Photo: Courtesy of Sara Ait Benabdallah (@itssaraab)
Sara Harari-Buchnea always knew she wanted to make her own enterprise that would allow her to access her background in art — and she realized how she could do that while on a trip to France.
“I realized I was becoming a bandana hoarder – I found them to be so aesthetically pleasing and such (travel friendly) outfit changers,” she explained. “I also realized that there wasn’t really anything in between my low-cost cotton bandanas and a beautiful silk piece from Hermes. I thought I could make something to fill that gap, a luxurious upgrade to a classic without being too precious to wear on a regular day.”
Being part of the art world informed Sara’s own creative intuition, which she used to craft her line of bandanas called Squar’d Away. With four collections already under her belt, she’s created squares for every aesthetic, from classic prints and colors to soft pastel patterns to oversized styles that can be worn like tops. They also do more than supplement an outfit — they help fund research for a disease that closely affects Sara and her family.
After getting the news that father had Parkinson’s disease over ten years ago, Sara said she wanted to do something to help him as well as raise awareness. In addition to aiding in funding for The Michael J. Fox Foundation’s Team Fox (20% of the proceeds from every Squar’d Away square go toward the foundation), she’s also the co-chair on the executive board of a group called the Team Fox Young Professionals of NYC. The group helps raise funds and call attention to the foundation via events that happen throughout the year.
“I’ve met so many amazing, inspiring people and have made really good friends,” she said. “There’s nothing like working with so many great people towards a common goal and most of all, knowing you’re not alone.”
Along with continuing her Parkinson’s awareness work, Sara has a fifth edition of beautiful bandanas coming out in April and more releases in the works. More about her and Squar’d Away can be found on their website.