Black Girls Sewcial Club: A Chat with Kris Branton

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Episode Summary

Lisa chats with Kris Branton, the creator of Black Girls Sewcial Club on Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram. We talk about how Kris built her Facebook group, the origins of her sewing practice, and some behind-the-scenes elements of YouTube.

Episode Notes

Find Kris on social media:

Facebook

YouTube

Instagram

Kris mentioned her training at the The Fashion Institute of South Florida. Of special influence was an instructor named Rucht D’Oleo

Lisa mentioned Chioma (chi9ja on Instagram) a Nigerian sewist who explained about pattern drafting and personal style in a previous episode of the podcast. You can find that episode here:

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Read Full Transcript

[00:00:00] Lisa Woolfork: Hello, stitchers. Welcome to stitch, please. The official podcast of black women's stitch, the sewing group, where black lives matter. I'm your host Lisa wool fork. I'm a fourth generation sewing enthusiast with more than 20 years of sewing experience. I am looking forward to today's conversation. So sit back, relax, and get ready to get your stitch together.
[00:00:35] Lisa Woolfork: Hello everybody. This is Lisa. Welcome back. Thank you so much for joining us today for this another great episode of the stitch please podcast. Um, the official podcast of black women's stitch, the sewing group, where black lives matter. I. So happy to be in conversation today with Chris Branton, um, the creator and convener and genius behind black girls social club, um, which has a large presence on Facebook.
[00:00:59] Lisa Woolfork: The [00:01:00] social is spelled S E w uh, C I a L. I know how I know how to spell. I just, um, I'm. I wrote it down. So it, but it's black girl social club. And so Chris, welcome to the program. Thank you so much for being with us today. Oh, thank
[00:01:17] Kris Branton: you for having, I can't stop smiling. So thank you for having me. I hope you can hear this smile through our communi.
[00:01:25] Lisa Woolfork: You're fantastic. I'm so glad you're here. Thank you for agreeing to this. I wanna just get started with the question that I ask. Um, everybody. And how did you get started? Sewing? How long have you been sewing? Um, what made you, what, how did you know that sewing was a thing that you were interested in?
[00:01:40] Kris Branton: I started sewing. Back in 2012. I, my, I come from sous. Like my aunt is a sous. My mother-in-law is a sous, you know, I've always been around it, but I didn't think I could do it. Like I used to tell my mother-in-law to teach me. She's like, girl, you don't have no patience. And I'd be like, okay, whatever. [00:02:00] But me and my husband got promoted on the same day in two different states.
[00:02:06] Kris Branton: And we decided to take both jobs so, wow. We had just got married a year before we had a little baby and we had our older daughter and living in two different states. I became a supervisor at my job and I kept getting sick. Like I had a cold every single month. So my boss sat me down and she was like, you either need to do two things.
[00:02:29] Kris Branton: You need to either take vitamin. Or find a stress reliever. So I found a stress reliever and I started sewing at the, um, local community college. My teacher now has her own sewing school down in Miami, and I took classes for a couple weeks and I fell. In love. Like I would come home. I would, it was on Sunday mornings and I would Ms.
[00:02:51] Kris Branton: Church just to go to sewing class and I'd be like, well, you know, God understands, this is my, this is my ministry right now. And I would pray through it and I fell in love. [00:03:00] And since then, every time I get stressed, every time life isn't going, how I want it to be, or I just need a moment to myself. I just so.
[00:03:10] Lisa Woolfork: Chris. I love that. I love that so much. I love that because I think that sewing is very therapeutic and it can be very therapeutic. And you have just, I mean, that choice between vitamins or a hobby, I think I would've been like, you know what, I'm gonna get me some vitamins. Cause the vitamins are clearly the easiest choice.
[00:03:30] Lisa Woolfork: Um, even though I have vitamins that I forget to take every single day, I didn't do it, but cause
[00:03:34] Kris Branton: I know I was my poor. $10 on some vitamins
[00:03:39] Lisa Woolfork: girl, I got a cabinet full of unused vitamins. I mean, they, from like the expression date 2014 and I'm like, oh, that's really bad. I can't, I and nutrition is there.
[00:03:48] Lisa Woolfork: Right? I know the intention is there, but when you're sewing, it's like you start something and you kind of wanna see it through. So that's wonderful. That's wonderful to think about this. And so I, tell me more about if you can, or if you're [00:04:00] I, if you want to about the sewing school and what some of the techniques that you learned that kind of got you.
[00:04:05] Lisa Woolfork: Odd side.
[00:04:05] Kris Branton: Well, I think it's called south Florida. Institute, I'm gonna say it wrong. Her name is Ruth Delio. She was started over at Miami dad college and she teaches like basic. She taught us how to make our bodies. She taught us how to make our skirt Sloper. She, um, she was the first person who ever introduced me into Oak tag paper that you actually put your, um, pattern on to keep it stronger.
[00:04:27] Kris Branton: She taught me all the basics that I needed, and I think after our first class, we were able to make our. Skirt, including if you wanted to do an elastic band or a, um, no, our first classes, we did a like your own pattern. And then our second one, we, our second sessions, we did a skirt Sloper, and I made a skirt and I fell in love with making skirts to the point where I actually, when I moved to Georgia in 20.
[00:04:53] Kris Branton: 16. I came out with a skirt line because that was the first thing I learned to do. That was like perfection. Um, [00:05:00] to this day I still like follow her. Like I wish I still stayed at home because then I would still be going to her fabric to her, um, sewing school. And I just bought her book because she has a book that teaches you all the basics because after a while, we tend to forget what we were taught back in school.
[00:05:16] Kris Branton: And then she was instrumental in me wanting to push myself further, like try to make coats. You know, all the fun things that you can make, like dresses for parties and, you know, things of that nature.
[00:05:31] Lisa Woolfork: That's fantastic. I really, and I guess, cause I'm really a nerd at heart, Chris and I love school. That's my, I I've always loved school and I love classes.
