Meet the Contestants of Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman's New Crafting Show Making It
Poehler compares the show to Project Runway and The Great British Baking Show
Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman are joining forces to host the summer’s most crafty competition show, Making It, and when you hear the shows that have inspired it, you’ll understand why we’re so excited about it.
“Making It is what I like to call a gentle competition series where we bring makers/creators/crafters/artists who work in wood, felt, paper and other materials all over the U.S. and compete to see who gets the title of Master Maker,” Poehler, 46, told PEOPLE exclusively. “In the vein of Great British Bake Off and Project Runway it’s all about celebrating the process of making things and how exciting and fulfilling it can be to make something with your hands.”
And when it comes to the mini Parks and Recreation reunion?
“I knew Nick was one of the most creative makers I know,” Poehler said. “I knew I wouldn’t be able to do it without him. Everyone at Parks, we’re always trying to find ways to work together and see each other because unfortunately the only times we get to see each other is when we’re working together. It’s a sneaky way.”
She added, “I’ve always been fascinated with the process of things being made and I think I represent the viewer who is new to the homemade world and wants to learn but is a bit intimidated by it,” said Poehler. “What’s so awesome about the show is for the person who builds beautiful things in their garage will feel be satisfied watching it. But also the person making a homemade card will feel like they’re part of it too.
Meet the eight contestants competing for the crown:
Joanna Gick, 37
A co-owner of J & J Design in Chandler, Arizona, the mother of two is an interior designer whose projects have been featured in HGTV magazine, Better Homes & Gardens, People, Wall Street Journal, Fit Pregnancy and more.
Gick has a wide variety of clientele from all over the country, but the project she is most proud of is her recent home renovation that has allowed her to showcase many one-of-a-kind pieces that she has created with her family.
Khiem Nguyen, 28
A craftsman from Austin, Texas, Nguyen is the owner of A&K Woodworking & Design and specializes in furniture and wood crafts.
Inspired by mid-century modern and Japanese design, his passion for crafting began with photography and led to him becoming an open major in art school so he could “get his hands into everything.”
Jemma Olson, 60
Olson, a grandmother of sixteen, comes from a generation of crafter that made things out of necessity first as opposed to beauty. Growing up in a small town in Idaho, the Texan learned to sew, weave, and farm from her family and neighbors at a young age.
Jeffery Rudell, 54
Because his father worked in a paper mill when Rudell was growing up, his background of working with cardboard, foil and tissue molded him into the creative paper props craftsman he is today. He creates for clients such as Tiffany & Company, Unilever, New York Botanical Gardens, and a wide range of print and online publications. He currently lives in New York with his husband and an enormous grey cat named Smokey.
Amber Kemp-Gerstel, 37
After leaving her career as a clinical psychologist, Kemp-Gerstel is a full-time lifestyle blogger from Miami, Florida. Though she grew up in a single-parent home which focused on the importance of higher education and traditional career path, Kemp-Gerstel followed her passion of crafting with the support of her husband and son.
Billy Kheel, 43
An artist and visiting art teacher in Los Angeles, Kheel’s focus of appliqué and felt is unique from other mediums in the competition and sets his work apart.
Nicole Sweeney, 31
With a background in dance and professional education in architecture, Sweeney has experience in reusing paper coffee filters to welding steel, but has found her true passion in working with wood.
Robert Mahar, 47
Mahar’s creativity developed from his childhood which was filled with library books and public television; he spent time perfecting classic 1970s craft kits like loom potholders and latch hook rugs. Now, an artist and designer who teaches imaginative do-it-yourself projects through online video tutorials and in-person workshops, Mahar designs a clever, craft driven gift collection including paint-by-number postcard kits for the Venice, CA based company Knock Knock.
Making It premieres July 31 at 10 p.m. ET on NBC.