We had the good fortune of connecting with Manely Gilardi and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Manely, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I’m definitely a risktaker and I feel comfortable taking risks. I live by this quote I heard, which is hilarious by the way, “You gotta risk it, to get the biscuit”. And it’s literally the truest words! If you never try, you’ll never know how great you can be!
I think early on in my life, as a teenager I realized that its necessary to take risks if you want to be great. I come from immigrant parents, and they risked everything to come to America and start over. So if they could do it, what’s the worst that could happen for me? I would fail?
We are taught from an early age to fear failure. I, myself feared it for a long time.
But as I started learning more about successful businessmen and women, and paying attention to people like my father, I realized that they’re all comfortable with taking risks, because if they fail, its knowledge and experience that they would gain and that’s priceless information about your industry most wouldn’t tell you. Then you get up and do it again, except now you have more clarity on how to do it better.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Yallah Challah was never something I thought I was going to end up doing. Afterall, I spent the majority of my career in the fashion industry. I went to FIDM and received a degree in Apparel Manufacturing Management, then went on the receive a BS in Business Management.
Throughout my career, I knew I was creative, but it wasn’t long that I came to realize that I’m really interested in the business aspect of fashion as well. I am very analytical, and I loved the ins and outs of how everything was tied together for business to be successful. I eventually went on from the corporate world to create UNEKFORM, which was an online Women’s Apparel and Accessories line with my sister. It was so fun and challenging at the same time. We had the opportunity to open a pop-up store and were making strides, until the pandemic hit and we had to close our business.
When they say everything happens for a reason, I’m definitely one that believes in that phrase. So here I am, alone in my apartment. I call my friend and she says “Come on by and let’s make some challah for shabbat.” Mind you, I have made challah maybe once in my life, and someone was basically doing it for me. I had NO experience!!
We made challah that day and me being the creative person I am, I started playing with all the different toppings and herbs she had put out. The next day I took it to my parents’ house for shabbat dinner. My whole family was ranting and raving about my challah. So it inspired me to continue. After a few weeks of baking and taking them to family and friends, they all pushed me to create an Instagram account for they challahs and to start selling them, through word of mouth and persistence here we are today!
Traditionally, the process of making challah is spiritual- it’s a time to pray, reflect and to bring blessings and light into the home and to bring people together. I love that concept & figured why not make quality challah, in fun and interesting flavors?! Whether you’re into sweet or savory, we have something for EVERYONE!
Thats what sets Yallah Challah apart from other challahs, the quality & the flavors we offer. We have a wide variety of fun flavors, and we don’t use any preservatives or low-quality ingredients. We even created a line of Vegan and Organic challahs which are available at all Erewhon markets!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
No Particular order, just some of my favorites
Brunch at Malibu Farm
Kayaking In Malibu
Picnic on the Beach in Malibu
Concert at the Hollywood Bowl
Walk Rodeo Dr.
Laugh Factory On Sunset
Dinner at Dama In Downtown LA
Drinks at Juniper at The One Hotel On Sunset
Winetasting & Atving in Malibu
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My parents are definitely deserving of credit for the constant support they’ve given me. They have sacrificed so much to see me succeed and flourish. I think I’m so lucky to come from the background that I do, because it shaped me.
My parents are from Iran and they came to America is the 1980’s to escape the Revolution. They were both in their late teens when they came here and had to start over.
My father came here on his own, no family, no friends. He worked retail during the day and took English lessons at night. He was determined to make something for himself and his future family. He had the vison of success and there was no option to fail. He went on to create a successful wholesale business in lighting for 40 years. I could count on my two hands how many days this man has taken off from work. He has been a true example of self-made success and someone I have a great deal of respect for. He has taught me persistence, courage and to wake up every morning and to never take no for an answer.
Other: Tiktok: https://www.tiktok.com/@yallah_challah