Jay and Jill Vanek went sailing near Williamsburg with light winds that picked up in the afternoon. Jill works in PR communications for QVC Television, where trends have changed over the years.

“Jewelry used to be the big seller but the price of gold got too high. Today electronics and kitchen are the top categories.” She wouldn’t disclose viewership numbers except to say that a two-hour show Saturday morning and two hours on Sunday evening are the top spots, grossing $20 million a week.

She’s helped host many celebrities. “Princess Sarah Ferguson was wonderful and gracious as she rolled out her fashion line.” The Kardashian sisters and Ellen DeGeneres, not so much. “The Muppets were fun, but very secretive. You’re not allowed to see the box they come in, they have to be portrayed as living beings.”

The biggest seller? “You won’t believe it: Scrub Daddy. It’s a big sponge cleaner with a scratch pad. We’ve sold millions of them, and they run $30 for two in a package.”

Her biggest competitor: “HSN, Home Shopping Network. We’re bigger. But we’re owned by the same company, Liberty Media. Amazon is a competitor too since you can buy anything there.”

Her motto: “Money isn’t everything, but try me.”

More from the Captain...

Danger Sails

Danger Sails

A couple from metro Richmond returned for another sail and brought friends with them. Donna Ludwig recalled the last time she and Buddy went sailing. “It was with my brother-in-law on his sailboat, slightly smaller than this, say 27 feet. It was a day like today and we had a

Full Story >

Arts Quarter Sails

Award-winning actor Glenn Close was the star of the dedication of the William & Mary Arts Quarter, a massive reconfiguration of Phi Beta Kappa Hall into a half dozen buildings interconnected. Before several hundred alumni and guests in the new PBK, Close expressed heartfelt gratitude for their support, tearing up

Full Story >
Hover Sail

Hover Sail

Three couples from Georgia, South Carolina and Maryland converged on a cool, crisp Fall day to pursue the History Cruise. But first we sailed under the Coleman Bridge to view a Navy submarine in port. Doug Boyd reluctantly took the helm, having once sailed S-28s in Annapolis. He talked of

Full Story >