It’s exciting to see two dedicated and creative women start a brand new endeavor - and achieve success greater than even imagined. As with many ventures, the idea for iKIPPAH came out of a personal desire for something that was not previously available - kippahs that reflected the uniqueness of their own children. Sisters-in-law Sarale and Dina Seewald from Brooklyn were driven to become entrepreneurs and create a new line of kippahs that were not just boring accessories. They knew that children, teens and men may desire to be traditional and wear a yarmulke, but they also want to coordinate their kippah with their own personality and wardrobe.
Beautiful, high quality, comfortable iKIPAAHs come in all different styles and patterns. And all different fabrics. Out of the hundreds offered by iKIPPAH - everyone is finding the right ones for their unique personality and desired fashion statement. For kids they are fun, for teens they are cool, for adults they can be somewhat outrageous or classy conservative.
iKIPPAHs are creating a buzz - and it has become the brand that everyone wants. Kippah collections are expanding and becoming populated with a variety of iKIPPAHs - because everyday is different, and there is always a perfectly matched iKIPPAH to top it off.
In this interview Sarale and Dina talk about their desire to change the world of kippahs.
Interview with Sarale & Dina
iKIPPAH is a relatively new brand - designing stylish & unique yarmulkes. You are becoming successful women entrepreneurs. How has it grown since its start three years ago?
The company iKIPPAH was only created a mere 3 years ago. Within the first 24 hrs we had 1000 followers. Since then our growth has continued to grow at the same rapid pace. Within the short time that iKIPPAH has existed we have grown from a concept into a world renowned brand. We are continuously creating new and fresh designs to give our customers unique choices, while coming up with innovative ways to create more excitement for wearing a kippah. Our brand is currently being sold in over 180 stores across America, and in 8 countries worldwide. We now ship everywhere!
What made you decide to start iKIPPAH - and how did you go about it?
We have always been obsessed with dressing our children! When both our sons turned three (the appropriate age to start wearing a kippah) we felt like we had fallen into a stumbling block. The kippahs that existed would totally ruin their “look”. However, being Religious Mothers, it wasn’t an option for our boys to NOT wear a kippah. Instead we realized we needed to be creative. So we started small. We created two different designs - 100 pieces of each. They were sold within a few hours. Men and women alike went crazy for them! Mothers with babies started buying them to save for when they were older. We realized that the concept of cool kippahs did not previously exist - and we weren’t the ONLY ones that wanted them. The excitement and buzz had started! From that point on, we have constantly driven to maintain the absolute best in manufacturing and design to keep up with OUR standard of quality and style.
iKIPPAH is a brand created by women - did that (does that) help you in any way?
iKIPPAH was ideally created for men. However, the fact that we are women has helped a great deal in how we approached the design and practicality of our product. We have created many lines of iKIPPAHS ranging with the most conservative for men to fun and eclectic designs that would convince any kid to want to wear a kippah. We have also designed our line of iKIPPAHS to be extremely practical, and made sure to create the perfect fit - so that they actually stay on the head. All our iKIPPAHS are wonderfully comfortable, and we ensure that they are washable.
Where do you envision your iKIPPAH brand two years from now?
Judging from the pace that we are growing at - and how devoted our iKIPPAH team is - in two years we hope to have completely revolutionized the concept of kippahs! We envision every male - regardless of their age or where they live - expressing themselves through their kippahs. The available variety will keep their yarmulke collection growing.
What is your FAVORITE iKIPPAH for kids?
We have so many favorites that it would be hard to pick just one. From The vibrancy of The Very Hungry Caterpiller to the dynamic vibe of the Super Hero. We have so many fun ones to enjoy! The kids just LOVE THEM.
What is your FAVORITE iKIPPAH for formal wear?
We have quite a few gorgeous iKIPPAH choices for the fancier moments in life although we think if we had to pick one it would absolutely be the Peacock!
What is your FAVORITE iKIPPAH for bar mitzvahs?
What is your FAVORITE iKIPPAH for adults who want to be stylish?
We have so many incredible designs that it would be hard to just pick one for this question. Ranging from plaids, ginghams, houndstooth and stripes, there are so many options for almost every type of adult, regardless of his style.
How do you know that your iKIPPAH brand is creating a buzz?
Everywhere we travel we see our iKIPPAHS on young and old alike. Women go searching the web, making announcements on social media that they are tracking specific designs and will pay extra for them. Customers from all over contact us to let us know all about their iKIPPAH addiction. THAT’S how we know the iKIPPAH CRAZE is real!
What made iKIPPAH go from an interesting idea to an actual business with product launches?
Consist hard work - but we love it and plan on only working harder to keep growing at the pace we are!
How do you go about developing a new iKIPPAH design?
We are constantly working on new designs, and a lot of thought goes into this. We must always have the perfect balance of style, creativity and practically in each line of iKIPPAHS we create. We also always factor in the current trends, season, and what we feel the market is lacking when we create our designs.
Do you both generally agree on what you should do?
Yes, we both have our own sense of style, which really compliments each other’s creativity and instinctive focus! We both understand what will become popular, and what styles are desired and we trust each other’s judgement entirely. We make a great team!
How do you balance the traditional ideas with a more modern approach?
We have created kippahs for every type of jew. Those that are more strict and only prefer a black solid yarmulke still want the quality of an iKIPPAH, For those that have a harder time wearing a kippah we have created designs that will add style to their outfits.
Our customers feel that iKIPPAHS are accessories - and want to start building up their own collection. In addition, we always comply with all the Jewish customs and laws when producing our kippahs. All our kippahs are 2 ply and we offer options of both 4 and 6 panels.
Who do you see as your customers? How do you interact with them? What feedback / input / encouragement do they give you?
Anyone who could wear and does wear a kippah is a potential customer. Most customers become obsessed with our products as soon as they learn of them. Our team at iKIPPAH ALWAYS puts our customers first. We strive to have the best customer service possible and encourage our customers to reach out directly to us with any sort of feedback or questions
Please tell us about having an iKIPPAH collection. Do you have customers who keep adding iKIPPAHS to their expand their own?
We receive pictures daily from proud customers showing off their collections. They tell us that once they got one of our iKIPPAHS they quickly become obsessed and want their collection to get bigger. We have new designs on a monthly basis - and it’s hard to not keep falling in love with them all!
What is the best compliment about iKIPPAHS you ever got?
We receive so many compliments but we think the ones that touch us the most are when we are told of people struggling in their religion and that it was our kippahs that have made them want to start wearing a kippah again. Such compliments make us realize the deeper effect we have created through our endeavors.
Tell us about the range of people who wear iKIPPAHS.
From ultra-orthodox men to those who are completely unaffiliated. We have kippahs for every type of person regardless of age and background. We dream of a day when everyone is making their desired personal or stylish statement by wearing one of our iKIPPAHS!!