A name like Loopy Mango is going to get you noticed (Co-founder Anna Pulvermakher says she and her partner, Waejong Kim, are ‘totally loopy’, a nod to the fun they have making their products), and noticed they were at the last Playtime New York show, where Pirouette blog singled them out for the “One to Watch” award. The DIY knit-based brand was started in 2004 as a retail concept after Kim and Pulvermakher met in a fabric painting workshop at FIT. Eventually, the shop moved to Soho and later closed, but the brand was re-launched as a wholesale business. The chunky knits for women, men and now kids have captured the hearts, fashion sense and inner crafter in their customers. “All of our knitwear is handmade in the USA”, says Pulvermakher. “We are both immigrants and it’s very important for us to make products in America. We create jobs and have full control of quality”, she adds.
Knitting is the perfect outlet to relax or to be crafty yet practical (in a luxurious way). “It’s great stress reliever because it’s so repetitive, and it really helps you take your mind off of things”, Pulvermaker says, adding, “It’s also good for making time pass in a productive way when traveling, watching TV or relaxing on the beach”. Beginners, don’t worry, Loopy Mango even produces videos online to help novice knitters to get into their groove.
Products range from pre-made sweaters, scarves and hats to kits to make the same and what stands out with this brand is the high-quality yarns as well as the modern, fun packaging. “Our Big Loop yarn is made at our mill here in Key Largo, Florida”, Pulvermakher says, noting that the Merino No. 5 yarn is made at a family owned mill in Italy. Making one’s own yarn is a time-consuming process, and it’s very hands-on. “Just to spin one skein of Big Loop takes almost an hour”, she notes. “Our artisans take great care to make sure every ball of yarn meets our high-quality standards”.
The duo’s retail background definitely came into play when they enlisted the artwork of New York illustrator Jon Contino to create a whimsical packaging concept for the DIY kids line. The packaging features a traveling sheep, who is seen on the boxes in rockets, hot air balloons and sail boats. The DIY gift sets are easily stackable and there is an open window to the product so customers can feel the quality of the yarn and really see the colors well.
Loopy Mango’s best seller is the Mini Scarf DIY Box. “It’s easy enough even for a child (age 7+)”, Pulvermakher asserts. As we all go into travel season (spring break!, summer vacation!), Loopy Mango might just be the season’s must-have for planes, trains and automobiles (and rocket ships!), with a goal to complete the wooly fashion just in time for the fall foliage.