Into the Whirled, ITW for short, started as a creative outlet for Cris in the winter of 2008. Cris had always wanted to live a more creative existence and finally decided to leave the corporate world to launch the company. In the spring of 2009 Cris and James participated in their first fiber festival, a small, but memorable, event in a little town called Clermont in Dutchess county, New York.
ITW's first booth at the Chancellor' Sheep and Wool Festival in April of 2009:
ITW's booth at the New York Sheep and Wool Festival in October of 2016:
The following week her Etsy shop was born and so was the beginning of a life dedicated to color and all things squishy. James was always helping and learned a ton about fiber prep, breeds of sheep and could label product like a pro but it wasn’t until 2013 that he began learning how to dye and became a full time member of the team. It was then that Cris and James realized that the support and commitment of their customers and friends would allow them to both live the creative existence that the two of them had always wanted, as a bonus they would get to do it together.
James and Cris:
For some people the idea of working and living with somebody is terrifying, but for Cris and James it’s really the best thing that ever happened to them. They make a great team and constantly plot, plan and strive for perfection together always figuring out the next evolution of ITW as a team. All of their madness happens in their dye studio at their home in a little hamlet called Phoenicia in upstate NY.
The Esopus River at the end of their street:
It's a great place for inspiration and motivation, being in the Catskill Mountains with the Esopus Creek at the end of their street makes for a truly peaceful place that allows them to focus on their creativity.
Studio West under construction and in use:
Their inspiration is found through all aspects of their daily life and is often carried over to the names of their colourways, be it from a show or audio book they are listening to in the studio or any of their geeky television shows and movies that they have a weakness for they are proud to let their geek flag fly. When they do get too caught up and focused on work they are fortunate enough to have their elderly boxer, Delilah, there to remind them that there is always room for a quick walk or snuggle on the couch.
Delilah, Head of H.R at ITW:
The three of them share a space with a cat named Ignatious who is kind enough to let the rest of them live there, on his terms.Ignatious, their gracious host: