Meet Ashley Adams, mover, shaker, baker and maker. As the host of Maker Nation, she travels across the country meeting fellow makers and artists. She not only explores each maker’s unique skill set and backstory, but learns the craft herself to add to the tools in what she calls her “craft closet.”
However, Adams has a story of her own.
She’s not new to crafting. In fact, her love of crafting began in Girl Scouts. Raised by a single mother, Adams was taught to be resourceful. She uses what she has readily available to make something new — whether it’s a boring old pot made beautiful with a little paint or an old thrifted top turned into an elegant dress. Rather than indulging in the latest trends, she tries to see if she can reconstruct it better or make it cheaper.
“I’d rip things apart and sew them together. I was always trying new crafts,” she said of her childhood.
Adams doesn’t have a designated medium; instead, she prefers to explore different craft projects and obsess over them until she perfects the craft.
She spent an entire year learning how to make the perfect royal icing. For the last year and a half, she’s been teaching herself how to sew and make her own clothes.
Have you ever heard of quilt coats? A quick search on Google will turn up results for coats that cost hundreds of dollars. Adams has taught herself how to make them for not just herself, but for loved ones. She pulls old quilts apart, sews them into coats, and carefully cleans the fabric to renew it to its former glory and create enviable pieces. She’s doing the same with Christmas stockings for the holidays.
“When I was obsessed with it [quilt coats], it hadn’t caught on yet. People thought it was weird and now it’s at Target.”
As we talk on the phone, Adams’ smile is evident in her voice. You simultaneously want to be her best friend and ask her if it would be okay to send your measurements over to commission a unique quilt coat of your own.
Adams’ creativity is infused into every aspect of her life. Not only is she a crafter, she’s an avid baker. Just take one look at her Instagram account and you’ll see how she turns baked goods into art and her son’s bento boxes into the envy of his preschool.
More than just quilts
Adams always dreamed of becoming a TV personality as a child. She moved to Los Angeles, where she put herself through school and began taking acting classes. That’s where she was taught that, in order to master your craft, you have to do it every day. She couldn’t necessarily act every day, but she could use her creativity. As a self-taught baker, Adams learned at a young age that baking and crafting went hand in hand.
She met her business partner, Jimmy Wong, in LA, and together they created Feast of Fiction — which celebrates its tenth anniversary this year. The innovative YouTube cooking show, hosted by Adams and Wong, teaches you how to make all the fantastical and fictional foods that you’ve only ever dreamed of tasting.
Have you ever wanted to try Scooby Snacks or Bob’s Burgers? They’ve got a recipe for both of them! The channel has over 300 videos and in 2020, they published a cookbook, The Feast of Fiction Kitchen. The recipes are timeless for self-proclaimed nerds and sci-fi buffs.
For Adams, there’s something creative happening every day, whether she’s hunting for treasure at a thrift store or filming an episode of Maker Nation. In fact, she’s sitting in the Goodwill parking lot as we talk, about to pop in to pick up books for the Advent calendar she’s making for her son. They read one holiday book together each night through the season.
“It is truly remarkable to get to do something that you love as a job,” she said. “Not everybody gets to experience that.”
You can stream episodes of Very Local’s Maker Nation on Amazon Fire TV and Roku now.