Twenty-five years ago, Hanna Friedman dared to do what most of us can only dream about; she created a line of sweaters that have become an international success. Growing up in Israel and relocating to the U.S. as a teenager, Hanna always loved to sew. In fact, she made most of her clothes, and as she describes it, became “obsessed” with creating new and exciting pieces for evening and weekend outings.
Hanna in her studio.
In her twenties, after giving birth to two little girls, Hanna took up knitting and made many of the outfits her daughters wore. Wherever Hanna went, she wore her own creations and received compliments from both co- workers and strangers. After the home décor business she worked for closed its downtown doors, the owner suggested that she open her own business and sell her fabulous sweaters and dresses. She decided to heed that advice; by combining the names of her daughters, Elanit and Eris, “Elaris Design” was born.
Traveling door to door to local boutiques was not easy, but Hanna persevered. After hiring a rep and showing her lines at the LA and NY markets, she soon found that she was getting more orders than her two little hands could handle. It was then that she made the decision to hire a contractor who would help her keep up with the demand. Soon she found herself doing trunk shows up and down the East Coast as well as California. Today she has the same loyal customer base that she had when she first started. This is remarkable given the fickle nature of our economy and the perils of the “Shmata” business in general.
Hanna and I became fast friends after being introduced to each other by her brother, Abe, who happens to be a good friend of mine. She is warm, sweet, fun, and smart, and her designs reflect that. Hanna’s sweaters are creatively designed and comfortable. She gets her inspiration from photographs, nature, art, and her own intuition. There is something for every woman no matter her age. She designed the suit that my daughter wore to her Bat Mitzvah, gowns that I performed in, as well as countless sweaters for my mother (who is also a huge fan). It is dangerous for me to go over to visit Hanna… rarely do I leave empty handed, and when we meet for dinner, or see each other at a party, I usually ask her if she can make me a duplicate of what she is wearing!
Serena in her Bat Mitzvah Suit.
With my Mom, Irene, who is also a huge fan of Elaris.
This month I will be hosting a trunk show for Hanna. If you are interested in seeing her line and ordering sweaters for yourself or for someone else, please write to me and let me know. Hanna will be offering her sweaters at wholesale prices, so this is not to be missed! There is a reason that Elaris is so popular… but don’t take my word for it, come see for yourself! For more information, or to order your own Elaris creation, visit www.elarisdesigns.com.