Blog: What I Learned from Losing NBC Making It

September 6, 2018

 

ONE // The journey was everything.

Maybe I’m the worst competitor on earth. Maybe I had no business agreeing to be on a crafting competition show without bringing the requisite amount of “must-win” spirit, but from the first day we got to the set of NBC’S Making It, I really didn’t have my eyes on the prize. I assumed I would not win. When you’re surrounded by seven extremely talented makers, each of whom bring their own skillset and perspective, there’s no obvious winner in the room. Of course, I knew there was a chance I could win the title of Master Maker – but I also know how to do math, and 1:8 are decent odds, but not great.

Rather than compete with my cast mates, for me, Making It was a competition with myself. A competition to stay true to my aesthetic while also executing the wild challenges they threw at us…I mean, when’s the last time YOU had to make a pendant light fixture using only naturally occurring materials. YEESH!

Making It was all about the journey. If I had shown up with the sole purpose of winning, I would have missed out on everything else. This would be my reminder to anyone applying for upcoming seasons of Making It. Be ready to work harder than you’ve ever worked. Be ready to test your creativity like never before. Be ready to support and encourage your cast mates. If you win in the end, HOT DAMN! If you don’t win,  I can promise you’ll still come out feeling proud and accomplished. 

TWO // Making It is only the beginning

Being on Making It has opened so many doors for Damask Love. I’ve had meetings and conversations that would have probably never happened without the show. I can promise you this: there is goodness to come, friends. This is just the beginning and the road ahead is filled with opportunity. Being on Making It was incredible but I’m so much more excited for what’s to come. Don’t jump ship now or you’ll miss the really good stuff!

If you’re thinking about applying for Making It, you can rest assured that it will be hard, but worth it. The application process was long (read more about it here) and the filming was challenging. Even when the show airs, you’ll work really hard to promote it. As long as you’re ready to hustle to grow your business – apply. Do it now! I can’t wait for Season 2, when I can sit back and watch people who are NOT me!

THREE // I have a style – and I’m sticking with it.

Looking back at the projects I created on Making It, there is nothing I would change. Zero. I’m super proud of what I made – even that pizza costume that the judges basically hated, LOL! Throughout the competition there is a temptation to stray from your instinct in an effort to please the judges. Dont do it.  In the end, you don’t have control over who wins and who goes home. All you can do is create projects that you’re proud of so you can walk away knowing your represented yourself and your craft.

I went into the show excited to bring my style of crafting to a national stage. I wanted to share my passion for creativity with other people. I wanted to show what Damask Love is all about and create projects that still felt approachable. I think I achieved that mission, which means this was a knock-out success.

FOUR // The Damask Lovelies are a FORCE!

Making It was a wake up call.

For years, I’ve chiseled away at this little corner of the internet, knowing that there are people who love to read and engage with Damask Love. I did not, however, know just how committed and engaged you are. The amount of encouragement I’ve received has introduced a tribe and community that I did not know exist. When I hosted a premiere party for Making It, registration filled within thirty minutes and guests arrived two hours ahead of time to attend! That is BEYOND anything I would have ever predicted.

By far, the most fulfilling encouragement has come from moms and dads who tell me their children are inspired by what I do and have become more creative because of following me. I recently received a video message from two young black girls – probably four and seven years old – who told me “I want to be you when I grow up.” You guys. YOU GUYS. You do not know what this means to me. You know how I feel about diversity and representation. If you don’t – here’s a reminder from my interview on Design Sponge.

FIVE // Making It will change you

Making It was, without question, the hardest thing I’ve done in my creative life. There were many times on the show when we were all creatively exhausted – but we crafted on – and continued making awesome projects. Today, I trust my creative abilities and welcome all challenges. Earlier this year, JOANN invited me to design their booth for Alt Summit. I had no clue how to design and execute something like that – but I knew I could make it happen and make it beautiful.

Being on Making It taught me to be thoughtful about my creative process. It challenged me to inject some personal elements into what I make. It taught me that critique isn’t so bad – even when it’s done publicly in front of 5 million of your closest friends.

Making It totally changed the way I approach crafting and my business and  couldn’t be more grateful for the experience.

SIX // 100K is totally overrated

Who am I kidding. $100,000 is not overrated. That’s just something losers say to make themselves feel better. Truth be told, $100,000 is awesome and I’m truly excited to Khiem to enjoy his winnings. Let’s all watch closely to see how he spends it. I’m guessing he buys a few thousand burritos.

