ET–Who was the person that you made your first wedding gown for?
GL-One of the first wedding gowns I designed almost 30 years ago belonged to a client, who wanted a gown that was advanced for its time. She wanted a sheer illusion gown covered entirely with Swarovski crystals.
Today it might not sound rare or different, but at that time it was very bold, sexy, and unique. I will never forget that gown.
ET–Was it your decision to create a family business, or was it your son who offered to help, and he organically became part of the business?
GL-I started my business when my youngest son Idan was born. Back then, I didn’t plan or know it would grow to be as big and successful as it is today. It’s not something you can anticipate. My children were very young when I started so it didn’t even occur to me it will one day become a family business. I was simply following my personal dream.
But as the years went by and the business started growing, we had more and more opportunities coming our way. At one point I think both of my children, Osnat and Idan, realized they could see themselves fitting into my business due to the everyday challenges and adventures we experience. Both of them get to work on the things that interest them the most in the business, whether it’s the Marketing, Sales, and Business development for Idan or the Design, Manufacturing, and Production process for Osnat At the end of the day, they both feel challenged and work in a place that allows them to live to their full potential.
ET–What is your source of inspiration?
GL-I get inspired by women. I think women are God’s greatest creation. There’s nothing we can’t do. We are mothers, wives, girlfriends, business owners, artists, scientists, and so much more.
We do it all with so much grace and elegance. The women I meet every day are my motivating force. They are what I see in mind when I create, and from them, I draw my inspiration.
ET-What part of the day is your most creative time?
GL-I’m lucky enough to be working in an environment that keeps me creative all day long. It’s not just one part of the day. Sometimes we’ll get a new fabric that will spark something for me. Another time, we’ll get in a new request for a custom piece for a VIP or a celebrity client. The way I see it, if you’re a creative person, it’s just something you have in you, and it’s triggered by different outside forces.
ET–Your international locations – the flagship stores. How were they chosen and why?
GL-Choosing a location for a flagship is, above all, a business decision. You want to make sure there’s a market where you open, whether because there is already a demand for your product or because you want to penetrate a certain market in which you identify potential. In our case, we started getting more and more requests and inquiries from brides worldwide. Being located in Israel, technology, and social media has made it possible to interact easily with brides that live abroad. We started realizing people want to try on our products. They are interested in what we have to offer. We quickly recognized our strongest areas and, based on that, decided where we wanted to open. Today it’s not just about having a presence where we are most wanted but also about pushing boundaries and staying ahead of the market. For example, we only recently opened our 1st Flagship in Shanghai being the first Israeli Bridal Brand to have opened a Flagship store in Shanghai. We also just opened our newest flagship in Miami, which is predicted to become one of the largest fashion capitals within the next few years.
ET-What is your routine to rejuvenate and rest?
GL-I love to travel and try to do it as often as I can. I’m very busy but whenever I travel for work, I will try to squeeze in a few extra days too. I always get inspired by different cultures and I enjoy exploring new places.
ET-What are your favourite foods?
GL-I love eating fish. Cooked or raw, I don’t really mind.
ET-Do you have a favourite time of the year?
GL-I love Spring. when everything blooms and the weather is just perfect. I always feel more relaxed and calm during this time of the year.
ET-If you could do anything differently, knowing what you know now, what would it be?
GL-I would tell my younger self to trust my instinct more. It’s so easy to get distracted and carried away by what other people think and say. Although it’s important to listen at the end of the day, you need to trust yourself and remember that it is your instincts that got you to where you are today.
ET–Any advice to other creative designers that are just starting out?
GL-I would advise younger designers who are just starting out to really try and find what makes them special. There are many talented designers out there, but people don’t just buy products. They buy a story and an experience. You need to know who you are and what your strengths are in order to tell it in the most magnificent way possible. Don’t just trust your talent, you also need to know your unique selling point and how to present it to the world. https://www.galialahav.com/