What do you do?
Joanna Popiel

Where do you work and what is your title?
       I work at Needleworks by Holly Berry. I don’t really have a title.
What do you do there and/or what are you responsible for?
       For the past 10 years or so, I have taught beginning knitting classes, along with more advanced knitting techniques. I also work as a salesperson and help knitters choose projects and yarns.
How long have you been doing this kind of work (total)? How long on the Westside?
       I’ve been working here for the past nine years or so. Before moving to the Westside 11 years ago, we would drive around the neighborhood, visit the stores and attend Mass at Sacred Heart, and it just felt like this was where we belonged.
What do you like best about it (other than quitting time)?
       It is so rewarding showing a new knitter how to hold the yarn and needles and to help them achieve a beautiful knitted project. I like meeting and talking to customers. There have been so many visitors from many different states and countries. I have heard so many people say, “This is so beautiful, how lucky you are to work here,” and I readily agree.
If you could change one thing (other than pay), what would it be?
       I wish I could knit faster and learn all the newest knitting stitches instantly.
What part of your work did your training/education never prepare you for?
       I studied business, so working in retail is along the same line. I never actually studied “how” to teach a skill (i.e., knitting), but it seemed to come naturally when I started teaching.
What makes working on the Westside special?
       I can walk to work from my home. It’s always a treat walking past the stores, visiting with the merchants and exchanging tidbits of news. I also appreciate the many artists and the fine workmanship that is on display in many of the stores. The Westside is also close to Red Rock Canyon and the Garden of the Gods, where we hike regularly.

“What do you do?” is a regular feature in the Westside Pioneer. If you know someone who has an interesting job on the Westside (but doesn’t live here), he/she might be a candidate for this column! If you know someone who might qualify, give us a call at 471-6776.