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EST. 2011 BY LIZ RUEVEN
WIN this Barbara Shaw Passover Seder Plate!

WIN this Barbara Shaw Passover Seder Plate!

As we approach Passover, I’m teaming up with Julie Levine at Florence & Isabelle for two fantastic Passover posts and one fabulous giveaway. Today we’re featuring modern, stylish, handmade gifts from artist, Barbara Shaw. Next week, you’ll find a charoset recipe roundup to end all other charoset roundups.

And here’s the best part…we’re giving away this gorgeous seder plate (above), courtesy of Barbara Shaw Gifts, valued at $100 to one lucky reader. (See below for all the juicy details.)

I encourage you to check out Florence & Isabelle to see what Julie is up to from San Francisco.  Scroll to end of post for more on what makes Julie’s blog so special!

Julie: Barbara Shaw loves fusing the traditional with the contemporary in a fresh, creative and fun way. We’ve been big fans of Barbara’s products for years, and we know you’ll love learning about Barbara’s journey as much as we did.

Why and when did you start Barbara Shaw designs?

I came to Israel after having worked in corporate roles in Australia. I looked for work in retailing but couldn’t find any, and at the same time, I had friends who were visiting, and I looked for gifts for them but couldn’t find anything I wanted to buy. I was looking for stylish gifts that were Israeli, that were bold, fun and colorful as well as practical and well packaged, so I started producing a few products and selling at fairs. I worked with independent designers and had items sewn at a sheltered workshop.

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Where are you from? What’s your background?

I come from Australia; my parents are both Holocaust survivors from Hungary and Poland. They had a printing business. I grew up in a traditional Zionist home and went to a Jewish school, Moriah College. I was involved in Jewish youth movements and came to Israel in 1973. I lived on Kibbutz and studied History of Art and Archaeology at the Hebrew University. I then studied art in Holland and in London. I later went back to Sydney and decided to do a Master of Commerce specializing in marketing.

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Who or what inspires you?

I am constantly combing the world for inspiration. My original greatest inspiration is the Finnish company Markimekko, with their bold textiles, and the Australian artist Ken Done, who uses flashes of bold color. I love the clean lines of Scandinavian design and also the quirky British designers. The Hebrew alphabet is a source of great beauty that I want to showcase. I would like to present slices of Israeli and Jewish life that are bold and fun, have chutzpah and are not heavy and predictable. Every product I make must be connected to Israel or Judaism in some way. The physical landscape, flowers, birds inspire me.

I love typography and place an emphasis on this as well. I feel proud of my heritage and would like to showcase it. Every item has a use, is practical and is well packaged, and I aim at reasonable pricing levels. I aim to beautify the cycle of everyday living.

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Where are Barbara Shaw products made?

We produce 85% of our products ethically in house. My screen-printer is next door; Pottery is screen-printed in the Tel Aviv area. I pride myself in producing locally and exporting. We buy fabrics, cut the fabrics, print by hand (next door), sew and package in house.

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I’d love to hear about your journey—from where you first started the line until now. Did you start with just a few products? Did you envision in the beginning that you’d have three stores?

There have to be some benefits of age. I think I was quite timid to start; I was afraid of having employees and outsourced everything, which meant I was running around a lot. I did not imagine having a store. Originally I started before the Internet age, and after about eight years, I sold the business. We then went back to Australia for 18 months. I was working in high tech. I decided to start again from scratch in 2008 at the age of 53. Naturally the world was a different place and I had gained computer skills and immediately built a website and soon opened  my first store.

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I learned from my mistakes and decided to do everything in-house—not to waste time running around. I started attending international fairs—like the New York gift fair—and started focusing on export. I employed an in-house designer and after a while decided to open another store in Tel Aviv, and then last year another in the city of Raanana, which has a demographic similar to Jerusalem. My staff is very diverse from many different backgrounds, and I believe this is a strength. I have had thoughts about opening in NYC but am not sure I can make that leap at this stage of life.

Here’s the best part…

 enter to win a Barbara Shaw Seder plate valued at $100 to one lucky winner

1. Subscribe to each of our blogs! Click here  for Florence & Isabelle and fill in the box in the right column on this page that says “sign up for newsletter” to subscribe to Kosher Like Me. 

2. Follow Kosher Like Me and Florence and Isabelle on our facebook pages here and here.

3. Leave a comment at the end of this post. Tell us something new that you’ll introduce to your seder this year. It could be anything: new recipes, variations on a traditional recipe, table setting ideas, new readings or new guests! We want to know!

Contest ends Sunday April 10, 9 PM EST. We’ll announce the winner on each of our facebook pages on Monday April 11, 2016. Eligible for U.S. and Canada only.

Good luck!

Julie & Liz

Liz: I encourage you to check out Florence & Isabelle to see what Julie is up to from San Francisco. Florence & Isabelle features modern style, beautiful design, delicious food, great books and art, and interesting articles from around the globe through a Jewish lens. Julie decided to create the kind of blog that she wanted to read when she couldn’t fine a source for fresh, new inspiration that felt relevant for her generation. Florence & Isabelle is named for Julie’s two grandmothers who shared tradition, inspiration  and loads of love with her.

18 Comments

  1. My 3rd grade granddaughter is very into saving the environment. Since the 1st Seder and Earth Day coincide this year – and Passover is Hag HaAviv! – we are going to repurpose small food cans by decorating them, filling them with earth and dropping a few seeds into each. We will put 1 at each place setting and folks will get to take them home – where they can “tend and till” their plants.

  2. I am hosting Seders both night. The first night we are having people attend who have probably never attended a Seder. It should be lots of fun explaining everything to them. I am looking forward to this fun evening.

  3. Such fun yet sophisticated designs! It would be a joy to have this plate grace my table. I wasn’t even sure if I would have a seder this year, being away from the family and all, but I would make a point of it if I could use this centerpiece!

  4. What’s new at our seder? We hope nothing! My family clings to traditions, tunes, our dishes and recipes of past generations. We relish all that came before and do our best to pass it on to the next. Hag Sameach!

  5. We are having an all you can eat chametz party before Passover to get ready. We’ll enjoy some yummy carbs while clearing out the pantry of all chametz. This is a beautiful seder plate, btw!

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