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43 thoughts on “What I Learned from Losing NBC Making It”

  1. I loved watching what you made on the show!
    I was hoping you would win. I think I’m going to try out to be on the show next year. For sure I’ll be reading your blog!!!!

  2. Love reading all of these details. I especially like number three and the fact that you are staying true to yourself. Your style and instincts have already brought you much success. Reach for the stars and keep going!

  3. Congratulations, Amber! My two girls and I LOVED watching you on the show. I had a permanent smile when you were on screen! I love that you stayed true to your PAPER roots, too. All of us Crafty Peeps knew you were a star from the first card you made so many years ago!

  4. I absolutely LOVED Making It! It was so inspiring and just such a feel good show. I cried last night as I watched the finale. It was SO GOOD. I loved all of the contestants and how you all helped and encouraged each other! And Nick and Amy??? Um, favorites! I miss Parks and Rec SO MUCH, so seeing them together again was awesome. I would have loved this show regardless but “knowing” you from your blog made it even better! You were awesome. Can’t wait to see what else is up your crafty sleeve! 🙂

  5. I thought you did great. I have always enjoyed watching you and learning from you. I will never be a crafter like you are as it is not my style, but man I love watching and listening to you. You truly make the world a better place!

  6. I’ve been following you for a while and I was so excited when you told us you were going to be on Making It! I really enjoyed watching you and felt like I got to know you more through the show and not just through the blog. I love the fact that you were true to yourself and even until the end helped your competitors. I see the true joy you have on the inside as a person and I admire that. I can’t wait to see where your journey leads you, I’ll be here in my little part of the world rooting you on!

  7. Amber, your grace and elegance was so visible to me. Your creativity floored me. I was like it could sometimes take me 2 hours to design a “special” card. I was amazed at how quickly ideas were generated. It looked like everyone had some sort of light switch that when turned on the creative juices just pour out.
    I’m planning on letting the creative juices flow and to continue my passion of card making.
    Thanks for sharing with us.
    Karen A.

  8. I still believe you are a winner! Making it to the finals of a show that intense is outstanding! And from what I saw you flowed through it with you usual energy, enthusiasm, great sense of humor, beautiful smile, elegance, and grace that I see from you on your blog and HSN. I am proud to follow your journey and excited to see what is next! CONGRATULATIONS!

  9. I really enjoyed watching you on Making It! It’s a very fun show to watch and you are VERY talented. Something about you reminds me of Michelle Obama. Good luck with your future endeavours.

  10. Just finished watching the last episode and WOW – you all did such amazing work! I’m so happy that I found this show and was able to experience all the creativity through the screen. I don’t consider myself that much of a maker, but I want to be more of one now! Also, not sure if it’s on your site yet or not, but I’d LOVE some tutorials on what you made on the show – especially the bucket seats and hula-hoop shelf! Thanks for being you and for sharing your gifts with all of us.

  11. I just want to say that watching you was a joy every week. All of you makers were great, but (imo), you stood head and shoulders above the crowd with your energy, your attitude and your amazing talent. Making It introduced me to your blog, and I’m pretty excited to get to spend some time going through the archives.

  12. I was pulling for you Amber, watching each week I was inspired. Happy to know your experience was a great one. Will be watching the next season of MAKING IT for sure!

  13. I was pulling for you Amber, watching each week I was inspired. Will be watching the next season of MAKING IT for sure!

  14. I’m so glad I found your little craft corner. I’m only sorry I didn’t find it until the show. Your creativity and ability is truly inspiring! I can’t wait to see what’s in store for you 💖

  15. I absolutely loved watching each episode…I would cheer you on from home and loved all of your incredible projects! You are an amazing inspiration to so many of us crafters! I feel honored to say that met you once and took an amazing and inspiring all day class in Berkeley a few years back. I was amazed at all the fabulous projects you helped us to create! So much fun and looking forward to what to share with us! Keep crafting.

  16. Amber, you were awesome on the show and I love your spirit and the fact that you stick with what you know. I am not much of a competitor either and I related to you in that way. And I learned that even though I don’t like to compete, I could still try and learn things along the way about myself and the people around me. I’m sorry you didn’t win, but after reading your blog post about the show, it’s kind of like you did anyway. Minus the money, of course, and who couldn’t use lots of extra bucks. But maybe the monetary reward will come down the road once you’ve made more connections through being on the show. Congratulations, young lady. You are a positive force in this world and you are making ripples forever.

