Nancy Zieman titled her autobiography, Seams Unlikely, because most people would not predict a farm girl with permanent Bell’s palsy would become an internationally known television personality. After reading her story, however, I am not at all surprised by her success.
When Nancy was a year and a half, she developed a palsy on the right side of her face. Ninety-four percent of people who develop Bell’s palsy completely recover. Nancy was part of the six percent who have a permanent palsy.
In addition to her lopsided facial features, Nancy had problems with her knees, and complications from surgeries. Overcoming each of her hardships took a huge amount of perseverance and willingness to come out of her shell.
During college, after an especially painful time in the hospital, Nancy began to view herself differently. She writes, “Bell’s palsy, patched knees, whatever the problem — they are only a facade, a matter of packaging. I came to realize that those things are not who I am.”
After that realization, there was no stopping Nancy Zieman.
She travelled all over America teaching sewing, with her favorite hard-to-find notions in her suitcase. After a few years, she realized the women she was teaching wanted access to her favorite sewing tools. As she traveled, she recorded all of her students names and addresses on index cards. When she decided to create her first catalog (really just a flyer), she typed thousands of her students names onto mailing labels using a manual typewriter.
By the time someone suggested Nancy create a television show, she was so accustomed to disregarding her fear and self-consciousness that she turned her left side to the camera and showed the world what a wonderful teacher she is.
My favorite tip from Nancy is, “know your customer.” Nancy segments her audience and makes sure she meets the needs of every segment. Here is how she does it:
Nadine — creates gifts for others.
Amy — an embroiderer, likes to embellish gifts, garments and decor
Natalie — a garment sewist
Connie — a quilter
Yvonne — a die-hard sewist who enjoys all aspects of sewing, quilting and embroidery
Nancy, her husband, Rich, her parents, and Rich’s parents poured their hearts and souls into Nancy’s Notions. They worked hard and they worked smart to make Nancy’s Notions and Sewing with Nancy a success.
If you want to read this inspiring book, Nancy is giving away 20 copies. Click here to go to Nancy's book launch blog post. Leave a comment on the page to enter the give-away contest.
Be sure to visit the other stops on the blog tour!
February 4 Nancy Zieman http://www.nancyzieman.com/blog/blog-tour/seams-unlikely-book/
February 5 Eileen Roche http://dzgns.com/blog/
February 5 Pat Sloan http://patsloan.typepad.com/
February 6 Melissa Stramel http://melissaslilaclane.blogspot.com
February 6 The Long Ladies http://www.mariemadelinestudio.typepad.com/
February 6 Tori Thompson http://totallystitchin.net
February 7 Amy Barickman http://www.indygojunction.com/blog/
February 7 Melissa Mora http://mellysews.com
February 8 Shari Butler http://www.doohikeydesignstudio.com/blog/
February 8 Vicki Christensen http://www.sewinspiredblog.com/
February 9 Carolina Moore http://alwaysexpectmoore.com
February 9 Kate Mclvor https://theconfidentstitch.squarespace.com
February 10 Amy Ellis http://amyscreativeside.com/
February 10 Melissa Mortenson http://www.polkadotchair.com
February 11 Ilene Miller http://happyvalleyprimitives.blogspot.com/
February 11 Liz Hicks http://blogerisms.blogspot.com/
February 11 Rachael Pannepacker http://www.jaybirdquilts.com/
February 12 Bill Gardner http://www.quiltersnewsletter.com/blogs/insideqn/
February 12 Elizabeth Evans http://www.simplesimonandco.com
February 13 Amy Webb http://www.amylouwhosews.com/
February 13 Lindsay Wilkes http://thecottagehome.blogspot.com
February 14 Gertie Hirsch http://www.blogforbettersewing.com
February 14 Veronica Philips http://cloverusa.wordpress.com/
February 15 Jenny Gabriel http://www.sewvacoutletblog.com
February 15 Laura Wasilowski http://artfabrik.blogspot.com/
February 16 Frieda Anderson http://friestyle.blogspot.com/
February 16 Rita Farro http://ritassewfun.blogspot.com
February 17 Cindy Cloward http://www.rileyblakedesigns.com/blog/
February 17 Joan Hawley http://www.lazygirldesigns.com/blog/
February 17 Patty Young http://modkidboutique.blogspot.com
February 18 Nancy Zieman http://www.nancyzieman.com/blog/