Adding Style to your Table with the Painted Glassware of Not Too Shabbey-Plus Giveaway!!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Shavuos is coming! Shavuos is one of my favorite Jewish Holidays, one where we celebrate receiving of the gift of the Torah. Our custom is to eat lots of delicious dairy food (including lots of cheesecake!), and to set our tables beautifully with pretty tableware and gorgeous flowers. Shavuos comes at the perfect time of year for flowers, and they need not only come in the form of fresh ones, they can also enhance your table via gorgeous painted glassware!

I recently had the pleasure of getting to know Abbey, the talented and vibrant artist and creator of Not2Shabbey, an online boutique filled with the most beautiful gift ware and tableware.  Many of her pieces are adorned with vibrant painted flowers, as well as many other unique designs that are hand painted onto virtually any type of glassware. (See below for my favorites!)

Here, Abbey answers some questions about herself, how she got into the glass painting business, and how she manages to juggle being a busy Mom and a successful business woman. She also gives us some great tips for decorating our tables for Shavuos!

Check out her site and you will be sure to find something to enhance your Shavuos table as well! (Save 15% on any purchase by using coupon code ISHA15)

Fashion-isha: Tell us a little about yourself, where you are from, your background, how you would describe yourself, your family, anything you'd want to share about yourself.
Abbey: My name is Abbey Wolin and I am originally from Los Angeles, CA. I grew up in the Valley where there is plenty of sunshine and swimming pools.  I am an absolute creative nut - always trying to come up with new and original ideas. I have been a teacher for over 13 years. Creativity and the classroom just go so well together. I have been married for 12 years and I have 5 CRAZY beautiful kids.
Fashion-isha: You have a successful hand painted tableware business. Tell us what inspired you to go into this business?
Abbey: I have been crafting for a very long time. I have done everything from paper crafting to mosaic tiling. One summer I taught myself how to paint glass. There are a million different techniques and it did take me awhile to find my groove, but once I did my business started to take off. I realized that – especially in the frum communities – people like to entertain and they are always in need of good quality serving pieces. Everyone wants something new and interesting; something that is one-of-a-kind and I provide that to my customers. Since each piece is hand painted, not one piece is like the other. My specialty is custom creations and I always love when couples send me their Monograms to incorporate into a glass piece, or when companies send me their logo to create promotional items.
Fashion-isha: At what age did you know you wanted to be an artist?
Abbey: When I was in High School, I had really bad grades. I thought that school was a social experience. Not really a place for learning. I didn’t really take it seriously as you can guess. For example, when it was time to take my SAT’s I didn’t bring a pencil or a calculator. I remember wondering why everyone was so frantic and crazy about the test. Was it really that important??? I decided in my senior year that I would go to art school and become an interior designer. You didn’t need to have good grades, just an awesome portfolio. Problem was…. I had never taken an art class in my life or had picked up a pencil to draw. I had some friends in the art studio class in school and I thought if they could do it, why couldn’t I?
My art teacher, as they usually are, was a mighty eccentric character. Loads of curly frizzy hair and an insanely happy personality. When I told her my dreams of going to art school and that I needed 12-15 pieces for a portfolio - oh and that I had never taken art before or knew how to draw – to her credit she didn’t even blink an eye. OK fine – she looked at me as if I was crazy, but she held it all in and never dashed my dreams. It was through her that I first found my love of studio art and discovered the richness of art history. I truly owe her a lot. 

In the end, I came up with 5 large pieces and a sketchpad of drawings to show at my college interviews. I remember thinking that it was a long shot to get in, but get in I did! I was accepted to 2 of the best art schools in NY – the only 2 schools that I had applied to.

Fashion-isha: What are some of the events that lead up to the specialized business that you're in now.
Abbey: There are a few things that lead me to where I am today.

1)  Instead of going to the art colleges that I had been accepted to I deferred and went to Israel instead. When I came home I got married and moved back to my hometown of Los Angeles. There I studied Interior Design at UCLA. It was during these first 2 years of marriage that the groundwork was set for who I would become and for the company I would later create. At UCLA, I realized that as soon as I started taking CAD and all the building courses, that I truly HATED interior design. That wasn’t what I liked about art. I loved the color theory classes and the courses that brought about creativity and expected you to think differently. I loved studio art and the prospect of designing pieces that were done by mixing various elements and materials. I didn’t realize this at the time, but those feelings spilled into my teaching. I began teaching students visually and kinesthetically. Special Education became my forte.  

2) Sometimes things come together at the perfect moments. Just at the right time. That’s what happened here. Just as my business was taking off, social media stated to become very popular. I started researching how to grow a fan base and what you needed to do to become successful through facebook. I kept reading over and over again about giveaways. I was very scared to give things away for free. Not only was I working hard to make the piece, but it cost money to buy the products. I was a little weary of doing it, but then I read about an IKEA in Europe who ran a brilliant campaign on Facebook. They didn’t have enough money to advertise their location so they created a facebook page. Every day they uploaded a new picture onto their page and whoever shared the photo first would win that piece of Ikea furniture free. They had gotten so much publicity through facebook that millions found out about their new location and paying for advertisements wasn’t necessary. 

