Location: Boston, MA
Marital Status: Married
Education: MA in Jewish Studies, Hebrew College BA, Bar-Ilan University
She married her husband while she was “still a baby,”—just 21—and the young couple moved from her parents’ home in Israel to California while her husband got his Ph.D. at Stanford. Soon after, they moved to Boston for his first job, and with two kids in tow, Haya went from teaching Hebrew school at the local temple to getting her masters in Jewish Studies at Hebrew College. She also took a class in flower arranging at her Temple, and parlayed it into a thriving business arranging for weddings and bar mitzvahs. “I took one class and I knew this is it. I loved it,” she remembers.
When her marriage hit the rocks fifteen years ago, Haya forged ahead with typical passion and determination. “You find happiness through struggling,” she says. “It brings you to a better place.”
How many years were you married?
30. But that’s not the end of the story because we remarried. I was a kid when I got married, and I never experienced life on my own. I had always wanted to learn French, so when we divorced I started taking classes at the French Library in Boston. And then I took a course in Nice. I lived in a hotel and I took an immersion course where we spoke French all day long. I became a Francophile.
You just did it because you loved it?
And what happened with your husband?
He never stopped loving me. We both had relationships in the six years that we were divorced. And one day I ended my relationship and he knew about it, and he came back and I fell in love with him again.
When did you remarry?
Two years ago.
How is it going?
How do your kids feel?
They were a little worried in the beginning, but I think now they’re much better about it.
What’s your passion project now? Still French?
I took a class in beading for my birthday and since then I’m creating jewelry. I’ve gotten into designing and I’m in love again. I have a website and I’m selling at boutiques in the area.
Flowers, France, jewelry–it’s all of a piece.
Right. And spirituality. It’s all coming from the same artistic expression.
It’s so romantic.
Would you say your style is romantic?
No, my style is everything. My style is different cultures—all the places I’ve traveled. My style is sensual, feminine, sexy—but never cheap. I’d rather have five quality things in my closet. Cheap clothes are for the young.
How has your style evolved over the years?
I didn’t have much money in my 30s and 40s, so I always wore white shirts and nice jeans and people new me for that. I still wear the white shirt—from Anne Fontaine or Serenella—and jeans from J Brand or New Religion. But I’ll always wear some special piece of jewelry or something else edgy. I like to look myself as a piece of art, not just as a body.
Why do you love Serenella?
I love the quality of her clothes. Leslee [the owner] inspires me. I’ve learned about fashion from talking with her. She knows me personally and she knows what I like.
Do you have a signature item?
I like lightweight bags. A just discovered Meichi in Boston. Her pocketbooks are unbelievable.
What about a signature perfume?
Bond No. 9. I use one kind in the summer and one in the winter. The summer scent is more flowery, and the winter scent is deeper and spicier.
A book you’ve loved?
The Kite Runner. It’s about a struggle. I like when people struggle because I think it brings them to a better place. You find happiness through suffering. I studied philosophy and Kabala and I really believe that.
What’s your greatest indulgence?
My hair. I’m a hair fanatic, so my hair was always perfect, even when I didn’t have a penny to live on. I think it’s because when I was little someone told my mother that she should shave off all my hair so it would grow in better. I was bald—I was traumatized!
Who cuts your hair now?
I go to an incredible hairstylist named Chuck at Jean Pierre on Newberry Street. He’s an artist. You can’t even talk to him during the haircut–not one word. He’s too involved in what he’s doing. He’s a total character—he loves romance, good restaurants, he’s married to a model. He is fabulous.
What’s your beauty routine?
I wash with Cetaphil and moisturize with Ahava, from Israel. I use Dr. Hauschka’s Rose Body Oil. And I use the products my dermatologist recommends.
How do you rejuvenate?
Travel. I like travel because it’s ageless. Nobody knows you; you don’t have a background. Nobody knows you’re a grandma, nobody knows you have kids. You’re just a free spirit. You are on your own.
What’s your favorite place to travel?
Argentina. I like the Argentinean people. I think they’re full of life; I think they’re creative; I love the tango, I think it’s romantic, I think it’s sexual. I love their wines.
What’s your secret favorite spot in Boston?
Bead & Fiber. It’s a workshop in the South End where women can do all kinds of artistic projects—beading, crocheting, knitting. You can take classes or just do your own thing. And the owner is a love.
Your favorite restaurant in Boston?
Sorellina. It’s very reliable, fresh Italian. Beautiful restaurant, very inviting.
Since you had a successful flower arranging business, do you have any advice for women on decorating with flowers?
Yeah. If your tulips don’t hold up straight, give them some vodka.
Is that true?
Oh for God’s sake, how much vodka?
Does it really work?
Mhm. They act just like men