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Phoenixville Mom Crafts Booming Business from Blog

Nikki McGonigal's 'Nikki, in Stitches' is growing fast after her appearance on TLC's Craft Wars.

The way Nikki McGonigal tells it, the small screen is not for the thin-skinned.

“I was tweeting, ‘Why didn’t someone tell me 15 years ago not to pluck my eyebrows?’” she joked last week, reliving the apparently harrowing experience of watching herself .

“We have a big TV,” she added. “Note to self: next time watch on a smaller TV.”

But while it looks like McGonigal will have plenty more opportunities to catch herself on the tube—following her Craft Wars appearance, she landed a regular spot on NBC’s The 10! Show—managing her crafting blog Nikki, in Stitches is where her real passion lies.

“I’ve been crafting forever, my whole life. My mom and my grandmom taught me,” she gushed from last week, taking a rare break from her busy schedule to explain what's been keeping her so busy.

The blog—which couples tutorials that give users step-by-step instructions on how to make their own crafts with a webstore where she sells finished products—was launched four-and-a-half years ago at the urging of her husband.

“I blogged for free with tutorials and how-tos for a few years, then it got to the point where…people wanted to buy a finished project or other bloggers were offering to pay me for ideas,” the Phoenixville-based mother of two said.

“It turned into this business that I never thought it would. At this point I teach online classes, write eBooks. I never would have guessed it would get here.”

McGonigal figures her success as a crafting guru has something to do with her background in the classroom. The former math teacher at Pottsgrove High School said it’s not just her passion for the art that sets her apart, but her ability to, in easy and accessible language, walk laypeople through it.

“That’s what makes it easy for me, I’m good at mapping out the whole project. A lot of people wonder how I made the jump from high school mathematics to crafting—it’s like using two very different sides of your brain.”

“I guess I have that weird ability to do both.”

Nikki Benevento McGonigal September 05, 2012 at 02:47 PM
Tom, Thanks again so very much for a great interview and a great write-up of Nikki, In Stitches. You've got me blushing this morning! Nikki
Kathy Bestwick September 05, 2012 at 08:46 PM
Nikki, congratulations!! So glad to see a successful arts business. Maybe you should have a show at the Phoenix Village Art Center. Our opening this Friday features Denise Romano Bright, she does photography, printmaking, pottery, jewelry and fiber art. Please come and introduce yourself (although you do look very familiar)

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