Meet the Founder: Ruchama Safrai of ADRA

Photo: Courtesy of Ruchama Safrai

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.

I am an experienced stay-at-home-mom, with 3 children over 5 years. My everything and anything revolves around them. For the first 2 years of being SAHM, I worked from home as a professional, but the pressure of deadlines and the children’s needs did not mesh. After my youngest was born I quit.  Over the years, when naptime and bedtime came around, I needed to do something for my own stimulation and satisfaction. By chance I came across a brand new sewing machine for sale at a discount, and decided to go for it. Little by little, and with the helping hand of my mother, I taught myself to sew.

What inspired you to start “Adra” and what type of products do you sell?

Once I started experimenting with sewing, I toyed around with the idea of selling. At some point I decided to give it a try. Why not?
I started with creating baby and toddler related products, such as teething necklaces, burp cloths, wood & fabric teethers, zip pouches. Business was OK, but I found I wasn’t passionate about my products, which in turn meant that I spent less time on my business. I decided to re-focus Adra on something that means a great deal to me, both as a woman and as a mother: comfortable clothing for girls. I am now in the midst of introducing my first product which is a comfortable and versatile cotton skirt.

Were you interested in design growing up?

One of my closest friends and I used to love designing a variety of items together (during class, shhh). Since I don’t have any drawing abilities, we would work on the design together and my incredibly talented friend would draw it. Until this day we love brainstorming and creating together.

Where do you turn for inspiration when designing something new?

I like to look at items I’ve used with my kids, and re-design them in a way that I find more useful and fun. In my mind, every new product is a challenge, and I love experimenting to find different ways to perfect them. The perfectionist in me won’t settle for anything less. Plus, spending hours playing with cars, board games, and sitting with my kids as they fall asleep provides plenty of time for my creative wheels to turn and hatch ideas.

What is your favourite part about designing?

I have two. The first is when I get the ‘aha’ moment of the solution to a problem. The second is inspecting my final product after many trials (and errors), and understand that it’s truly a wonderful creation.

What was the first item you ever sold?

A teething necklace.

What are your plans for the future?

I love challenging myself with custom orders, as well as repurposing fabrics and clothing items into new creations. I plan to navigate Adra in that direction when my daughter starts pre-K in September.

Where can we see, find, and purchase your items?

Photos: Courtesy of Ruchama Safrai

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