Hello stitchers. Welcome to Stitch Please. The official podcast of Black Women Stitch, the sewing group where Black lives matter. I'm your host, Lisa Woolfork. 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. Hello, everybody, and welcome to the Stitch Please podcast. I'm your host, Lisa Woolfork, and like I say every week, this is a very special episode because this episode, we get to talk to none other than Latrice Sampson Richards, who is my producer for live events for the Stitch Please podcast. She is someone who I met through Afros & Audios, that's how we first met; and that's an organization for Black podcasters, and there are lots of other orgs that have grown in the last few years, Black Podcasters Association, Black Pod Collective… so many, you know, BPA Black Podcasters Associated. So many wonderful things that are out there, and Latrice has been involved with all of them. Every single one, and she's such a generous spirit and such a wonderful person to be around, and so I'm so glad to welcome you this side of the microphone, on the Stitch Please podcast. Latrice welcome, welcome, welcome.
Latrice Sampson Richards 1:42
Thank you so much, Lisa. I'm so excited to be here. I really enjoy working with you, and you know, working on this podcast and just being exposed to this world has been amazing. So I actually, you know, love the Stitch Please podcast. I mean, you know, I produce it - the live shows anyway - but this is an honor for me. Thank you so much for having me.
I am so glad that you were available because so much of my time since QuiltCon ... QuiltCon was a month ago, and for those of y'all who don't know, QuiltCon is the annual convention of the Modern Quilt Guild, which celebrated their 10th anniversary, and their conference was in Atlanta, Georgia the last weekend in February. The MQG QuiltCon is I think, always the last weekend in February. I think that's how they choose the dates. So if you want to do another QuiltCon, they do have one coming in Raleigh, North Carolina in 2024. I'm pretty sure it's the last weekend of February, and so that would be another opportunity--
And you gonna be there. Right?
We are definitely planning it. We definitely have plans in the works. Definitely.
Naomi say "ain't no question about it, you gonna be there."
Yeah, Naomi said yes, you know, so we got to see how the rest of it goes, but if it was up to Naomi alone, we'd be there already with barbecue sauce, as she likes it. But I did check, and it's really only three and a half hours from here by car, where I lived in Virginia, so that's much easier than Atlanta would be to drive. So there's lots of things to recommend it. So and I'm definitely planning to visit a wonderful exhibition there by a wonderful Black woman artist, Precious D. Lovell, who has an exhibition at a gallery in Raleigh, that's really about this really powerful work of critiquing and examining the ways that Black women's domesticity has been used. And it's just about stitching and liberation, and which is totally my jam. So I'm really, really excited. But I'm also excited for this chat today, because my whole life I think in the last month, has been all kind of trying to decompress from QuiltCon. It was such an intense weekend. It started on Wednesday when vendors got to come, and we got to go and set up the Sew Black space that we created at the QuiltCon for the first time, and then Thursday was the first day, then Friday, then Saturday, then Sunday, and it sounds like I'm just rattling off four random days of the week, which I kind of am, but when I tell you those days are so jam packed with all kinds of stuff.--
We did alot. Yeah.
It’s not possible - there was so much to see, and so many things to look at. And I did not buy anything from the convention floor, from the vendor floor, until the last day. I did not have a minute.--
It was a wonderful ... it was a great time. It was a great experience. It was so wonderful meeting so many people in real life, especially folks who listen to the podcast or who had been on the podcast, but I hadn't seen them in person. So it was super fun. But you know, I'm a quilter, I'm a sewist. This is my podcast. This is what I love to do. You are a producer, a podcast producer, and you do some sewing. But for the most part, you're not like in the sewing world in the same way that I am. And that a lot of folks at QuiltCon are. So what was it like for you being at QuiltCon for the first time?
