilson appeared on ABC’s 20/20 to discuss her YouTube stardom. To see the segment go to http://abcnews.go.com/Business/video/cashing-youtube-14326526.
The success has transformed Wilson’s technical wherewithal and her fortunes. Now she has an iMac, a better tripod and a five-acre farm house. It’s the house that thread built.
“When I sleep, someone across the world is buying my stuff,” Wilson said.
Wilson remains thankful for her law degree. She doesn’t need to hire a contracts attorney. She can do it herself. Or when she needs to advertise in Asia or ship products to Europe, she doesn’t need an international attorney. She can do it herself.
“People are just so scared to try new things,” Wilson said. “And I’m not like that. I always just say, ‘Just do it.’”
Commenting is closed for this article.