Growing up in St. Louis, Elisheva Rudolph took part in art classes every summer. These classes were an artistic outlet that Elisheva looked forward to each year. Eventually, she became interested in jewelry design and metalsmithing. But when she and her family moved to New York right before ninth grade, she looked for classes to learn more about this medium and the closest class was a 40 minute drive. Thankfully, her parent’s agreed to the course and happily drove the 40 minutes. She would end up attending this class once a week for two to three years.
So how did you make the move from jewelry design to quilting?
I remember the summer before twelfth grade, a day or two before the jewelry class was supposed to start, they canceled it because there wasn’t enough enrollment. I was so disappointed because that was my creative outlet in the summer. My mother was talking to one of her close friends and she told her about a quilting teacher in the neighborhood. She was a religious woman who was a quilter and taught quilting classes one-on-one.
I never finished my first quilt because, by then, I had already started veering off towards Judaica and wall hangings. Two of my friends got engaged and I wanted to make them each a wall hanging. For one I made a wall hanging with a monogram that had both their names in it. I created and designed the monogram and they have it hanging in their house. I then made a totally different, more of a whimsical, wall hanging for my other friend.
After those two projects, what was the next memorable piece you made?
When I was engaged to my husband, I made his tallis bag and then after that anybody who saw it complimented it and said I have to start something with it. When we were married for about two years we came to Gruss Kollel, and at that time housing and utilities were covered and we got some food as well, so I viewed it as an opportunity to start working on things. I worked on my website and then I started growing my business slowly at that point.
How do people choose the design for their piece?
If people do not have a design concept in mind, I direct them to look at my website or we work on developing a custom design.
What’s your favorite part about your business?
I love the creative process and being able to create something beautiful for people’s homes that can beautify how people perform mitzvos. I also really like hearing people’s reactions. I think it was two years ago, someone ordered a wall hanging for her parent’s anniversary. It was an involved design so there was a lot of back and forth and the design process took some time. When they saw it they flipped! Not only did she thank me for it, but her parents did as well!
With seven children at home I’m sure things get busy! How do you find time for your business?
Usually in the mornings when the kids are out or napping and sometimes in the evenings or in the middle of the night depending on how my deadlines are. In terms of focusing I work it around my own schedule. Things have evolved. At times I’ve had assistants help me with the process, but now, I accept orders that I can handle on my own that work into my busy life as a mother. That’s something that I really like about the work. It’s an outlet for me and I really enjoy it. Its also great as it allows me to be home with my kids.
Are your kids interested in art?
You definitely see it in the kids. My oldest son is very artistic and he is taking art classes. A few of my other children are also interested in art and crafts. They also love looking at the different pieces that I have created!
To see Elisheva’s art and to inquire about ordering, check out her website: http://www.eli7creations.com/