ABOUT STEPHEN & PENELOPE

STEPHEN

I'm Stephen West AKA Westknits. I moved to Amsterdam when I was 21 years old with a suitcase filled with yarn and an excitement to study dance at the arts school. I didn’t know anybody here when I moved to Europe from Illinois, but I soon met Malia as she was busy carving out a crafty corner in the heart of Amsterdam. It was so exciting to witness the beginnings of Penelope Craft and later become involved with the growth of the shop.

Malia has always impressed me with her work ethic and “let’s make it happen” attitude, leading the way toward what would later evolve into Stephen & Penelope. Our creative lives have always been intertwined as we offered our different skill sets and interests into each other’s projects, which exploded into a collaborative concoction of yarny goodness.

I love designing, teaching, performing, and presenting my colourful patterns and knit alongs each year, but behind every project is Malia’s thoughtful and guiding support. I hope you feel that same spirit of creative inspiration and support as you participate in our knit alongs, experience our online shop, or visit the store in person.

PENELOPE

I'm Malia Mae Joseph, sometimes referred to as Penelope. I am the founder of Penelope Craft Boutique that was to eventually become Stephen & Penelope.

I met Stephen at a pop-up shop I hosted when Penelope was only an online store. Stephen was early in his design journey and had moved to Amsterdam to study choreography at the Theatre School. Stephen was young and infinitely creative. I was 14 years older than him, and a mother of a 6 year old. I said to him at the time "Stephen, you will find your people here! This city is full of young creatives and I just know you will have a great big circle of friends very soon."

When Penelope Craft Boutique opened its doors on a side street in central Amsterdam, Stephen was the first one there. He came to every craft night. Soon Stephen was there all the time, and we were making plans and working to host his second Mystery Knit Along. Suddenly I realised that Stephen had already found his people.

Today, Stephen and I are the creative energy behind Stephen & Penelope. We have so much fun dreaming up ideas and bringing them to fruition. I'm also a designer when I can fit it in!  You can find my designs on Ravelry.