There is something in the air in Haifa that makes people nurture their artistic talents and start creating products by hand. Maybe it is the relaxing blue of the Mediterranean Sea or the inspiring bloom of flowers and soothing green of the Carmel woods that encourage imagination and creativity. It might be the influence of the multicultural atmosphere or a sense of industrial dynamism around the port of Haifa.
I think that making and selling handmade products is a rather intimate process of sharing a story, energy, secret and love to the place you belong to.
In this review, you will meet 5 inspiring art and craft makers from Haifa, whose works reflect Haifa’s unique character.
These designers create one of a kind items. They sell their goods all over the world using modern marketing platforms. I will take you through the items sold on Etsy, an e-commerce website focused on handmade or vintage items. ♥
1. Handmade jewelry by Hana.K
Hana lives and creates in Haifa. Her jewelry stands out for free-flowing lines and organic shapes. When you look at her items you get a feeling of connecting to the past, history but yet you feel a solid connection to the present. Her jewelry is somewhat rustic, that makes them one of a kind. Hana uses materials like silver, copper, gold filling, sea glass, Roman glass, raw crystals, selenite, pearls, corals and much more. Here is what Hana K. writes about her jewelry:
While walking along the Mediterranean Sea shores, I love to collect bits and pieces like sea glass, pebbles, beach pottery etc., which later on may be integrated in my jewelry. Aesthetics and simplicity are my guides.
♥ Inspiring reviews from buyers:
“I get so excited when a package arrives from Hana! It is a joy to receive what she so lovingly creates. I probably have at least ten pairs of earrings I have had to have from Hana, special orders included. My latest pair of eliat and pearl earrings are as lovely as all my other made in Israel treasures from her! I love to wear little pieces of Israel in the form of gorgeous precious pretties like Hana’s handcrafted earrings!“
“Hana’s work is gorgeous in its simplicity and beauty. Hana honored stones well. They feel wonderful to wear, they cleared and protected me when needed. I am grateful.”
→ Check Hana K.’s Etsy shop here.
2. Casual urban fashion apparel and accessories maker by Lir Stern
Next Haifa designer is Lir Stern. Her studio is located in Downtown Haifa city, which is becoming Mecca for urban creative souls. It is an area with the industrial environment and very down to earth mentality. Her pieces have a unique amorphic quality. In a sense, they are not bound to one class. It could be a dress you wear to work and very easily it can transform into a beautiful evening dress.
Lir calls her brand Things by Lir Stern because her art is all about the way she approaches her creative process. She works with an open-mindedness, inspiration, and freedom to create everything she wants. The way she likes and sees.
Lir Stern about creation process:
All the pieces I create are made with 100% attention and love to every detail, from choosing the fabric, developing the shape, cutting, and sewing, to the way, it will feel on anybody.
♥ Inspiring reviews from buyers:
“I just love what Lir makes! The style is clear and simple, and the colors are noble. I have several dresses by Things, they are amazing! The atmosphere in the studio is relaxed. It’s nice to chat with Lir as well, she is friendly and creative.”
”The clothes are as beautiful as the owner.”
”No word to describe this legendary woman! Insanely talented! Professional! And never disappoints!”
→ Check Things by Lira Stern’s shop here.
3. Leather bags and apparel from Carmel Goldental
When you look at Carmel’s Etsy shop you can’t help thinking – this is definitely for that innovative, stylish, hi-tech girl. Carmel’s handmade leather bags are unlike anything you have seen before –is all about shape, comfort, and versatility. Her designs are minimalistic with a rustic edge to them.
♥ Inspiring reviews from buyers:
“I’m very particular with purchasing any type of purse – so I was overjoyed when this item arrived. I just love it and have gotten many compliments on it. It’s unusual and also very practical for traveling! Love it!”
“Cute and practical, endlessly wearable with everything in my closet. I was impressed by the quality of the leather (thick and with a slightly pebbled grain) and the thickness of the straps. The wide straps make it feel extremely comfortable and well-constructed. A perfect choice for a luxe everyday bag fits a laptop and other essentials easily.”
→ Check Carmel Goldental shop at Etsy here.
4. Canvas bags from Ronit Frishberg
If you like more eco-friendly materials for your bags, then check Ronit’s shop. She makes bags that catch the eye for unusual messenger type shape and bright colors. Her signature style – the combination of different textures, shapes and a colorful button.
Ronit graduated from Wizo, an internationally famous art college in Haifa. Here is what she says about her works:
I built my bag factory in 2009 and since then hundreds of women enjoy uniquely designed and colored bags of high quality. What’s special about my bags? I do not use leather and I combine different materials, colors, and textures. Every bag is decorated with designed buttons that ads color and a special style to it.
♥ Inspiring comments from buyers:
“Very beautiful – I love the colors and textures of the fabric! Very well made, I can tell it will last. The design is practical and is helping me stay organized. Comfortable to wear. “
“It is beautifully designed with the thoughtful use of specialized and different fabrics for different functions of the bag. The bag meets my aesthetic perfectly… the maker clearly shares my sense of space and color.”
“I absolutely love this laptop backpack. I purchased it as a gift for a college student who will be studying abroad next semester. She loved the quality of the straps, the variety of pockets for storage, and the overall look. Being vegan made added to her delight.”
→ Check Ronit Frishberg Etsy shop here.
5. Israel theme prints and home décor from Ruth W.
Ruth’s passion for typography and Hebrew letters define the style of her shop items that include cards, baby clothes, Jewish home décor and customized gifts for different Jewish holidays. Ruth is creating together with other Israeli designers that are united as a group called “IsraLove”.
Cute, bright, lovely are the words commonly used by happy customers, who bought presents at Ruth’s Etsy shop for different important occasions like the bar mitzvah, wedding and birthday. Ruth’s décor items can be a great way to light up any occasion and create a loving feeling.
♥ Inspiring comment from a buyer:
“This is the first time I’d bought from an international shop here on Etsy. My husband and I do a little “L’Chayim” at least once a day to our new life together so when this pillow popped up for our anniversary I immediately contacted the owner. Even though she’s 6 hours ahead, she got back to me right away, helped me choose a color of fabric and text based on my bedding (which you can see here), and shipped it within two days. It arrived in time for our anniversary and my husband got a huge kick out of it!”
→ Check IsraLove Etsy shop here.
♥ ♥ ♥
There are a lot more sellers of handmade gifts on Etsy. I chose ones that reflect the essence of Haifa the most, with all its multicultural atmosphere, the coexistence of history and modernity, a mix of colors, shapes, setting, people and origin.
I am sure, whether you are buying a practical item for everyday use or a cute reminder of Haifa or Israel, you will definitely find among these talented designers something to your taste and budget. Enjoy!