[00:05:41] Lisa Woolfork: I like, um, one of the challenges for me is that so many things are taught online or on YouTube where people call it YouTube university and that's fine. I think it's great. And I've learned quite a few things with videos. But there's something else about going to a classroom, um, and learning [00:06:00] about Oak tag and learning about contours and learning about how to modify and adjust things to fit your body in a technical setting.
[00:06:08] Lisa Woolfork: That's really excellent training that you received. And I'm so glad to hear that it's something that you still remember and hold onto. So for you, you would say, would you say your favorite project that you learned. Um, at when you were training was a skirt. Yeah. Um, cause I know you said you did the Sloper, you create learned to create things, to fit your actual body.
[00:06:29] Lisa Woolfork: That's such, such valuable knowledge. I,
[00:06:32] Kris Branton: I love the, I guess, because I wear such skirts and I have, I, you know, I brag about myself, but I have some nice legs. So I love, there you go. The skirts to the point. Cause it was something that. any woman could wear. It was a maxi skirt that I did, cuz we had one where we did like a pencil skirt, but I didn't feel like pencil skirts fit my body type.
[00:06:52] Kris Branton: But we, when we learned like the gathered skirts and you can make them short, you can make them long. You can make them knee length and no matter [00:07:00] what length on you, if you put some heels on some flats, you could just dress it up and dress it down. That was my thing. Yes. That's what I love.
[00:07:09] Lisa Woolfork: yes. And it becomes like a basic for a wardrobe builder.
[00:07:12] Lisa Woolfork: Yeah. Right. So that you can say, okay, if I'm gonna wear this with, you know, with these flats, or even with some like slip on sneakers, or I can wear it with some heels and wear it with some nice jewelry, you can take the same piece. And it gives you this opportunity to really extend, uh, your wardrobe and your look in ways.
[00:07:31] Lisa Woolfork: Are pretty, in some ways like financially sustainable, cuz you don't have to buy a whole bunch of pieces. Right. Um, because you can have this and it has such versatility. Um, and tell me, tell me your thoughts about, um, I am just so excited about that. You learned to make something to fit your body. I talked with this when I talked with, um, um, this woman who is the SOS, um, Chik, um, her name is Chima and she has, is like [00:08:00] C H I nine.
[00:08:01] Lisa Woolfork: J is her handle and she's um, in Nigeria and they, she said that they don't use patterns. They just learn to sew from their bodies. Um, and I was to explaining to her how we seem. States to do it very differently. A traditional sewing class, you get a pattern. Um, you might fit it or tweak the pattern to adjust to your body.
[00:08:20] Lisa Woolfork: But what you're describing is that you all created a pattern. Yeah. Like we created our basic slope, just. Your basic slope. Tell us about that for folks who don't know what a Sloper is. Tell us a bit more about that.
[00:08:31] Kris Branton: Oh, I'm gonna be the wrong one. Now. Um, we created like a basic pattern to your body. We used our measurement.
[00:08:36] Kris Branton: So your Sloper would be your neck line, your shoulder. What is it? Your, um, armed holes, the length of your, the side of your body going from your under arm to about your ways and then going across mine was in half. And then of course you would just double it. So it should be. Full front. And then you would know where you would put your darts if you needed to make a breast adjustment.[00:09:00]
[00:09:00] Kris Branton: It's funny cuz at the time I wasn't, I didn't have as much as I have now. So now I have to learn how to make a full bus
[00:09:06] Lisa Woolfork: adjustment. There we go, because God is good. And you have that. Amen. Look, I've been praying for you saying thank you Lord .
[00:09:14] Kris Branton: So we learned how to do, um, our top, our, I guess you can call our Bodi, our body slope, and then we learned how to do a skirt one as far as a pencil skirt.
[00:09:24] Kris Branton: Where you learned about your hips and your waist ratio. And as far as how long you may want your pencil skirt, whether you want it to your knee or a little above your knee, I think we all made up to our knee, but then you know that you can adjust it to your sizing. So, you know, if you know your waist is 30, um, let's say 32 inches, you know, you can put it in half and then you can just use the front half to make your Sloper.
[00:09:49] Lisa Woolfork: Mm-hmm mm-hmm so that was pretty cool. That's really, it's really fantastic. Cuz I find that that all that information, all that process, so liberating because I [00:10:00] feel like we live in this age where it's now starting to change where people are starting to do things that are more. Size inclusive that are including people who are at the upper end of the size range, which is something that I think needed to have happened from the very beginning.
[00:10:15] Lisa Woolfork: But instead of, I think that sometimes people get frustrated with sewing because they are using these patterns, especially the big four patterns as a mirror for how bodies should look. Oh. Um, and I think that that. So dangerous because it can like really wreck in some ways it can really wreck or negatively affect your self-esteem when you feel like, oh, um, this doesn't look right on me or this doesn't look right on me when you realize that that Sloper, that, that pattern is based on was not based for someone who was shaped like you.
[00:10:48] Lisa Woolfork: Um, and so it really is a great idea. I think, to take this matter into your own hands by saying, you know, I'm gonna measure my. and I'm going to measure this pattern or create a [00:11:00] pattern or draw these measurements. And that I will have something that I know always works for me. I think they call those the tried and true.
[00:11:06] Lisa Woolfork: Yeah. You know? Um, and that's something that I'm working through in a lot of ways. I just found, I think two actually tried and true brass that I'm pretty excited about one that I drafted and then one that I bought a pattern for. And. it was some, it was some testing. I feel like the first bra that I made took way longer than it should have been the one that, but I asked, I absolutely freaking loved it.
[00:11:30] Lisa Woolfork: So it's really nice to end up with at the end of all this time or at the end of the class, that's something that you walked away with. Chris is something that is knowledge that you'll have forever. And even as your body changes, you can adapt. And that is where I see the freedom in what you have described for us.
