Jessica Meyrowitz wore a scarf around her neck.
But not just any scarf. It was made using oversize yarn that was plush, colorful — and too downy for a typical neck wrap.
When asked about her unique accessory, she proudly said, “It’s a…Yummy,” followed by an ear-to-ear smile.
Meyrowitz, a Chappaqua mother of two boys, founded It’s a…Yummy, a fine yarn and hand-knitted accessories company, with the goal of creating feel-good products. Her collection — which has been featured on “The Today Show” — includes wearable items like hats, belts, scarves and wraps, as well as home décor (and comfort) pieces like baby blankets, throw blankets and pillows. Every item is handmade by local women — who are trained by Meyrowitz herself — using 100 percent, extra large, Merino wool yarn that’s spun exclusively for her brand.
“I wanted it to not only be visually appealing, but I wanted it to feel yummy,” Meyrowitz says. “I wanted there to be an adorability and uniqueness.”
In addition to these products, Meyrowitz sells knitting needles, yarn and a knitting kit for those looking to learn the practice of mindful knitting. She also hosts workshops throughout the year, along with private, at-home parties for both the novice and expert knitter.
“Knitting in and of itself is mindful and meditative,” she says. “And for the new knitter, it’s very easy to learn how to knit with large needles and large yarn, and it goes by very quickly.”
Because, after all, Meyrowitz’s company was inspired by her own desire to learn, which was bolstered by a go-getter attitude and a beaming smile.
“You’re never too old or too young or in between to reinvent yourself,” she says.
AN UNEXPECTED START
Meyrowitz simply wished to explore her creative side — and create a throw blanket for her living room.
So, she took a pottery class at Chappaqua Arts Center, along with a four-week knitting class at Katonah Yoga in Bedford Hills, led by instructor Diane Gershen. As part of the knitting class, Meyrowitz and the other attendees were asked to brainstorm a project they wished to complete. After browsing the web, Meyrowitz stumbled upon extreme knitting, a growing trend in the knitting world.
“Extreme knitting is knitting that is done with large needles and oversized yarn,” she says. “I came across the idea and was hooked.”
After creating throw blankets that friends and family have enjoyed, she decided to pursue it as a business in 2016.
“You never know where something is going to take you. Just follow your instincts,” Meyrowitz says. “I never would have thought that this is what I’d be doing. I was just looking to create a throw for my family room.”
Prior to founding her company, Meyrowitz owned an advertising agency in Washington, D.C., and earlier, worked as an actress. She believes that her prior careers prepared her for this endeavor.
“There’s a continuous thread with what I’ve done, but it’s changed shape completely over time,” she says.
Acting led to advertising performing arts groups, which in turn has provided her with the knowledge of branding and marketing. Still, she felt compelled to learn everything about the knitting business. She attended sheep shearing throughout the Hudson Valley to understand the material, visited several area trade shows and taught herself how to use social media to grow the business.
Besides creating a quality product, she wanted the concept of mindfulness to flow throughout her business. So, she has kept the production process local and hired fellow working mothers to help with the company. There are six moms that work on the knitting projects, four that focus on selling and one mom that helps with bookkeeping and financial reconciliations.
“And then there’s me,” Meyrowitz says.
FOOD FOR THE SOUL
Since the company was founded, it has grown from three products to an entire collection, with yarn available in 30 colors. And recently, Meyrowitz began hosting knitting parties to help her customers relax, meditate and focus on a task they enjoy.
“There’s the mindfulness aspect, where I bring people in and we talk about being aware of your surroundings and touching the yarn, and taking cleansing breaths, and getting ready to do a practice that is mindful,” she says.
There are three types of knitters, she explains. There’s the process knitter, the person who simply loves the act of knitting and understands its health benefits. There’s the project knitter, who loves the tangible pieces she’s created. Then, there’s the knitter who enjoys both the process and the project. Luckily, her workshops contain all three types.
“If you’re a process knitter, you’re going to love the process,” Meyrowitz says. “It’s very mindful and relaxing. If you’re a project knitter, you’re going to walk out of there with something that you’ve created. And if you like both, well, you’ve hit a home run, because in an hour you’ve got the scarf, you’ve done the process and it’s really satisfying.”
Meyrowitz offers a scarf knitting kit, with three more in the works for the near future, which include a larger scarf, baby blanket and throw blanket kits. And, for the coming fall, she plans to add new products and colorations to the existing palette.
“Every single product that I put out, every single color that I put out, is something that I truly love,” she says.
Meyrowitz will lead an Extreme Knitting Workshop March 13 at DayDreamer Studio in Cross River. For more, visit itsayummy.com.