When Ella Lim received her MBA, the plan was never to apply it to starting her own business—she had a whole career in finance, after all.“But I’ve always had an interest in art. I thought a good way to segway into design would be to work on the business side first,” she explains.
After working for an industrial-design company for a few years, Ella decided to switch gears and go back to her roots—specifically to her family’s knitwear factory based in the Philippines. It was there that all the threads of Ella’s history came together. Getting to know the employees’ depth of expertise brought about a revelation, Ella says: “In my second year working for my family, I started designing on the side to see what we could come up with. I also realized how much yarn we’d leave behind during usual production, and I really wanted to find a way to use it up.” Her aesthetically minded solution? Making vibrant pom-pom pillows, stretchy scarves, and adorable knit slippers, which Ella began selling under the name Verloop in 2012 from her homebase in NYC. Now still, Ella and her team make sure they’re not leaving any loose ends: “What I like about knits is that you produce the fabric. It’s definitely more challenging, but we make just what we need and reduce waste.”