[00:11:48] Lisa Woolfork: It's really beautiful story. Yes. Thank you. Cause
[00:11:50] Kris Branton: those big four patterns, honest, I can't ever get one to fit me properly. Like based on my measurements, [00:12:00] it'll say I'm a size 12. I'll sew up a size 12. That thing would be huge. And it just, it, it makes you not wanna sew anymore. There's times where I just like, you know what I'm done.
[00:12:09] Kris Branton: I'm not doing this anymore. Cuz this isn't fitting and then you go on social media and they're like, I cut a size 12 and you're like, but they're not my size, but in the pattern it says I should. So yeah, it, it, those big. I love 'em to death because they're cheap. And you know, if you always need to throw something together, you can probably grab, you know, to think outside the box.
[00:12:30] Kris Branton: You can always pick one up, but if you're a new sew is, and you don't have, you know, a sewing background or someone you say, Hey, what's going on? Those. They can stop your
[00:12:40] Lisa Woolfork: journey. They can stop your journey. That's and that's something that, one of the reasons that I love your story is that you have basically learned to create your own roadmap.
[00:12:52] Lisa Woolfork: So you don't need to rely on a pattern or anything for your journey. Um, and so that is something that's so impressive about what we. [00:13:00] Um, what we're talking about today, I wanna take a quick break. Y'all um, I'm talking with Chris Branton of the black girl social club. And when we come back, we're gonna talk about her Facebook group and what some of her goals were behind this quick.
[00:13:13] Lisa Woolfork: Oh, what some of her goals were behind the creating of this group. So stay tuned.
[00:13:21] Lisa Woolfork: Um,
[00:13:31] Lisa Woolfork: Here at stitch, please. The official podcast of black women's stitch. We talk a lot about sewing, but if you want to see and not just hear about some of the things we've been discussing. Feel free to join us on the socials. You can find us at stitch, please on Facebook, and you can also find us on Instagram at black women's stitch.
[00:13:54] Lisa Woolfork: You can find photos of projects that we've been working on. Really interesting social [00:14:00] commentary and on Thursdays at 3:00 PM Eastern standard. You can join black women's stitch for a live Instagram chat again, that's every Thursday at 3:00 PM. So find us on the socials. Follow up with us. We are happy to hear your direct messages.
[00:14:18] Lisa Woolfork: You can reach out to us at the black women's stitch page on Instagram, and we'll help you get your stitch together.
[00:14:31] Lisa Woolfork: All right, everybody. We are back. I am talking with Chris Branton of black girls social club, and you are listening to the stitch please podcast. Um, Chris has created a group. On Facebook called black girls social club. Um, and it is thriving. And I wanted Chris, I wanted you to talk a bit more about your group, how you got started, what led you to create the group, how long you've been going, et cetera.
[00:14:54] Lisa Woolfork: So let's just start with this smart, the first question. When did you start the group? I
[00:14:58] Kris Branton: started a group about [00:15:00] mid last year. Um,
[00:15:03] Lisa Woolfork: it, so, so that was mid 2019?
[00:15:05] Kris Branton: Yes. Yes. Mid 2019. Well, we're probably coming up on a one year anniversary. It's been so long time has truly flown since I started this group and I started it because I saw where there were some, you know, social media influence who were so is, who were making it outside of.
[00:15:27] Kris Branton: You know, just being a sewist they were, you know, marketing theirselves, they were posting. And then there were some like me who just didn't feel like they had any guidance. I'm a very shy person. So I'm not gonna ask a big influencer, like, Hey, can you help me? So I started reading books. I read influencer, I've read.
[00:15:46] Kris Branton: So many different books on social media influencing. And so I said, do we need a community like this for us who look like us? Because those who don't look like us, they're supporting each other. They're, you know, commenting on their [00:16:00] YouTube channels. They're sharing their Instagram posts and. For us, it seems like we only tend to go over the bigger names, not the smaller names.
[00:16:09] Kris Branton: So I started black girls, social club, as a way to say, Hey, if you wanna start a YouTube, um, a craft YouTube or a craft blog, let me help you. Because as much as I feel like I suck at my own YouTube channel, I feel as though I can tell you exactly. What I have, like, what is my setup? What is, you know, um, how do I film my videos or what is a good camera?
[00:16:33] Kris Branton: What is, and I felt that was so good because on Facebook, they have these groups that support each other as far as like your YouTube posting, but they're all beauty related. There was none craft related. Oh,
[00:16:47] Lisa Woolfork: so can you tell me about how that would work? Like what does a mutual support group look like for YouTube people or for people?
[00:16:55] Lisa Woolfork: Cause I'm, I'm not familiar with that at all. So can you tell me about, like you said that there are [00:17:00] some available that are led by black women or, um, supported by black women, but you said they're about beauty at the history.
[00:17:05] Kris Branton: Yeah. The beauty industry on YouTube is Huong gift is probably one of YouTube's biggest, um, industries.
[00:17:13] Kris Branton: It's beauty, it's makeup. All things, hair, it's all things, you know, we follow like. I, I watch YouTube all day. So we follow Missali Jay, we follow, um, what is my favorite girl? Oh my God. I can't even think of her name. Our godmother. Oh, uh, oh, Jackie ina. We follow these women, but we needed them in our own community in our own sewing community.
[00:17:39] Kris Branton: And yes, we have Mimi G we have tab at the store. We have Britney J Jones. So amazing. But what smaller YouTubers are doing in the makeup industry is they'll have a group and in the group they'll have like, Hey, on this day, we're gonna support our sisters. And you, if you post a video, you, um, You know, you kind of [00:18:00] support everyone by commenting on that video, liking that video, watching that video.
[00:18:04] Kris Branton: And I felt I was in these groups, but I wasn't, I don't make makeup videos. I don't make, you know, hair videos and I'm all for it. Cuz I watch it cuz I wanna learn how to beat my face too, but I'm not. A makeup artist. Mm-hmm I don't do makeup. I sew. So I felt if we just came together and we created a group that could help us, you know, branch out, you know, YouTube came out with, um, different criteria in order to get monetized.