It was amazing, I really enjoyed it. I tell people all the time, one of the things I enjoyed the most about working with this podcast in particular is the sewing community, you know, and it really is a community, especially the Black sewing community. It's a beautiful thing to see. And just to be a part of, and, I'm a creative in all ways, so I have multiple avenues of creative expression. And so, sewing is one of those. I do a lot of upholstery work, like upcycling and stuff like that. And I enjoy using African fabrics. And like, I'm really particular about my fabrics and stuff. And I prefer to hand sew. I don't know, I just never really took to the machines. But never at this level, though, and QuiltCon is actually the largest event that we've done in terms of live shows, because this is our third live show, and we got many, many more to go–
Yes. But QuiltCon was the biggest one thus far. And not only was it the biggest in terms of the number, just the sheer number of people that we engaged with. And you know, it was the largest audience we've had thus far. It was massive in that sense. But also, logistically speaking, it was a major undertaking. This is the biggest project I've worked on thus far. We did six episodes in two days.
It's really impressive. And I say that because you're right, this is our third live show. And for those of y'all who are really attentive listeners to the podcast, and those of you who are not, you can still go back and look, our first live show was last year. Yeah, last year at Our Fabric Stash in the Pike Place Market. We partnered with Bernina. And I took my little Burnette 33 all the way from Virginia to to Washington State and saw the beautiful views and you know, flying in. And that was amazing to be in the historic Pike Place Market. That was something that was really cool. We had Chinese food, food and all kinds of amazing dimsum. And they threw a fish over my head like at the fish market. That was really fun.
And we caught it on tape. We recorded it.
Lisa Woolfork 8:04
We sure did. We sure did record it. So that was a really great time. It was wonderful to work with Deborah and her team. And then Deborah was at QuiltCon.
Yes I was so excited to see Deborah. And it made me feel like a part of the community because I was like, Oh my God, I know people now. You know, people that I've been emailing back and forth asking them to be guests on the show. And working with these people and doing the research. Part of my job is to do guest research. And also topic research. So you tell me what you want to do, and then my job is to make that come to life. Right. And so in that research, I'm looking at the their work, you know, and reading up about them, and who they are as people, and what their journey has been. And I'm on their Instagrams. And I'm going way back on Instagram, because I want to make sure that when I'm producing a show, and I'm creating what the content of the show is going to be - two things that I think about: the first thing is, I want to make sure that I'm giving you what you've asked me for, because at the end of the day, it's your show. And so I want to make sure that you are happy with whatever it is that I bring forward. And so I'm always thinking about would Lisa like this, or what angle would Lisa take, like, what's most comfortable for you. But then I'm also thinking about who is the person that you're going to be talking to? Who are they? And we want to make sure that whatever we do fits who they are as well. And so I feel like I know these people because I lightweight stalk them, you know.
You said due diligence and research in order to have a thorough interview.
Yeah, and it came together really nicely. And it was so nice to just see everybody and for them to welcome me, and everybody was just so welcoming and so warm. And they was like, girl, you gonna to make a quilt, you know, you gonna make a quilt before it's all over with. But I probably will make a quilt. I took some fabric home from the event, and I have some ideas, you know, kind of roaming around, I've been watching some YouTube videos and stuff like that. So I think I am going to try my hand at making a quilt, you know?
Well, I think that's amazing. And I'm very glad that that is the case. And I'm also excited to know that, you know, thank you for sharing that detail about the research that you do. That what your job as a producer - it sounds like there's lots of roles that are required to produce a show. Can you talk a bit about what the what's some of the hats that you have to wear if you want to be a producer?
Yeah, it is a lot. So first off, we talk about concept ideation. Depending on who I'm working with, a client might come and say, I want to start a podcast, and this is what I want my podcast to be about. But then that's it. They just have the general topic, and they don't really have an idea of what else they want to do. So the overall structure of the show is something that typically a producer will help you with. And just coming up with ideas and different ways to be able to get the content out there, and what that might look like. And then the second stage of that is really planning out the season. I like to plan out the season, if you're doing a full season, just so that I'm telling a story. So each episode serves a specific purpose. And I need to know what the overall story is, and then I break down into each individual episode. And so, there's a lot of storyboarding, and outlining, and ideation, and development, that is a huge part of producing. And then once you get your game plan, now you have to implement and you go into really drilling down on topics. You want to make sure that whatever you're saying is factual. You know, even if you're sharing opinions, that opinion needs to spring from facts. And so, because I just think it's important that we always do our due diligence and make sure that what we put out into the world is something that is actually helpful to the people that are on the receiving end of it. And unfortunately, not everybody thinks about it at that level. But podcasting as a medium is very personal. It's very intimate. I listen to a podcast while I'm taking a shower. I listen to podcasts while I'm on the toilet, you know? These are moments that generally no one else in the world is talking to you. Yeah, nobody else gets to be in that space with me. That's my me time. But I've chosen to invite you in via this podcast. And so I think we need to honor that by doing our due diligence. And then researching our guests, and that's out of respect for the guests as well. Because, I don't know about you, but I have been on a podcast before and they know nothing about me. They didn't know who I was. And none of that. And I was just like, why did you ask me to be on your show again? I'm confused. Because you didn't do no research.
Oh yeah. It's like, "Well, tell me about who you are and what you do. Thank you."
Yes, yes. And it makes my job easier when I do that research. Because as I'm learning things, I'm thinking about whatever it is that I'm trying to accomplish in the episode. And I'm like, Oh, well, this I can put here, or this makes sense for this conversation. And that way I can really craft something that feels intentional. Even though I usually just give you points. I don't like I don't write a script for you. But it's telling the story, and you can follow that and kind of put your own thing into it, so there's that component of it. And then afterwards, when you have the actual recording, and just kind of talking to the guests and making sure they understand what the goal is, making sure you have the information you need to conduct the interview. Things of that nature. And the guest on onboarding - I always do a release form with every guest. Because we want to make sure that we have permission to use the content knowledge, right? And getting some background information from the guests, like headshots and stuff like that. And then you have the actual recording. And during that time, I'm making sure that the levels are right, which is probably something that a sound engineer would do. Yeah. But, you know, I'm a one stop shop.
A one woman band, you can do it all.
For now, for now. You know, hopefully, I'll get an opportunity to expand my team. But I'm very particular about who I work with, because I'm very particular about the content that I put out. So yeah, and then afterwards is the editing and everything like that, taking an hour long conversation, and condensing that down to ... Your episodes are between 35 to 40 minutes, and I usually try to keep it 35 to 38 minutes if I can. So, that's a lot of cutting, you know? You gotta cut like, 15, 20 minutes. 25 minutes ...
That's a lot. Yeah.
Yeah, you know, but that's my favorite part of the process, because it's getting to the meat of it. And you really get to be intentional about what are the most impactful pieces of this conversation? And then how do I make it feel like it just flows well? You know, like it still has to make sense. And so I really enjoy that dance, you know? Yeah ...
And we got to do it for three consecutive days.
Black Women Stitch and the Stitch Please podcast is grateful for all the support that made Sew Black possible. Special thanks to our underwriters, Spoonflower. Thanks also to Moda for generous sponsorship. Thank you, Bernina, for your wonderful support. Thank you also to Amtrak for partnering with us. Special thanks to those who shared resources to equip the space. This includes AccuQuilt, Aurifil, Crimson Tate, Sew Easy, Ruby Star Society, Free Spirit Fabrics, Kai Scissors, thank you, thank you, thank you. Special thanks to Focusrite for making the lab recording possible through the donation of an audio interface, the Focusrite 18-i-eight. Thanks to The Bridge PAI for the initial funding. And thanks also to the Modern Quilt Guild for their generous support. Thank you all so much for making this possible.
Sew Black is made possible by some amazing people on the Black Women Stitch team. Kristina Gifford, Jenelle Velasco, Latrice Sampson Richards, Naomi P. Johnson, Shana Jefferson, Jill Bates Moore, Nikki Griffin, Coco Springer, Alicia Turlington, and Adrienne Dent. And in full Snoop Dogg style, I'd like to thank myself for pulling this together and believing in me. Let's give it up for Lisa Woolfork. And if you want to find out what's happening next, follow Black Women Stitch on TikTok and Instagram and sign up for our email list. Check out the Stitch Please podcast with new episodes every Wednesday, including episodes from QuiltCon, coming out soon.
