Why Handmade

Our company works with nearly 100 freelance knitters across the five boroughs of New York City, who work from their homes, crafting our garments. Some have full-time jobs, while others are full-time caregivers, but they all knit in their down time to subsidize their income.

Born in Poland, our founder Anya Cole and her daughter moved to NYC with only two suitcases during the Cold War. “I didn’t have any help. I had to look up my daughter’s school in a telephone book. There were many times I could not help her. So I know exactly what these women are going through,” says Cole. “They cannot work because they don’t speak English, and if you cannot work, you cannot pay rent. That’s everything.”

And, as a reminder of the local, one-of-a-kind nature of every HANIA handmade piece, each knitter leaves a “signature” sewn into a hidden seam of each garment they knit, as shown in the video.

“ Knit by hand, with care and one piece at a time here, in New York City... ”

“ I never thought my knitting was going to make me money ”