After stumbling upon an old stash of crocheting supplies, graduate accounting senior Michika Tayama turned her old hobby into Bvsic Stiches, a clothing business made from crochet handmade pieces.
“It started during quarantine,” Tayama said. “I went home for the pandemic and found all my crochet stuff lying there and thought, ‘It would be nice if I could pick [up] another hobby,’ and it became more than that.”
Crocheting involves knitting yarn using a needle with a hook to make scarfs, blankets, sweaters or in Tayama’s case, bralettes. Her interest in crochet started in middle school when her teacher visited her house.
“She was my mom’s friend, so she [babysat] us sometimes,” Tayama said. “I saw her crocheting this huge blanket and I told her I really wanted to try it, so she taught me.”
While her business began as a way to make money while doing something she loved, it turned into an activity that fit perfectly in her hectic full-time student schedule, Tayama said.
“The biggest challenge [is] just staying committed because I’m [also] in grad school and that’s very time consuming,” she said. “But with this, I can just watch TV and do it casually. It’s more like a stress reliever.”
She spends an hour on smaller pieces, sometimes two if she is incorporating different accessories, like charms and chains. For the larger pieces, she spends two to three hours.
Tayama’s inspiration for creating bralettes came from her love for music festivals. She wanted to have the essence of an edgy desert concert, combined with what she refers to as a “soft girl vibe.” However, as the year went by and summer came to an end, she faced challenges marketing her products.
“Because there is a pandemic going on, there’s already not a big market for bralettes, since no one is going out,” she said. “On top of that, it was also winter, so I’ve had to find other things to make too.”
This led Tayama to start making winter hats and stuffed animals because they were more universal and it marketed to a bigger audience. Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, the first two store updates on Etsy sold out completely.
“What I like about Tayama’s designs is that she makes them trendy and versatile,”Airi Young, Bvsic Stitches customer and Dallas resident, said. “You could wear her tops multiple ways in different aesthetics.”
Isabel Gabiana, Bvsic Stitches customer and international studies sophomore, said she likes that Bvsic Stiches is unique and the variety of moods each bralette embodies.
“It’s almost as if they had their own personalities,” Gabiana said.
Every piece of clothing is custom design, so customers have the opportunity to personalize pieces to match their style.
Gabiana said her favorite thing about this brand is that it can be perceived as feminine and powerful at the same time.
“It has a statement that speaks, ‘I can wear whatever I want, whenever I want and anywhere I want,’” Tayama said.
Tayama said her most rewarding experience so far has been seeing her designs come to life when they were photographed for the first time.
“Just seeing my couple of friends [who] were able to model the designs that I made was amazing,” she said. “I loved how the pictures came out just how I envisioned them.”
Tayama encourages any struggling student to turn their hobbies into a side hustle.
“If you really love something, whether it be offering a service or making a product, I would just say go for it,” Tayama said. “When people see that you are passionate people are more likely to support you and you get a chance to showcase your creativity.”
With her graduation this May, Tayama aspires to become a full-time crochet artist. Individuals interested in shopping from Bvsic Stitches can visit its Instagram, @bvsic.stitches.
Courtesy Bvsic Stitches