  17. Girl,
    You did an outstanding job!!! I enjoyed watching you on Making It! I believe this is only the beginning for you. I can see your sweet spirit. Take care of yourself and your beautiful family!
    1# Fan

  18. I haven’t read your blog but I watched you on amazing It and I loved everything you made!! You were my favorite since episode 1, and I absolutely loved your sunflower lamp. Everything you made was colorful, beautiful, fun, chic, and awe-inspiring!

  19. Soooo where are my tissues. You know I’m forever a damaskkovely Thank you for being a positive role model and always authentic to you …You are such an inspiration and crafty fabulous

  20. Found out about you from Making It, loved watching you. I was touched when you helped Khiem. I loved your she shed. Will follow your blog now,

  21. I love that you’re an academic who can’t not work with your hands. That’s me too…
    Love your style. I’ll be following your work. Share your knowledge re: child psychology, too.
    All the best…

  22. Amber you are such an inspiration I loved watching you on Making!! You killed in girl my favorite thing you made was your hometown terrarium, I loved the Glittery Golden Gate Bridge! I am so sad that the season is over but I am happy I found your blog and can keep watching you make things!
    P.S I don’t like pink crush velvet! Sorry!

  23. I loved the show and I’m glad I found your site through it. You were great to watch week after week and I’m sad you lost but also happy Khiem won and ugh…I wish it wasn’t a competition. I appreciated how lovely you were with the other contestants. Every week featured you being friendly and genuinely kind. I can’t wait to see what comes up for you next!

  24. Loved you on Making It. Big HUGS for representing us paper nerds so well. I am happy to have found you and to now call myself your fan.

  25. Yes to all of this! I love that you stayed true to your brand and who you are as a creative while still pushing limits and getting funky!

  26. A job well done. Lexi and I enjoyed watching you in the process and remember back to the day when we met you at stamp a faire because you had our extra ticket. Keep it up my friend. We heart you!!

  27. You didn’t lose. I had never heard of your blog before but here I am now because of the show. Your craft and creativity on the show was phenomenal and I loved your upbeat attitude. Loved the final episode showing you helping your teammates Jo and Khiem. Your true spirit shines through the TV screen. Such a lovely person.

  28. I have been a blog follower of yours for a few years and because we recently moved and didn’t have cable, I missed the show. However, I plan to find it and binge watch! I LOVE your style, your humor, your grace, your character, your email, your talent and your blog. Staying true to yourself is always the best move. I am looking forward to seeing your new crafty adventures! Thank you for your inspiration!

  29. In a day when so much of what is on television is negative, this show was a pure joy to watch. It is one of the only shows that I can watch with my daughters that I don’t worry about what is going to come out of someone’s mouth. Way to go on being a part of what I hope will become a trend and I can’t wait to see what is in store for the next season (although we will miss you!). Perhaps you’ll make an appearance as a guest judge??

  30. Amber, you may not have won on this show but know honey you will always be a winner no matter what. You are super skilled and talented at many things not just one and can think great on your toes. Keep up the good work sweetheart it does pay off. I love Damask Love and will always be here.

  31. I just watched the last episode this morning, and I full-on cried when it finished. I love that everyone was so kind and supportive of one another and it felt like everyone was just there to celebrate creativity. I loved every minute, and I was rooting for you, girl! I was really impressed with your work throughout the show, so when it ended, I knew I had to come find your blog. I may be one fish in the sea of your many, many fans, but this is one fish who is super grateful for the color you’ve brought to her life.

  32. Great attitude! I didn’t know about your blog until the first episode of Making It, but I’m glad I saw it & I’m glad I came. My focus is mainly on crochet, but every so often I branch out. Your site has lots of great ideas.

    Your perspective on the show & your experience on it is great. Yes, winning’s cool, but sometimes a person just has to compete for the experience, & you made some great stuff. I’m glad the experience was good for you. ☺

  33. I watched the show with my 13 year old daughter as we both love the craft shows and cooking competitions. She was so impressed by how all of you were willing to help each other and we’re so nice to each other. She could not wait to tell her brother how you told your competition how to sharpen a hole punch. She was completely floored when you stopped your own project at the end to help Khiem with his.( And his project won). You are amazing for that!
    You guys all were so great at working together despite the fact you were competing against each other. It was such an enjoyable series! Your projects were so amazing glad you didn’t change anything!!

  34. I loved the show and everything you created on it! I also thought all the makers were equally artistic in their own styles. I agree that it was important to stay true to your own creativity and it was a joy to watch! Thank you 😊

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