I ran my first campaign I believe, that winter. I immediately gained 300 followers, and every time I posted a new photo I gained another 100 or so fans. I realized the brilliancy of my plan. I needed to get my products into the hands of my fans. It wasn’t just enough that they “LIKED” my page. They needed to see, feel, and above all else use my pieces to fall in love with them, so they would recommend them to their friends and come back to me as a retail client. As my fan base grew, I started going to stores and creating relationships with their owners. I started painting exclusively for a manufacturer after we made a connection at the NY Gift Show. I was there looking for good pieces of glass and he was a vendor looking to offer something different to his customers. So now I was working wholesale to stores and retail to private customers.

Fashion-isha: What is the hardest part about having your own creative business? What is the best part?

Abbey: I think the hardest part for me is putting myself out there. People expect a lot and I don’t want to disappoint. I know it will come as a shock to most people, but I am extremely self conscious. My feelings get hurt very easily and I am constantly second guessing myself. One negative comment and my day is completely ruined. It doesn’t matter how many wonderful comments I get, I obsess about the negative ones. I know – it sux!

The best thing is getting to meet people and Jews from all over the world. I sell to Australia, Lousiana, Wyoming, and even Kansas. I love meeting frum people from around the country. I get to hear about their communities and what it’s like to live over there. I am a huge history/geography buff and LOVE LOVE LOVE this part of my business.

Fashion-isha: How does having a family and being a Mom affect your business?

Abbey: I’m not going to lie – it’s REALLY hard. As I am getting older, I feel like my artistic/creative self is coming out more and more. It’s very hard to tune it out. Once I get an idea I have to work on it until it’s completely purged and done. It’s kind of like being a writer, once you have thought you kind of tune out the world and go with it, until the thoughts are finished.

I am extremely lucky to have a husband who is by far the best Dad ever. Once my kids come home from school I do the dinner and homework shift and then head down into my studio to finish up the day’s work, while he makes sure they all get washed up and then reads them a story and tucks them in.

I completely work around my children’s schedules; I am not immune to doctor’s appointments or lunches left at home. I think all moms find it challenging at times, but I know my kids appreciate me and all the hard work that I do. They see firsthand what perseverance and dedication can bring.  I think that’s the best lesson I can teach my children.

Fashion-isha: What are some tips you can give busy moms and business women to be able to 'do it all'?

Abbey: Honestly, I think it’s very hard “to do it all.” I think all us working women make compromises with ourselves, our spouses, and our children so that we can pursue our dream or our careers. For many of us, me included, having a job is not a choice but a must – have you taken a look at Yeshiva tuitions lately??  

I think the best advice that I can give to all mothers out there is to shut the computer and turn off your cell phone for a certain amount of time each evening. Designate that time for your children. Give them quality time of yourself.

Fashion-isha: What advice would you give anyone who has a dream to pursue a creative business?

Abbey: Get off your tush and do it. We all make excuses for why we are not doing something, but if you believe in yourself it will happen. The way you perceive yourself is how others will perceive you. If you think you can do it then you will.

Fashion-isha: Tell us some things you have learned the most from having your own business.
Abbey: Before I ran this company I used to do children’s programming and I learned a lot about confrontations and standing up for myself. I have loads of creative ideas and people have no problem taking them and claiming them for themselves.
I have also learned to be more confident. As my popularity has grown so has my respect in the art world. My pieces speak for themselves. Where I used to be shy on calls to stores and in awe that they would actually purchase my pieces, I am now extremely confident.
Fashion-isha: What are some of your future goals? What are you most looking forward to?
Abbey: OH MAN!  Too many to count! Not 2 Shabbey is going to take the world by storm!  I would love to produce crafting videos and books, write for blogs, and be featured in magazines.  Dude, the list goes on and on.
Fashion-isha: Shavuos is coming! Tell us some creative ways to make our Yom Tov tables special. 
Abbey: I know this sounds CRAZY! But how fun would it be to decorate your table with real grass? It would be so fun for your kids to make with you!!!  Do this project now, and then watch your kids eyes glow as they watch the grass grow and grow!  Get really nice square short vases at Michaels or you local arts and crafts store; something nice that will match your table. Then purchase soil and grass seeds at your local Home Depot or nursery.  Put the soil into the vase along with the grass seeds and water every day. Place it near a window or outside – it needs lots of light. By Shavuos you will have a nice thick grass bed coming out of your vase. For my Shavuos table I would do 2 grass vases and a third square vase filled with flowers. That vase I would put in the center of my table with the 2 grass vases on either side flanking it.
For some additional creativity you can download some coloring sheets from google images – just type “torah coloring pages” or “flower coloring pages” – copy the image and paste it into a word document. Then print it out. These make GREAT coloring activities for those days off before the holiday.  
Thank you Abbey!
And now let me show you some of my favorite pieces from Not2Shabbey. I adore the colors and creativity of each piece! 


