Are You Following These Black Creatives and Makers?

FEB 20, 2019 updated Jun 4, 2021

If you’ve been following the fun we’ve been having over on Instagram, then you may have gotten to know our good friend Tabitha Sewer, the incredibly talented creative behind the sewing blog Tabitha Sewer (yes, Sewer really is her last name!) From small business owners to a proud father sewing for his daughter, Tabitha is sharing six black makers and creatives that have caught her eye and will hopefully do the same for you!

Featured designs: holli_zolinger | thewellingtonboots | caja_design

Tabitha: If you know me, you know how important the topic of diversity is, hence why I created the Instagram page @sewingbloggers which celebrates just that. I truly believe that everyone brings a different perspective that you can learn from in whatever creative genre you are apart of.

February is Black History Month and every year, Spoonflower celebrates by highlighting some really inspiring black creatives. This year, they graciously gave me the opportunity to choose six creatives that inspire me daily. Keep reading to see who I chose and how these black artists and makers have contributed to the creative community and inspired not only myself but so many others. My hope is that you will follow and support their work after you read this post!

Emijaa Jaaemil

Emijaa Jaaemil is the incredible headwear designer behind Emijaa Jaaemil Co, a wife, and mom of two who works full time. I love that she still manages to find the time to work hard towards her dream of creating headwear. She specializes in berets, head wraps, and turbans and she carefully chooses the most beautiful fabric to showcase her designs.

She has even caught the eye of a few celebrities who also enjoy her take on handcrafted headwear. And did I mention, she was invited to showcase her work this year during NYFW! I’m so excited for her and I cannot wait to see what is next for Emijaa.

Shundra Davis

Shundra is the peace to my wild and crazy world of design. She is someone that many people underestimate because her point of view on creativity is one to be admired. Shundra is an awesome seamstress and creative pattern designer. Yes, she creates her own patterns!

I love that she knows exactly who she is and isn’t swayed by all the many trends that pop up year after year. I would describe her style as sporty chic. As a mom who too has kids that play sports, I absolutely admire that she creates functional pieces that take her from the corporate world to the soccer field. She is definitely one to watch within the sewing community.

Amber Kemp-Gerstel

So, if you do not know Amber of the blog Damask Love, where in the world have you been?! Amber was a star on the recent NBC hit show Making It! YES! Cool huh?! I have gotten to know Amber through Instagram. She is a very humble person and doesn’t allow her number of followers to deter her from connecting with so many of her followers.

She is a color-obsessed DIYer that always has the most incredible, most adorable, easy-to-follow projects on her website. I personally have attempted quite a few of her projects over the years and I must say, I’ve had the best time recreating them. If you love fun projects, bright colors, and fun prints, Amber is your go-to gal.

Nicole Patterson

To be perfectly honest, I don’t even know where to start with this lovely woman. Nicole is an event planner & designer, a wife and mom to three beautiful kids. Her career as an event planner is so befitting to her personality because you can tell that she is a very detail-oriented person.

As soon as you pop onto her website you’ll notice the carefully thought-out layouts, images and fonts that represent her as a creative. I love that her images show her in action; carefully tweaking the bouquets, making sure that ribbon is tied perfectly, and setting the cupcake in its perfect spot. I can appreciate people like her because I get the importance of how the little things make such a huge impact in the bigger picture.

Michael Gardner

Michael Gardner of Daddy Dressed Me has a special place in my heart. Michael is a self-taught sewer that began sewing as a way to bond with his daughter who is very much in love with fashion. He creates the most beautiful garments for his daughter and she confidently models the clothing he makes.

I love that he is instilling confidence and self-love in his daughter. I mean, how can you not fall in love with these two?!

Warlene René

Warlene René is designer, stylist, self-proclaimed thrift queen and mom of four who works full time. I am in awe of her creative eye. She has a very editorial approach to the looks she creates, as well as the photos she takes. To me, she is a breath of fresh air and I would love to introduce her to a wider audience who has yet to discover her beauty and what she has to offer.



About the Guest Blogger

Tabitha Sewer is a sewing influencer who has mastered the balancing act of becoming a successful blogger, busy mom of two and a college professor teaching business courses to undergrad students. Tabitha learned to sew after serving 10.5 years in the US Air Force. She is well known for using bright colors, bold prints, and fun textural fabric.

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  • Thank you for sharing with us the artistic themes of these talented designers and sewist. This article has given me great inspiration, it’s never to late to follow your dreams.
    Highlighting the talents of African Americans for the month of February was a wonderful idea of keeping it real.

