Since Parks and Recreation came to an end, fans have impatiently waited for Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman to reunite on television. Little did we know that Ron Swanson’s love of woodworking and Leslie Knope’s awesome scrapbooking skills would re-emerge on a new reality competition about crafting called Making It.
As well as the appeal of the two hilarious actors, Dallasites will have a contestant to root for: Jemma Olson.
A 60-year-old mother of eight and grandmother of 16, Olson grew up surrounded by crafting. Living on a farm in Idaho, her mother was always quilting and her father welded and repaired machinery. It was inevitable that she would become the heartfelt maker that she is today.
Olson, who lives in Rockwall, discovered the crafting show from an over-50 Facebook group for women who blog. The group administrator shared a post about a TV show looking for “crafty grandmas” to apply. She submitted a video of herself making a wreath from seashells she found in Puerto Rico, and before she knew it, Olson was being flown out to Los Angeles by NBC.
“The best part of being on the show was being welcomed by Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman,” says Olson. “They hugged us, fed us, and made us laugh. It was the most inspiring experience of my 60 years.”
But with every competition, there are also challenges. “As I was making crafts, I would look up and there would be a camera right on my hand or in my face,” Olson says. “I had never been on TV before, so a big challenge was keeping your wits about you.”
The pressure is definitely on. Each episode consists of a timed challenge and a themed challenge, which are then judged by Etsy’s Dayna Isom Johnson and Barneys New York’s Simon Doonan.
In Olson’s opinion, Making It extends far beyond just making crafts. “A goal of the show is to get people up and moving again,” says Olson. “We’ve become disconnected as a society. There are a lot of heartfelt conversations, laughs and relationships that can develop when crafting.”
Since the show, Olson’s opened up her own Etsy shop called JemmasHome, where she sells everything from owl-embroidered bags to vases. She’s also constantly crafting with her grandkids — their favorite thing to make is slime.
Although results of the show cannot be revealed, Olson calls Making It an “inspiring, fun, family-friendly, feel good show.”
Olson makes her television debut when Making It premieres at 9 pm July 31 on NBC.