We had the good fortune of connecting with Orit Harpaz and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Orit, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I’ve always loved birds, their ability to fly, their colorful feathers, their sounds and songs. My fascination with them led me to pick up a Sharpie and paper, sit at my kitchen table for hours late into one night drawing birds – not real birds but imaginary, fantastical birds. They were each strange, unique and beautiful. A metaphor for the human species. The aviary world quickly became my source of creative inspiration. I shared the drawings with a friend who fell in love with them and had them screen printed on napkins. Everyone who came over and sat at our dining table fawned over them. Having my funky, weird bird art bring joy to others was where the idea of creating my own business began. Weirdoh Birds was first hatched in 2016.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Seeing the bird drawings as something more than a form of meditation, relaxation and expression was a big step for me. Taking them off the paper, digitizing them and creating designs was a new way of seeing my art come to life. Working with colors, shapes and proportions brought a new dimension to the birds and their possibilities. The idea of sharing Weirdoh Birds with the world, and people wanting my designs in their spaces, on their walls and in their homes got me excited and kept my momentum going. It took two years of research and development to create the line of Weirdoh Wallcoverings. The website launch was planned for the first day of spring, March 19, 2020. Then the pandemic hit. Launching a new home décor/art business during a pandemic was not in the plan. But after several months of the stay-at-home order, I realized that it was exactly the right time to get Weirdoh Birds out into the world. People need fun, groovy and chic art to help elevate their surroundings and mood. The business, the brand, the art is gaining momentum. I am currently developing more home goods – ceramic wares, table runners, place mats. The possibilities are endless and I am excited to watch Weirdoh Birds soar.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’m an LA native! Growing up in LA, I lived in the Fairfax district and we frequented The Farmer’s Market. It is still one of my favorite places to eat. There is something there for everyone. For breakfast – I love Blu Jam (there is one in West Hollywood and Sherman Oaks). Another favorite restaurant for lunch in Venice is Gjusta. They make the best sourdough bread in town. Hiking in and around LA is amazing! So many great places to go. The Westridge-Canyon Wilderness Park has trails that go from Encino all the way to Brentwood. Temescal Canyon Trail has a great view of the ocean. And then a day at the beach in Santa Monica and a drive down PCH to Zuma is always a must.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My biggest sources of love, support and encouragement come from my husband and best friend of 20 years, Gal Harpaz and our 16 year old son, Theo. Gal is my rock, my north star and the light of my life. My son, Theo, is my reason to keep growing, learning and raising my own bar to be the best version of myself. I am incredibly grateful that I met Greg Herman in 2017. Greg noticed the Weirdoh Bird tattoo on my husband’s arm at a local coffee shop and they got to talking. He loved the birds and had a bigger vision for them. A handbag designer by trade, Greg had the idea of creating the Weirdoh Bird brand – a line of a chic and groovy wallcoverings, homegoods. and art works. Greg is a force of nature – always brainstorming and brimming with ideas. He pushes the envelope and pushes me to think outside the box. Our creative collaboration has worked incredibly well and Weirdoh Birds was officially launched in March of 2020. A big shoutout of gratitude goes to my close circle of friends who inspire, support and lift me up. They are all amazing and talented artists in their own right and I am incredibly lucky to know them. Anita Getzler, Aimee Levy, Christy Myhre, Francesca Segre, Heidi Cicero, Jerry Russo, Ruth Ellenson, Sky Palkowitz and Saundra Brungard.
Orit & Gal Harpaz, Theo Harpaz