Jessie Rubenstein, Making Meaning as a Lady Wrap Star

Shalom, y’all! My name is Jessie, and I live in Phoenix, Arizona. I’m blessed to work as a Jewish educator at a local synagogue as their Religious School Director. This is my passion- providing meaningful, engaging Jewish learning experiences to kids and their families. It is a LOT of work, but I absolutely love it. My wife and I have two amazing children- Helena, age 7 and Leon, age 3- who are a handful but the greatest joys of my life. 

I’m a huge nerd. When I’m not working or being with my family, I can often be found playing board and card games or playing Pathfinder (a Dungeons and Dragons-esque role playing game) with a group of dear friends. I enjoy cooking, and even after my long days, I will (most of the time) still try and make my family dinner. Watching them enjoy what I make makes me happy. I’m a prolific baker, especially challah. Perfecting my challah recipe was my big pandemic project and I am close!

I love science fiction and fantasy shows, especially Star Trek. My wife and I have a hard time agreeing on things to watch. In general, I am squeamish when it comes to action and horror, but for some reason we can agree on True Crime documentaries. I listen to lots of podcasts. My favorite right now is Torah Smash! which is an exploration of Torah and Jewish life through the lens of something nerdy or geeky. Right up my alley!

I started covering in December of 2020. My wife and I were going through a lot, and I needed something with me at all times to remind myself of the value of our relationship. I usually wore a kippah but was becoming less and less attuned to God. I found that when I covered, I could more deeply feel God’s presence. The weighty, physical reminder of God being in my life and a force that connects my family together really helped pull me from a dark place. 

At first, I was only covering at home. I am a proud Reform Jew and it is very uncommon in my community to cover. At the time, I was working at a pluralistic Jewish day school as a Jewish Studies teacher, and it felt appropriative in a way. Going to work started feeling more and more uncomfortable without my tichel; it had become integral to my connection to God and myself. 

Wrapping my tichel each morning is sometimes the highlight of my day. As a working mom, I have very little time and energy to reflect. Wrapping gives me that moment to do something just for me. I pray, I send healing thoughts to others, I contemplate my day; it’s purely for me. I also love being creative every morning and having this time for unique expression.

I discovered Wrapunzel because I asked a friend of mine in the Orthodox Jewish community where I should go to start. She called Wrapunzel the gold standard and boy was she right! 

My headwraps are inspired by so many things! My outfit, what I’ll be doing that day, a particular scarf, my mood… lots of things! I love the Wrapunzel online community because I’ll often see something and think that I need to try it, or something like it!

My tichel is often reflective of my mood. I’ve always been a creative person and I’ve found that, like my artwork, so much of my wrapping is dependent on mood. When I’m down, it’s usually a lot more simple. I do sometimes use my wrap as a way to boost myself when I am down. A sari is something I’ll often use for that because they are so beautiful and fun to play with!

I love colors, especially because I will wear lots of black or white or grey. Reds, purples, blues, and greens are my favorite color palette, specifically jewel tones of those. I love to add sparkle, texture, and pattern in ways that are unexpected.

My go-to style is a fan wrap, especially on a busy day. It’s quick and easy but looks beautiful. It can also be tied in a bunch of ways. I love an angled regal wrap as well, because it is so versatile and can be modified to do many things. 

I have a lot of favorite Wrapunzel scarves! For winter I love the Lakeshore Bliss, Signature Scarf, Cranberry Scarf, and pashminas. In summer, Arizona is brutally hot, and I’ll often wear a Petalsoft, New York Brights, Sari, or 2-in-1. I recently purchased a Can’t Catch Me, and it is quickly becoming a top favorite. My go-to shaper is a Wendy, but when I want to feel more regal, I’ll use a Bobo or the Uber.

Here’s my tichel philosophy – don’t be afraid to try new things and wear something that you may not be immediately drawn to! The worst thing that happens is you retie it later. Also, experiment a lot and try to get out of your comfort zone sometimes. Many of my favorite tichels I’ve done I discovered through trial and LOTS of error. 

When I started covering was the first time in my life that I’ve felt beautiful. I’ve struggled with my self esteem, but wearing a tichel I feel like a Queen. I look in the mirror and see who I truly am. My hair has always been a source of immense anxiety for me; I have polycystic ovary syndrome which has made my hair brutally thin and brittle which, combined with my hair being frizzy, always made me uncomfortable. Feeling like I am crowned with beauty has been life changing. I finally feel like me. 

When you’re just beginning to wrap, ask questions, look at tutorials, and above all else, make it your own. A wrap doesn’t have to be an “official” type of wrap with a tutorial on YouTube to be beautiful and feel like you. 

Always make your wrap journey a reflection of you. We all do this for different reasons and gain different meanings from it. Your journey is yours. 

Now and always, I am grateful for my family. Being with them is the greatest thing. My children, and the fact that they love each other so much. Rest! Chances to keep learning. Community.

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