Q: Why do you like crafting so much?
I was born into a very crafty family - my mom and dad were both artists, my grandmother Maletsky was a needle crafter, my Pop Yocom was a jewelry maker, my Aunt was a puppeteer, and my beloved Grammy Yocom was a teacher who believed that children learn through play. I was carving soap with a butter knife by age 3. It's just in my blood. However, it should be noted that my first love was actually performing. I was singing as soon as I could speak and started acting when I was six.
Q: Who or what inspires you?
Everything creative inspires me. Display windows, TV commercials, books and magazines, the kids I work with day in and day out, the internet, my sister, my clients, nature...everyone and everything has something to offer or poses a creative challenge. There are, of course, people I look up to - JK Rowling, Maurice Sendak, the late Jim Henson, anyone involved with Sesame Street, Tim Burton, Adele, and teachers - I have such a strong admiration for teachers. The list is sort of endless.
Q: Why are your overalls so important?
The overalls are my kind of trademark in my party business - it’s how people know me and recognize me as the “party lady”. It’s like a doctor wearing scrubs -- it’s my uniform, so to speak. We continued that look in the videos and across Sophie’s World. I mainly wear the overalls because they are super comfortable and have tons of pockets for me to keep all my supplies.
Q: Who are Connor and Hanna in the videos?
Both Connor’s and Hanna's parents are good friends of mine, and are/were clients of mine. I've known both of them since they were very, very young and have done a bunch of birthday parties for them. They aren't related to each other or to myself in any way, but we're all sort of one big happy family!
Q: How would you complete this sentence: “On a perfect [crafting] day I get to ...”
Work, entirely uninterrupted.
As a business owner I very rarely get more than 30 minutes of time to myself where I can just immerse myself in a project. I like to tinker, explore, take apart and repair things. I like to figure something out from beginning to end, and often that takes time...which, unfortunately, I always seem to be racing against.
Q: How do you decide what crafts to feature on Sophie’s World YouTube channel or website?
It depends. It can be something that has been requested over and over by my viewers, or something thematic for the upcoming holiday season, it can be something new out on the market that needs to be tried out, or something that comes out of a party or workshop that the kids really glom onto. It can also be something simple because we need to shoot it quickly. The thing people don't realize is that every time I shoot an episode I've made and remade that project about 5 to 10 times to make sure I can teach it. I still mess up...because, well...life happens, scissors get forgotten, the hole puncher breaks, I reverse the measurements...but that's part of crafting...sometimes the mistakes lead to really cool end results – or a big mess…
Q: What is the one creative activity you have always wanted to master but have not yet?
I'd love to venture into working with heavy machinery...things like glass blowing and welding fascinate me. I'd love to get back to woodworking and construction. I'd love to learn how electronics work, and really understand circuitry. I'd love to take time with textiles too - learn how to sheer a sheep, card it's wool, spin and dye it, and then weave it on a loom. I'd love to learn how to be self sufficient - like a pioneer! Anything that can be done by hand...there are so many different things I'd like to master if I had time.