Photo: Courtesy of Elizabeth Ehrlich
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.
I am a small business owner, wife and mother of four. I have a degree in Chemistry and Theater from Wesleyan University. I spent 6 years as a chemist working for a large Pharmaceutical company before having children. I took time off to raise my 4 children and started Kids Kippot as a way to have better work-life balance. I am a convert to Judaism and I think that has helped my business as I did not come into the world of kippot with any preconceived notion of what a kippah should look like.
What inspired you to become an artist and designer?
I have always been drawn to fabric and color and have been sewing since I was young. When looking for extra income when my children were school aged, I knew I needed a flexible work schedule and thus turned to my love of sewing and creating to find a good fit. I started making kippot when my first son started school at a Jewish Day School and had to wear a kippah daily. He did not like wearing clips and I wanted to have something washable, so I created the first Kids Kippot model and it grew from there.
What is your specialty?
Kippot are my specialty, but I love fabric of all kinds and enjoy making challah covers and special tallit too.
How and where do you work?
I work from home; I have a workshop and an office. This allows me to work on a flexible schedule so I can accommodate the needs of my family and still run a successful business. Most of my sales are through Etsy though I also sell directly and to synagogue shops and Judaica stores.
What is the most indispensable item in your studio?
Scissors and my sewing machine.
Where do you take your inspiration? Are you pursuing any themes?
I am inspired by so many sources, I especially enjoy filling special requests from customers who are looking for something unique. The majority of my customers are young boys, so I have to stay abreast of the latest characters and themes, I have become well versed in superheroes and sports teams even though my boys are not small anymore! My challah covers are often themed around doves as I think our world is in need of more peace.
Do you do bespoke work?
Yes, it is one of my favorite things to do. When a customer asks me to create something that they cannot find elsewhere I am thrilled to be able to say yes.
What projects are you currently working on?
I am working now on a series of special Matzah Covers for Pesach.
What are your favourite items in your current collection?
I am really enjoying the challah covers that incorporate beautiful fabrics that I have custom printed.
I am also very proud of the two pieces (kippot) that were exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in the exhibit Items: Is Fashion Modern (Fall/Winter 2017-2018)
How do you know when a piece is finished?
When I have clipped all the threads.
What was the first artwork you ever sold?
Not sure as I did not consider myself an artist at first, I was sewing kippot to fill a need so it did not feel like true art.
Which project have you enjoyed working on the most so far?
I did a series of kippot for a wedding that was so much fun. The groom wanted 5 designs to highlight all of his favorite things about their relationship so we worked together to create kippot that would reflect their shared passions. The final design was a simple drawing of the couple and their dog that I had printed on fabric and turned into kippot.
What do you want to achieve with your work and what are your wishes for the future?
I am thrilled that so many people, young and old, have enjoyed wearing my kippot. It is extremely gratifying to help people express their Judaism in a meaningful way.
Where can we find your work?
Various Judaic shops around the US (mostly small synagogue shops)
*Elizabeth was so kind to give our readers a 10% coupon code valid on any order on her website & in her ETSY shop. Use JITS10 at checkout to avail of this special offer.*
Photos: Courtesy of Elizabeth Ehrlich