Meet Chana Rachel

Hi! 

Welcome to my page.

 

The reason I launched Chanabana is
because over the years I slowly fell in love with running.

Originally from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, I grew up in
Beit shemesh, Israel. During my childhood I started painting and did my major
in art. During my teens I started finding it very hard to find flattering
clothes my size, so I bought myself a sewing machine and taught myself to sew.
I started sewing everything... into the night, I just could not get enough and
started designing collections for my friends... When it was time to choose a career,
I instantly knew it would be in fashion design.

During my university days at Shenkar College of
Engineering & Design in Ramat Gan I enriched my knowledge in swimsuit
design, evening wear, bridal dresses and more. It was so great to be able to
incorporate my love of art into my fashion and my first collection featured handmade
oil paintings inspired by my memories of childhood painted with digital print
on swimsuits. Reflective Nature it was called.

It was the most inspiring four years of
my life.

During my summers in university, I would fly to Australia
and remember starting each morning with my morning run... wearing Lorna Jane,
an Australian sportswear brand which is known for its beautiful vibrant colors,
and unique textiles.

Every morning I would wake up with so much excitement to
put on my short pink shorts and purple tank tops.

These clothes literally made my heart
smile and gave me so much energy to get out and RUN!

 I remember feeling so beautiful in
them, while I was soaking in the sun and exploring the streets of Australia.

My mornings were the highlight of each
day. 

 

When I came back to Israel for my final
year in fashion school, I returned with a renewed yearning to connect to my
roots as a religious Jewish woman.

And this came with a new challenge. This meant I needed
to start dressing more modestly. “Tzanua” as we call it in Judaism.

My friends in fashion school could not believe this
because I was always the one to design the most revealing designs and they
thought I would be the last person to make this move!

At this point I also went from calling myself Hanna
to Chana Rachel,
which was my birth name, as I came from a religious home.

On top of that, this was the year we got to feature our
‘final collection’ in front of the top people in the fashion industry showing
the extensive skills we picked up during the 4 years at Shenkar. I even came
back from diving in the Great Barrier Reef in Australia to choose as an
inspiration for this project 

This was my year to shine!

Whilst in the middle of this hype I felt held back,
because although it was in my natural instincts to come up with the most
extravagant and revealing designs, I knew I had a new calling for this world of
modesty, a world I never got to experience as a grown religious fashion
designer.

Instead of graduating with a Final Collection I wrote a
paper on Modesty in Fashion and graduated.

While writing my paper I learned so much about the use of
colors and textiles and ways of dressing both modestly and beautifully.

Throughout all of this I knew I still wanted to keep
running. And during these days the religious women around me were running in
Jean skirts and oversized T- shirts. Not what I was looking for.

I wanted my Lorna Jane experience!!

It did not take me long to realize that if I wanted it, I
needed to make it.

Modest Activewear. At first, I came up with the Running
Dress, a dress with long sleeve, below the knees, with white contouring lines
that give the body shape and mesh panels along the sleeves to allow for air.

I would take this dress along the streets of Tel Aviv,
and I felt so beautiful in it.

I then came up with the running skirt, which is a skirt
with built in leggings, to hold everything in place so that the layers do not
drive you crazy while jumping up and down.

This made my life so much easier, and I
remember the excitement I felt running with it that first night.

It was on that night
where I found a religious woman running in the street in a Jean skirt and I could
not hold myself back and told her about this amazing new running skirt.

The next morning at 9am
she was at my house and placed an order for 3 running skirts.

Since then, I developed
the running sets and headcovers and more... and all with my inspiration from
The Great Barrier Reef!

 

For those of you who have not been, the
Great Barrier Reef in Australia is the world’s largest living organism with
over 3000 living species.

I remember diving into the teal crystal
waters back in 2013 and feeling mesmerized by the iridescent pinks on turquoise…
a feast for the eyes.

There were fish in all
colors of the rainbow and with prints from another universe. Bright neon
yellow, pink combined with iridescent turquoise…. Fish the size of my whole
body with textures in styles of the Māori Tribe in New Zealand…

A real underwater disco party.

Underneath these waters
is where I found deep inspiration.

So, although I didn’t
use it for the final collecting in fashion school, I used it for Chanabana :)

I mean, what other
better inspiration than this, for an experience of the endorphins while
exercising! The feeling of your feet on the ground, the breeze on your face… a
deep sensation of cleansing and clarity… If you run, you know what I mean :)

The logo is the The Parrot fish fish scales, one that I
saw while diving and the colors we use in our collections aim to portray the
vivacious beauty of the underwater world.

 

Who said sportswear shouldn’t be
energizing and colorful!

 

And why the name?

As a child they called me Chana and
my sister would always sing the Kivi and Tuki song which made fun of every name,
for me it would go:

Chanabana Bo Bana… 

Sara Bara Bo Bara

And for me it kinda
caught!

After that I realized
Chanabana is a common Jewish nickname for young Chana’s…

I wanted something cool, bouncy, and
active… and the truth is I am very young at heart.

 

Today Chanabana is a community of over
1000 women in over 10 countries of different religions and walks of life.

 My goal is to
enable women who value modesty the gift of exercise while still feeling
beautiful and maintaining their values.

 

The Power of Color:

I have always loved colors and believe
that colors have energy!

When I was around 8 my mom took me to
the AACI yard sale in Jerusalem and I remember there was a woman with a color
therapy booth.

She had around 100 bottles with two
color liquids in them, she told you to choose 3 and she could tell you all
about your personality.

 

I remember how fascinated I was by this.

Later in fashion school I also learned
about the power of colors:

Blue symbolizing peacefulness, yellow
confidence, Pink is young love and happiness. And while designing my brand this
is something I kept in mind.

There is nothing that
makes me happier than seeing a woman owning her color and in style!

Sometimes I also chose my tomorrows
running set according to the way I’d like to feel.

 

The fabrics:

If you dress modestly, you know how
heavy multiple layers can become.

From the start I would go and feel each
fabric to make sure it’s lightweight and something I would want to run in.

At Chanabana, we are known for using the
lightest fabrics, breathable and also suitable for sensitive skin.

These are perfect for sports, swim,
leisure, running errands ensuring you can feel as light as a bird! (Or fish?)

 

I hope you find as much pleasure in your
Chanabana as I do.

 

Enjoy!