Monday, February 23, 2015

Meet Gilit from The Bannerie!

I love to follow creative Jewish bloggers and ever since I discovered Gilit's blog, shoes-off-please a few years ago I've been following her. Today I am excited to introduce her and her fabulous new Etsy shop "The Bannerie" to designmegillah readers.
DM: It seems like your Etsy shop "The Bannerie" has really taken off!  How did you choose to create those cute banners and to what do you attribute to your quick success? 
I was so glad to hear from you, I love what you do! 

The short version of that story is that I was making them for my own parties and kept getting requests to make them for other people. I've always wanted to have my own business, but it didn't feel like a realistic dream until I had a product I loved and thought I could sell. 

I think there are a few things that really helped me: 
  • Research. I read every article, listened to every podcast, and spoke to every person I could about having your own business. That kind of research was a huge help. 
  • Social media. I don't have to pay a dime in advertising because I've got three things that feed into each other: Instagram, my blog, and Pinterest. Those three things all lead to my shop and give me the chance to interact with customers three different ways. 
  • I love what I'm doing. It's a lot of hard work, sleepless nights, troubleshooting things I have no background in, but I love it and I love my customers and I think that comes through. I would've quit a dozen times at least if I didn't love it and see a future in it. 
DM:Were you always the creative type? What is your background/schooling?
Yes! I was always doodling, moving things around in my room, writing stories, and doing creative things but I didn't identify with it as such a big part of me until college when I discovered Art with a capital "A". I studied Visual Arts Management (which I loosely say is the business side of art) at FIT with an almost redundant minor in Art History. All the graphic design, photography, styling etc is self taught with blood, sweat, and tears (oh so many tears, not that much blood).
DM:How old are your children? How do you juggle motherhood and working?
I have a four and a half year old boy and a two year old girl who I lovingly call my punks because they are such happy little troublemakers. I absolutely have not figured it out yet but one thing I did which made a huge difference in our lives is that I set business hours and stuck to them. So unless there's an "emergency" I can really be with my family when the shop hours are over.

DM:I've never met anyone with the name Gilit. What is the story behind your name? 
I get that a lot :) It means "source of happiness" and according to Ishei Hatanach it was Ruth's name before she converted to Judaism. So I guess I have a Moavi name? I do know it was between that and Avigayil and when I was born, apparently I didn't look like an Avigayil, so I was named "Gilit" and began a lifetime of repeating my name to new people.
DM:Any banners planned for any of the Jewish holidays?
Good question! I wanted to make for Sukkot, but they aren't waterproof so I'm working on a plastic version for next year. In my brief experience, Jews aren't as into banners and decorating for each holiday the way non-Jews are and I may have missed the boat for Purim banners but there will definitely be one for Pesach. There is also always the option to order a custom banner. I've sold a few "MAZAL TOV" banners but haven't gotten a good photo yet to list it, this is a great reminder!

DM: Thank you Gilit, for taking the time to talk with me and telling my readers about your awesome shop!  Can't wait to see your Judaica banners!


  1. It is interesting that Gilit identified that Jews aren't as into banners and decorating for each holiday the way non-Jews are. I think there is a huge void in world of Jewish Design (you are obviously my favorite exception, which is why Design Megillah has been a daily read of mine for years and why I begged you to come to St. Louis). I am not sure which came first--the void or the reluctance to celebrate all things Jewish. It also typifies a larger issue that I see among young Jewish mothers of of my generation--moms of young children feel perfectly at home decorating their homes for Halloween, Thanksgiving and Valentines Day (and perhaps for the Channukah). Somehow these Pinterest-Moms forget the High Hol;idays and our own less-known-but-equally-important holidays like Purim, Shavuot, Tu B'Shevat, and Sukkot. These are all holidays that are so well-suited to design, family occasions, and fun for young children. I think many think these holidays are either confined to the frum community or, alternatively, to religious school classrooms. I personally celebrate all secular holidays (hello, groundhog day!), but make a special effort to celebrate Jewish Holidays with style. I always include other Reform and Conservative friends in an effort to expose them to the beauty of the holiday and then, the deeper spiritual beauty shines through. If you are seeking new blogs on this subject I recently discovered this: (its not me or anything--just another good source I stumbled upon and added to my list of reads) Thank you for your books and the continued quality content on the web.

    1. Yes, I agree with you 100%!

      Perhaps what Gilit meant was the Jewish audience is so much smaller--I'm sure there is more of a market for those other holidays.


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