May 20, 2024
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Moms Use IT and Web to Follow a Dream

Two weeks ago, I wrote about building websites. Years ago, having an idea and concept took considerable investment, staff and resources. Today, having an idea out of your kitchen or home office can become a reality.

That’s the case of theshabbatcollection.com, Rachel Rubin and her partner, Cristiana Camisotti are based out of Israel. With the assistance of a great website, Skype, a talented programmer and IT, Shabbat Collection went from the home office/ kitchen to the Internet. Have you ever been away at a hotel and had to pack a Kiddush cup, candles, matches, siddur and the like to celebrate Shabbat?

The kits comes with Shabbat candle holders, Kiddush wine flask, Kiddush cup, mini Birkon, Kippah, challah cover, mini-salt shaker, Havdalah B’Samim (spices), Havdalah candle, a matchbook.and a Tefilat Haderech/Traveler’s Prayer card.

How did they come up with the concept? Rachel tells JLNJ, “For many years I lived and worked across the globe, from NY to Hong Kong and LA to Singapore, before settling down in Jerusalem. As someone who kept Shabbat, the concept of The Shabbat Collection was born out of the need and desire to celebrate Shabbat away from home with all the familiar and essential components.

Back in 2005 I contacted an ex-colleague, Cristiana Camisotti–who had been our in-house graphic designer–and asked her to produce designs for a new modernized Shabbat Travel Set. In 2012 the idea was revisited and Cristiana began work on all branding and product design work. By the end of the following year we launched together the 10-piece Shabbat Away Travel Set.

As women and moms in business IT, Smartphones, Skype and web access gave them the ability to grow their business. “There is no doubt that 10 years ago we would not have been able to get off the ground with building and launching a new business. With tools like Skype, Dropbox, Shopify, general web access and in particular, our mobile phones, we have been able to work from our homes or on the way to picking up kids from nursery school or food shopping. Most notably, our Hong Kong-based partner, Anjali Mahtani, who oversees all our manufacturing in China, has been able to mastermind all aspects of manufacturing via Skype, Dropbox and so forth, enabling us to stay put with our families and not have to travel to and from China.

“Facebook has also given us the most far reaching and inexpensive method of exposure reaching out to a global audience. Since IT allows us to run our business wherever we are, we are able to

keep our overhead down, which for a start-up business is essential.

“It is a huge adjustment to move from the corporate office to a kitchen, but the number of entrepreneurs worldwide–and especially in Israel, the start-up nation–who are working from their kitchens is growing at an enormous pace. The kitchen counter IS the new office.”

The toughest issue to manage, says Rachel, is time. “With a young family, time to oneself to move a business forward is priceless and the frustrations of bad or lost Wi-Fi and Internet connections take up too much time out of the limited working day. Israel has pretty solid Wi-Fi access across the country but it isn’t always reliable.”

Meetings are conducted via the net. “Though we have used Google Hangout from time to time, the majority of our meetings are through Skype and I’ve even overseen a photo shoot for our products in London from my kitchen in Jerusalem!”

What advice would they offer to those who want to develop a home business?

“The best advice we can give anyone who wants to develop an idea is to try to find a like-minded partner or an entrepreneur support group, tap into any local resources available for start-ups and DO NOT rush the building stage as you only get one chance to build a solid foundation. Perhaps most important, is to know when to switch off and focus on family time.”

The Shabbat Collection kit can be purchased from Theshabbatcollection.com. Mention UnGarbled-Tech for free shipping on your kit.

Shneur Garb is the owner of The Garb IT Consulting Group in Teaneck, NJ. For Question or comments.

By Shneur Garb

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