Listen as we count down the 10 most listened-to podcasts of the past twelve months. Our eclectic assortment of guests includes Sew Powerful Regional Coordinators, Industry Influencers and others who just happen to have a passion for Sew Powerful. You will hear snippets from the podcasts to remind you why these ten episodes garnered so much attention. You might even want to go back and listen again... or for the first time. We also share a big announcement about what is coming in the very near future for the Sew Powerful Podcast.
2021 Top 10 Episodes of the Sew Powerful Podcast
IN THIS EPISODE
PEP Squad, Indiana, 4-H, creative impulses, Amy Brooks, Unseen Arms, Spokane, WA, TELAS, The East Los Angeles Stitchers, Gloria Molina, school ball, prom, women in architecture, Rose Bowl parade, journey with cancer, UK, Sew Powerful
We are Sew Powerful, How a Global Community of Seamstresses Is Changing Zambia One Girl at A Time, 2nd edition. By Jason G. Miles and Cinnamon, © 2016 & 2020 Jason G. Miles and Cinnamon, all rights reserved.
ABOUT THE SEW POWERFUL PODCAST
The Sew Powerful Podcast shines a light on the people behind the mission to keep girls in school and create purposeful products in Zambia. Join us every week for a new 30-minute episode to meet new people, hear inspiring stories, and learn how you can join us in this global movement. Whether you sew or not, make purses or not, you will find something to enjoy in every episode. Listen today.
Host: Jan Cancila
Guests: Kathleen Broadfoot, Mary Ann Gubala, Amy Brooks, Lynne Johnson, Gloria Molina, Ginny Buckley, Mary Inchauste, Laura Ostdiek, Shirley Utz, Sandy Simm
Jan Cancila, Host 00:04
Welcome to the Sew Powerful podcast. This is your host, Jan Cancila. You know the sound of my sewing machine means it's time for another episode. So, let's get started.
I want you to start off this episode with a big announcement about the Sew Powerful Podcast. There is a group of five Sew Powerful volunteers working diligently to transcribe all of our past episodes, called the PEP Squad. And PEP stands for Podcast Episode Project. These five ladies have taken the transcription done by the artificial intelligence software and edited into what our speakers actually said. The PEP Squad is hard at work on this project, and we hope to be finished very soon. The result will be that each past and all future episodes will have its own web page with an audio recording, a written summary, a list of references, searchable keywords, and then a transcription which identifies the speakers and puts timestamps on each section. This makes our podcasts of more interest to those who like to read along with the conversation or do further research on some of the topics mentioned. This will also encourage our listeners to share more episodes with friends outside of the Sew Powerful family and give them the ability to pinpoint a specific conversation. So in the next few weeks as this new look is launched on the sewpowerful.org website, be sure to thank the members of the of the POP Squad for their hard work. The members are all Sew Powerful Regional Coordinators: Laura Ostdiek, Torey Elwell, Chris McMullen, Betty Johnson, and Sandy Simm. Thank you, PEP Squad.
Now, speaking of Regional Coordinators, there is a 40% chance that the speakers you're about to hear wear the Regional Coordinator's hat. And let me tell you why I say that. It has been just over a year since the Sew Powerful podcast honored the top 10 most listened to episodes. That tells me it's time to do it again. So starting with the episodes that follow that first top 10 list in early October 2020, I ranked the remaining episodes based on the number of times they were listened to. The result is an eclectic assortment of guests. Most of the episodes feature purse makers whose work you know because it is often pictured in the Sew Powerful Purse Project group on Facebook. A couple of our new top 10 episodes feature guests who have supported Sew Powerful in more like a service project or short-term purse making effort. Most of the guests in the top 10 are based in the United States but two guests come to us from across the pond. And to finish up this statistical analysis, four of the top 10 episodes features Sew Powerful Regional Coordinators. See, I told you that there'd be a connection. So let's get started.
