Adi Heyman (née Amber Fuller) is a stylish lady. She also happens to be a religious Jew. A transplant from San Antonio to New York, she studied English at Touro College after her graduation from a modern Orthodox school in Miami.
When Heyman started posting photos of striking clothes, which cover knees, elbows and collarbones, on an anonymous Facebook page, she was astonished by the positive response.
Seeing the high demand for style guidance, Heyman started Fabologie, a Jewish lifestyle website that focuses on modest fashion. Her brainchild offers women a chance to not only browse the latest trends, but also read the week’s Torah portion.
Heyman reinforces the idea that fully covered is beautiful and that women don’t have to sacrifice style because of hemline length restrictions. Many appreciative fans log onto her website (fabologie.com) and follow Heyman on social media. She kindly agreed to answer some questions for our readers.
You did not grow up Jewish. Why did you ultimately align yourself with the religion? What about Judaism appeals to you?
My parents and siblings [also] converted to Judaism when I was a preteen. I loved the spirituality of Judaism – the idea and opportunity to elevate the mundane to spiritual appeals to me greatly. The concept that HaShem is ultimately in control and everything happens for the best is both encouraging and comforting. Miracles happen every day, and I am always in awe of HaShem’s constant hand in our lives. I am excited to raise our son in a home built on strong Jewish values; my husband is an amazing individual and taught me so much about Judaism.
How does Fabologie contribute to its visitors’ Jewish education?
Everything I post on Fabologie is pertinent to the Jewish lifestyle. Whether it is a modern spin on kosher cuisine, modest runway fashion or weekly parashah inspiration, Judaism is the underlying motivator. No matter the topic, I strive to supply informative, well-founded content by infusing insights and traditions from our religion. Being a [creator of a] “Jewish blog” gives me a strong, focused point of view, and I aim to use my platform to educate and inspire.
What would you say to someone who wants to follow in your footsteps and enter the same field?
A bit of sage advice from Shakespeare: “This above all: to thine own self be true.”
Best work advice you have given?
Love what you do.
How would you describe your site’s target audience?
Jewish women, particularly modern Orthodox.
How much of your site is Jewish living and how much is fashion?
Modest fashion is the foundation of Fabologie, but the Jewish lifestyle (culinary, decor, holiday) provides much of the content as well. Fabologie is an all-encompassing reflection of my own life, experiences and ideas.
You curate your featured looks. How do you choose those that make the grade?
Modesty provides the guidelines, then I choose depending on current trend and personal preference.
What is modest to you?
Torah adherence coupled with a personal mindset and motivation.
What design elements appeal to you? What is your/the site’s style?
I am drawn to thoughtful design with a strong, creative point of view. Conspicuous images or ideas that come to represent more than meets the eye. If it’s not interesting, I am not interested.
What is the goal Fabologie aims to achieve?
Simply put, Fabologie aims to inspire.
Briefly describe your favorite item of clothing. Why do you love it?
The (modest) dress. I prefer fabulous, fuss-free ensembles, so a statement sheath is essential.
What’s the most important attribute of someone in your role?
A strong point of view and a steadfast work ethic.
What’s the best work advice you received?
My father always said, “Where there’s a will there’s a way.” The saying rings true. If you want to accomplish something – anything, you can.
What do you consider your greatest personal and professional accomplishments?
Personally, my family – our 3-year-old son, Caleb. Professionally, Fabologie – using an inspired platform to propel modest style to the forefront of fashion.
What are your key Jewish values? Do you incorporate them in your daily living?
1. Absolute faith in HaShem – knowing and trusting everything happens for the best. Faith allows you the freedom to not sweat the small stuff. I find stress, fear and regret are largely futile. HaShem has a plan.
2. Respect – for my family, my community and my religion. I think having a deep-seated respect for others is of utmost importance. There is so much to learn from everyone and everything in life.
3. Love for Judaism – Choosing to be happy, embracing the beauty and benefit of Judaism every day and sharing that joy with others.
Did you have any mentors? How did they affect your life?
My parents, grandparents and even great-grandparents are my role models and mentors. They are the greatest influences in my life.
What are your biggest professional challenges?
Pioneering any industry provides an element of the unknown, which can be challenging. I am always amazed to witness what HaShem has in store for me.
Finding a balance between motherhood and fabologist often keeps me on my toes or at a loss of sleep. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Considering your busy career, do you have any time for fun? What is fun to you?
Good times with great people. Being surrounded by family and friends. I relish Shabbos and holidays. And honestly, for me, work is fun!
What inspires you?
Creativity. Individuality. Spirituality. The unexpected that makes perfect sense.
What gets you through a long day at work?
Espresso, hopefully Sant Ambroeus [NYC restaurant].
What summer trends should our readers be aware of?
1970s influences (a bohemian vibe), denim, fringe, suede and prints: florals, stripes, patchwork. I am partial to the multicultural design element infused in current fashion (embroidery, raffia, tassels).
IRINA MISSIURO is a writer and editorial consultant for The Jewish Voice.