Meet Pella, the Duo Responsible for Mobilizing Wool Nation. We Sat Down with Them in Toronto to Get the Scoop.
Bench / Category Art / Published: Feb-04-2022
Q:Can you tell us how Pella all started, how it came to be?
Kelly: Well, both of us were knitting as kids, and Petra reached out to me to make her a sweater one day and we worked on that together, it was a collaborative process. It was from then on that we realized that we connected creatively and we wanted to do something with that.
Petra: It was a spark. It’s almost as if we knew we had to make a business right after that. Using this childhood activity to make something great!
Q:Pella is now a new name that you started working under, how did that rebrand happen?
Petra: So, Pella is a new name, we have just recently rebranded. We just decided to change our name because we wanted it to include our own names, it’s actually Petra and Kelly combined to make Pella. Our first name was very temporary, and then we picked Pella and we knew it stuck.
Q:So how did you pick up/learn about knitting?
Kelly: Both of us learnt how to knit growing up. My mom, my aunt and my cousins all did it and I kinda learned then, and then I kinda got back into it as I grew up. It was something I could use my creative energy towards. I also just love fashion, so it was something that led me into that world.
Petra: I'm like the same story, knitted as a child and then in elementary school I got in trouble at school because I was knitting in class. Then over the past couple of years, slowly got back into it and we even learned more how to crochet because we were always just knitters, but yeah! Just fashion, we just love fashion and [knitting] is a very unique component of the fashion world.
Q:Can you tell us about your new upcoming collection?
Kelly: So yeah, our new winter collection, I mean, wool and yarn are just meant for the cold weather! And so we're really trying to put something out there that we haven't done before. We were known for our hats, but we're trying to show more things that would normally be included in our personal styles for other people to purchase and see how they would style it per se.
Petra: And a lot of our personal style is about layering. We love layering pieces, so this collection is going to be a lot of things you can just throw on to go out the door. Like Kelly said, perfect for cold weather and new types of yarn - we've never worked with mohair yarn before but we’ve got some really fun mohair colours coming and we're very excited.
Kelly: Also all locally sourced items. Which is really nice. All from Toronto.
Q:Do you have a favourite piece?
Kelly: My favourite piece, personally, would be this sweater that I made for Petra. That’s what started it off and I had never made a sweater at that capacity before and also just the process of it was just so beautiful and it led to where we are today, so that would be my personal favourite.
Petra: Mine's a little different. It's a piece we actually don’t show people because it's so god awful. It's this green bucket hat, it's a single crochet bucket hat and it’s so ugly but it was one of the very first things I ever made, so it just has a lot of sentimental value. It won’t even fit on your head, it's like a pot. Or a plant holder now because it's so ugly but very sentimental.
"So doing something that reflects us personally and getting to be involved in that creative space in Toronto is just amazing. It's lead to multiple opportunities working with different creatives and just expanding ourselves and our brand."
Q:Where do you feel like you get a sense of community from in your craft?
Kelly: For the sense of community, especially in Toronto, like, the creativity is insane, so doing something that reflects us personally and getting to be involved in that creative space in Toronto is just amazing. It's lead to multiple opportunities working with different creatives and just expanding ourselves and our brand.
Petra: We know that we love knitting - so even if we didn't have a brand or have a business, we would still be knitting. It just wouldn’t be on a platform, but the fact that we were able to show it to people, sell it to people and meet other creatives in Toronto who are also knitting or also have small businesses is super special for us. We'll literally be in a park just knitting and then people will come up and be like “Oh you’re a knitter!” and then we'll just get into conversations because it's such an interesting niche activity that really brings people together.
Petra: Thank you so much for having us, Bench.
Kelly: Yeah thank you so much it was the best day ever.