[00:18:30] Kris Branton: Let's get these girls to a thousand subscribers or 4,000 hours. That's how it's. Started, but then it evolved into, you know, sisters coming in and showing their makes and being creative. And it seemed like most of them weren't into trying to get into YouTube, but I wanna bring it back because I think YouTube could be so lucrative for us.
[00:18:50] Kris Branton: Everybody right now is at home we're home. We're trying to figure out what we going to make. I'm not even gonna lie. I'm making mass, you know, [00:19:00] Just let's try something else. Learn how to sew this week. Learn how to, you know, cricket or cameo or like my goal in life is to always learn how to crochet, but it's a girl who's in a black girl, social club who's up and coming could be the one who shows you how to do these things, but we have to support her.
[00:19:17] Kris Branton: Cuz YouTube is hard and it's easy to fall off.
[00:19:22] Lisa Woolfork: That's that's so I, I hear you saying thank you so much for that. Like I, for example, didn't realize that. So what you're, I didn't realize for example, that there was like a criteria in a monetization that a thousand followers or 400 hours, um, it, that those are some of the baseline criteria and those can be really difficult to get.
[00:19:39] Lisa Woolfork: So I could, I think what you're, what I hear you're saying is that you are trying to bring some of the strategic practices. For people to thrive in digital media, to, for other black women who are sewing. Is that what you're is that some of the goals that you're working on, I want you to
[00:19:58] Kris Branton: be like, I'm not [00:20:00] monetized.
[00:20:00] Kris Branton: I'm gonna be honest. I, but I want everyone else. If one person outta my group ever get monetized, I'm successful. I don't care if one person launches, you don't even have to do it. Cause I just do it as a fun thing. If one person just launches their channel launches, like you launched your podcast, I was like, yo, that's dope.
[00:20:18] Kris Branton: I remember. I remember we talked at travel for a living. I remember like years ago I was in a hotel room and I recorded a whole podcast. I was like, yo, we gonna talk about what's going on in the sewing community, whether it is the gossip, whether it's the new patterns we gonna do this, we gonna do that, but I didn't have anybody to push me because I was.
[00:20:37] Kris Branton: Scared. I was I'm me. I'm so like, oh my God, no, we just gonna let somebody else do it. There's so many ideas that come out, this my brain, and then I don't do anything. And then someone else takes it. And I know there's other women who are just like me. So my goal is to be like, no girl, push these ideas out.
[00:20:53] Kris Branton: Let's get this going. Let's get this moving. Let's get monetize. Let's get your podcast. Cause look, [00:21:00] black women, stitch and stitch, please. About to be on billboards and be like, mm . I'll be like, yeah, I was going there one time, you know, telling my grandkids, they're gonna be like,
[00:21:10] Lisa Woolfork: oh girl, you tell you are hilarious.
[00:21:13] Lisa Woolfork: It's so funny. Cuz I think a lot about growth and I, I, you know, because my model is very different. Like I'm not trying to monetize. I'm not, you know, I. Do ads or anything like that, I'm still really wrestling with that because I know that, you know, as, as marketing, you wanna kind of share the story and I've met with some marketing people, but I'm like, I want, I mean, Chris, my independence means so much to me.
[00:21:39] Lisa Woolfork: That's the reason that I am recording this in my. Bedroom that I still call the podcast studio, even though he's currently living in it. Um, because I just want the independence. And so like, I've been doing Mon, I've been trying, I've been getting money in different ways, like through grants, through crowd sourcing or whatever, because I just wanna say what I [00:22:00] wanna say.
[00:22:00] Lisa Woolfork: And I don't care if anybody likes it or doesn't like it. And so that's my big thing that I've really been wrestling with. Like how can I grow? I suppose, but also remain true to my values. And so I, one of the things that I love about what you're saying is that you are trying to create a collective. You are trying to create a ways for people to support each other that allows for people to thrive, um, and still be part of community that you don't have to kind of leave community in order to, um, To Excel.
[00:22:36] Lisa Woolfork: You know what exactly? Cause if honey
[00:22:38] Kris Branton: pot is number one example of, we can say what we wanna wanna say instead, look, we black women save the world. I'm not even gonna lie. I teach my daughters black girl magic all the time and we're always gonna support each other. We just sometimes don't know how. How
[00:22:53] Lisa Woolfork: absolutely.
[00:22:55] Lisa Woolfork: And that honey pot is a great example. And for those of you all who don't know, this is, um, [00:23:00] a black woman created line of menstrual products, um, for admin menstruation, I think it's pads and tampons, and I'm not sure what else they have. Chris, what else does she?
[00:23:10] Kris Branton: And I think she had like whites. I look, I tried to go buy some and it was sold out.
[00:23:15] Lisa Woolfork: So she had this, um, she did an ad for target back at black history month, or was it last month? This was pretty recent, right? What is time? Black history
[00:23:24] Kris Branton: month. But it came out in January. So, you know, they were like leading into black history months. Cause this, our, this, her, um, her commercial had been out for a very long time before the, before this to situation came.
[00:23:39] Lisa Woolfork: So there was a bit of a scandal and I hesitate to call it scandal. It wasn't scandal. It was racism. It wasn't a scandal. It was racism. Um, Shere, there was this lovely commercial that target produced. And in it, she said, I'm, I'm proud of my business. Cause I wanna be able to show my daughter or other black girls.
[00:23:58] Lisa Woolfork: So many things are possible. It [00:24:00] was wasn't wasn't that like the phrase she is Chris, it was something, it was something really innocuous. This woman was not on here with a fist full of tampon saying down with Whitey
[00:24:09] Kris Branton: and you know what? It's so funny. Cuz if you watch the commercial, you don't really know what's about, you don't know what honey pot is.
[00:24:15] Lisa Woolfork: No it's it was, it was so it was so like, I don't wanna say tastefully done because that makes it seem like having a period is distasteful, but it was so like, it was just beautifully done. It was a beautiful story. It was well lit. It was just a, a really nice ad man, white people. Lost it entirely. They were triggered Afaf mm-hmm and they were this how dare.
