La Ronge teen hopes his passion for sewing clothes will spark creativity in others
Former high school football player embraced sewing in school, has launched Sparked Apparel
Wyatt Miller doesn't mind when people tease him for his love of sewing. The 19-year-old from La Ronge, Sask., is proud of his passion.
"When people do call me a kokum or a grandma, because I sew all the time, I just take it and laugh," said Miller, who is a member of the Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation. "People enjoy their grandmas."
Now he has launched a brand he hopes inspires others to chase their dreams.
The former star high-school football player discovered sewing in his Grade 9 home-economics class at Churchill Community High School in La Ronge.
His teacher Connie Haugen said Wyatt was a natural who was fun and creative, and had a great attitude.
"Well he was at least eager and excited to try sewing, where a lot of people come in with a different mindset where it's 'I don't think sewing is me,'" said Haugen. "I'm so proud of him."
WATCH| Miller talks about his journey in this video produced by Brandon White in collaboration with CBC's Creator Network:
Miller said he realized he was serious about sewing in December 2020. That's when his mother asked him what he wanted for Christmas. He thought about new clothes, but then looked at the clothes he had and decided to alter them himself instead, to make them fit better.
He asked for a sewing machine for Christmas and used it so much it broke just a couple months later. He saved money and soon bought a better one.
He's also planning to buy more equipment, including an embroidery machine and a screen printing machine.
"Coming out of high school, I actually did want to try out for football and continue the football journey, but ever since I found sewing, it's kind of taken over," Miller said.
Miller started posting some of his creations on social media and people really liked them. He decided to call his brand Sparked Apparel, because of the way people reacted to his work.
"Sparked is exactly how people look into my eyes. They get a little spark in their eyes and they look happy," said Miller.
"When I am sewing I actually, I kind of go into my own little zone," said Miller, "I'm hoping to spark anything in someone. They're seeing a young person doing their dreams.… maybe it will spark someone to push their dreams and want to go hard on their dreams."
Miller said he doesn't care if people judge him for going from a big, strong football player to a seamster. He said he's proud of what he's done and excited for the journey ahead. He's moving to Saskatoon, where he hopes to sign a lease on a space so he can keep making clothes and take his brand to the next level.
"If you would have told me now, when I was in high school getting taught how to sew, that I would be sewing, I would have laughed at you," Miller said. "But now, after high school, you kind of grow up a little bit and realize that everyone does their own thing, everyone finds their own journey in life, and so far this is mine."
CBC's Creator Network is looking for emerging content creators to make short videos (5 minutes and under) for an 18 to 30-year-old audience. Content creators can be writers, filmmakers, vloggers, photographers, journalists, artists, animators, foodies or anyone else with a compelling idea and visual plan for bright and bold content.