Myra Rothenberg and Islander Tami Rudnick Rabin have coined a catchy motto: “If you have a surface, we have a solution.”
Rothenberg is the creative director and Rudnick Rabin is the managing director of a new business called Decor Mates. They are selling a clever and attractive product that can be used again and again for a multitude of “catch-all” functions.
Rothenberg described how a nagging annoyance sparked the idea.
For as long as she could remember, people were giving her decorative candles as gifts, but she rarely used them because of the mess they made when the wax would spill. And growing up in a Jewish household, her family faced this clean-up problem every time they observed Shabbat or celebrated Hanukkah.
To keep hot wax off a table top or linens, “you would wreck a dish,” she said. “Wax paper and foil are ugly under your beautiful menorah. My Christian friends had the same dilemma at Christmas time. Some set candles on top of place mats and ruined them or actually set them on fire.”
About four years ago, Rothenberg started researching materials that would safely collect the wax, but would be easy to clean. She thought there had to be something out there — “and I wanted it to be pretty, like little art pieces, something kitschy or fun,” she said.
She learned about the properties of 100 percent food grade silicone, containing no lead paint. The two friends started looking at patterns they could put on a light weight, non-slip, heat-resistant and flame-resistant sort of trivet. Through the Internet, they found a manufacturer in China who was able to produce exactly what they wanted.
Decor Mates are flexible — both literally and figuratively. You can roll them up, toss them around and they bounce back into shape. Cooled candle wax peels off easily. The small mat is priced at $15 and the large one at $25.
And although some might complain that silicone is not a “green” product, the Decor Mates can be used over and over again.
Rothenberg and Rudnick Rabin have Decor Mates patterns for Hanukkah and Christmas, nautical designs, and are looking at new designs.
Decor Mates are available at www.decormates.com and in the gift shop at Temple B’nai Torah in Bellevue; call (206) 236-9952 or e-mail email@example.com.