Jessica Meyrowitz is a knitter and designer that creates handmade products using an oversized, 100 percent merino wool yarn. Her company, It’s a…Yummy, is a provider of Yummy Yarn and hand knit products including throws, baby blankets, pillows, wraps, hats, scarves and belts as well as DIY knitting kits. The products, the yarn and the DIY kits are on her website itsayummy.com. Additionally, Jessica teaches Mindful Knitting Workshops — a hot new trend in the Wellness Community — at destination spas and resorts around the country. Her company has been featured on various national television and print media including the Today Show, Hallmark’s Home & Family, American Spa Magazine, Serendipity Magazine and WAG Magazine.
We have a real treat for you today: a self-made founder who's bringing a fun, creative new way to help you cultivate mindfulness in our hectic world. While Jessica may not have originally come up with the idea behind mindful knitting herself, she is artfully building a thriving business that has already brought this relaxing new activity to hundreds of men and women all over the U.S. Read on for her story, business advice, and personal wellness rituals.
Sophie: You have such a unique path! Could you share your story from acting all the way through to entrepreneurship?
JM: I was born in New Jersey and went to college in Boston. My first career was as an actress in NYC. My credits ranged from television to off-Broadway to national commercials. After relocating to Maryland, I began an advertising sales career, eventually moving into radio sales management. I left radio to open my own advertising agency in Washington, DC, where all of my agency clients were performing arts groups. The agency's roster included Washington National Opera, Washington National Cathedral, and Washington Performing Arts Society. Years later, my husband and I and our two children moved back to NY. This is when I began the process of creating It’s a... Yummy. The new company launched October 2016 after months of perfecting the product patterns, packaging and the overall company aesthetic.
Sophie: How did your prior careers prepare you to found your own company selling unique knits?
JM: The common thread through all of my careers is sales mixed with a heavy dose of creativity. These were the exact qualities necessary to begin selling my Yummy Throws, Baby Blankets, Pillows, Hats, Scarves, Wraps, Belts and DIY Knitting Kits. I am so lucky that this venture allows me to use my strengths that have always played a role in my careers.
Sophie: How did you know it was time to start your business, It’s a…. Yummy?
JM: I was taught to knit by my yoga teacher. She was giving a four-week course on the basics of knitting while emphasizing the meditative qualities and mindfulness that knitting provides. To say that I loved it is an understatement. I enjoyed the process of knitting as well as the products that I was making with my newly acquired knitting skills. One day, during an internet search looking for knitting ideas, I came across the idea of extreme knitting and I was hooked. Extreme knitting is knitting that is done with large needles and oversized yarn. I began creating throws for family and friends using larger needles and my Yummy oversized, 100 percent merino wool yarn. The response to my blankets was so positive that I decided to turn my passion into a business and started It’s a…Yummy.
Sophie: What has been key to your success?
JM: An unwavering belief that I am providing my customers with something fun, creative, mindful and hip!
Sophie: It must have been so exciting being featured on The Today Show and in WAG MAGAZINE! How did both of these come about? Do you have any advice for readers who would like to be featured on shows or in magazines?
JM: I am so grateful and appreciative of all the attention It’s a…Yummy has received. It has been so satisfying to have It’s a…Yummy embraced by both the public and the press. I wish I had the recipe to share to recreate each opportunity, but being featured in the press is a combination of hard work, persistence, timing and luck.
Sophie: I love that you’ve used the business to employ fellow working moms in the area! Why is this important to you?
JM: I am so happy that I have been able to employ local moms. Not only do I get to work with my neighbors and friends, I get to share with them with a mindful, meditative and creative experience — knitting!
Sophie: Meditative knitting workshops are such a fun idea! How did you come across this?
JM: The Yummy Mindful Knitting Workshops emerged from a need and became what they are today. The need was to teach local moms how to knit to help me produce my Yummy Throws, Baby Blankets, Pillows, Hats, Scarves, Wraps and Belts. I had not expected to love teaching as much as I did. It was so satisfying to teach a skill that was so beloved by the person being taught. I decided to start teaching knitting to — not only my knitters — but to anyone who wanted to learn. From there the workshops grew and became the Yummy Mindful Knitting Workshops of today – a skill and a scarf in an hour!!
Sophie: How did you get spas and resorts to hire you to lead these workshops for their clients?
JM: The Yummy Mindful Knitting Workshops have been so well-received. The word spread quickly about the benefits of my workshops — which include mindfulness, creativity, meditation, healthy living and community — exactly the qualities inherent with a spa experience. Combining spa-ing and knitting is such a natural collaboration!!
Sophie: Where should our readers go to find one in their area or start one if there aren’t any yet?
JM: Please go to itsayummy.com and contact me if you are interested in bringing Yummy Mindful Knitting to your location.
Sophie: Last, but not least, what are your personal health and wellness rituals?
JM: I knit everyday. Knitting is inherently mindful and meditative. I enhance those benefits by taking a cleansing breath before I begin, then I close my eyes and count to 5. Once I open my eyes, I look around at my surroundings then I begin to knit. This helps to center me, focus my mind and calm my heart rate. These tools bring even more wellness and mindfulness into my knitting practice and everyday life. Additionally, I make sure to get some sort of physical exercise outdoors each day — biking or hiking or running or walking. Also, I am very mindful about the types of foods I consume — lots of fruits and vegetables and plenty of water. Wellness — to me — is making your emotional, mental and physical being a priority, which I try to do!
About the author:
Anne-Sophie Bousset ("Sophie" to English-speaking friends), is a freelance marketer and community builder. She helps companies build their brand, attract clients, and build a community around their product. Her favorite things include sunshine, yoga, reading, and lazy Sundays in with her cat, Phelps. She can be found on Twitter @Sophie_Bousset.