[00:24:42] Lisa Woolfork: And I'm like, this is the thing I find so frustrating about racism and white supremacy in particular. And whiteness, as an idea is that white people are so used to seeing themselves absolutely everywhere. They're because they're so used to being overrepresented. When a black person like says something or identifies something [00:25:00] as black.
[00:25:01] Lisa Woolfork: Some of them get like pretty upset. Yeah. And this reason, you know, why can't this be for, for no reason other than their own racism? Like, you know, well, why are you calling this black? Why does it have to be black? Why can't it be for everybody? I'm like, so they look out and they see a room full of white people and they see everybody that is their everybody.
[00:25:20] Lisa Woolfork: Yeah. But then if it's, and if it's okay, if it's one or two of us, but if it's a room full of black people, then that's not for them. I mean, it's just, it's just, I don't know. It's just, I find it very frustrating. And I don't like to spend too much of my time talking about it because this is actually something I do for my job is that it's talking about these things and it's just like, part of me just feels like, I feel like they're kind of just messing with me.
[00:25:44] Lisa Woolfork: Like they must know that this is the truth and they're just pretending that it's not true. Yeah. Like
[00:25:49] Kris Branton: it's not that we're trying to say a little white girl can't come out with a pad company. I mean, Kimberly Clark.
[00:25:56] Lisa Woolfork: I
[00:25:56] Kris Branton: mean, we're saying there's. So many times [00:26:00] where we're like the first black or the first, you know, and we don't want to show that too.
[00:26:05] Kris Branton: I know for sure. I don't wanna show that to my daughters. I want her to think, well, I can be this. I, I want her to think, yes, I can get a product in target or. I can get a product in, in a retail store. If I can make my own product. I want her to notice that it's not just one race or anything because I'm first generation American.
[00:26:26] Kris Branton: I was born here. My parents were not. So it's like, mm-hmm, you come here and it's, I understand what people see when they're like, oh, like, what is the problem? And we're like, no, we, we want ours. We want RC at the table that we built. And that's all we're saying. It's not saying that, you know, white women can't use honey.
[00:26:44] Kris Branton: Because hell we all have the same concern
[00:26:47] Lisa Woolfork: once a month. Exactly. Exactly. And I think that the, the thing that's so frustrating, I think, and I said this before, in another context, when you are used to privilege, when you are [00:27:00] used to holding power equity. Yeah. Can feel like an injustice. Yeah. Because instead of you being at the top, you have to step down.
[00:27:11] Lisa Woolfork: So you can be like everybody else. Right. And so that is just it's you feel like you're losing something and I just, I don't know. I just feel like we have these little, teeny, tiny sections in target. We got these little, teeny tiny sections with great products, products that I love. Lip bar. Love it. Oh yeah.
[00:27:28] Lisa Woolfork: She's around.
[00:27:28] Kris Branton: She went to Sam, shout out. Oh, did you go fam? Yes, I am a H B C U girl. All
[00:27:35] Lisa Woolfork: the way to the core. My sister went to fam and my brother-in-law really that's. So a lot of my family went I'm from south Florida, so a lot of my family
[00:27:42] Kris Branton: went there. Oh, I'm from Miami.
[00:27:44] Lisa Woolfork: Oh, no kidding. I'm from west Palm beach.
[00:27:46] Lisa Woolfork: Okay.
[00:27:46] Kris Branton: So is my best friend.
[00:27:48] Lisa Woolfork: Oh, I'm telling you small y'all. Um, but like this, this question of, you know, of, of sharing. So like we have, they're like, well, why do you have this ethnic hair care section in [00:28:00] the grocery store? And I'm like, and why do you have the whole freaking eye? Yes. Like we
[00:28:04] Kris Branton: just get a little portion and then you
[00:28:07] Lisa Woolfork: locked up.
[00:28:09] Lisa Woolfork: yeah, exactly. And some places because of racism do lock this stuff up, you know, because of course black people can't be trusted to buy hair products because we're supposed to be all criminals. It's just horrible. And the things that we, these indignities that we are meant to endure as just. Regular matters of just trying to enjoy our lives.
[00:28:27] Lisa Woolfork: Just wanna go get your hair done. Just wanna go get some dog on tampons that don't have so many toxins. It might be more organic and healthy for your body, you know, and we have to Wade through all this. It's very frustrating. Yeah. So can you talk a bit about like, In terms of black girl social club, what would you say is something that you feel really good about, about the group that you've created and what you consider?
[00:28:50] Lisa Woolfork: If you have one or maybe more, some of the proudest moments that you've had so far in the cultivation of your group? My proudest moment
[00:28:58] Kris Branton: was the all white [00:29:00] challenge I did when we first started, because I didn't think anybody was gonna sell anything. Um, I made my dress and a matter of fact, I still haven't even photographed it.
[00:29:07] Kris Branton: I suck at that and I was online. I think I was on Instagram and this is like, we're on Instagram, but we're not really on Instagram. We are a Facebook based group. I just didn't for marketing. I didn't want someone stealing my name. oh, smart. So I'm scrolling through my Instagram because I have a Instagram dedicated to sewing.
[00:29:28] Kris Branton: And I see someone they're like this much challenge and they're wearing all white. I fell out. Cause I was like, that's me like, cuz there are a lot of sewing challenges that go on throughout the month and they're very popular and I love it. I love to see us do 'em. I love to see everyone sewing 'em but I was like, wait, that's my challenge.
[00:29:49] Kris Branton: And then they posted it in the. and a girl had to like put her phone down. I think I probably fell on the floor and thanks God that someone is actually in my [00:30:00] group who wants to be in my group. Like this month, we are doing, um, a body contrast and it's kind of due at the. The 30th, if we ever get to March 30th, cuz you know, this particular March has been the longest,
[00:30:14] Lisa Woolfork: very that's the longest March you said?
