Tichel Love? MELANIE Love!

I’m very happy to introduce you to Melanie!  I met her on facebook about a year back.   She is inspiring in both her enthusiasm for tichels and helping others… really, just all aspects of life!  Her upbeat posts and support of everyone is infectious!  Oh, and let’s not even begin to talk about her incredible wrapping skills – I’ll let you see for yourselves!  I know she’ll make you smile ear to ear!

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Hi Melanie!  Can you tell us a bit about yourself!  How you grew up, what you enjoy doing, how you spend your time, etc.? I was adopted out of foster care at a young age. I grew up a military child, moving around a lot. I really enjoy my children, reading, and creating things. I have 4 children. 3 boys and an angel little girl we adopted. We are foster parents and LOVE living the life of all things child related. We homeschool and spend lots of time together as a family. I love it!

What led to your covering your hair with tichels?
Oh my so many things attributed to me covering my hair…the beauty of it drew me in like flames in a fire. It has been a journey of discovering who I really am.  I feel like I am hiding a piece of me that I used to let define me (as a former hairdresser) and saving it for my husband. When I do this I feel like I am showing others the true “me” not just what I wanted them to see which was for me, mostly about my looks and hair. I want to be modest and for me, that includes covering my hair and saving it for my sweet man!

How has your life changed since starting to cover? Many things have changed since I started covering. Most for the better, but let’s be real – sticking out like a (beautifully covered) sore thumb in an uncovered community has its moments, some encouraging and some just down right hard. In the hard moments I hold my Tichel up high and remember I am a Queen and I do this for the love and  respect of others whether they know it, or understand it. So I’d say it has made me more humble.

How did people around you react? They are still reacting. At first it was like an elephant in the room, sometimes that elephant is still there. When I feel it there I picture myself wrapping a beautiful Tichel on it… Then I start mentally wrapping up other women’s heads. That normally helps! Haha! Most are curious why I do, some want to argue about why they think I do, and some surprise me and start covering their own beautiful little heads! I tend to be flooded with compliments by complete strangers. Some women have started covering and will send me pictures of them all wrapped in beauti-mus-ness! I love that SO much! Overall I would say it has been taken very well by others 🙂

What do you love most about tichel tying? Everyday is a new day and a new Tichel! I am excited every night to wake up and put on a new/different Tichel the next day! I love how different ways of tying & colors and textures bring out different features of my face and my style.

PLEASE share with us your tips and tricks!! When I started buying scarves I was all over the place, anything that caught my eye I bought it. Now, I have a method to it. I like to buy lots of plain colored scarves to use as a base, I will watch for sales and stock up. So when I see different textures, odd sized pieces or wild colors I know I am bound to have a “base” that will match it. I also buy a lot of solid color clothing, that way I can be a little more wild & free when buying my Tichels and don’t have to worry about having something to match them.

What is your favourite tichel? Impossible question! Haha! Israeli Tichels are my favorite “type” though.

What recommendations would you make to someone who is just starting to learn how to tie? Watch videos of others tying, master one look you really like…and just keep trying! 😉 AND a velvet band is a MUST!

Can you tell me any interesting stories about the women you’ve met during your covering journey? A funny flattering story…I was in the grocery store with the kids, we turned onto the drink aisle and a container of juice had spilled all over the floor. I sent my oldest to go get a sales clerk and while he was gone a woman came down the other end of the aisle. She just kept staring at me. I was thinking she had seen the juice but she just kept walking straight for it, staring at me. Eventually she got so close and was about to walk right into the lake of grape juice all over the aisle so I lunged forward and said “stop!”. She was utterly shocked and snapped out of her fix on me, I said “ma’am there is juice on the floor be careful” she said…”I cannot stop staring at how beautiful your wrap, (is that what you call it?) is on your head….you are a breath of fresh air, and I cannot get enough! You are so modest AND beautiful! I don’t see this everyday!” It made me smile for a month! I promise! Haha!
I also had a case worker for one of my babies, who covers her hair and knows the lovely Zarinah El-Amin Naeem! We were so excited for the pictures from the last head wrap expo and wanted to come so bad! She would bring pictures and calendars of beautiful wraps when she would come over and we got to connect through our wraps. The first time she came to my house we both just stopped and stared at each other. It was funny and we laughed about it later. We were both so shocked to meet and have that in common!

What is your favourite colour? Oh my……the rainbow. Haha! I love all colors! I think purple and teal are my two “favorites” but it’s hard to say for sure! I love all colors!
What are you grateful for right now? The amazing, encouraging, sisterhood of women that cover as well!


