I’m a fan of fans- especially Fancy Fans, a business created by Sharon Jerusalmy, purveyor of artistic, hand crafted fans for every occasion. Did you know that there is a secret language of fans? Let’s take a short two hundred year trip back to the Victorian age, and we will find that just as men had swords, a woman’s weapon was her fan. Around the mid-1850’s Jean-Pierre Duvelleroy came up with a gimmick to sell his luxury fans. He created movements and motions with fans which when used by two people, sent clear messages across crowded ballrooms. Conjure up a picture for yourself of the romance of that era-
Well, fans are back in vogue, mostly to cool yourself on a hot summer day- they work better than a menu in outdoor cafes! In my conversation with Sharon, whose base is Rishon L’Tzion, I discovered that her business is now successfully celebrating its tenth anniversary. Besides visiting Sharon’s shop you can find her through our ACHI Market @https://www.achi613.org/achi-market/vendors/fancy-hand-fans on her Etsy website. Sharon chose Etsy as a viable international platform and we invited her to be one of our merchants- a win-win combination in this time of economic stress in Israel.
Sharon is married with two grown children; her daughter is the artist for many of the designs on the beautiful fans, and there is a son who lives in Canada. When I called Sharon this morning, a British accent caught me by surprise. Sharon hails from Manchester, England but fell in love with Israel when she visited a friend in 1980. “As soon as I landed, I felt I was home.” Sharon made Aliyah and spent the first months in Kfar Saba- a “city ulpan”, where she worked just to get settled, and of course met her future husband in one of the ulpan classes. Sharon took early retirement from her PR job in a high-tech company- AND sitting one day in a café, using the above mentioned menu as a fan, her daughter said- Why don’t you start a business? The rest, as they say, is history. Sharon’s fans (the ones you wave) got a huge boost when Christina Aguilera, the famous American star appeared on The Voice, displaying several Fancy Fans she had purchased and loved using.
I (not as famous a star) bought my own Fancy fan as one of my initial purchases on www.achi613.org. With over thirty designs from which to choose, may I suggest finding your own special fan, which has a language of its own!