Jerusalem pop-up events celebrate female entrepreneurship

Each woman-run business is taylored to a different audience and each produces a different product, most of which are directed towards women.

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November 6, 2019 15:51
4 minute read.
Jerusalem pop-up events celebrate female entrepreneurship

Devorah, owner of Devorah Cosmetics in Jerusalem, attends a female entrepreneurship pop-up event, Jerusalem. (photo credit: REBECCA ZWIREN)

Female-run businesses have been popping up around Israel, but have struggled far more than those run by men. According to a survey by the Economy Ministry, only one in four businesses is run by women.

This makes it particularly exciting to see the women who have managed to create a business of their own gather and support one another.

In pop-up events hosted by Jerusalem-based Devorah Cosmetics and several other local women’s brands, female start-ups and businesses gather to sell their products while empowering one another in an aggressive arena.

“I realized that women-owned businesses, there’s not a community within it,” said Matana Zwiren, a makeup artist at Devorah Cosmetics and the key organizer of the most recent pop-up event. “I wanted to create a community where people can come and be a part of something bigger.”

Each woman-run business is tailored to a different audience and each produces a different product, most of which are directed towards women. Emma Seligson, for example, is an aesthetician from New York. With a background in art, Seligson provides affordable treatments to “make people feel the best that they can.”

Seligson does primarily nail art, as well as makeup and facials. “I did not imagine myself as a business owner at all,” Seligson told The Jerusalem Post. “I kind of fell into it, really. I’m just so happy that I can give myself to my clients. For me, as a woman, to be able to give to other people through my business and through what I do and what I love, that’s how I fit in here.”

Chana Boteach spoke with the Post about her sex store, Kosher Sex, which also participated in the pop-up event. The store is famously named after the book of the same name written by her father, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach. The store intends to approach sexuality from a Jewish perspective. At her booth were sex toys galore, as well as a pile of Kosher Sex, the 20th anniversary edition.

Malka Klein, a calligrapher and fine artist, participates in a female entrepreneurship pop-up event, Jerusalem. (photo credit: REBECCA ZWIREN)


She explained that the main reason the event initially attracted her was because all the stores were female-run. “I think it’s really important for women to be educated in their sexuality and their body,” Boteach told the Post. “Women need to feel good about themselves and have products that make them feel healthy and sexy.”

Spark Body and Soul, an eco-green massage and facials parlor located in Jerusalem, is also a business owned by a woman: Ruthie Kaplan.

“Being a female entrepreneur, and coming together with other rock-star women, running successful businesses is beautiful and I’m honored to have been asked to join,” Kaplan said of the pop-up event. “There’s something electric when a collective of creative women joins forces. It’s definitely not easy being a woman in this 24-hour, cyclical man’s world when women are designed to thrive in a 28-day cyclical world; but that's why women have sisterhood: To listen, to teach and to ultimately watch each other move our self-doubts and limits aside, and cheer on that divine feminine as she grows and grows.”

The Delicate Brush, another brand that was represented at the pop-up event, is a female-run business producing hand-crafted ketubah (Jewish marriage contract) artwork.

“I spent a lot of my life thinking that I was always going to work for someone,” Rochelle, the owner of The Delicate Brush, told the Post. “Now, I feel really powerful. I think that’s something that women can thrive off of; having something that they can own and they can give to.”

Rochelle, owner of The Delicate Brush, a company that produces hand-painted Ketubah art. (photo credit: REBECCA ZWIREN)


Rochelle additionally explained that female entrepreneurs have inspired one another quite a lot in Israel, saying that several female artists have private groups on social media in which they collaborate and lift one another up. “Women... they’re less competitive. I don’t feel competition, even with other ketubah artists, and it’s because you can always gain from one another.”

Sarah Saada’s modest clothing brand, on the other hand, creates collections of high-quality clothing with the goal of advancing the local economy. “I started this on my own as a mother of four,” she said. “I would love to help other women expand their businesses.”

EmbraceLA is a brand run by two American women who brought stylistic stackable bracelets to the Israeli market. “It feels really nice to be a part of this community of women entrepreneurs,” said co-owner Talia Kohl. “It’s really nice to see women going out there and doing things for themselves.”

Although women express much higher rates of obstacles in opening businesses than men in surveys around the world, these women have done what many consider practically impossible.

The pop-up events continue and grow with each season, the next of which is scheduled for Hanukkah.






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