Bykflo born from ‘close-knit’ tradition
What started as just a hobby for senior merchandising major Kristina Powers has turned into a full-blown business called “Bykflo.”
Powers learned how to crochet when she was eight years old to bond with her grandmother. She continued to crochet throughout middle school until her grandmother passed when she was a freshman in high school.
When Powers decided to take up crochet again in college, she began making clothes with the patterns she learned when she was young.
“It just definitely makes me feel connected with her because we grew up being really close and my family comes from a really close-knit family,” Powers said.
Powers said her family, including her aunts and cousins, were happy to see Powers continue to evolve with the traditions her grandmother taught her.
“...When she passed, it was really hard on our family,” Powers said. “So I think they’re just happy that we’re keeping her memory alive…”
Powers said her grandmother would be “proud” and “happy” she has continued to create new things, and that she has turned the hobby into her own business.
“They were immigrants so they came here and started their own business…” Powers said. “So I just know that they would be happy about that. Like I’m not doing the same, but I’m just trying to make the most of what we have here.”
Once Powers started making clothes with the skills her grandmother taught her, she said she was initially hesitant to start selling her products. Powers said her friends were a big influence in her deciding to start the business.
“My friends were a really big motivator in my starting to sell clothes,” Powers said. “I would just have friends that were like ‘I want a shirt,’ like you should sell these, and then I did.”
Powers decided to take a step further in launching her business when senior fashion merchandising and management major Sydney Pesaturo reached out about tabling at the Lasell flea market during the fall of her junior year.
“It wasn’t until then when I really, actually sold a bunch of stuff,” Powers said. “All before it was mainly just making presents for my friends and stuff like that, because even though everyone was telling me that I should sell things, I just honestly think it comes from a place of awkwardness. I don’t want to put myself out there like that.”
After gaining more feedback from others at the flea market, Powers said she felt more confident about turning the hobby into a business.
“It was nice to get such positive feedback,” Powers said. “So that kind of gave me a confidence boost because I always just thought I would make clothes and it wasn’t really that good…”
Pesaturo said she saw the potential Powers had and that she is happy she decided to participate in the flea market.
“Her stuff is really good quality and her stitches are really tight and she knows what she’s doing,” Pesaturo said. “So after that I think she was more motivated to jump start her business.”
Powers completed an internship with TJX in product development, an opportunity Pesaturo thinks has helped her develop and grow her own business.
“I think she definitely has an eye for product development, merchandising, stuff like that,” Pesaturo said. “...I think that will help with her business because if she already has experience with doing that at a different business, she can implement that into her brand…”
Powers said her internship has helped her discover her interest in product development.
“Once I figured out that I really enjoyed the product development, I realized I could be producing my own product and that was a cool concept to me because I thought I wanted to go into merchandising and buying…” Powers said.
As she continues to develop her business, Powers hopes to continue to pursue product development with anything she does.