Shear Genius

Kathryn Yee, owner of the Everyday Co., reveals the significance behind an old pair of scissors.

Photograph by Joe St. Pierre

It seems fitting that Kathryn Yee, a designer who offers upcycled cloth goods through her company the Everyday Co., collects scissors. Her favorite of the bunch? These vintage Wiss pinking shears handed down by her grandmother, a Chinese immigrant who worked as a seamstress in Quincy. “She’s a huge inspiration to our brand today,” Yee says. The heirloom pair sits on Yee’s desk in the Dorchester studio where Yee—along with her mother, Betty, and their lead sewer—creates modern napkins and towels from found fabric. “The scissors are symbolic of not only my grandmother’s journey, passion, and work ethic to support her family,” Yee says, “but the rise of the handmade movement happening right now.”