Let's start with the episode that comes in at number 10. Our newest Regional Coordinator, Kathleen Broadfoot, serving the state of Indiana, was featured in an episode called 'Get to know Kathleen Broadfoot'. Kathleen's effervescent personality comes through in this snippet, but you will hear it all the way through her entire podcast. In it, she shares her background and love of purse making for Sew Powerful. Let's listen to a short teaser for this episode.
Kathleen Broadfoot, Guest 04:02
I actually have a degree in textiles and clothing. I always really enjoyed sewing. I started sewing for 4-H. I was a 10 year 4-H-er. I did the dress reviews and was in clothing and learned a lot there. My mother's a quilter. Both of my grandmother's sewed, my aunts did a lot of quilting. In fact, a couple of years ago, the music teacher at the school where my kids went, she would do a lot of costumes and she would write her own programs because she just really enjoyed that. So she would hear it and I would see it and made a lot of costumes. And I guess I had an aunt who used to do that. But somebody had remarked about me doing costumes. They said Oh, your aunt, Laura, used to make costumes too. So I didn't know that.
The ninth most popular episode features Mary Ann Gubala, who is our Western Massachusetts Regional Coordinator. Mary Ann likes to use the phrase stitching with mission and so that's the name of her episode. Mary Ann talks about how she got started sewing and then found Sew Powerful while she was a college student. She was so busy, but she still prioritized Sew Powerful because she felt the call to service. Listen to this short clip and as Mary Ann explains her philosophy.
Mary Ann Gubala, Guest 05:22
You know, obviously God is an incredible creator, and you know some for made in His image, it's not surprising that we have creative impulses. And you know, those creative impulses take many different forms for many different people. For some people, the things that come to mind when you think of creativity, like drawing or painting or music. For other people, it's, you know, other forms like teaching or engineering or even parenting. And for me, it takes many forms too. You know, use it at work, my hobbies, I use it with sewing and one way for me to be creative is through, you know, sewing and crafting. And whatever form of creativity somebody has, whatever skills or talents or resources that they have, I believe that the important thing is that they use those to make and do things that glorify God, that help other people, that show people that you care, that make a difference or that matter.
Coming in at number eight is our episode that features a truly inspirational woman named Amy Brooks. You may have seen Amy's YouTube channel, her TV interviews or read one of her books. What is unique about Amy is that she was born with no arms and no legs. But that really has not stopped her from doing almost anything. Her hobby is sewing, and she has a custom purse making business... purses she sews herself. When she heard about Sew Powerful, she felt compelled to contribute a purse. Amy is such a positive, friendly person, you feel you're chatting with a lifelong acquaintance. And a bit of really joyful news, Amy was married two weekends ago and has moved to Mississippi leaving her adoptive parents, siblings, and the only home she has ever known. All of us at Sew Powerful send our best wishes to the newlyweds. Here is a 90-second clip from 'Amy Brooks, A Most Unconventional Life'.
Amy Brooks, Guest 07:27
Yeah, so I mean, you said you see my outer struggles. To me, honestly, they're not struggles. I was born like I was born like this, so I don't know any different. Those those I see who have come home from battle who have lost their limbs, and they've had them once before, those are the true heroes because they had something, and they lost something that they had, and they have to relearn and start a new life completely different. I was born like this. So, I don't know any different. And yes, I do things differently. And they may be hard, but it's all I know. And like I said, I would say that my struggles are more mentally and inwardly. And like I just said, I didn't realize how much I struggle with the fact that I'm, I'm worthy. And even though I tell everybody else that they are, you know, and I've been hurt like any other person, by people in my life and or health struggles, you know, things like that. Those are times when I have been at my lowest and I've really had to say, 'Do I really trust you, God? Or don't I?' You know, because people think that I trust Him so much because of my physical disabilities. But the real trust comes in when I don't know what the answer or the outcome is going to be with my health or with a relationship. You know.
