Sophie Thimonnier has created something very special. She transfers her positive, soulful, peaceful energy on to everyone she meets, so it was of no surprise that her newest venture, HeartKnit, a class dedicated to taking a break from technology and bonding over handmade creations, has become a big success. Sophie teaches group classes on how to knit with beautiful, colorful yarn, decorated with soothing florals and herbal teas. The event she creates allows women to really connect with one another, while honing in on a new skill, in an environment with no distractions. Similar to meditation, the experience is therapeutic and has been scientifically proven to have health benefits, giving its participants clarity. In my opinion, this is something we all need weekly, as we sometimes forget that life exists beyond our phones.
How many years have you been in business in NYC?
Many years, but Heartknit is a brand new experience. We just celebrated our first year anniversary!
How did you get your start and what was your initial inspiration?
I was giving knitting classes… I was a teacher and sometimes when you teach people, you touch people. People who attended my classes all had hectic lives that were basically run by their smartphone - and when your smartphone runs your life, it ruins your life. After 1 or 2 hours of knitting, all these super busy people were leaving the class telling me how much better they felt inside out. I did more research and found out that knitting has scientifically-proven health benefits. Knitting, it turns out, is full of super powers: it’s good for the heart, it’s good for the brain... it’s a clarity machine. I wanted to take full advantage of these benefits, so I created a new practice called "Mindful Knitting”. It’s basically a mix of mindful exercises and knitting techniques.
What do you feel differentiates you from others in your field?
We are a new kind of experience focused on mindfulness & knitting. It’s not something you can learn, you have two experience it. People often say we’re “SoulCycle for the mind". It’s something we’ve created, so we’re the only ones to offer this.
What do you feel gives you longevity in this big city with so many options?
Connecting with your friends is timeless. When you ask people when was the last time you truly connected with someone else around you, I mean truly connected; when you felt so comfortable you can be yourself and not only speak your truth but also listen, give the gift of listening. Most people don’t have many opportunities to do so, even with their close friends because everyone is busy working, traveling, parenting. We created a safe, positive, inclusive space where you have to drop your phone and grab your yarn. It’s magic to see people having fun, together, “in real life.”
How do you positively impact your clientele?
At the end of our workshop, people feel relax, happy and better friends because they bonded with each other at new levels. Also, everyone is proud of what they made with their hands.
What is your favorite part of your job?
Sharing the super powers of knitting, seeing connection happening and people becoming true friends.
What is your favorite secret NYC spot?
I am not sure it’s a secret anymore, but i love going to “Maman” in Tribecca with my kids on the weekend. Best French pastries ever!
How do you benefit mamas?
Heartknit’s baby shower experience is a total celebration of both the mom-to-be and her baby.
First, it’s exactly the kind of experience expecting moms crave. They can be together with their friends, chat and treat themselves in a calming environment. All senses are aroused as our experience includes beautiful flowers, relaxing candles, herbal tea and rosé champagne! We create an atmosphere of relaxation and creativity.
Second, they learn something new; easy, relaxing technics, and of course the basics of knitting together.
And third, and it’s the reason why Heartknit has been such a hit for baby showers, the common project we’ll work on is the best gift a mom could dream about. During our workshop, each guest would knit a square - and we will later assemble all squares together to create a beautiful knitted blanket for the mom and her baby. That way, each friend contributes to the ultimate gift.
Once her baby is her arms, the mom will always be reminded of the power of her friendship - and her little one will enjoy the softness of a plush blanket handmade with love.
That’s truly a unique experience entwined with gratefulness, mindfulness and friendship - you’ll create timeless memories.
What is the most memorable feedback a client has given you?
"Thank you, you made me realize what truly matters in my life.”
Pay it forward and name your top colleagues in the same field or related field:
I love the calligraphy workshop of Inkpushco on Instagram.
What is the best advice anyone's ever given you? Or what is your "mantra" / words to live by?
“Follow your dreams”, and of course: “Drop your phone & grab your yarn.“
As moms, the day can escape us, what is your best time-saving trick?
Preparing food on the weekend for the rest of the week!