Yes, like, I mean, I keep going back. And like, that's right. It was Friday, Saturday, it was two days. It felt longer. But it was just two days. We were there from Wednesday to Sunday. But we only did recordings on Friday and Saturday. And so it still feels like a very, very busy time all the way around. And for me, this is my first quilt con, but I was also planning to do these interviews. So there was some work required for that. And also setting up the Sew Black space and making sure that that came off okay. And I'm happy to say that everything worked out beautifully. Lots of favorable reports from people who experienced the space, so that feels great. And it feels very affirming. And so for me, I was and remain really grateful to you, Latrice, because you are, as you said, the producer job is a very complicated one. You've got planning, research, writing and storyboard, logistics. And then the editing. And editing sounds like it's just one word, like another task, just like anything else. But the editing! Like, isn't the formula something like for every 20 minutes of audio, or every podcast that's an hour-long podcast, it's a minimum of four hours of editing?
Yeah, something like that, for me. I think every editor kind of has their own flow. But for me, I base my number on how much raw tape I have. So every hour of raw tape, it can take me two and a half to three hours to edit that down. And that's because you're not just listening through one time. You're listening, and you're stopping, and pausing, you're removing this, and then you're putting it back, and then you're moving it over there, or moving this part over there. And I have to listen to the entire thing, because I have to make sure that I know what's on the tape. Because I want to get the best parts of whatever it is that we're talking about. I want to be able to identify the pieces that are going to have the most impact. The pieces that people who are listening, the audience, is going to connect with. We're telling a story with each one of these stations. We're telling a story, and we want to make sure that that story is entertaining first, you know, but also, that it's impactful, and that it's meaningful, and that it's intentional. And I know that that's how you roll, which I think is how we have such a good synergy when we work together. Because I agree, you know, I feel the same way. And it's how I approach everything that I do. And I think it's extremely important that we know that you can and should do both. You should entertain, and you should connect. You should do both of those things with your art.
Yes, yes. And one of the thingsI love about the way that we are working together in the way that you prioritize an artful vision. And by art, what I'm hearing, at least for me is the power of good craftsmanship. And that you want to be able to create a story, you want to create a narrative arc, you want to be able to, you know, share information in the voice of a particular person that you're speaking with. And I keep thinking back to the QuiltCon experience being our third live show. And the first one was in Seattle. And then the second one was in Chicago. And that was part of the Stitching Abolition Conference, that (Dr.) Sharbreon Plummer and Rachel Wallis organized at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. And it was fantastic. It was so great. Oh my gosh. And that was really wonderful. And we talked with Alexandra Eregbu, who's a professor there, and talking about her work and her teaching. And it's just such a ... I don't think I ever expected to do live shows. I don't know why, I just didn't. I don't know why. I just thought, well, I don't know, why would I do that? You know, and I thought ...
You're natural. Like you are natural. You're so freakin good at it, Lisa. Let me tell you. So everybody that's listening, y'all y'all gotta be my amen corner right now. I need y'all to make sure that y'all amen this. Okay, this needs to be the clip for social media.
Oh God ...
The thing that I think I love the most about working with you and working on this podcast is your relationship with your audience. They frickin' love you. Like, they frickin' love you. And you love them back. The feeling is definitely mutual. And I can tell all of y'all, because you know, sometimes you have people that have a following, but they be fake and they see their following as money. They only really see their numbers, and they just see that as money and income. And then, you know, I guess there's nothing wrong with that. If that's your business model, that's your business model. But you are so intentional about making it clear that your audience is not for sale. And they appreciate you for that. They love you, and they support you. And they, they even get on your ass when they feel like you're doing something that they want you to do, and you worried about it. And they're like, "Girl, let us know what you need," you know ...
She's referring to this really heartwarming moment at the live show, when they were like, oh, Lisa, we want to do it again. Or you should do another live show, or this will be fun, or come to the next QuiltCon. And I was like, Y'all, I just have so much to do, it's so hard. And they're like, it doesn't have to be hard. Let us help you, tell us what you need, tell us what to do. So it was very moving. And I'm very grateful for it.
