For Rebecca Propes and Jo Gick, crafting and DIY have always been part of their DNA. From adhering random materials together in a garage to crafting in the spotlight on ‘Making It’, these two groundbreaking creatives are designing their own media space.
“I’ve been creating since I was a toddler”, said Propes. “I went to school for design, but I think once started having kids, I was drawn back into making and crafting. I started dabbling in DIY and building. Everything came full circle. I was using my design degree to apply color and began experimenting with layering and patterns.”
Like Propes, Gick gravitated toward crafting at a young age, which would undoubtedly set them up for future success in the industry.
“I’ve essentially been crafting since I was right out of the womb. When I was little, I would go into the garage with my dad and he would give me materials and I would try to make something. My mom would take me to the craft store every weekend, and she would give me ten dollars to buy some things. I would attend craft fairs in my town and set up a booth to sell things I would make. After I graduated from interior design school, I was making a lot of things for rooms. I ended up making things that I couldn’t find. I would post pictures and people began asking where I got certain things, so I started selling what I would make,” said Gick.
As long-time creatives, both Propes and Gick refuse to limit themselves in terms of interests, which has proven to yield greater project possibilities.
“I don’t think anything is off the table,” said Propes. “If I see something I’m intrigued by, I love trying new things. There are so many facets of design and making that we’ve been exposed to. I like working on a bigger scale.”
“I like wall décor, but I also like to make my kids’ costumes for Halloween. I don’t do a ton of paper crafting, but I like building things with my hands. I like to come up with ideas and then build something. On my laser cut out, I make a scallop pattern for the backsplash of my kids’ bathroom,” said Gick.
Talking with Rebecca and Jo, it’s easy to see why their professional partnership flourishes. Given their similar trajectory and goals within the industry, they decided to tackle a new creative venture: a craft/DIY YouTube channel.
“We were both on “Making It”, season one,” said Propes. “We found ourselves moving in parallel directions and we live so close to each and we have the same passion and drive. We’re each other’s go-to for creative drive. We decided to join forces because while we bring something different, we also have a lot of similarities. In the creative world, I felt that Jo was the only one that really understands that creative language.”
“How many friends do you know in the interior design and craft space? It was the perfect opportunity.” said Gick.
Regarding their inspiration for creating this YouTube channel, both Propes and Gick agreed that their venture would fill a greater need for those looking to tap into their creativity.
“For me, I get a lot of messages from people about them not knowing how to craft or be creative. Our goal is to scale it back and really tap into the “how to”. We want people to learn how to jump in and tap into their creative side. We’ll be offering a wide variety of things for people to try. We’re hoping there will be some traction, so then we can hire someone to take care of the bigger technicalities,” said Propes. “We’ve kept it super simple, so our end product is super doable.”
“The frequency is going to be one video a week. We filmed the first video ourselves, and it’s pretty cute! We’ll learn as we go and refine as we go, so we’re excited,” said Gick. “Our first video is comprised of three introductory crafts. All of the videos are going to be so different so that they appeal to a lot of people. We’re really going to dig into fun crafts and interior design. We want to present crafts that no one would normally think of.”
In an exciting turn of events, Propes and Gick found themselves breaking into television when they were chosen to appear on NBC’s “Making It”, produced by Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman.
“One night, I was drinking wine on my couch. I received some texts about the show, and went online and filled out the application and was picked for the show,” said Gick. “It’s crazy. I don’t know how it happened. It was really a lucky thing.
“I applied for season one, but I didn’t get picked. Jo put my name in the ring for season two, and then I went to two different casting calls. It was a long process,” said Propes.
With regards to the show’s setup, Propes and Gick shared their experiential insight.
“There were criteria you had to meet for every round, and then there was an elimination each episode,” said Propes.
“They really make sure you know what you’re doing, because they don’t want anyone to fail,” said Gick. “The thing about crafting is that it is so subjective. Even if you think you made the best craft, you have to worry about what other people are going to think.”
Being on the show has led to measurable opportunities for both Propes and Gick, whether a new personal project or additional TV spots.
“Since my season just ended, I’ve seen a huge uptick on my Instagram,” said Propes. “I’ve always worked with brands, but now I think I have a little more power to get the attention of larger brands. We’re really open to any opportunities that come our way.”
“I have been doing some TV work,” said Gick. “I wouldn’t say that being on the show is affecting my interior design career, but I have seen a lot of ramp up in my shop.”
While fulfilling their own craft/DIY aspirations and celebrating their successes, it’s clear that Rebecca and Jo are focused on helping other burgeoning creatives realize their potential. Anyone with an interest in crafting and DIY can find inspiration in unlikely places and pursue their passion for making it.
Be sure to check out Rebecca's and Jo's YouTube craft/DIY channel, For the Love of Color.