068 Abby Glassenberg, Maker, Sewer & Co-Founder of Craft Industry Alliance | Power Purls Podcast


In this episode, Kara welcomes Abby Glassenberg, sewing pattern designer, craft book author, teacher, and writer. On her blog, WhileSheNaps.com, she writes about the sewing industry, running a creative business, and the online culture of craft.  Abby has been blogging since 2005 and shares the value of a blogging, and how hers is at the heart of her crafting business. She’s also the co-founder of the Craft Industry Alliance, a trade association for crafting professionals.

Abby has an undergraduate degree in history from Johns Hopkins and a master’s degree in education from Harvard. She taught middle school social studies in Mississippi through Teach For America, and 6th grade in the Newton Public Schools before becoming a textile artist. She’s the author of three sewing books. Abby lives in Wellesley, Massachusetts with her husband and three daughters.

“Pursue your interests as though it was your job – every day, on a regular schedule, thoroughly and professionally. That’s how you build a job doing what you love.”


-Abby Glassenberg

Episode highlights:

  • When she became a mom, Abby knew she wanted to figure out how to work from home
  • Abby discovered blogging in 2004 at it’s still the heart of her business
  • Abby shares how she’s always been intrigued in making and sewing and figured out how to combine this on her blog 
  • Back in 2005, Abby crafted while her daughter Roxanne was napping, and came up with the name While She Naps for her blog
  • Abby soon entered the world of Etsy with her stuffed animals, which is what Abby is best known for
  • Abby discusses how the blogging world has changed since she started
  • Blogging tools are easier to use today then they were back in the early days, but harder to get noticed
  • How she founded Craft Industry Alliance with Kristin Link of Sew Mama Sew
  • The Alliance offers a digital journal twice per month with articles written by professional writers 
  • Abby explains Coffee Klatch – a monthly virtual meeting offered to members of the Alliance
  • The future of Craft Industry Alliance includes live events for education and networking
  • Why trade shows are essential especially for new designers starting out
  • Importance of doing gut checks about your business and showing up every day
  • The secret to Abby’s success is inbox zero because when a new idea or offer arrives, she can jump on it!

Mentioned in this episode:

Sew Mama Sew 

Craft Industry Alliance – CraftIndustryAlliance.org

The National NeedleArts Association – TNNA.org

Association for Creative Industries (formerly Craft Hobby Association) – CraftAndHobby.org

Learn more about Abby and WhileSheNaps.com:

Website: whileshenaps.com

Facebook: Facebook.com/AbbyGlassenbergDesign

Instagram: Instagram.com/AbbyGlassenberg



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