Love Your LYS: Purl Soho
New York City’s Purl Soho is co-owned by sisters Joelle Hoverson and Jennifer Hoverson Jahnke, and good friend Page Marchese Norman. Editors and stylists in past lifetimes, they bring to Purl Soho a passion for pure, natural fibers and exceptional design.
What is it like to make it your life’s work to curate craft products and bring them to a passionate audience?
It’s amazing! Everything we do starts with a love for beautiful materials and a deep respect for needlecraft traditions. It is a daily challenge and reward to bring our own voice to the history of crafting, and we love nothing more than when we’re an hour into a discussion on which color yellow to use or which way to bind a quilt. We also appreciate daily that our job brings us into relationship with kindred and passionate spirits—both our employees and our customers!
How have the Internet and social media driven or impacted your work?
They have completely transformed it. Because we sell materials, share free patterns and tutorials, post inspiring photos, and editorialize about our processes and our inspirations, all online, people who may never step foot in New York City know exactly who we are. It’s a wonderful feeling to be a part of a global craft community!
What does it mean to be a yarn-shop owner in the digital age?
It means working hard! We try to be curators that our customers trust. Unlike a big retailer who may sell everything under the sun, our customers know that products from Purl Soho are special and that they’re chosen with love. The digital age has also pushed us in the direction of selling exclusive Purl Soho brand products such as yarn, fabric, kits, and patterns. Creating our own products is a wonderful way for us to express our unique point of view and to have on hand the materials we’ve always dreamed of.
What do you love most about the industry?
We love our customers and our community. We get so much inspiration from both: fresh ideas, new techniques, and creative energy. We can’t imagine life without them!
What do you want your customers to take away from your work?
We want to spark true joy in people’s lives. We believe that starting with beautiful natural materials brings a level of respect to whatever you’re making, and that needle-crafts are as elevated an artistic endeavor as anything else. For us, and for many of our customers, true joy comes from this communion with exquisite materials, an appreciation of needlecraft’s history, and most fundamentally, creative self-expression.
Makers Gonna Make