The New York City subway is always full of surprises and an eclectic range of people. You never know who you might see—or who might see you.
Case in point: Singer and former “American Idol” contestant Frenchie Davis spotted a man knitting on the train, took a snap and gave a shout-out on Facebook with the caption, “This brotha on the train is my hero today…. #SelfCareOnTheSubway.”
Turns out the knitting commuter is an entrepreneur named Louis Boria. Little did he know that this shared post would turn out to be a big boon for his small business.
Boria is the owner of BrooklynBoyKnits.com, a custom knitting service. A friend of his saw Davis’ post and posted a link to Boria’s website in a reply to the photo. And that has turned into a surge in orders!
“For the first time in 10 years, I have pending orders,” Boria said during a recent interview with the New York Daily News. “I’m passionate about this, and I need to take a leap and pursue this opportunity.”
The singer later gave Boria more praise and promotion on social media:
“Sometimes your passion creates a purpose and the rest is history,” reads Boria’s “About Me” page. His now-booming business began as “literally all a dream,” after waking one morning with his arms outstretched, shadow-knitting in the empty air. He took this as a sign and ran with it.
After countless hours spent honing his craft and teaching himself how to knit by watching YouTube videos, Boria has gone from making handmade gifts for friends to knitting items for paying customers in Brooklyn and beyond.
Brooklyn Boy Knits was launched in 2009 and is primarily a one-man operation. However, with this newfound attention, Boria is hoping he can turn it into a full-time pursuit and he has already hired two additional knitters to help with the surge of orders.
Boria said he gives out three scarves a day to the homeless during the winter months and contributed pieces to a silent auction for the benefit of hurricane victims in Puerto Rico.
As for the scarf he was knitting on the subway in that viral photo? Boria plans on giving it to Davis once he’s done with it.