  • NanetteKapi

    Actually, I do. I have found this designer, https://www.spoonflower.com/profiles/nalo_hopkinson
    on your website by perusing various designs. Her designs reminded me of my mother’s dresses in the late 1950’s that caught my eye. Then upon reading her bio I discover she is from my local city! I truly appreciate learning of others Black designers on your website.

  • Darlena Slate

    These makers are a great inspiration to the maker community! Thank you, Tabitha, for spotlighting them and thank you, Spoonflower, for giving space for inclusion!

  • ‘Black makers’ ?! What?! How on earth does the colour of someone’s skin reflect on their creative ability ?
    So white makers next month…yellow the month after?! If that is wrong ,then so is ‘black makers’
    By singling out specific skin hues to feature surely that is utterly racist!
    Assess people on what they do ,not on what their skin colour is !!

    • While it might seem uncommon for us to partner with one of our community members in highlighting makers of a particular race, we assure you it is with the full spirit of honoring the long standing tradition of celebrating and acknowledging black history for the entire month of February in the United States. You can learn more about it here. We are truly delighted with the response we have had so far in highlighting makers that may have historically been overlooked. – Meredith from Spoonflower

  • Kristy Taylor

    Thank you Spoonflower!!!
    I’m a black sewer, quilter, weaver, hand-spinner, knitter. I spent 20 years in soft craft wholesale and retail market. The knitting community has recently had to face the lack of diversity (and sometimes cruel behavior) within the knitting industry and the inability to change. I’m so proud of this post! Keep up the good work.

  • Brenda J Moore

    I’ve read through each and was so tickled by Daddy Dressed Mes’ , Michael Gardner; he is certainly an inspiration for his daughter and others’.
    The other Designers are all creating beautiful, fabrics, ideas…Thank-you for sharing ! 😊

  • Wendy Taylor-Loftus

    Wow. This is fantastic. 💐
    Thank you for Spoonflower for showcasing black sewists/creatives.
    I know they’re out there, however, you rarely hear about them.

    I love sewing and want to design my own fabrics at some point. It’s encouraging to see this post.

  • Dianne Robertson

    THANK YOU FOR THE INFORMATION. IT IS REFRESHING TO SEE NEW FACES OF TALENT RATHER THAN TO HEAR MORE ABOUT THE USUAL SUSPECTS! I WILL KEEP MY EYES ON THESE LADIES AND GENTLEMAN.

  • Catherine Carr

    Thanks for sharing these terrific people with the wider world! It is a challenge to find time to sew even when you don’t have a full-time job – they manage to go full bore even when they are earning a living!
    I am especially glad to see a dad in there! Hope lots of other guys are inspired by his work – and the special creative bond he is establishing with his daughter. I can’t wait to see what they are doing as a team once she’s a teenager! Party on!!😍

  • Ashley M. Gardner

    This is absolutely awesome. I’m beyond proud to see MY BROTHER, my flesh and blood skills and love for his child highlighted in such a positive way. I can’t get enough of them two🥰. Keep pushing yourself Bro, prom will be here in no time😎👍🏽👏🏽. I’m excited to learn more about the other artist. Seeing others creations, help keep me motivated & creating things myself .

  • Fantastic.. wow this is awesome, love all the selections what amazing talent, inspirational people.

  • I love every single one of these individuals and love the mark they are leaving in the creative realm! Thank you Tabitha for highlighting all od these amazing creators!

  • Wow! I’m proud to know…that there are “black artists” designers out there other than myself! These gals are obviously very brave…to follow their passion, and express their creativity!

  • These are excellent resources. Tabitha Sewer provides so much support and inspiration. She is a breath of fresh air to the maker community as she ALWAYS shares information, techniques and spotlights other makers to inspire us. Thank you Spoonflower for creating a space for diversity in a world that doesn’t see our differences as valuable.

  • This post rocks!! I absolutely love how you are highlighting positive creatives in the black community. Michael Gardner and his daughter Ava are absolutely adorbs! I enjoyed reading how everyone began their sewing journey.

  • Awesome, thanks Tabitha! I already follow Amber – because well we share the best name, but excited to see what these other ladies (and Micheal) are up to!

  • Roslyn Gardner

    Michael Gardner is extremely talented and creative!!! He makes awesome clothes for his daughter Ava and he’s an even better father!!!

  • Wow, this is so great! Thanks for featuring women (and a guy), of color in a pretty much white venue. Helps bring our creative communities together. Love the powerful creativity here! And who can resist Michael Gardner and his fashion forward adorable daughter…

  • Thanks for this email! Great to see people of color recognized. Not always easy to find them… Great job!!!