We all find ways to cope with commuting. Reading. Listening to music. Not making eye contact with anyone else. Knitting is also a great option, especially if you're Louis Boria, a Brooklyn-based entrepreneur. Boria has orders to fill, after all, so any chance to knit is one he takes.
Little did he know, as he was riding the train one day in late November, that Broadway actress Frenchie Davis was sitting near him on the subway, admiring his work, when she took a photo.
It's a quiet moment. Boria is clearly very focused on the scarf he's knitting, having seemingly tuned out some of the comings and goings of the subway around him, perhaps only alert for the announcement of his stop. But it's a moment that spoke to Davis. She posted it to her Facebook page, with the caption "This brotha on the train is my hero today.... #SelfCareOnTheSubway."
These kinds of photos and videos on public transit happen all the time. Sometimes it's someone solving a Rubik's cube with their eyes shut, while other times it's a spontaneous dance recital, but the response from others is usually heartwarming.
Knitted dreams do come true
Davis' photo attracted likes, comments and shares, and it only took a day for a friend of Boria's to see the photo and identify him in the thread. Boria stepped in to thank Davis for posting the photo, commenting, "Hi Frenchie!!!!! Thank you, Thank you, Thank you for this! This just made my year!"
And why is he so thankful? Boria's friend mentioned the man's business, Brooklyn Boy Knits.
Suddenly, Boria found himself with a boom in orders thanks to the newfound exposure.
"For the first time in 10 years, I have pending orders," Boria told the New York Daily News. "I'm a fast knitter, but I've been telling customers to give me a three- to four-week delivery time."
Boria's been a one-man operation since he launched Brooklyn Boy Knits in 2009, but since Davis' photo, he's started the process of hiring two more knitters and revamping his website to meet the demand.
Boria started his knitting business a decade ago after waking up from a dream. He found his arms and hands in the air making knitting motions
"It freaked me out because I had no idea how to knit, but I took it as a sign," Boria told the Daily News. He picked up a few knitting books, but Boria ended up studying YouTube videos to really learn how to knit.
Boria's pleased with the attention, but he isn't forgetting Davis in all the hubbub: The scarf Boria was working on in the photo will soon belong to her.