It happened by chance. One day, Oejong Kim found a crochet hook in her suitcase. Intrigued by her discovery, she went to Barnes & Noble, bought a book, and taught herself how to crochet and knit. She soon fell in love with knitting and all of its creative possibilities. She had just taken a vacation from her corporate job and, after discovering her new hobby, never went back.
Some might consider knitting to be a dying art form. How many of us have the time or the patience to really sit down, spin fibers, and knit? It’s as though knitting has skipped a generation—we’ve lost touch with (or were never exposed to) one of the most fundamental survival techniques of human existence—making our own clothes.
Anyone who is interested in learning to knit can go to Loopy Mango and purchase a DIY kit to learn how to make hats, scarves, blankets, sweaters, and more.
Anna Pulvermakher, a former software test engineer at Microsoft and Expedia, met Oejong at a fabric painting workshop at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City.
Anna was immediately drawn into and captivated by Oejong’s work and felt so passionate that she wanted to share it with the world. Growing up, Anna was taught how to knit by her grandmother. Meeting Oejong inspired her to pick up her needles again. They both decided to join together and bring knitting to the next level by creating Loopy Mango—a DIY knitwear brand.
Prior to opening their Loopy Mango flagship store in Beacon, Anna and Oejong created and maintained the original Loopy Mango store in Manhattan. There they also retailed vintage and antique furniture, home decor, and gifts, in addition to their handmade yarns. After 10 years, they lost the lease and closed the store, moving the business online. During a trip upstate, the two friends explored Beacon and fell in love with it. There seemed to be a creative energy stirring that was much more inviting than the loud, busy city life. “In Beacon, it’s more relaxed.
It makes you feel like you want to sit there and knit,” says Anna. In August 2017, they found a storefront location, signed a lease, and were set to open by end of the year. Within one week of signing the lease, Hurricane Irma was headed for Florida, directly in line with their yarn mill in Key Largo. Ultimately, the damages ended up being minimal, and they were able to recover.
The new store officially opened in December 2017. With a very clean and simple interior that places focus on the product itself, Loopy Mango sells handmade knitted clothing, DIY kits, yarn, knitting tools, and more. “Explosions of colors” abound everywhere with “soft yarn you don’t want to let go
of,” explains Anna. Their signature Big Loop yarn is handcrafted in small batches by artisans—never mass-produced. It is made from 100% American merino wool. Their other yarns are made in a family-owned mill in Italy.
“It becomes an addiction, but it’s a good addiction. It’s a ball of yarn. You can take it with you everywhere you go. You can make things and enjoy them, or give them as gifts,” says Anna.
The business has expanded greatly by word of mouth and through social media (Instagram and Facebook). People come into their store and feel happy—they feel inspired to start a creative project.
The store attracts all ages, from 10 year-olds to people in their 70s. Hand crafts, including knitting, fell out of favor when most textile manufacturing moved overseas and fast fashion took over. Anna and Oejong want to make knitting popular again and accessible to everyone.
Their designs are very classic and appeal to men, women, and children. There’s something for everyone in this store. Even Martha Stewart has a Loopy Mango sweater, as well as Game of Thrones actress Rose Leslie, who was featured in CBS Watch! magazine wearing a Loopy Mango sweater.
Anna and Oejong find great joy in sharing their love of knitting with others—they both feel it provides people with a hobby that can make them happy. They want to show people how to knit their own garments that are modern and coordinate with their everyday lives and lifestyles.
Anyone who is interested in learning to knit can go to Loopy Mango and purchase a DIY kit to learn how to make hats, scarves, blankets, sweaters, and more. Loopy Mango hosts beginner-friendly knitting classes and workshops. Video tutorials can also be found on their website.
“It’s a ball of yarn. You can take it with you everywhere you go. You can make things and enjoy them, or give them as gifts.”–Anna Pulvermakher, co-owner
Whether you are looking for a new hobby, clothing you won’t find anywhere else, or just creative inspiration, Loopy Mango offers a delightful and unique experience. The store will be open every day from 11am to 7pm starting April 1st.
500 Main Street, Beacon
facebook.com/loopymango | @loopymango
See the video at VISITvortex.com.