Born in White Plains, New York, Margaret moved to Manhattan at eight years of age with her parents & two older sisters.
She began playing piano at the age of four and soon discovered that she had perfect pitch. At the same time she began knitting and crocheting and composing music at eight. At ten, Margaret began playing the cello. After graduating from The High School of Music and Art in New York City, she earned an undergraduate degree from Barnard College and then attended the Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine in Cleveland, Ohio. Margaret met and married her husband, Larry, (also a podiatrist) and opened a medical office in Cleveland.
While Margaret practiced podiatry, she continued to knit, crochet and compose music for various events, organizations, marathons and fundraisers. In 2008, she was inducted into the Cooper River Bridge Run Hall of Fame as the composer of their theme music. Margaret has also composed music for the 100th anniversary of the Boston Marathon, the American Cancer Society Relay for Life and the Alzheimer Association’s Memory Walk.
In 2013, Margaret noticed that her cat, Sweet Pea, would seek out her cashmere sweaters to sleep on. She made a pillow for him out of an old sweater, then made more for his favorite spots and then a few more for friends’ cats. The rave reviews gave way to the idea of creating pet pillows for boutiques. Margaret called her friend, Raffi, a professional European seamstress, and asked if she would be interested in sewing with her. Raffi was delighted, said “yes” and The Elegant Hare was born. She refined Margaret’s designs and suggested making sweaters as well.
Margaret recently retired from podiatry and is happily managing, advertising and sewing for The Elegant Hare on a full time basis. She still lives in Ohio with Larry and her muse, Sweet Pea.
Born in Naples, Italy, Raffaela was given her grandmother’s name. Family tradition called for all first born daughters to be named for their maternal grandmother. Many “Raffaelas” existed in her large, extended family. To distinguish herself from the others, this Raffaela began using the nickname “Raffi”.
As the oldest daughter, Raffi was responsible for taking care of her immediate family. She cooked, cleaned and watched the younger children. One day her mother purchased a sewing machine and Raffi learned to sew. It was a skill she excelled in and when it came time for her to choose a trade in school, Raffi earned her diploma in clothing design. Graduation was followed by an internship in an established shop and proficiency tests. Her superior workmanship and creative style assured her of employment and Raffi began her career in the shop she interned in as a student.
At the age of eighteen, Raffi came to the United States with her father and began working immediately as a seamstress. She soon met and married her husband, Vince, had two sons and perfected the art of homemaking all while working at her craft. Raffi loves to cook, bake, clean and take long walks.
On Valentine’s Day in 2013, a new love and purpose came into her life. Vince and Raffi rescued a miniature doberman pincher from the dilapidated home of an animal hoarder. He was a tiny, undernourished, sickly dog that followed them around as they searched for a female to adopt. Eventually he won Raffi’s heart and became the newest member of the Peric family. They named him Rocky and now can’t imagine life without him.
Not long afterward, her friend, Margaret, called and asked if Raffi would like to sew with her. They would be making cashmere items for pets and the time was just right for Raffi. With her children grown, she was searching for a different way to express her creativity. Many of her talents could be utilized and she had 30 years of accumulated sewing supplies, cashmere, vintage appliques & buttons. She said “absolutely yes!” and The Elegant Hare was born.
Raffi lives in Ohio with Vince, one son and her beloved Rocky.