Young influencer learns classic craft, makes big impression

In an age where influencers set many of the trends in society, some choose to have a social media presence about an activity from the past.

In the case of one 13-year-old whose family’s roots are in Stanly, she has risen to become an influencer at a very young age for an old tradition: quilting.

Thirteen-year-old Genesis Hall, the daughter of former West Stanly High School students Brandi and Brandon Hall, is an example of influencers in the craft world.

Genesis has become respected in the world of quilting, including garnering attention from trade publications like Quilt Folk.

Genesis has been quilting for more than a year, she said, after taking sewing classes in Charlotte.

She “wanted to learn to make different things,” she said. “I thought classes were a good idea, since I didn’t know anyone who could teach me.”

Making items using quality fabrics, she said, is important to her. She sells her items online and at festivals, including last year’s Badin Winterfest.

Her social media platforms have given her the opportunity for people in the craft industry to reach out to her.

Regarding her daughter’s efforts online, Brandi said her daughter had been selected by the Travelers Rest Farmers Market as a youth entrepreneur. Italian thread company Aurifil has also selected Genesis as a feature artisan on the company’s website.

Brandi said her daughter is teaching her how to quilt, and is part of a quilting guild where many older people serve as mentors to her.

“(They) are pretty impressed she’s spending her time being creative,” Brandi said. “I found it absolutely fantastic and I’m going to support her all the way.”

Encouragement from the quilting community has had the biggest impact on Genesis’ crafting journey, Brandi said.

Despite events like quilt shows, she added, the community is not competitive and often helps one another in a supportive, uplifting way.

Brandi grew up around sports in Stanly and was an athlete, but she said as a child “the arts were not presented as much to me. They weren’t as available.

“For me as a mom, it’s important to have more of the arts available for my children.”

Genesis’ future in quilting, Brandi said, would be to continue to enter quilt shows. She recently placed first in the North Carolina Mountain State Fair show.

“Social media inspired her to enter shows,” Brandi said. One of her quilts was accepted into QuiltCon, a national event for quilters.

Genesis’ influence in quilting continues to grow. FreeSpirt Fabrics, a supplier of fabric, has invited her for a tour of its Charlotte facilities.

Also, the podcast Love To Sew will feature Genesis in an upcoming edition on teen quilters.

Still another company, Juki Junkies, which produces high-end sewing machines, has reached out to her to be an ambassador for its products.

Genesis said she also wants to learn more garment making skills and free motion quilting.