24 March 2012

A Day in the Life of Kristiann Boos - Victory Patterns

When Victory Patterns launched a few months ago, excitement quickly spread amongst stitchers keen to make up such stylish designs. The brains behind the operation, Kristiann Boos from Toronto, juggles designing the patterns and running the business with various other jobs such as teaching sewing classes. How does she do it? "And what kind of spread does she like on her toast?" you ask. Read this months' A Day in the Life to find out...


"My daily routine changes throughout the week. I balance running my business with freelancing on contract projects, teaching and private tutoring, as well working two days a week on production at a beautiful lingerie company called Fortnight. It gets quite busy but I’m starting to focus more time on my company so more of my days can be spent making patterns and creating projects. Those are my favorite days, and this is how it goes…

I wake up around 6:30am. I go to the gym a few mornings a week and take a spin class or do my own thing for about an hour. I live across from a park so I bike through it to get to the gym. Afterwards, I ride home to get ready for the morning. I jump into the shower and get dressed. I have a disproportionate amount of dresses to anything else in my closet, so that’s usually what I wear.

For breakfast I usually make a fruit smoothie and eat toast with almond butter and bananas for breakfast, or homemade oatmeal muffins. I check my email and send out any orders that came in through the night on my Etsy shop and respond to new emails. Then I pack my bag and I’m out the door.

I ride my bike to the studio, which is only ten minutes away. My studio is located in an area called Kensington Market, which is a cluster of side streets overflowing with fruit stalls, vintage shops, cafes and restaurants with food from all over the world. I usually stop on the way in to pick up some fruits and snack for the day.

I get to my studio around 10:00am. I say hello to a sweet talking/dancing parrot and I scratch his neck before going upstairs. I share my studio space with a friend who is an accessory and handbag designer, two super talented illustrators, and a miniature landscape artist, and a dog named Coco. There are a number of studios on our floor filled with fashion designers, artists, and a puppeteer. It’s a really nice place to work out of with plenty of inspiration and creative energy.

I put on some music and I start my day with a to do list for the day. I love crossing things off a list! My duties change constantly during different parts of the product development. Right now I’m working on a new pattern collection. I’m in the middle of drafting, which for the next week my time will be dedicated to. I’m excited to start sewing up the first muslins to see how they look! I’m researching a few new methods to more efficiently produce the patterns. I’m also creating a schedule for the next few months for the collection and for blog posts.

For the first half of the day, I work away drafting or working on a post and taking photos in the morning light. I break for lunch around 1.00pm. I usually pack a salad and grapefruit and sit on the rooftop of our building overlooking the city, but if I feel like a treat, I’ll go to the market with my studio mate and grab an empanada or something yummy. It’s been unseasonably warm lately, so it’s nice to sit in the park for lunch. If I have some online work to do afterwards, I take my laptop and work from a cafĂ© for an hour or so.

I return to the studio around 3.00pm and continue drafting. I usually finish working in the studio around 6.30pm, and grab a few groceries in the market for dinner. Sometimes I’ll stay late to work on a few things for myself, or friends will pop with a bottle of wine to say hello. On some days I teach in the evening, in which case I leave the studio around 5.00pm to bike over to The Workroom for a 6.00 - 9.00pm class.

If I have the night to myself I either get together with a friend for dinner, visit my sister and my little niece or I head home and make dinner. I love making soup, and I love the Smitten Kitchen blog, so anything on there is bound to end up in my tummy one of these days.

After dinner it’s probably around 10.00pm. I usually work a bit longer, either on a blog post (which I have to catch up on), researching projects, or creating a press kit. After that, I jump into bed and watch a movie or read a book, which I’m trying to make more time for, but after a long day it’s so hard to stay awake! I’m out by midnight.

It’s a lot of work, but I love running this little business. It feels amazing to know that I’ve accomplished something that I could have brushed aside as too much work or a crazy idea. This experience has helped me to be more focused, confident and ambitious. I love the creative freedom and the ability to make my own schedule and work on a variety of projects. I’ve found that one important thing is to make sure that people around you give you encouragement and support and understand the time you need to dedicate to your business. I think the hardest part is balancing my life and knowing when to end my working day. It’s tricky when you love what you do, and it doesn’t feel like work. You can go on and on!

The best part is that the work I do helps to inspire people, and gets them excited about sewing. I love that I can share creative ideas and that people respond positively to it. I hope that I can grow this company into something that can sustain me for some time to come!"


Your work certainly inspires me, Kristiann - both your gorgeous designs and your positive attitude. I can't wait to try out the patterns!

Kristiann is offering my readers 15% off Victory Patterns bought over the next three days. If you're interested, go to the shop and use the code "sew4spring". The code can be used from 12am Saturday morning to 11:59 Monday night.

If you like reading about how stitchy business people spend their day, read more A Day in the Life articles here.