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The History



The harmonious design and production processes that now characterize Kakadu did not come easily. For several years, while Aharon and Reut were each masterful in their respective fields, they couldn't find quite the right way to blend their talents. Creating collaboratively just didn't seem to work.

Then, in the early 1990s, it all started to click. Reut was planning an exhibit in a large, annual arts and crafts fair in Israel. As an experiment, she took some wooden trays that Aharon had made but that hadn't sold well, and replaced the solid bottoms with hand-painted plywood bottoms. She sold all of the trays within the first hour at the fair. Word about the trays got around, and soon Reut couldn't keep up with all the orders she was receiving. She asked Aharon to help her-and Kakadu was born.

In 1994, Aharon and Reut opened their first store, a small shop in Jerusalem. Its success soon spawned a second gallery, in Tel Aviv. Then in 2000, the Shahars moved their Jerusalem gallery to a new space, which was surrounded by a nature preserve. Meanwhile, with Kakadu gaining wide popularity in Israel, Aharon began exploring the possibility of international sales. Soon, a network of Kakadu affiliates was established, first in Europe, and then in the United States.

Near the end of the 1990s, Kakadu began incorporating the work of other designers in Israel. According to Reut and Aharon, the inclusion of these new artists infuses the company with fresh ideas and helps perpetuate the dynamic creative process that is the soul of Kakadu.


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