Today we’d like to introduce you to Irina Taytslin.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Irina. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
In 1979 I emigrated from the former USSR, where I studied arts and worked at a movie studio as a set decorator. I loved designing garments and knitting was one of my passionate hobbies. Upon arriving in the USA, I was fortunate to start working almost right away in a yarn shop and continued working at and consulting to a number of yarn shops over the next 13 or so years. Having learned the various aspects of a retail business, in 1993 I opened my own design studio and yarn shop – Knits & Pieces. In addition to working full time during the day, I have been teaching knitting classes at Adult Education Centers in the evenings. During the last 30+ years, I contracted on a freelance basis with yarn companies and knitting magazines, which published my knitwear designs in their publications.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Starting and running a business, teaching, designing knitwear, raising 2 boys, and giving sufficient attention to my family was a challenge. However, I loved my work and that made it all possible and very enjoyable.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
Knits & Pieces is a “happy place”. People come to the studio not only to knit and learn, but also in a way to balance their lives, relax, and socialize with other fellow knitters. Unlike many other similar business, at Knits & Pieces I design unique garments, do exact measuring , and provide detailed personalized knitting instructions for each customer, ensuring a perfect fit every time. It is such a good feeling, watching the reaction and a smile on a customer’s face when they put on their creation and see how perfectly it fits and how great they look in it.
I also help customers assemble the garment pieces into the final product, do invisible mending, select buttons and other accessories, and consult on clothing coordination. As a business, I am very proud of its longevity and success. Knits & Pieces has a large group of loyal followers and an ever growing number of new customers.
What were you like growing up?
I grew up in the USSR, Leningrad (Currently St. Petersburg) – a beautiful city packed with historical and cultural treasures, I always loved arts, drawing, painting, designing clothes, and knitting. Most of my friends were musicians and artists. Naturally, this art-infused background contributed to forming my interests and business over the last 30+ years.
- Tuesday evening knitting workshops, conducted from 7:00 to 9:00, are offered at $20/person
- Address: 8 Hale St., Newton Upper Falls, MA 02464 (Knits & Pieces will move in the fall of this year to a new location in the same neighborhood)
- Website: www.knitsandpieces.com
- Phone: 617-969-8879
- Email: email@example.com
- Facebook: knits &pieces