Hey! My name is Dikla Levi Harel, and I’m the proud owner of Albertina Boutique, where I design leather accessories. I live and work in a garden-view studio apartment in Tel Aviv with my husband Shimmi, our 18-month-old boy Omri, and our two cats.
I studied graphic design at Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design. After graduation, I worked at an advertising firm for two years, but I missed the hands-on creative process and experimenting with materials. Looking for a way to bring this creativity back into my life, I enrolled in a handbag design course at a small craft school in Tel Aviv. I immediately fell in love, and the rest is history.
I see the world as a collection of beautiful images with its own soundtrack, like a Wes Andersen movie where each frame is precise and perfect. I’m a visual person by nature, but another source of inspiration is music. You can often find me in the studio dancing and singing; I can’t imagine working without it! For me, music is more than just a background noise – it plays an integral part in my creative process.
When I’m working on a new collection, I do most of the design work in my head; I close my eyes and imagine the color, shape, and texture of a piece. I even think about the outfit I will wear and where I’ll be going. After I have this entire vision in mind, I doodle on a piece of paper and start working to bring the product to life. The most satisfying part off all is when the outcome is exactly how I pictured it, and that satisfaction is why I embrace custom orders. I’m thrilled and excited to help my customers bring their ideal bags to life.
My goals for the future are to grow and evolve as a business. I think the next natural step for me is joining Etsy Wholesale, where I’ll be able to connect with boutiques around the globe and bring my designs to more customers. I’d also like to delegate the administrative side of the business so I can focus on my favorite parts: design, creation, and custom orders.
All photographs by Albertina Boutique.