CEO of Creativebug Ursula Morgan was the smiling voice we heard we heard on the Yarn Thing podcast with Marly Bird today.
Ursula Morgan’s crafting background began in Dublin, Ireland. In school the children are taught to knit, but her household was a crafting one. Her mother knit jumpers (what they call pullovers) that she wore to school. Her mother’s family was very busy, sewing costumes for the big theater productions locally. She dreamed of being a textile designer but was told she couldn’t draw at about an age 13. She listened to that teacher and left that dream behind until about 17. She was encouraged to go back to a career counselor who said when she was tested earlier, that she had scored very high in art, so she crammed and applied to art colleges and got in. Ursula now believes that if anyone believes they are creative and wants to pursue it, they should, the are only limited by what they believe they can or cannot do.
Ursula became a graphic designer. She remembers her children playing under her desk as she worked as she used to play under her mother’s sewing machine. ‘The Macintosh became my sewing machine’ she says as she recalls working for Future Publishing, in London, She magazine, Good Houskeeping until her husband was moved to Bath, to work on the fishing magazines… They had a cross stitching magazine that she edited for a while, then they asked her to become a publisher, which she at first balked at especially when looking at the numbers. After while she found herself bored of the one magazine, wanted to do a knitting magazine. At first they did the balking, that the numbers didn’t support a knitting magazine, but she took out a loan and started Simply Knitting.
She paid off the loan with two issues of the magazine.
After that she started The Knitter and proceeded to create a portfolio of knitting magazines in the UK. From there, working with Red Heart, Crochet Today and Knitting today, she was asked to come to work in San Francisco. At about that time, Ursula met Marly at one of the Stitches West’s Pajama Parties, leading lip sync karaoke and having fun with knitters. When Marly greeted her, Ursula was star struck! Her was a designer who’s work she’d published!
Ursula’s boss introduced her to the founders of Creativebug, perhaps to interview and investigate this new thing, because she knew so much about the craft industry, she was on the Craft Yarn Council at the time so this was right in her area of wisdom. Ursula was blown away (from the sound of it) by this incredibly affordable way of encouraging crafters to give other crafts a try. She says she fell in love with Creativebug and with it’s philosophy, and left Future Publishing, to add her ideas to this platform. For instance, Ursula instituted a ‘if you liked this class….’ after you have taken a class, there may be something similar to continue your education. There is a credit system with Creativebug, earning tokens toward free classes, and perfect to make gifts of classes to others.
Ursula revealed that she loves crafting when she’s traveling, making the TSA agents look twice at her knitting needles. She uses the aps to download the classes and watch them on-the-go without having to be online.
The filming of the classes was meant to make it feel intimate, as if you were sitting next to the instructor in their workspace or living room. Somehow at the moment the videographers are all guys (a lot of skateboarders, and others who make their own films on the weekend), who are very interested in the crafts they are filming. The pre-production is very thought out and the before the instructor arrives they are very organized how they are going to film. She cited one of the the filmers, Devlin, who has been knitting socks and is working on an animal, at the legs. He has been learning a lot from Norah Gaughan and was completely impressed when she came to film.
Marly spoke of her own experience, especially the video that introduced Marly to the Creativebug audience. (Her mom LOVES it!) TODAY they are releasing the second episode in the Shawl Workshop. And there will be another video NEXT week, the third in the series so STAY TUNED! Ursula mentioned the popularity of Marly’s videos, like the Southwestern Throw, which is currently at the top of the list in YouTube with Creativebug.
~AS A GIFT to all listeners and fans of Marly Bird, Creativebug is give a FREE MONTH to try out Creativebug! Use the codeword YARNTHING at www.creativebug.com
If you missed hearing this live, it is still available where it aired originally as an archived episode: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/yarnthing/2015/11/03/ceo-of-creativebug-ursula-morgan or in iTunes.