Why get up in the morning for coffee when you can have it brought to you in bed?? That's what I always say, and Reason To Be Pretty subscribes to this mantra as well! Nophar Haimovitz, the designer behind the brand is one of the most colorful and fun jewelry designers i've ever meet. The Israeli born designer creates pieces chock-full of bright Miami-like color and I might add that she hand-dyes all of her jewelry in her Harlem studio as well. A fellow lover of fringe, (hello Shag-bag!) I can totally relate to what an accessory with movement and color can do to an otherwise static outfit.
I want to make pieces that are easy to wear and match and layer and that if you’ll have them you will love them so much you’ll use them forever, like a favorite old t-shirt you wear for years.
In a couple of sentences, tell me what you do.
I’m a fashion designer in training, I have my own jewelry collection, named Reason To Be Pretty, which I hand make in my studio. It’s all beautiful statement pieces, necklaces, bracelets, earrings, very colorful, unique and lightweight, fun and elegant. My jewelry are hand dyed by me, and are made of fringe, cords and a fantastic assortment of components, some are shiny and new and others are from a vintage collection of beads that I have been collecting over the years. My pieces are great on they’re own but they layer very well together, so you can make as much of a statement as you’d like. Very easy to wear and will prettify every outfit.
Other than that, I’m a wife, I’m a baker, I’m a writer and I’m an avid vintage clothing collector (and I’m always over dressed).
Where are you from and has that played a part in your creative process?
I’m a native Israeli, who moved to NYC 8 years ago. I currently reside and work in Harlem. So I kind of have 3 different places to inspire me:
The Israeli in me comes in the form of the hard working nature, I am motivated, I won’t take no for an answer and I fight for what I believe in. Also coming from a warm weather like in Israel, I have much appreciation for natural fibers and lightweight comfortable outfits, so I have that in mind while designing my jewelry.
The New Yorker in me keeps me on my toes. I mean, is there any other place that has such an amazing variety of talented stylish phenomenal people? I always have to be one step ahead, I get to meet fascinating people and I am never ever out of inspiration, even on the toughest day I just walk the streets and get so inspired, I am so lucky I get to live here.
Last but not least, I am based in Harlem, which makes me surrounded by mesmerizing colors, gorgeous prints and fierce women with endless style. The statement pieces they wear, the large earrings, and the unique color combination get me going.
You cannot be a shy designer, unless you have a very extrovert partner
What does a typical day look like for you?
I have a home studio, so I wake up pretty early, get my coffee in bed (yes I married well), I get dressed up and get in the studio before 9am, than I start by checking the email, social media, checking in on my mom (in Israel, 7 hours ahead) and I decide what today is going to be like. If I have a lot of orders I concentrate on production, I dye fringe, craft the orders, pack and ship.
On the good days I get to work on new colors and on develop the next collection, collect inspiration, do research, play around with components. When I work on a new collection I also get to go shopping for components, which is really fun! On other days, I email with buyers, customers, factories, I order components, I photograph, I Photoshop, I do a lot of excel, daily things, you know, as designers a lot of the work has nothing to do with design.
I love all things pretty, flowers, the color pink, I feel like when you are surrounded by pretty things you are just happier
Do you have a design philosophy or a set of values that applies to your work?
Yes, I believe that there’s always a reason to be pretty. I think you can make any outfit less dull or just wear it over and over again, by accessorizing it well; a good accessory can make an outfit. I personally hate when I’m not comfortable in what I wear, I get itchy, and I can’t wear heels, and I don’t wear anything too tight, so this is what I think of when I design, I want to make pieces that are easy to wear and match and layer and that if you’ll have them you will love them so much you’ll use them forever, like a favorite old t-shirt you wear for years.
I plate everything in the US, nickel free plating, so no one gets irritated, and I keep things colorful and unique. I develop my own colors, so my customers will have fresh new options every season.
If you could give another designer advice for success in running your own business what would it be?
I have a many! First of all, just do it! So many people are creative but are scared to take the leap, but what is the worst thing that can happen? Even if you crush and burn, at least you tried. Therefor my next advice is, get ready to hear the word NO, a lot, and know that it’s not personal, there is a market out there for whatever you’re doing, you just need to find it. Once you know who your market is, you’ll know where to look for it. The hardest part is to know what the brand story is and get everything to work together visually, but the better you know your own brand and know how to tell the story, the most likely other people will get it.
You cannot be a shy designer, unless you have a very extrovert partner.
Lastly, just to remind you, being a designer is not all that glamorous, and at the end of the day we are all here to make money, so know that the bigger you get and the more you sell, the less you get to actually design, and the more you deal with everything around like meetings and emails and excel sheets, that’s until you’re big enough to get people to do everything else for you so you can spend your days sketching, it’s kind of a catch 22.
What does the future hold for you? What’s your next project? Where do you see yourself in 3-5 years?
I’d like to get my wholesale business going even better than it is, I’m selling to boutiques in Japan, Kuwait, USA etc. and would love to have more around the world.
I also had the most amazing experience, when I was feature in the Etsy (and Etsy Wholesale) and Macy’s shop-in-shop collaboration, at the Macys Herald Square location, which was a priceless learning experience for a small studio to work with a large retailer like Macys, and got me some really cool press. I also have my own website and my own etsy store.
But my dream and aspiration is to make Reason To Be Pretty a lifestyle brand. I am so in synced with the brand, I love all things pretty, flowers, the color pink, I feel like when you are surrounded by pretty things you are just happier, and I would love to share it with my customers wherever they are.
Thanks so much for chatting, Nophar!
Also, from now until April 30, check out the Reason to Be Pretty Etsy store and use the promo code MARYSAVEL for 15% off your next order.
Girl with ballons photos - Martina Micko
All other photos: Jennie Barst Photography