Get 15% off any purchase at Not2Shabbey by using coupon code ISHA15.

You can also WIN this gorgeous gold and silver pitcher (value $69.99 see details here) by entering our giveaway:
Here's how you enter to win:

1. Check out Not2Shabbey and then come back here and leave a comment what you love the best.
2. Like Not2Shabbey on Facebook by clicking HERE.

Extra Entries (optional)

1. Follow my blog on Google Friend Connect
3. Tweet About this Giveaway with link.

Leave separate comments for each additional entry.

Don't forget to use this coupon code to save 15% when purchasing your own fabulous hand painted pieces at Not2Shabbey
Code: ISHA15

Until next time,


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  1. I love your tradition of Shavuos, any holiday that allows you to eat dairy has to be wonderful. Not2shabbey makes some gorgeous glassware love the pieces with polka dots and the serving spoons are wonderful. Nice interview fun getting to know about the person behind the pieces and more about the items.


  2. gorgeous items I love glass Will have to check out her website soon
    Hope Italy is treating you well

  3. Luv the grey and polka dot glasses. Liked not2shabbey!!

  4. love the East Side and the Manhattan vase! Gorgeous pieces of art!

  5. love the East Side and Manhattan vases, gorgeous pieces of art!

  6. so inspiring to see someone reach for their dreams. really enjoyed the interview...

  7. She has such a unique talent! I love how she can do elegant pieces but also whimsical ones.

  8. They are so beautiful and so perfect for right now! Love the blues and greens everything (:
    Thank you for finding this lovely Abbey, Sharon!
    xo Z

  9. I love the gold ribbon items.

  10. I love the wine glasses that are painted in all different colors.

  11. I love all the floral collections, especially the hydrangeas!

  12. I love the polka dotted glasses. Cute!!

  13. I like all of abbeys designs, they are amazing. I LOVE the cascading hydrangeas cake dome, and of course, the pitcher as well ;) (hint, hint)

  14. You have the best traditions Sharon! Thanks for the introduction and interview. The glassware is stunning and I love the vibrant colors.


  15. I want everything, the pieces are so gorgeous to the eye.

  16. love the gold striped salad bowl!! gorgeous pieces!!!

  17. I love
    and I liked on facebook

  18. Wonderful interview - good questions - really insightful. I love her beautiful cocktail glasses, but to be honest, it's all just gorgeous.
    Paula x

  19. Sharon a fascinating interview; I love that she teaches art to special needs children.

    The scrolls collection is beautiful , the tall shot glasses would go with this fabulous giveaway pitcher I adore!!

    2012 Artist Series
    Art by Karena

  20. Wow! Abbey, you are so talented. My husband and I were just commenting on how boring our glass stemware is! Your pieces are marvelous. I love everything in the floral collection especially.

  21. nice pictures! (:
    you have a really nice blog, would you like to follow each other? :) x

  22. love ur blog! and obv have to enter this giveaway, these painted glasses are lovely. shabbat shalom!

  23. I love the pitcher! I liked not2shabbey on facebook! Pick me!!

  24. I'm a huge fan of not too shabbey. Love the spiral salad bowls and the east side pitchers! And abbey's energy is inspiring!!

  25. love the tall skinny glasses with gold design

  26. Love this pitcher and would love to win it!

  27. Love all the not2shabbey pieces but especially the cake domes. Especially love the geometric designs.

  28. I love not too shabbeys stuff! i especiall love the new crackeled gold/ silver stuff she's been posting. Absolutely stunning! And great interview! so interesting!

  29. The Cake Domes. Would really love this pitcher for Shavous!

  30. I love not too shabbey's artwork! Thanks for the great interview. so interesting! I especially love the new crackled gold/silver pieces she has been posting. Stunning!

  31. Following Fashion-Isha on Twitter

  32. Tweeted about this GREAT giveaway!

  33. Connected to this blog via Google Friend Connect

  34. i love the Cascading Hydrangeas Side Salad Bowl! liked not2shabbey!

  35. Very elegant. Beautiful and creative glassware.

  36. I love not too shabbeys artwork! So talented and beautiful! This interview was both so interesting - great questions and great answers! Thank you for that. I absolutely love her new pieces that are designed with crackled gold/silver. Stunning!

  37. i love your flower designs the bright colors are vibrant they would really standout on any table

  38. i love your floral designs the colors are vibrant and would really stand out on any table

  39. Omg! The gold & silver pitcher is gorgeous! Timeless & elegant! I love it! I wanna win it!!!