Cherish the old ~ Embrace the new

October 2021 Newsletter

Written by Ayellet Rubinstein


Posted on October 31 2021

Hi Everyone,

To live in the moment is something that I work on everyday. I find that most of the time we are so caught up in our jobs and responsibilities that we forget to stop and take it all in - to appreciate the world around us, to be curious, and to connect with others. When I am present and mindful, magic happens. Life happens. When I slow down and pay attention to my girls they feel my peace and my energy. They feel safe to open up and let me into their lives. When I'm distracted they feel my lack of presence and shut down. The vibrations are reciprocated. It takes an enormous amount of daily practice for me to take a deep breath and slow down - to say to myself that life is happening right now. In this moment. Not yesterday and not tomorrow. Through being open to others we can discover how other people think, live, and what makes them tick. I have come to know some amazing people in my life when I was present and open to a conversation.  Most recently, my mindfulness and presence lead me to an exciting new collaboration with an up and coming local designer... I was helping a customer check-out at the register and asked for her email address to send the receipt. As I was entering it into the computer I heard the word "design" and a light bulb went off in my head. When I asked her what she designed she held up the beautiful bag she was carrying, "handbags," she explained. The leather was soft and luxurious and I knew right away I wanted her to design some for the store. She agreed with a big smile on her face and just like that my exciting collaboration with Danielle Bernard began. When you are in the moment paying attention to the world in front of you, great things happen. I have so much gratitude for the life I live. All of it. The hardships, failures, lessons, triumphs, small and big things. Life is happening right now and it's pretty amazing.

I hope you have a great day.




"Make sure the present moment is your friend, not your enemy. Honor it by giving it your fullest attention. Become internally aligned with it by allowing it to be as it is." 

- Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth)






Danielle Bernard is a designer that creates one-of-a-kind handbags from her home here in Pittsburgh using her signature knotting technique and beautiful leather from the West Coast and Europe.

Ayellet: Tell me a little bit about your background. What was your childhood like?
Danielle: I grew up in the North Hills. My mom had her own tailoring business that she ran through our house. She taught me how to sew when I was around 12 or so. I spent a lot of my childhood outside playing with neighborhood kids, going on nature walks with my grandparents, sewing with my mom, piecing scraps of fabric together by hand or with the machine, drawing, painting, and creating something with any supplies that were around me. I'd make bags, doll clothes, and repurpose my clothing to change it up. I wanted to be a fashion designer the moment I started sewing.
Ayellet: When did you realize that you are artistic?
Danielle: I think I've always known. A lot of my ancestors were artists or teachers. My grandfather was an oil painter and a carpenter, my father is a carpenter and a teacher, my mom is a highly skilled artist of many mediums, her mom was a teacher, painter, performer. It's in my blood.
Ayellet: What inspires you to create?
Danielle: My clients inspire me, I like to get a sense of who people are, what they like, how they live. My emotions inspire me, I've made some of my bestsellers while going through some emotional lows. I like to use them as fuel to create. 
Ayellet: When did you start designing handbags?
Danielle:  I left my lighting design job in 2011 to move to Paris with my husband and 8 month old. I spent the next 3+ years learning French, having another baby and sneaking off alone to museums when my lovely sitter would come for few hours a week. I learned how to cook, painted more, played in the beautiful parks with my children while practicing my French with the other children. When we moved back home, I wanted to go back to work in some capacity and felt a strong pull to fulfill my childhood dream of designing fashion.
Ayellet: Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
Danielle: I'd like to freelance my designs to larger companies and I'd like to continue making bags for my lovely clients. I take it day by day and try to remain open and adaptable to new ideas and experiences while also making sure I'm following my larger goals of growing my business.







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