I think it was just a perfect illustration of the relationship that you have with your community. You know, they love you and you love them back. And they know it, they feel it and they reciprocate it. And that is my favorite thing. It makes me want to make sure that I'm always giving you my best. It makes me want to show up for you. Because I feel like showing up for you is showing up for them as well. And they showed me that love just just by virtue of being connected to you. They were so excited to meet me and see me, and I was like, oh my God, this is so freakin' cool. You know, so yeah!
The whole weekend was really wonderful. And we do have so many episodes coming your way that will be released throughout the next few months. And I'm really excited to share those with y'all. But I also wanted to make sure to give Latrice a super shout out and to just thank her for her work. Because y'all, when I tell you, this is not an easy thing to do. I had no idea what I was getting into. When I first met Latrice we had been on this conference together. And she was just so wonderful. She was a great organizer. She had her head on her shoulders, and she could handle a lot of complex different things at one time. And I was like, Oh my gosh, you know, I couldn't get control of it. But she did. And it was great. And so I said, Hey, I'm doing a live show. And I would really love your support. Now, I thought that that meant I was going to talk to Latrice on the phone. I thought that we would have some conversations, and she would give me some tips and tricks about what I needed to do to do a live show. And she said, Where's the show? And I was like, oh, it's gonna be in Seattle. And she says, I am coming. And I was like, wait a minute, what? Like, I'm coming, wait, but you live in Florida? What do you what do you mean, you're coming? I don't understand. It took me that long to realize that she was coming to help me physically. And then when she came out, I was like, oh, thank God. Because there is no way I can do this by myself. Like you can't really do a live show all alone. Because one person ... you can't ... it's kind of like being asked to listen to the sound of your own voice to make sure that it sounds okay. Like you can't listen to it and hear it at the same time. You can't monitor your own levels, at least I don't have that skill. I don't have that skill to do that yet. So it was incredibly generous that Latrice was willing to come out all the way across the entire country. You know, I mean, you can't get much further from Florida than Washington State and still be in America. And yet she did. She absolutely did. And then we had a chance to do an encore presentation, not encore, it wasn't the same thing, but another opportunity. And she said yes, I'll come to Chicago, and she came to Chicago. And we had another really wonderful time. And then QuiltCon. And that's the one that's just - I think it's - I just want to say thank you for your generosity, your generosity of spirit, your creativity, the way that you really do show up, and the way that you helped me. You helped me to be better. I really appreciate you helping me to be able to be at my best. And that there's things that I didn't have to think about or worry about or do anything because I knew that you were on it. And I think that sometimes for folks like me who are high-capacity individuals who are used to doing a lot of things and a lot of things by ourselves or whatever, it can be hard to ask for help, you know, and I'm so glad I did. I'm so glad I did because the help that you have provided and continue to provide really honors the project. It honors me, and I really am so grateful to you. I really truly am. Like, it could not happen without you. And I'm so glad it doesn't have to.
Oh the feeling is definitely mutual. You know, I love me some YOU, okay? I love me some you, and I'm equally grateful to be a part of this. You have opened up my my whole world, and not only that, but you have been a huge, huge help in terms of building my confidence in my ability to do this as my main thing and really build this business and build this career. You were the first person to invest in me as a producer. And I appreciate that, we are forever linked. And you know, you my homie, you my homie for real, for real. I love me some Lisa.
I love me some Latrice!
You stuck with me, girl, you stuck with me.
