Fresno, Calif., can be a lonely place for knitters. That’s what Deanna DeRoucheau, 25, discovered growing up there. She took up the hobby at 12, and her novelty designs quickly drew a following.
“I’d knit headbands for my friends, and they’d give me $5. Everyone said, ‘These are so good! You should start selling them.’ ”
As a high school senior, she established a top-rated Etsy shop peddling custom hats and scarves. It was so successful, in fact, that knitting became her full-time job, and she began to ship her wool creations all over the world and to stores like Anthropologie from her California base. But she craved a larger — and chillier — headquarters.
“I decided that I needed to move somewhere that’s actually cold. I visited Boston and fell in love; there are so many cute boutiques that I thought would be perfect to sell my stuff,” she says.
Maybe it was an omen that she arrived during the snowy winter of 2014.
“I moved here during the coldest winter Boston ever had,” she says.
But she got a warm welcome, and her short-term rental turned into a permanent home. Now, three years in, she sells her wool and washable wool-acrylic pompom hats and headbands at North End boutique Shake the Tree and at the SoWa Winter Festival — “a magical little market.”
On Dec. 16, she’ll pop up at the Godfrey Hotel’s lobby in Downtown Crossing as part of a local holiday shopping series.
She’ll be on hand to show buyers her “classic, made to last” slouchy pompom hats in simple easy-to-match shades like oatmeal, gray marble, and eggplant. They retail for $40 to $60.
“They’re a very classic style, and they last forever. I’m in the hat business, and I’ve worn the same one forever,” she says.
And now, finally, she has a reason to.Kara Baskin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.