A prolific purse maker recorded this popular episode that comes in at number seven. A resident of Spokane, Washington, Lynne Johnson sends a lot of purses to the Sew Powerful headquarters. You will immediately recognize Lynne's purses because they're so colorful, and the fabric combinations are so charming. She is inspired by our Facebook group, but at the same time, we know Lynne's work inspires us. Such a delightful conversation makes you want to meet Lynne in person. This clip comes from the episode called 'Lynne Johnson, Purse Maker and Sew Much More'. Here is Lynne Johnson.
Lynne Johnson, Guest 09:40
Maybe people think that they're not good enough or and it's true. We see a lot of really spectacular beautiful purses posted through our group, which to me is the most inspiring thing because a lot of my ideas come from what I see other people do. But things don't all have to be super fancy or super intricate. I mean, the very simplest purse still fulfills the same function and has the same potential to change a young girl's life. You know, everybody starts somewhere, and beautiful fabric alone is enough to do it. And the other thing I keep in mind, the first year that I submitted purses in 2018, the following year 2019, when Jason and Cinnamon were on site in Africa, giving out the purses, I was able to capture a picture of one of my purses in the arms of one of the girls. I printed it up and I have it right in front of my sewing machine. It's the only picture I have of one of my purses in the arms of a girl. But that right there to me, it's like that makes the whole thing worthwhile. So even if it's not your purse, look at the videos on the website and see how excited they are. See what the purse and the contents are going to do to change their life. To me, that's that's the most inspiring thing I could ever have to encourage me to sew.
The episode that came in at number six was sort of an accident. At one of our Facebook Go-Live events, Regional Coordinator, Torey Elwell noticed that a group called TELAS had sent in 126 purses from Los Angeles. Being the pro-active Regional Coordinator that she is, Toery started corresponding with the group and finally recommended they be a guest on the podcast. TELAS stands for The East Los Angeles Stitchers. And they are a very modern, 65-member quilting guild focused on bringing the Latino culture to life through fabric arts and especially quilting. When they heard about Sew Powerful, they adopted us as one of their very many service projects and the result was this huge box of purses that Torey recognized on the Go-Live. But then many of their members have continued to send in purses individually. Listen to this clip, as TELAS founder, Gloria Molina explains the group in the episode called 'The East Los Angeles Stitchers, with Gloria Molina, and the TELAS'.
Gloria Molina, Guest 12:26
Well, the organization is called TELAS, which is an acronym for The East Los Angeles Stitchers. And basically, we're a group of Latinas. Some of us have been quilting for a number of years, and some of us are very new to it. But the whole mission of the organization was to start introducing the Latino culture into the world of quilting. We've been doing Latino themed quilts, and we try and do workshops and teach each other our skill set and build that. But most of the time around Latino themes. I think we have celebrations, traditions, history, that is really important. Plus, you know, the colors and everything and we offer. So we're very proud. We're about 65 people strong. We meet once a month. Now we're, of course meeting virtually through Zoom. But we're an exciting group of people. We enjoy making quilts and of course, we have a philanthropy that we carry out every year.
Why don't we take a quick break here and when we come back, we will resume our countdown with the episode that comes in at position number five.
Have you gotten the second edition of the We are Sew Powerful book? This updated version of the original bestseller, 4.9 out of five stars by the way, is again authored by Sew Powerful co-founders, Jason and Cinnamon Miles. It is available on Amazon in paperback or for your Kindle reader. This latest edition is packed full of moving stories about how Sew Powerful came to be, the volunteers who make it happen, and the way this small movement has grown into a global mission to break the cycle of poverty through education and the dignity of work. And don't forget, when you place your order if you use smile.amazon.com and designate Sew Powerful as your preferred charity, Amazon will donate a portion of your purchase right back to Sew Powerful. And now back to our podcast.
Welcome back. We have been counting down the 10 most popular podcasts of the past 12 months. Let's recap. Number 10 was 'Get to Know Kathleen Broadfoot'. Number nine was 'Stitching with a Mission featuring Mary Ann Gubala'. Number eight was 'Amy Brooks, A Most Unconventional Life'. Number seven was 'Lynne Johnson, Purse Maker and Sew Much More'. And number six was 'The East Los Angeles Stitchers with Gloria Molina, and the TELAS'. So, let's resume our countdown and see who came in at number five.
