The shop window of Salon Mary, designed by Irit alludes to Mary's working space.

When business promotes sisterhood and womanhood over the years, it is a good reason to celebrate and join in the party. I am a fan of women's empowerment, women's businesses and a believer in the goodness of women's sisterhood.



On June 7, I joined in the celebrations of Salon Mary's 60th anniversary on Emek Refaim Street. A saxophonist was playing jazz, and many merry women and men were drinking wine, and chatting with each other, in the informal yet festive vibe of the street's decorated sidewalk. The music, along with the wine, snacks and the summer evening setting of the German Colony, were the background to the buzzing conversations among the guests so refreshed from face to face contact.


"Sixty years of contribution to women and womanhood is what this shop stands for," the owner had told me at her shop upon handing me the invitation to the event.

Ruth Dana, the salon's director and owner, dressed in an elegant red and black vintage dress, in a style reminiscent of the sixties was welcoming her guests personally. They came from close and afar to celebrate with her. I got a warm hug upon arrival, which felt natural and open hearted.

And the story unfolds, as I keep asking Ruth about her business. Her mother Mary started the shop on Emek Refaim in 1958. She earned a reputation thanks to her professional skill (acquired in Budapest) and her open heart to all of her clients. When Mary passed away, Ruth took over the shop, expanding it to the successful business it has become, with clients from all over the country and abroad.

Salon Mary provides a large variety of ready-made styles in many sizes and colors. "We make a point of offering a great selection of the best manufacturers in the field. One of my biggest suppliers –WACOAL– was awarded "Lingerie designer of the year 2018"" says Ruth with great pride.

The bras are displayed in open boxes on curvy shelves, according to size and function: With or without underwire, padded push-up, balconette, bridal, sports bras, nursing bras and post-operative.

The display is essentially for the staff, since the fitting is provided by the professional sales ladies – Robyn, Larissa and Ruth – who choose from more than sixty different sizes. The dressing rooms are discreetly hidden from the entrance, respecting the privacy of each customer, allowing her to express her needs/wishes/dreams with the utmost discretion.

The shopwindow of Salon Mary designed by Irit alludes to Mary's working space (Credit: Yvette Nahmia-Messinas)


A linguist by education (fluent in five languages) with a long experience as a tour guide, Ruth is a master at unfolding her clients' stories one bra at a time.

The story is about connecting and matching each woman to the most flattering lingerie. Even while waiting to be served, I discovered Ruth's "master weaving" skills, connecting women to fellow women with ease, thus creating an interesting vibe. Satisfied clients, women who feel good with their underwear return and ask for more: Body shapers, nightgowns, caftans, swimming suits (by bra size) socks, tights, and even petty-coats.

The other day at Salon Mary, I met a grandmother who had made it a custom buying her granddaughter a piece of underwear each time she had reached a milestone in her life; First, her graduation from primary school, then her high school graduation; Then for completing her army service. Now the granddaughter had been accepted to the university and her grandmother had come to buy her a gift; to celebrate and join in her granddaughter's success.

Entering Salon Mary is an experience beyond shopping. When I enter the salon, I cross into a women's kingdom where woman supports woman, where woman wants the best for other women, where women weave together a web of connection and cooperation; a world where it is safe to be a woman and be all of who you are in body, mind and soul. This in fact is Mary's legacy.

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