Resplendent. Exquisite. Regal. Quest Collection pieces are truly a labor of care and attention, a style completely versatile. I like to think their items would look equally at home in the kitchen of a rustic country cottage, or on a banquet table. Quest began in a more traditional style that has since expanded to include modern and minimalist designs. The items are all hand painted or hand enameled, and finished in the US.
Marcelle Rosenstrauch of Quest Collection derives much of her inspiration from Israel, and from Torah (the Bible). “I always was on a quest to find different and nice pieces,” Marcelle told Two Warm Challahs. “The name Quest seemed like a perfect fit for my company.”
In 2001, Marcelle founded Quest Collection on 47th Street when she moved to New York City from South Africa. She started crafting with metal, and her creations soon grew into a jewelry line. Later, when her children were looking to buy their own homes, Marcelle thought about the mezuzahs that were available, and the styles she wanted to see but didn’t yet exist. So she created a few designs, and the line took off.
The first thing they made was a tulip menorah. Marcelle and her designer paced the streets together, looking for inspiration. They saw an elegant design with tulips and said to each other, why not a tulip menorah? The first tulip menorah featured a multi-colored theme and became a timeless favorite which they still sell today.
The artists at Quest use this initial success as a basis for their design philosophy, and get inspiration from many things in nature, books, and magazines. They might be seeing an object that used to be a handle, or perhaps the side of a picture frame, something that didn’t start out as judaica. A menorah is more than just a piece of judaica; inspiration can come from something as simple as a log.
Marcelle employs artists across a range of themes and styles, choosing her artists by asking them to make something for her. Some artists draw in a more traditional and formal style, while others create modern designs and sculptures. The artists look at one thing and see another. They ask themselves, would this item be great as a mezuzah? Marcelle and her artists share ideas, and the artists freely expand on those as well as their own ideas. They love to experiment; some things work, some things don’t, but they enjoy taking risks and experimenting creatively.
Quest Collection is currently separated into a judaica and general tabletop line that includes salad bowls, servers, and dishes. In Marcelle’s vision and imagination, whatever Quest creates can be at home on a Shabbat table. She sees the recent trends in the tabletop market are moving toward more minimalist designs, although the tabletop market will continue to evolve. “People will always be entertaining, so the market will always be there. It’s important as a designer to stay up to date with the trends, but also keep on coming up with new and different ideas.”