For our fifth most listened to episode we travel virtually just to clarify here we travel to the UK and found the witty and charming Ginny Buckley. In the episode, Ginny shares her many hobbies with us where you begin to notice a pattern of love and concern for animals. But Ginny also loves to sew and happened upon an ad for Sew Powerful when she was searching for something else entirely. In this short clip, Ginny reveals why Sew Powerful tugs at her heart. Listen to 'Changing a Girl's Life, One purse at a Time with Ginney Buckley'.
Ginny Buckley, Guest 16:01
I was looking on the internet back in 2017. Just thinking to myself, it would be nice if I could make a ball gown. While my daughter's school ball which is like your prom. I was kidding myself really, because I knew that there was no way she was going to go in a dress that I'd made. But I just liked the idea. And as I was looking at various patterns, one of the adverts that always pops up on the side of the screen was for a charity called Sew Powerful, which I've never heard of. But I looked at it and I thought oh, that looks quite interesting, you know. Looked a bit further and it just really, really spoke to me. I think I said in my story, I don't know if it's because I'm a woman. I don't know if it's because I've got three daughters myself. But I just thought what a terrible, terrible situation for these girls to be in. And it just really, really moved me. So, I downloaded a pattern. And I made a bag. And I thought actually that's really nice. I really liked that, and I enjoyed making it and that's something that I can do. And looking back I realized that it was God calling me and saying I've given you this talent, and this is why I've given it to you.
Coming in at number four is the episode with architect, mom, and Sew Powerful purse maker, Mary Inchauste. Mary talks about how living in a family with nine siblings shaped her interests, especially in sewing. In her adult years, Mary faced challenges herself as a single mom. But Mary turned those challenges into opportunities to shine as one of the very few women architects in a field that until very recently was dominated by men. The aspect of providing an education to the schoolgirls and a trade to the moms in Zambia really struck a chord with Mary and she has been making purses for Sew Powerful ever since. Listen to this snippet of 'Meet Mary Inchauste, Architect, Mom and Purse Maker'.
Mary Inchauste, Guest 18:10
I'm the oldest of nine. There are nine siblings in 11 years with one set of twins. So as the oldest, you know, you're kind of the second mom and involved a lot. And I just love sewing. I used to sneak into my mother's sewing room, get in big trouble for messing with her sewing machine. Finally, when I was like six or seven, she just gave up. And by the time I was eight, I was sewing my own clothes. And she was pretty busy. So, I was pretty unintended kind of self-taught until 4-H. And I took a lot of sewing lessons at the Singer sewing store. And really, I think that those that sewing experience was very, very helpful because I had to be a self-starter and there wasn't a lot of supervising in what I was doing and so I had to read the patterns and if it didn't work out, I couldn't give up I'd have to really work through it. But I always loved it and still do and still sew a lot.
Thank you for listening thus far. We've made it to number three. In our third most listened to podcast episode, Nebraska Regional Coordinator, Laura Ostdiek, and also a member of the PEP Squad, by the way, talks in this clip about her long history with the Rose Bowl parade in Pasadena, California. In the actual podcast, we get to know Laura, her background, and what drew her to Sew Powerful. But I have to say building floats for the Rose Bowl parade probably tops the list of unusual hobbies we have encountered. Listen to Laura in 'Meet Regional Coordinator, Laura Ostdiek'.
Laura Ostdiek, Guest 19:50
Well, close to 20, close to 30 years ago I worked for a company that sponsored a float and so they would give us time during that last week in December to work on the floats. And I liked it so much. I just...
Now, is this when you worked lived in LA?
Laura Ostdiek 20:06
Oh, okay. All right. Okay, so keep going, I'm sorry to interrupt.