And you are the same. I say the same. Now I'm gonna to ask you the question that we ask ... Well, you know, I can also ask you about some of your favorite interviewees. Like y'all we interviewed, we talk with so many amazing people. And I think it's gonna be really difficult. I don't think I could answer this question. About who, of all people we spoke to, who was the favorite? So I don't have an answer. I'm just gonna tell you right now. I'm gonna list the people we spoke to. We spoke to Uzoma Samuel (Anyanwu), this amazing Nigerian quilter, he is fantastic. Sara Trail, Bianca Springer, Nikki Griffin. And that was the first morning panel on Friday. And then in the afternoon, Sarah Bond and e Bond came through and they're cousins. And they're both creatives and quilters. e Bond is a surface pattern designer, Sarah's a quilter. And they also brought their ancestral quilts, including (the one that) their enslaved ancestor had made, and that was just stunning. It just brought the house down. It was so powerful. And then so that was Friday. And then on Saturday ... Saturday morning we had Janine Lecour, who is the Spoonflower designer, and we had 110 yards of her fabric. And it was in the room draping the space, and it was gorgeous. And she was wonderful to talk to - a black woman pattern designer who lives in Atlanta. And so she could come, and she's like, I've never seen my work this way. And we had some great conversations about what we saw in the fabric that she didn't even see. So that was amazing. And then later on later on that Saturday, we spoke with Chawne Kimber. No, that was Friday.
That was Friday. It was everything. It was Naomi and ...
Lisa Woolfork 32:53
Rashida Coleman-Hale? That was great too. Naomi is fantastic, as is Rashida Coleman-Hale. It was a really great time. I did forget on Friday afternoon, that's when we talked to Chawne Kimber. Yeah, after Sarah and e, we talked with Chawne Kimber, which was fantastic because she was the keynote speaker for the conference, giving the huge sold-out keynote address on Saturday. So folks in the space got a chance to talk with her one to one, ask questions. And it was just so intimate and so wonderful. So I will not say who was the favorite because I do not have favorites. I love them all.
I love them all. I love them all. But Chawne Kimber, I think was the one that I was the most excited about going into it. Because, again, in doing my research of her, I just fell in love with her work, you know? I enjoyed all of the guests that we had on the show, and I enjoy all of the conversations, but I think I had the most anticipation about Chawne Kimber. And then it went like above my expectations because I got to meet her and actually take a picture with her. But then I also got to meet her aunt. And her aunt was just so ... she reminded me of my mom. And so it was a really nice experience. And then that Saturday, I got to meet her cousin as well. And I got to hug her and I was just like, oh my God girl, I'm in the family, you know, so I was like super excited about that. And I really, really enjoyed it. I enjoyed all of the conversations, but I think that one really like stuck with me the most because I had a complete and total fangirl moment.
Yes, yes. Same. As you know, I can hardly get myself together to ask the questions. It took me a minute. I had to pull it together. I had to pull myself together. Like a professional? It was very direct.
You did all right, girl. You did all right.
I did it. I did it. I did okay. Well, I'm gonna ask you the question we ask everybody when we close the Stitch Please podcast. The slogan of the Stitch Please podcast is that we will help you get your stitch together, I'm going to ask you Latrice Sampson Richards, my special events live show producer, how would you recommend that we get our stitch together?
I would honestly say be a part of a community, like, actually get engaged in a community and go to these different community events and things, especially because you have people like Lisa who are out there making sure that there is representation in those spaces where maybe there was not before. But also to make sure that there is community within those communities and that there's an opportunity for you to feel like you're a part of something that is bigger than yourself, or that speaks to a part of who you are, that maybe you don't really get a chance to explore. That's what creativity is for me. It speaks to a piece of me that I don't get to share in other parts of my life as much as I would like to. And so I think being an active part of this community and supporting not only the work that Lisa does, but you know, all of the different Black women sewists and quilters, who are being very intentional about creating spaces such as the Sew Black affinity space to make sure that the community knows the community is here. So that's my recommendation.
Lisa Woolfork 36:43
That sounds wonderful. Thank you so mucy, Latrice, for being with us today. This was so nice. I am so grateful to you as always.
I love you so much, Lisa. Whenever you need, whatever you need, you know I got you.
Lisa Woolfork 36:43
You've been listening to Stitch Please the official podcast of Black Women Stitch, the sewing group where Black lives matter. We appreciate you joining us this and every week for stories that center Black women, girls and femmes in sewing. We invite you to join the Black Women Stitch Patreon community with giving levels beginning at $5 a month. Your contributions help us bring the Stitch Please podcast to you every week. Thank you for listening. Thank you for your support, and come back next week, and we'll help you get your stitch together.