[00:30:16] Lisa Woolfork: Or it's like it's like this March has been 80 days long. I was like, this March has been 80 years long. It won't
[00:30:21] Kris Branton: stop. Like it's just not stopping. And people were interested cuz I stopped doing the challenges because I felt like people weren't trying to do it. And everyone was like, yeah girl, we gonna do this challenge.
[00:30:31] Kris Branton: And I'm like, wow. When people ask to join my group, I get super excited because I'm not a big, you don't know me. I'm Chris, I'm Chris Branson. Most people, my family know me as Chrissy. You know, I'm, I'm just me. I'm just the silly girl who saw need and put the need out there. And I didn't even pub it that big.
[00:30:49] Kris Branton: I went out there saying, Hey, I got a group called black girl social club. I think I posted about it twice. And people were just joining people, post their YouTube videos in there. Um, [00:31:00] every once in a while we do a thread where we put your Instagram in there and people get shares, like send comments. And I'm just like, oh my gosh.
[00:31:07] Kris Branton: And then I have people who message me who say, Hey, I wanna start. How do I start? And I'd be like, girl, just do it. You can do it with your phone. You can do it. Like I bought all this stuff. I bought a can and T six, I got three Tripo. Wow. I got all this stuff and you can do it with your iPhone. Like you can literally do it on your phone.
[00:31:27] Kris Branton: Apple has made it so easy where they have I movies. So you can shoot, edit and upload to YouTube studio on your phone. And I say, when you do it, send it to me. I watch is YouTube. I cut the cord. So I don't have cable at my house. Wow. So that's my style moments is when people launch their videos or, you know, post the outfit that they're, that they made in my group, like you could do it in all these big name groups.
[00:31:51] Kris Branton: You could do it on your own social media, but when you come to my group and post it, just know I see every post. And sometimes I think I'd be [00:32:00] like, oh my God, they posted in my group and I fall on the floor and my kids are like, this lady's crazy. ,
[00:32:08] Lisa Woolfork: that's fantastic. I mean, you really should be really pleased because this is not just something that you're doing.
[00:32:15] Lisa Woolfork: That's also good for yourself. I think is. Does feel great to kind of pull together something that, you know, people are excited about. This is something that other people are leaning into too, and it's giving them something. So it's really a beautiful, um, community that you're creating. That's just, so that's something that feels so proud of and I'm so glad to be a part of it.
[00:32:33] Lisa Woolfork: Cause I'm in your group,
[00:32:35] Kris Branton: healthy girl. I'm like this please. And came out. I was in a hotel listening to your podcast. I think it was like, um, a few months ago and I'm like, man, she's so knowledgeable. Because I've had your lives sometimes, but my job is like, it's type of crazy when I get home, I'm tired. And I'm like, okay.
[00:32:53] Kris Branton: Yes. But I was like, wow, like, so every time I see you post I'm like, yeah, girl. Mm-hmm [00:33:00]
[00:33:02] Lisa Woolfork: alright, we're gonna take another quick break. And when we come back, we're gonna pivot to talk about the great battle between Chris and Lisa. That's known as cricket versus cameo.
[00:33:25] Lisa Woolfork: Hello stitchers. We have a limited edition opportunity for you to support the stitch please podcast and the black woman's stitch project as a whole, and get some more fabric in your collection. These are mystery fabric boxes of fabrics that have been divided into woven and. There's boxes that that are stuffed with black and white fabrics.
[00:33:45] Lisa Woolfork: There's boxes of Chevron fabrics. There's boxes of fabrics called I think adventure or nature or something like that. Um, and these are completely full of fabrics. These are medium flat rate us PS boxes that can be [00:34:00] sent directly to you for $30. And that shipping is include. So, if you're interested in building your stash or, um, taking a chance on some really cool fabrics, let me know you can DM me on Instagram at black lemons ditch, or you can send me an email@blacklemonsditchandgmail.com.
[00:34:18] Lisa Woolfork: And we will send you a mystery box of very cool fabrics, $30 shipping and insurance included. And that'll help you get your stitch together too.
[00:34:38] Lisa Woolfork: So we are back and we're gonna talk in this last segment about a perennial question. Y'all that if you have ever been in any craft group whatsoever, someone is gonna ask this question, which should I get a cricket? or a cameo. And so it just so happens that Chris is a cricketer. She likes to use her [00:35:00] cricket to do t-shirts and mugs and stuff.
[00:35:02] Lisa Woolfork: And it just so happens that I have a cameo and I like to do the same thing with mine. So tell us Chris, about why you are team cricket. Cause it's
[00:35:12] Kris Branton: easy me. You talked about, I have a cameo three. That's what it's called three. I bought it because everybody in the groups were like, cameos the best cameos, the best you can work cameo online without what, what offline, without meeting is better than cricket system.
[00:35:31] Kris Branton: So I fell down a hole and I bought a cameo. I bought business edition, which was extra. And I was like, okay, I'm gonna learn how to do stickers because I'm also a planner, babe. So I'm like, I'm gonna start doing stickers.
[00:35:46] Lisa Woolfork: Yes, same, same. Yeah,
[00:35:47] Kris Branton: girl, let thanks. I can, even if you've ever watched my YouTube video on my sewing room, it's still sitting in the same spot.
[00:35:54] Kris Branton: The thing got, probably got so much dust on it. It is not easy to me. Cameo is honestly like the [00:36:00] Android version and cricket is apple where it's user friendly. Uh, I feel like anybody could pick up a cricket and learn it in about a good hour. Um, it doesn't have as many. Like it'll be like cut paste, you know, change.
[00:36:17] Kris Branton: The color cameo has like compound. It had, it just had too many things for my cricket brain, but I may be also brand loyal. I'm on my third cricket. I had a cricket mini back when my 12 year old was turning five. So seven years ago I bought my first cricket. It was a cricket mini. Um, we did her entire birthday party.
[00:36:36] Kris Branton: anybody remembers Jay's mini mouse party. We had mini ears. We had everything and I did her in invitations, was mini mouse in the shape of mini mouse. And I did all of that on a cricket mini. And then, wow. I bought an Explorer. Air when I moved to Georgia back in 2016. So that took it off. Boom, I'm back in the cricket world.
