MiVT: Vermont Knitting Company
Many of you may have taken to Netflix during the last few months. Well, two Burlington women are obsessed with Knitflix. Their Made in Vermont wares are also helping spread a little color and comfort during a bleak time.
Leslie Schwartz and Kelsey Conroy aren't just employee pals, they're business partners. The two met while working at the LUND Center in Burlington. Schwartz has been knitting since she was eight and eventually taught Conroy.
"The fastest of anyone I've ever seen," Schwartz said.
"I picked it up pretty quickly. We were always knitting together so I kind of decided, let's try and do something with this," Conroy said.
They formed the Vermont Kitting Company about five years ago, producing custom made wool blend winter accessories and baskets. "Basically, once we got home from work and do the evening routine and everything, the evenings and weekends are all about knitting," Schwartz said.
"You're definitely putting a lot of time into it, so to be able to see it in the store windows and stuff like that was a pretty cool thing," Conroy said.
The last few months haven't been so cool. But during a walk with her son while under the stay-at-home order, Schwartz noticed people putting rainbows in their windows. It inspired her to create her own colorful macrame version to brighten spirits. "For me, it kind of represents a sense of community and togetherness. Just feeling like you're a part of something even though you can't be together in person," she said.
Both women wanted to do their part to help another struggling small business during this time. That's why 15% of any item purchased at the Vermont Knitting Company will go towards the Perky Planet Coffee Shop in Burlington. Not just the rainbows, any item.
"When we saw a company that we love and support going through such a tough time after already having a tough year," Schwartz said.
"We just figured, whatever little thing we could do to help them, we'd like to," Conroy added.
"It still feels somewhat true to who we are," Conroy said.
Who they are, are two friends with a common thread, keeping others warm on the outside and on the inside, keeping our hearts warm as well.