Since the beginning of Gulush Threads, I have been asked many questions:
I have always tried my best to answer those questions without "giving too much away" (the last thing I wanted was to help influence future competitors). Years later, I am here, working a very successful business with a craft I love, yet feeling unfilled and empty (and most definitely alone).
Deep down, I've always truly wanted to be open with my craft with others (I love it, so why shouldn't everyone else?), but it was the fear of failure, disapproval of my work/process or threat of deadly craftnappers (i.e. plagiarism) that always kept me at bay. I desperately needed something to change, something to pull me out of this funk and push me right where I needed to be (what I grew up wanting to be) ... a teacher and a mentor.
Luckily Brit & Co, a company I so deeply admire and respect, gave me that push by asking me to be a part of something special (and groundbreaking for myself and my business):
Okay, so it probably wasn't too much of a secret, but at least now I can announce the launch date for you all (as well as share a little about my first trip to the west coast). Going to San Francisco, to Brit & Co headquarters, was an experience I will never forget and I am so excited to finally share all the details and pictures with you all now.
From the initial conference call to the final goodbye hugs, this whole experience felt like a dream. I kept pinching myself throughout the process to remind me that this was real, that through all my hard work I had made this opportunity possible (I still feel like I'm dreaming, to be honest).
After a few months of planning, designing, and conference calls with the video staff at Brit & Co, I was ready to fly out there and make this thing happen. This trip was going to be a very memorable one for me, so I wanted to spend it with someone special. I was able to surprise my husband with a ticket to go with me (which I don't regret for one second). Having him there to show me around the city and take me to his favorite places (In & Out is just as amazing as everyone says) was just what I needed before heading to Brit & Co headquarters for our pre-production meeting.
The first day was simply introductions and a quick pre-production meeting where we planned our teaser and figured out wardrobe and schedule for the next day. I will admit I was a bit intimidated and nervous to film, but I was also super excited to get this thing going. So, after the meeting, my husband and I had a quick dinner (followed by a fun cable car ride back to our hotel) and surprisingly I slept super well that night (the beds at the Fairmont might literally be heaven on Earth).
The next day came fast and before I knew it, I was sitting at a white desk in front of a yellow paper background with four cameras (and twenty lights) pointed at my face ... and no official script.
You would think that a girl with a degree in Theater Performance would be able to immediately handle that kind of pressure. Think again. I absolutely felt like a deer in headlights and couldn't remember anything that I had prepared (they legit had to write down speaking points on a white foam board at one point and even then, I couldn't get the information right). It took a few hours of take after take after take before I started warming up. Once I did, all of the pieces began falling into place.
I owe that all to the patient (and very talented) video crew who worked with me for almost twelve long hours, yet made all of that time feel like the most fun I would ever have in my life. Their direction mixed with my vision made the most perfect blend for this class and I can't count on two hands how many times we laughed, danced, and cursed (filming is hard, okay?).
We started the day with promotional stills which was basically me trying to look professional and not awkward (epic fail, if you ask me). Filming the teaser came next, which will be the trailer for the class on the website, and took the longest to do since it was the only scripted part of the day (and I could NOT remember my lines at all). After knocking out the intro and supplies portion of the video, we took a break for lunch (I had the most amazing Mediterranean food). We then hunkered down to film the rest of the class (with me stitching along the way and the video crew waiting patiently like angels). We finished just in time and, although I was exhausted, I was a little sad to have to say goodbye.
The day goes down in my book as one of my favorites, but if I had to choose one part of the day to be my absolute favorite, it would be filming the shots for the teaser. Not only did I get to be super silly, but I totally impressed the crew with my juggling skills (yes, i juggled embroidery thread and hopefully that shot makes it into the final cut because it was awesome).
After wrapping for the day, I left a bunch of my stuff behind so they could take still shots and I headed to Chinatown and Fisherman's Wharf with the hubby. We actually got to stay a few more days (my anniversary present to him) and we stayed in this beautiful cabin about 45 minutes north of San Francisco. Crossing over the Golden Gate bridge in the morning, through the fog, is a memory I never want to forget.
As a small town girl from a town of 500, seeing this city practically took my breath away. There was so much color and life and the air honestly just felt different (also, the temperature might have been perfect the entire time we were there). We visited Apple Headquarters in Cupertino, walked the streets of Haight and Ashbury, took photos of the Golden Gate bridge, hiked in the woods where they filmed the forest of Endor (from Return of the Jedi? Yeah, we're nerds), and just spent some good quality time together.
I'm so glad that we scheduled our trip extension to be at the end of this trip instead of the beginning. It was so nice to be able to relax and reboot after filming the class. I did end up doing some work of my own (orders still have to be shipped out on time), but we had plenty of driving time from place to place as well as a five hour flight back home (ps - you can take a pair of blunt safety scissors on a plane, in case you were wondering).
Overall, this experience will forever be the trip that cemented a new mentality into me about how to run my business as well as made lasting memories with my best friend that we will never forget.
Okay, enough with the sappy stuff, let's move on to the good part - The CLASS!
Starting November 5th, anyone can take part of my online class and learn (up-close and personal) how to hand embroider with me, Kristen Gula. You will get detailed step-by-step instructions on how to prepare your project, transfer a pattern, perform basic stitches, and finish/back your hoop, all from your own home and all for just $20. Oh, and with purchase of a class, you get downloads of FOUR of my own designs to embroider for your own personal use. What?! I know, awesome.
So head on over to Brit & Co today to pre-register (and get 15% off for being an early bird) and make sure to spread the word and follow me on twitter @gulushthreads (in case you have any questions about the class before and after you begin taking it).
I seriously cannot wait to help you learn a craft that has quite literally changed my life (as well as see all of your own interpretations of my designs).
My stitch venture can now be yours and all you have to do is sign up.
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This month's featured #stitchventure pattern is in collaboration with Dani Ives of Good Natured Art and is the BEST way to get crafty and tune into nature this summer!
Read on to learn more about her work and process as well as enter a giveaway to win a pattern and/or e-course from this month's collaboration!
This month's featured #stitchventure pattern is in collaboration with Valerie McKeehan of Lily & Val and is the BEST way to get crafty and show someone just how much you care about them!
Read on to learn more about her work and process as well as enter a giveaway to win a pattern or a print from this month's collaboration!
I love supporting local artists, makers, and shakers so I'm just so thrilled to offer this exclusive pattern in collaboration with Megan Rohall from Red Lettered Goods. R
Read on to learn a little more about her process, what inspires her the most, as well as get a sneak peak at a few of her new projects coming up.