[00:36:58] Kris Branton: I'm making [00:37:00] shirts, you know, I showed my sister-in-law, she got a cricket. We didn't hear sharing cricket ideas. We didn't cricket groups. I don't pay for no shirts. When I go on vacations, I've done three bachelorette parties and those mugs, my girls have those cups, those shirts everything's done by Chris.
[00:37:14] Kris Branton: Chris got you. If, if Chris on the party team, We good. We make it . Chris is the party team. Oh, party team. I got you that cameo still sitting here. And then the maker came out and I was like, I'm not buying this maker cuz it's doing the same exact thing that my machine does. Like I don't need the maker. And then a year later, They had a sale where they knocked the maker down a couple dollars.
[00:37:37] Kris Branton: And I just felt like my heart. I wouldn't,
[00:37:42] Lisa Woolfork: I I'm definitely getting now, man. I
[00:37:44] Kris Branton: had to sneak that thing in the house. It was bad. I ordered it. It took like forever to come because I think they're based in California. And I have been like, my maker is, is there, like, that's my baby. I reach for it for everything.
[00:37:57] Kris Branton: Like that is so funny. And at [00:38:00] cameo, I try, I try like, Joe, I don't know if you know her. So very Joe on Instagram all the time. She trying to help me. She's like, I got you. And I'm like, you know what? This ain't working. This cameo. We just gonna let it sit here.
[00:38:13] Lisa Woolfork: Oh, okay. So I, I, for those listeners who I am team cameo, and I guess I, I think it is about brand loyalty.
[00:38:21] Lisa Woolfork: I've been using this cameo for maybe the same amount of time. Maybe more than you've been using your cricket. I was using cricket back in the day, um, when they used to have, they used to be cartridge based and you would buy these cartridges that were not cheap between 60 and 80. The cartridges you would drop the, the, you drop the cartridge in the machine.
[00:38:42] Lisa Woolfork: You would click this wheel. It was all very old school Polaroid camera, even though it was in the, like, it was in like 2010. And, um, then it was, I thought that then there was this big blow up because they had a software company that allowed you to use your own [00:39:00] images. The thing that I didn't like about cricket was that it did not allow you to use your.
[00:39:03] Lisa Woolfork: Images. I found it too restrictive. You had to have cartridges. Once one person used the cartridge in the machine, you couldn't use it anywhere else. I remember like it, it was just, it. That was way before you started. I think that they had gotten off that. Yeah. Then I didn't then I didn't like the cricket design space.
[00:39:21] Lisa Woolfork: I was like, how are you gonna have a machine that only works with the freaking internet? That's nonsense. And like, I couldn't use my own images. Like I have made, I have taken a photograph of my sewing machine's logo and I have taken that, traced it and made a matching bag. That looks exactly like the all from photographs.
[00:39:44] Lisa Woolfork: And it's just so simple now you're right now I am a bit hurt. My feelings are hurt that you did this Android apple comparison. Um, because Android, I find very difficult. Yeah. And I do that, but I'm, and I'm a Mac girl. Like I love Mac products, apple, [00:40:00] iPhone, all that junk, but. I like the cameo, because it just gives you more control.
[00:40:06] Lisa Woolfork: I agree with you. It is a steeper learning curve. That is true. It is a lot to learn release compound path, blah, blah, blah. But. Girl, the stickers, you can do the stuff you can make. It is, and you can print wide and you can print long seven feet long, long, long, you know, it's amazing. I love mine. I really do.
[00:40:31] Lisa Woolfork: And I just got a cameo four for my birthday. I just took it out of the box the other day. So, um, if you wanna go ahead and send that cameo three to me. Um, I'll take it off your hands. So it doesn't collect us. Look, doesn't be.
[00:40:45] Kris Branton: This, what is the, what is the past? Like, why are we trying to, are we trying to cut?
[00:40:50] Kris Branton: Are we trying? Just, just give, so the midterm.
[00:40:54] Lisa Woolfork: yeah, I know you're right. You're right. You know, but you know what it is, it's kind of like the same technical terms, like when [00:41:00] you were learning that, you know, to make a Sloper, you know, when you learn about the arm eye, when you learn about it's always different vocabularies and there's ways to break it down in ways that are easier.
[00:41:10] Lisa Woolfork: And I've been thinking about that. Well, this is before I started the podcast, I was like, I would love to do more teaching about the silhouette cameo, because I think that it. It just gives you more creative flexibility. And I would love to kind of share that with people, but I'm not even gonna front. I have no time to do not.
[00:41:28] Lisa Woolfork: Another thing not today. My goal for this weekend is to make a jumpsuit, a romper. That's my goal. And that's what I wanna do this weekend. And I'm working so hard, Chris, to keep my eyes focused on that. Um, but it's hard, you know, cuz you get so many different demands, but the cameo is great and I have made some really cute stickers and little bookmarks and as well as the t-shirts for family vacation, cuz you're right.
[00:41:52] Lisa Woolfork: That is really enjoyable. And so cricket and cameo basically do the same. It's they're both like cutting machines. [00:42:00] Y'all, they're both cutting machines where you put an image in, and then this it's a laser, um, guided cut, um, that cuts everything and it's, you know, it's great. It's, it's great. You just have to decide what threshold of learning you wanna do.
[00:42:15] Lisa Woolfork: Um, because I, I agree with you. It seems to me from what people have said, that the cricket is easier to learn, but I think the cameo gives you more options, but it really. Coke versus Pepsi. It truly is.
[00:42:28] Kris Branton: I think, but you know, Coke is, is
[00:42:30] Lisa Woolfork: the Coke is the cricket. Coke is Beth Coke is no Coke is cameo.
