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You know that warm cuddly feeling you get from hugging your best friend or family member? This is the feeling we cherish the most, and during the spread of the Covid-19 world pandemic, this incredible feeling, and natural supplier of the hormone Oxytocin, was put on hold, as millions of families and best friends were forced to go into quarantine. During my time in quarantine, I was struggling to cope with my stress and panic from losing my job, going through a breakup simultaneously and being unable to be in physical contact with family or friends due to the heavy quarantine restrictions. This was by far one of the loneliest periods of my life, I didn’t have an appetite, I was tired but couldn’t sleep, and even breathing normally throughout the day felt impossible. 


A lot of the advice I was receiving at the time was synonymous with moving through the darkness to see the light at the end of the tunnel. So I went looking for light, and found myself in front of the computer screen googling alternative treatments for panic attacks, insomnia and loneliness, which introduced me to the benefits of applying weight and pressure on the body during a time of panic, aka Deep Pressure Therapy. Meanwhile, every single night I’d snuggle with my heating pad (my safta’s karit chimoom) because It’s warmth made me feel as if I wasn’t sleeping in the cold bed alone. Soon I started carrying it around with me all day, although it was always a struggle to keep it on due to its square size and small shape. This was truly the beginning of my Bestie Journey.


I began by designing a new shape for the heating pad, that could be mobile, unisex and truly hug the body. Simultaneously, I chose 100% Cotton as my fabric for Bestie, developed a signature aromatic scent with my mom, and  ran tests on different amounts and kinds of grains that could retain the temperature and scent for extended amounts of time. Soon I was able to sew the first prototypes of Bestie, and set out to produce in Israel. In March 2021, I launched Bestie with the warm help of my mom, friends and family. For more details on Bestie - check out our About.

אודות גיל לויברנגר

Hi my name is Gil Levinger, but most people call me Gillie Lillie or Bestie. 

I am the founder of Bestie, Gillie Lillie Marketing, and lead the Adidas Creators community in Tel Aviv. 

I founded Bestie with the pure intention of helping people cope with stress, loneliness, and insomnia by introducing the Bestie Hug.  


I was born in Tel Aviv and Raised in California where I studied Fashion & Art in high school. I returned to Israel in 2012 to study communications & marketing at the IDC Herzliya. Since graduating in 2015, i've devoted my career to marketing & branding for a multitude of brands, companies & private clients in LA, NYC, & Israel. During my free time, I love skating throughout Tel Aviv, thrifting or bouncing around endless art projects from painting murals to up-cycling clothes. 


My main goal is to always incorporate my career with my passions for art, fashion and sustainability; and in doing so, I always feel passionate about my work. 

In March 2020, during what seemed to be the height of my career, the world and myself were forced to shut down and suspended all work and projects due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

This is where my Bestie story begins. 

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