A Sparkly Thank You!

A very generous reader all the way across the ocean thought of me while shopping, and sent me this stunning beaded band in the mail!  It’s such a perfect hair wrapping accessory; I decided to wear it for the holiday of Sukkot paired with a green, flowered scarf.  Thank you!!!

(Yep, these photos were snapped pre makeup and earring almost falling out – there was so much cooking and running around to do before the beginning of the holiday!)

The dress I wore was a gift from my husband!  It is one of those “covers all” dresses that I don’t need to wear anything else over in order to be comfortably modest.  It’s from the vintage section of etsy (very affordable!) and is perfect for the nippy weather!


Lady Wrap Star, Cynthia!

I am excited to feature Cynthia as this week’s Lady Wrap Star!  Cynthia contributes so much to this community, with her lovely comments and ideas, as well as her photos that she shows us on the facebook group to give inspiration.  I love her use of different shades and soft colours, and was not surprised to hear that her thoughts on hair covering are just as beautiful as the wraps she wears!  Read on…

Lady Wrap Star known as:
Cynthia Doniger

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How do spend your time?
I am a Licensed Massage Therapist (18 years) and a Certified Aromatherapist—After a long full career, I now see a few private clients, do consultations and teach continuing education workshops with Cross County Education. When on a teaching tour I am in 3 cities in three days. Lots of travel!

How long have you been covering your hair?
Since I married my best friend in the world!

 Have you changed how you cover over time?
I began covering my hair at shul after marriage by wearing hats…I had an extensive collection which I only wore once a week. I was hat shopping and  having a conversation one day with a very liberal Jewish friend—we were both trying on hats and she put on one that was gorgeous for her. I told her so and her reply was that since she normally wears a kipah & tallis, she would feel hypocritical wearing a hat or covering her hair. This chance remark began some significant soul searching on my part. I decided to cover my hair all the time, I gave away my hats because I felt like putting on a scarf (or two) was similar to my husband putting on a tallit…it was an opportunity for me to grow closer to Hashem. BTW-the friend who started all this later tried to apologized for her remark, but I wouldn’t let her because she spoke the truth as I needed to hear it,

What is your favourite scarf and/or accessory?
I have shared the pictures of my collection….I love them all! I discovered that I like volume and invested in a volumizing cotton cap for under the scarves…best accessory EVER!

 What are you wearing on your head today?
Today is a lazy day wrap a heavy square gold & black square folded in a triangle just tied & tucked. I have this scarf in black & red also black & teal.

 How has covering your hair affected your professional life?
It may sound crazy but I feel authentic. Because it is obvious that something is different, my students & clients all know that I am Jewish. I seems that somehow this actually gives them permission to be authentic too. So far, professionally it has been a good thing.

 How did your family and friends react to your covering?
Most of the family said nothing. Either it didn’t matter or they were following the old adage –“if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” There were a few whispered remarks from liberal relatives & friends- “Well, that’s just ridiculous!” and “Where do you think you are…in the shetel?” Some Jewish friends who had not seen us in awhile took my husband aside to ask if I had a “medical condition”?!?

 Any funny or inspirational covering stories you would like to share?
What I want to share (especially after that last question) is the JOY I get when I am out and encounter another woman who cover. I have to travel 2 hours to buy kosher meat. When I first got to Detroit this last time I pulled up to fill the gas tank at Costco. As I was standing there the woman at the car behind me peeked around her open car door, our eyes met (after taking in the mutual head coverings & skirts) and we shared the secret smile!

 Any recommendations to someone that has a similar face shape and/or colouring?
Don’t assume that you can’t wear a particular style until you try it. I was stuck in a simple wrap style until I met Andrea and her awesome videos—now I have a wonderful time trying new wraps!

 What are some of your hair covering tips/tricks/secrets?
Allow yourself some “play time” to experiment—not all wraps will be sucessful….but the more you do the more you learn.

How do you store your scarves?
My wonderful husband made a rack for me out of a wooden strip with cup hooks and I use binder clips to hold the scarves!

What is your favourite colour?
I tend to really like to match my head wrap to my outfit and so my tendency is to gravitate towards black, ivory, gold and other neutrals, but Andrea’s artistry has got me experimenting with more colour.

What are you grateful for right now?
I am grateful for finding this group of women. The Jewish community in Grand Rapids, Michigan is small. The observant Jewish community here is even smaller. Sometimes it gets a little lonely….it’s nice to connect to so many beautiful women!