[00:42:34] Lisa Woolfork: Obviously no Coke is came. I
[00:42:36] Kris Branton: live that. Why live in Georgia? The home of Coca-Cola. So I'm gonna
[00:42:39] Lisa Woolfork: tell you, I know you do. Yeah. And I, the only, only soda we recognize in this house is Coca-Cola so it has to be a cameo. You know, I would be bomb
[00:42:49] Kris Branton: if you would like when you have time. Instead of doing how the classes are geared is there's classes for people who wanna do cricket.
[00:42:55] Kris Branton: There are classes for people who are geared, who wanna do cameo. No one has a class [00:43:00] for like, if you got a cricket brain to learn the cameo. Oh, that's probably the problem. That's probably why we don't get it because we're so stuck on one thing that we can't. Okay. So what is, what is that thing is called?
[00:43:14] Kris Branton: Like what is a path in, in cricket world or what is, um, yeah, you know, I think, well is something else in cameo world.
[00:43:22] Lisa Woolfork: Exactly. Yeah. What? Yeah, that's true. That's true. How do you, what about layers? How do layers work in cricket? And what about boundaries and what. Cutting field. Yes. And what about different materials?
[00:43:32] Lisa Woolfork: Like all of that? Yeah. That's that? That'd be great. That's a good idea. Someone that likes them, both that really? Because the thing, I think one of the reasons why they don't overlap is because the companies are competitors. Yeah. So companies, you know, people develop brand loyalties and then companies are only gonna reward someone who's supporting their own brand.
[00:43:50] Lisa Woolfork: You know what I'm saying? So it's really nice. I mean, well, for me, I don't give a shit. That's like I always said, I don't have sponsors because I wanna do what I wanna do. And so like, If I wanted to [00:44:00] do, like it had to be related or could be something like we're like we would get together. Like if you are a big team, this is a great thing about collaboration.
[00:44:07] Lisa Woolfork: You love cricket. I love cameo. If we manage to get together and say, we wanna make a blank. Chris is gonna show you how to do it on the cameo, on the, on the cricket. And I'm gonna show you how to do it on the cameo and people can decide for themselves, which is easier, or they can just take the instruction.
[00:44:24] Lisa Woolfork: Yeah. You know what I mean? Like, well, you know, that's a great idea. It didn't even
[00:44:27] Kris Branton: work if you show 'em like side by side, like. Okay, this is how I upload it into the cricket. And this is how I upload it into the cameo so that you see the same exact steps in their way, because that's my issue. I look at it and I'm just like, well, what, and I really wanna make these stick.
[00:44:43] Kris Branton: Like plastic stick is bomb right now, but they're getting Boly, that's one of the biggest markets right now that they're, they marketing to us and they're not lowering their prices. So I'm like, let me make my own, but I'm still like, um,
[00:44:57] Lisa Woolfork: And I make my own because I put black people on them. [00:45:00] So, you know, that's what I wanna do.
[00:45:02] Lisa Woolfork: And so, and you can buy know, you can buy, you can buy digital images of like 1960s buttons, like political buttons yeah. And stickers, and those are free use. After you've, after you've paid for them, then you can like, just basically load 'em into the cameo click offset. And then you can just cut a, like a really narrow margin around the shape, you know?
[00:45:24] Lisa Woolfork: And then you get a whole bunch of cool buttons and stickers. See, you know,
[00:45:28] Kris Branton: see, I knew about offset, but then I couldn't get my picture to offset. You know, I'm gonna just pray that cricket, when they come out with an offset, they have it in certain it's like you have. Uploaded in a certain something else.
[00:45:40] Kris Branton: Cricket has a long way to go. I must say, as far as like cameo, if you learn the cameo, you're set. Like I want my daughter to learn cameo and not cricket because I feel like once she learned, once you learn it, you're set and it has so much. And then she can show you. Yeah, she probably won't. She'll probably just be like, no, it's just for me and my
[00:45:55] Lisa Woolfork: friends,
[00:45:56] Kris Branton: but.
[00:45:58] Kris Branton: It's like I said, it's just easy, you [00:46:00] know, it's just like picking up an iPhone and all of a sudden, you know how to do it. Cause I have an Android and everyone can tell you when I first got it. I did not know how to use my phone. I would only call and halfway text you.
[00:46:11] Lisa Woolfork: That's right. Well, Chris, I have got to get running, um, and I am so grateful for your conversation and for joining us today.
[00:46:20] Lisa Woolfork: Can you tell us how we can find you on social media please? And I can include this in the episode notes, but how can
[00:46:25] Kris Branton: we find you on social media for my personal social media? It's so S E w me M E Chris, K R I S B. And those are my. For, um, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. So me crispy. And then of course on Facebook, y'all come enjoying the party at black girls, social club, and social is spelled S E w C I a.
[00:46:50] Kris Branton: L, and we love all crafters, whether you knit, whether you crochet, whether you cricket or cameo, come on, jewelry, makers, everything, come on, we're [00:47:00] doing our challenges. We're bringing those back and you know, right now we have some free time. So let's join and engage and support our sisters on social media.
[00:47:09] Lisa Woolfork: Thank you so much. I've had a wonderful time talking with Chris BR of black girls social club. Thank you so much for being here and, um, enjoy the rest of your day. Oh,
[00:47:19] Kris Branton: thank you so much for having me. Oh my God. I feel so. Like, I'm gonna be smiling all day. So if you see me walking and you stay your distance, my smile is because I talked to
[00:47:28] Lisa Woolfork: Lisa today.
[00:47:28] Lisa Woolfork: Just that's what? It's same. I feel the same, Chris. Thank you. Okay.
[00:47:32] Kris Branton: Bye. Bye.
[00:47:40] Lisa Woolfork: Thank you for joining us for this week's episode of the stitch, please podcast the official podcast of black women's stitch, the sewing group, where black lives matter. There are a variety of ways that you can support the program and you're doing it right now.

Hosted by Lisa Woolfork

Lisa is a fourth-generation sewing enthusiast who learned to sew while earning a PhD in African American literature and culture. She has been sewing for more than twenty years while also teaching, researching, and publishing in Black American literature and culture.

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