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Interview with an Israel Woman Entrepreneur

April 19, 2010

When Women TIES received its first International member, we realized how big our outreach could be. For three years, I have  communicated with Chen Zucker, an Israel woman entrepreneur, who make stunning jewelry. I conducted an interview with her for this blog entry to give American women entrepreneurs an opportunity to see the similarities between women entrepreneurs in Israel and Amercia. 

Chen Zucker

 Women TIES: Chen can you tell us more about your business located in Israel?

Chen: I create and sell in many places around the world charm jewelry – bracelets and necklaces. My company was born from the idea that especially in these days, people constantly need something that will give them hope, expectation for good, and luck. So I design trendy and fresh jewelry within an affordable budget.  I am sure that every woman and every man wants something that can give them protection from the evil eye. That is why I decided to create Kabbalah and Judaica jewels, jewels that have some spirituality and can make whoever wears them feel good, without the necessity to be religious.

 Women TIES: Please tell us a bit about yourself so we know our only International member better!

Chen: I live in a small city in the centre of Israel. I am first of all a mother of 3 kids, who even though they are grown and mature still need my attention, advice, and time for sharing their experiences with them. I believe the small things around us makes us happy. To see a new flower in my garden, to have a coffee with a friend, to get out from the house in the morning and to see the sun, etc. If we can appreciate all these small things in our world, we become better persons. So, I love to have my first coffee in the morning near my flowers in my garden, and think about the things I have to do that day.
A sunny day fills me with joy and the energy to take some photos of new jewels I’ve made, a wintry, wet day sends me to my seat in my studio to create new jewels while listening to the music I love. But on every weekend, I summarize what I have made this week in order to develop my company and what is important to do next week.

Women TIES: What materials do you use to create your products?

Chen: I believe all women want to look good and be well-groomed. I decided right from the beginning that my jewels won’t be expensive so that everyone who likes them can afford to buy a bracelet or a necklace. This is the main reason why I use silver-plated and gold-plated charms. But in order to give my jewels a unique look, I use high-quality genuine leather cords in many colors, which also allows me to give my jewels a colorful and vibrant look. I always try to make a varied collection. Some jewels are delicate and feminine while others have a strong presence which says: “here I am”. I believe that jewelry has to be multi-functional, but with a special wink, so my jewels can be used with casual wear as well as with an elegant dress. 

Women TIES: How has your life changed since you opened your company?

Chen: The modern world we live in today has been ‘shrunk’ or as Thomas L. Friedman said in his famous book, ‘The world became flat so location does not matter.’ This means that a woman like me, who lives in Israel, can sell and ship goods everywhere in the world with the help of the internet. Frankly speaking, the internet is my bridge to the world.  My online shops are a window from an Israeli artist to the rest of the world. Anybody from everywhere can peep in and see what is on display, place an order and get my jewels. I have a number of customers who found me via my websites. 

 Women TIES: How can American women support your business from here? Are you looking for connections to sell your products in America? What cities?

Chen: Any American woman who likes my jewels can buy them for herself, if she has a business that connects or deals with jewelry and fashion accessories, mutual business relationships can be established. I sell my jewels to some places in America and have great relationships with my customers, as on now-days orders can be places by e-mail and shipment takes only few days. I’ll be glad to broaden and expose my jewels line to women in New York State, or any other place in America. I really believe that international business helps to both sides – suppliers and customers as they brings fresh flavor of products.

Women TIES: Do you think women entrepreneurs in Israel are different than women in America?  If so, how?

Chen: The basic entrepreneur’s characters are something you have or don’t have no matter the place you live in. It’s a “type” that cross borders. An entrepreneur has to be a person with a vision, ambition, optimistic view, the ability to give good service and the willingness to work hard all the time!

I keep saying it’s very important to open a window whenever the door is being closed in front of your face.  And, I think it’s the same wherever you live in America or Israel. Therefore, I really don’t see fundamental differences between Israeli women entrepreneurs or American women entrepreneurs. Both have the drive and energy to do everything they can in order to success. 

 Women TIES: What are your entrepreneurship goals for the next year?

Chen: I would like to achieve 3 main goals: the first concerns to broadening the market and customers. Therefore, I keep searching after shops, and new customers to purchase my jewels. I believe that you have to work hard all the time, to not stop find new customers and opportunities, and what is the most important – to not be disappointed when you hear “no.”   Second is to keep and protect my existing customers by always give them the best customer service, to keep a continuous communication with them and strive to add new models to my collection all the time. I think it’s very important to be attentive to your customer’s market needs and try to fulfill them. The third goal concerns my jewels collection. I am working now here in Israel on a prestigious line which will contain solid gold and diamonds. It’s a risky step as I have to invest in it, but on the other hand, I believe in my jewels, so I am sure it will increase my number of customers.

Women TIES: What do you think can makes a Women entrepreneurs more successful?

Chen: As there is big competition in almost every existing business area it’s very easy to fall down into the feeling  – I am working so hard and nothing is growing up………. I believe that a woman entrepreneur has to be creative, to do extensive research on her similar market colleagues in order to learn what they did not do and to enter that place. A positive boldness is a good thing also. Don’t be shy, dare to………what can be?  I am the example of a bold woman, because 2 years ago I wrote to Tracy, we started communicating and she was so kind to add me as “Women Ties” first international member.

Women TIES: And a final question, what is your biggest wish for your business?

 Chen: Well, I create charm jewels, so I believe they will brings me luck !!  Maybe it may sounds a bit weird but I wish to do a ‘customers travel’ among all my customers around the world and that this tour will take me weeks – which means I’ll have many many places to visit. I even can see in my imagination the small gift I’ll  bring to every customer I visit……….

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