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I can and I will with Needcraft handmade lampshade making kits!

Lampshade maker turned TV presenter, Sam Sterken tells us about her journey from crafting to presenting!

Our fab new team member Sam Sterken showed the world at large how to use our Needcraft handmade lampshade making kits live on Hochanda TV a few weeks ago! Watch her next on 10th December and read on to find out what the experience was like for her.

handmade lampshade

It’s interesting how something can have an impact on you and if I say that I’m working with Needcraft demonstrating their brilliant lampshades making kits on Hochanda TV, because of the The Great British Bake Off, you’d be right to be confused!

With this year’s Great British Bake Off winner Nadiya’s ‘I can and I will’ speech still ringing in my ears from the night before, I saw a tweet from Needcraft, looking for a handmade lampshade maker who wanted to be on TV. Surely I could do that? I had a tiny bit of TV experience – we’re talking all of 15 minutes from a couple of slots on BBC Breakfast three years ago. Enough to apply? Why not!

I’m also luckily a huge fan of Needcraft lampshade making kits and I’ve been using them as the basis for the lampshade making course I run at Ministry of Craft in Manchester, for a few years. I’d also met the Needcraft team at a Craft Trade show earlier in the year and I’d been struck by what a friendly bunch they were and how passionate they are about their products. I was thrilled when I got the job, if not a little nervous!

handmade lampshade

Before the shows I was well primed by my partner in crime, David Little, Needcraft’s Director, on what to expect as he’d also done a couple of the live shows himself. It also helped that I met all of the Hochanda team, for screen test a week before (another super friendly bunch!) and given some hints and tips on what to do and not to do.

The two days prior to the show I spent a lot of time making lampshades and talking to my kitchen window, pretending to demo to camera. It didn’t seem like two minutes before I was at the studio have a quick meeting with the production team on what were going to do and how we were going to do it, half and hour before the show. There is no denying I was nervous, but my ‘rescue remedy’ came in the form of Matt, the presenter for the first show. He made me feel calm, collected and very at home and gave me a huge thumbs up just before he went live to camera – a true professional!

The hour passed like ten minutes, but when you’re talking about something you really enjoy doing, time does fly and before I knew it, it was over. One down, just four more shows to go the following day, but with a well deserved G&T, a phone review from my husband and a good nights sleep in between.

handmade lampshade

Crazy days like this don’t happen very often when you’re a mum of two, but I have to admit the roller coaster ride that is television has me hooked. I can’t wait to do it all again on 10th December!

I’m never gonna put boundaries on myself ever again. I’m never gonna say I can’t do it. I’m never gonna say ‘maybe’. I’m never gonna say, ‘I don’t think I can.

I can and I will

Nadiya Hussain- winner of The Great British Bake Off

Watch the incredibly moving speech of Great British Bake Off winner, Nadiya Hussain here

And find a lovely piece written by Nadiya about her experience here

Did you see Sam? What did you think?

What has inspired you?

what gems of wisdom have helped to get you where you are today?

Tell us in the comments box below or on our social media. 🙂

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