How Izzy Knits Came to Be
Izzy Knits began as an idea in early 2012. At the time, I was searching for my “next act”. I was done mothering young kids and serving on the PTA and wanted to do something creative — something I was passionate about —and build it from scratch…whatever “it” was. High on my list of ideas was owning and operating a local yarn store. But at the same time, I started feeling a tug on my heart for missions, particularly in Haiti.
In September 2012, Dave and I finally made the trip to Haiti and met a local pastor who changed our lives forever. Over the next six years, Haiti became the focus of our attention as we took on the volunteer leadership of the Haiti Ministry of Mariners Church while the idea for Izzy Knits took a back seat. (Learn more about our work in Haiti.)
In 2018, the idea for Izzy Knits was rekindled when I realized that Dave and I would be "empty nesters" in just two years and that the long-anticipated "next act" would be fully upon me. Yikes! Within just a matter of months, Izzy Knits was launched.
What Kind of Yarn Store is Izzy Knits?
Izzy Knits is a virtual local yarn shop…with a very personal touch.
To start, my intention was to open a brick-and-mortar local yarn shop (LYS). But when Dave and I toured some commercial spaces, the painful reality of rents in Orange County, CA hit like a punch in the gut. Sadly, a traditional LYS was totally out of the question.
It was my father who suggested I consider a virtual LYS…and I'm so glad he did. Our shop was already up and running well before Covid-19 threatened the livelihoods of yarn store owners coast to coast, forcing them to venture online as well.
Though we don't have a physical location, we still purchase and house our own inventory. To our customers, we’re just a phone call or an email away. Recently, we added "order pick up" at our Irvine home for our local customers by appointment. In everything we do, we try to make our online store as personal as possible, and we are constantly adapting and enhancing our services.
What's the Plan for the Future?
Because I bought our original inventory with the idea of opening a brick-and-mortar location, we currently have inventory that doesn't make much business sense in the world of online retail. As a result, I intend to transition our inventory over the course of 2020-2021 from general merchandise to more Izzy Knits-branded products, self-published patterns, and customized kits, with a focus on knitting.
Why Aren't There More Photos of Izzy?
As for Izzy, who inspired our shop's name and logo, we miss her greatly! She passed away at 13 years of age just three months after we opened the shop in 2018. She was my knitting companion and showered our family with unconditional love, and we miss her greatly.
Until 2020, Kona took on Izzy's role of knitting companion and then model, as I began designing my first published pattern — the I'm a Fan! Dog Sweater. When Kona passed at the ripe-old-age of 18, she likely kicked her heals on her way to heaven, knowing she was free of her modeling gig! Unlike Izzy, she wasn't a cuddler and didn't like sweaters…but she is still very dearly missed.