My store 2005-2010

Marie Antoinette costume in my store window

I permanently closed my store a month and a half ago, the day that we flew to America for the summer. It wasn’t an easy decision, but it was something that needed to be done. Everyone asks why I closed; there are many reasons for this decision. My all encompassing answer is: it’s time for me to start a new chapter. My store had become a destination spot for Purim costumes (here in Israel), my customers came from all over Israel to find the next great costume for their children. Some of my customers had collected every costume design that I had made and came back each year to find a new ones.

my design studio

Purim was “my big season”, like the Christmas season is in other places. I always carried a big selection of costumes throughout the year, but the rest of the year I also made things for children like, bear blankets, quilts, bear bibs, toys, puppets and dolls (you can see samples of these things in my website: press portfolio in the menu). People told me that they came to my store when they wanted to buy something special. The handmade things that I made brought back memories for many people;  I spent a lot of time listening to the stories of things that other peoples’ grandparents and parents had made for them when they were young. We ended our visits all warm and fuzzy. Every day I picked up the girls from school (just down the street from the store) and they would come back with me, do their homework and end up playing with the toys, costumes and props in the store. I would finish my day and the girls and I would all walk home together. The hardest part of closing the store was packing everything up. It wasn’t the five years worth of fabrics, sewing machines, and “stuff” that I had collected, but things that the girls left behind. There were little notes taped everywhere for me to find that said “mama I love you!”.  I found so many ” art projects” that they had made while I was working. There were height charts of the girls and their friends from years of past costumes and clothes that I had made for them and I found little, hidden scribble drawings  in out of the way places of hearts and flowers and stick figures of the girls and I.

my sewing room

 I learned a lot of things from my store like:

  • how to speak Hebrew (albite not very well)
  • the ins and outs of running a business
  • how to deal with employees and customers (not easy)
  • location is everything
  • have a good relationship with quality suppliers
  • a lot more about fabrics, sewing and pattern making
  • how to set up and do photo shoots and most importantly
  • I learned the importance of loyal customers: to those people who came to visit me to “just see what’s new” over and over again, who brought their friends to see the store, who gave me lots of ideas and most importantly to those people who praised my work, who gave me inspiration and really appreciated the work that I do…THANK YOU!

    My store front

 So if you know my work and you’re wondering what I’m doing, keep checking this site for updates. If you want to buy something I’ve made, look in my website and press shop in the menu. Currently I’m trying to re-adjust to being back in Israel, prepare for the new school year, trying to unpack and organize soooooooooo many boxes and trying to get back into the swing of art.

My Store

Burch and daughters store sign

Well, here goes… My name is Laura Burch; my husand Doron Levitas and I have three daughters: Lili, Elli and Emili. I opened a store, it’s a children’s gallery; we design and sew everything in the store. I gave it the name Burch and daughters as a feminist twist to the more traditional  naming of businesses such as Smith and sons. My daughters are young, so they don’t actually work at the store yet, but they are my inspiration, models and test subjects for everything we make. I’ve never owned a store before and I don’t consider myself business-minded, I’m an artist. My husband Doron has been guiding me, he is a business man; I’m learning.

Marie Antoinette gown in my store window on a rainy day

 The interesting thing and the most challenging aspect of my store is that it is in Tel Aviv, Israel. I’m a girl from the Heartland, living in the Holyland! Serving this culture and my Israeli customers isn’t the same as if my store was in my town, Chicago, Illinois. My tastes and that of many Israeli’s are very different; I have a very conservative style, their’s is much more flamboyant. Many people come into the store and ask me from where do we import. They think that my creations are from England or France, they don’t realize that everything is handmade in the store (upstairs in our studio). But never the less, everyone seems to love the store. They walk in and tell me it seem magical, like they’re in another time and place and they feel that my creation is a fairyland for children.

costumes by Burch and daughters handmade baby clothes by Burch and daughters

It really all started after we moved here about 9 years ago. I was a graphic designer and illustrator in Chicago and opening a store was never a goal of mine. I came to this strange land, the big city really, but there was nothing to buy here. Everything was made in China or India, cheap, plastic, poor quality and ugly. I started making the girls clothes, toys and gifts for birthday parties they attended. Now, I never really wanted to move here, so I used to sit around in my own little world and make things, many things. I made cute teddy bears, rag dolls, costumes, ornaments, fabric books, stuffed animals, bags….The things started to fill up the house. Doron said to me we’ll have to open a store just to have somewhere to put this stuff, and that’s what we did. 



Mama bear and Papa bear


camels for sale
the outside of the store

P.S. We closed my beloved store in July 2010 ; I now sell my toys, doll, puppets and costume accessories on-line in my website store: Laleebu. Please come and visit me at my site , my store: on Facebook: