Jun. 26, 2021

PANDEMIC PURSUITS: How six entrepreneurs launched businesses during lockdown

Delsy Gouw

Delsy Gouw, Advertising and Marketing Communications ’21

Stuck indoors last spring, Delsy Gouw dyed her dark hair blonde. She embraced new card games, tackled origami, and made TikTok’s favorite whipped coffee for a frothy quarantine treat. But nothing cured her restlessness until she picked up her old crochet hook and resumed the hobby she’d practiced as a little girl.

Gouw found new inspiration in a world of glittery, bright yarns and eventually designed a colorful bag for a friend.

“Until then, I’d always thought crochet was ugly,” Gouw says. “I never thought about it looking cute.”

She snapped a photo of the bag and proudly posted it to Instagram. Business was not on her mind, but friends immediately began asking for bags of their own. By fall, Gouw was juggling dozens of commissions for bags, hats, and bikinis alongside classes and a new job at a market research company. To her shock—and delight—her budding brand Memorial Day has lately gained high-profile fans, including Kylie Jenner and Ella Emhoff, the stepdaughter of Kamala Harris.

“It snowballed,” she says, still amazed by what grew from such difficult days. “A pandemic pushed me to do this.”