It was like Hollywood in Hollywood on October 5 when Amber Kemp-Gerstel, a finalist from NBC’s summer prime time hit show “Making It,” visited Nativity School’s junior high Art and Do It Yourself class to share her passion for crafting and provide her expertise as students work on DIY class projects.
Kemp-Gerstel joined other talented “makers” from across the country on the six-episode competition series co-hosted by Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman. Each week, competitors created two handmade projects—a “Faster Craft” and a “Master Craft”. Kemp-Gerstel, who is from Miami, was one of three finalists showcased in the last episode.
The visit to Nativity School was prompted by an invitation from teacher Lynne Moore, who taught the finalist’s husband in the ‘90s, when he was a middle school student in Naples, FL.
“I saw her on the show and I reached out,” Moore explained. “She was happy to do it, and to spend time with girls who love crafting, who she called ‘her people’.”
The 19 students, all seventh and eighth graders, each made decoupaged serving plates in fall colors. Kemp-Gerstel, a big celebrity among crafters and “makers”, autographed each of the pieces.
Prior to becoming a full-time crafter, Kemp-Gerstel was a child psychologist and inspired by her desire to spend more time with her son, Marcus, she recreated herself to build a career around her love of crafting. Moore felt that her message of creativity and self-reinvention was an important one for the students, and also noted that she shared a lot about the process of auditioning for and being a part of the television series.
“She told the girls how she made a decision that she would focus on the positive feedback and not worry about decisions of judges as she made it through the different levels of the show,” said Moore. “The students loved the story of her time in LA. They learned so much. She is a beautiful person inside and out.”
“I loved Amber’s enthusiasm and her rapport with the students,” said Maureen Atkins, a math teacher and DIY elective instructor. “She was approachable and creative.”
Kemp-Gerstel’s work and blog https://damasklove.com has been featured by JoAnn Fabrics, Oriental Trading Company, Home Depot, Pop Sugar, Creative Bug, Martha Stewart, BuzzFeed, Refinery 29, Apartment Therapy, The Container Store, Minted, Toyota, Behr Paint, HGTV Magazine, and Food Network Magazine. She has appeared on Hallmark’s Home & Family; Real Simple Magazine (Facebook Live); Home Shopping Network; Lifetime Television; and morning shows throughout the United States.
“Amber Kemp-Gerstel’s enthusiasm is contagious,” said Nativity School principal Elena Ortiz, “Our students and faculty were so excited to have her visit and share her love of design and crafting,”
For more information on the electives program at Nativity School, email Moore at [email protected] or call her at 954 987 3300 x221. To learn more about Amber Kemp-Gerstel, visit her blog at https://damasklove.com.