Laura Ostdiek 20:11
So I just keep going back. I kept in touch with the right people. And I've been working with two particular crew chiefs for several years now. And so whatever float they're assigned to, I follow along with them.
Laura Ostdiek 20:24
Yeah. And what is it that you do when you work on a float?
Laura Ostdiek 20:28
Mostly put the final touches on, the decorations. It's not just flowers. It can be seeds and leaves and rice and any natural material that gives the color and the texture that they're looking for on the float.
You are kidding. They I look at those floats all the time and think now they couldn't have done that this morning because they wouldn't have had time. But yet the flowers all look so fresh. You have revealed a big secret here.
It is probably no surprise to you that our Facebook Regional Coordinator Shirley Utz would be featured in our top 10. 'My Journey with Cancer with Shirley Utz' has a huge number of listens and ranks number two this year. Honestly, I was a little apprehensive when I approached Shirley about discussing this topic on the podcast. But she and I knew that purse makers everywhere, feel like they know Shirley, want to know how she is doing. Many of us rely on Shirley's advice, coaching and I must say diplomatic persuasion when something goes awry. Her matter-of-fact approach to her health is emblematic of her calm demeanor and deep faith. And you can't suppress her sense of humor, regardless of the topic. Listen, as Shirley talks about her purse angels in this clip.
At the time of your diagnosis, you had a whole lot of purses pre-cut, right?
Shirley Utz, Guest 22:00
I did, I did. And some beautiful person who prefers to remain anonymous in the Facebook group wanted to sew up the purses that I had cut out, which just blew me away, that somebody would do that. And also submit them under my name, which is even better. I mean, you know as far as how altruistic this particular person is. And then another person volunteered to write notes, so it was a win win for me. I have some that are still partially cut out. I don't have things to go with them. But I am so grateful to my Sew Powerful purse fairies, I call them.
Here's the news you have been waiting for. The number one spot goes to 'Great Britain for Sew Powerful with Sandy Simm'. Sandy is a Regional Coordinator in the UK and talks about how at the lowest point in her life, she found Sew Powerful and how it has meant everything to her. Sandy is an enthusiastic supporter and really brought Sew Powerful to the attention of women who sew in the UK. Listen as Sandy explains how Sew Powerful entered her life.
About the time that you had to sell your business and you lost your mom.
Sandy Simm, Guest 23:29
You were feeling at your lowest point, you came across Sew Powerful, right?
Sandy Simm 23:34
Yes, absolutely. I was wondering, what am I gonna do now. I can't see my life without sewing, without doing something. I'm not sure how, I think I was just browsing on the internet, and I came across this ad that said, 'Can you sew? Could you make a purse for us?' And of course, it was Sew Powerful, and there's not really been any looking back since then. I was emailing Jason and saying I could do this, and I can do that. I'll do all the admin, everything in UK and whatever. After we had one or two emails going backwards and forwards and I've got all the patterns and just started to make them.
I hope you have enjoyed this year's top 10 countdown. If you have not listened to these most popular episodes, or if it's just been a while, simply go to the SewPowerful.org website and look for podcasts under the Resources menu. You will find all of our podcast episodes there and coming soon, they will include transcripts too. And please listen every week for a new Sew Powerful story as we talk to people who shine a light on our ministry. Thank you for listening. Now go out and have a Sew Powerful day.
ABOUT THE HOST
Jan Cancila has been making purses for Sew Powerful since 2014. She serves the organization as Director, Global Volunteerism, the Area Manager for Shows and Events-Mid/South USA and as the Houston Regional Coordinator. She was a public speaking major at Hanover College and holds an MBA from Our Lady of the Lake University. Jan had a 25-year career with The Coca-Cola Company before owning and operating a linen and party rental business in Houston. She is married with two grown sons, a lovely daughter-in-law and two remarkable granddaughters. Jan’s published work includes more than 100 online articles for Examiner.com. Reach Jan with comments or suggestions at email@example.com.