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HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, JUNE 28, 2013 PAGE 13A "It's always trendy and always changing," says Moran Nir of her sneaker sticker product. STICKERS c SNEAKERS By AbigailKleinLeichman academic year, she had the ISRAEL21c beginnings of a business plan in hand. FunkKit, an Israeli product Now FunkKit is old online A low-tech productwith high-tech "in it.S ne of the Mrs are made with boy customers in mind. foraddingtemporarycustom- and in stores in 10 countries. ized artworkto footwear, was Instructions come in Japa- product first took off.other countries a few months with boy customers in mind. eight to 12-year-olds, mainly conceived on a shopping trip. nese, Chinese, Portuguese, "The Zeil year gave us a lot later." The FunkKit team looks girls. Lo andbehold, boys also Itwas 2006, and Israeli col- Korean, English, Hebrew, of networking connections, FunkKit is sold at gift and for unique collaborations, like decorating their shoes lege studentMoranNirwas in Polish, and soon in Russia . andaftergraduationwespent accessory stores, mall carts, she adds. For example, the with funky stickers, and even England on a Jewish Agency "It's amazing to see how a couple of months rewriting shoe stores, departmentfirst-yearcommunicationand 15-18 year olds are buying summer program, it developed," s.ays Nir, who and presenting our business stores, stationery and crafts design class at ORT College FunkKit. "I went shopping with atinkered with the concept at plan and started looking for stores in Australia, New in Jerusalem is working vith The 18-25 age group has friend who loves hats he Zellalongwithateamofclass- investments," Nir says.Zealand, Poland and the Far FunkKit as their end-of-year shown interest, too. "Some has one for-each outfit," Nir mates majoring in manage- "Since it's a low-tech prod- East. More than 80 designs project, creating designs and adults ask for unique designs tells ISRAEL21c. "We went ment, law andgovernment, uctwithhigh-techinit, wedid are available to make into publicity materials, to add to their high heels to a shoe store and he bought The stickers needed an not approach VCs because it peel-and-place stickers. "I love to say that we bring or boots," says Nir. "We did six pairs of the same shoes in adhesive strong enough not doesn't fit their portfolio. We "This is the magic of the art, community and design to some holiday workshops for different colors, in order to to come off spontaneously, tried to find angel investors product: It's based on a com- footwear. We combine them kids in the Israeli Museum of match his hats. That was my but light enough to be peeled to help us with marketing munity of designers," says with technology and passion Cartoons in Holon, inviting eureka moment." offwithoutruiningtheshoes, and sales." Nir. "All the designs are user- to bring the most creative peopletocomeanddrawcom- Nir got on the phone toThe kits are manul=actured in Their principalinvestor, an generated from all over the products to market." ics on stickers for their shoes. classmates at IDC-Herzliya, Israeli facilities for printing, Israeli living abroad, helped world. We upload them to the The already profitable com- Theparentshadanevenbetter an Israeli university where cutting and packaging, and Nir and Faragi enter the community, which can 'like' pany is devising promotional time than the kids." she was studying computer disabled workers are hired Japanesemarketinearly2011. and share them. After we've partnerships with entities FunkKit is looking into scienceandentrepreneurship, wherever possible. "After Japan, everything received feedback from our such as sports teams. "If you opening sales outlets in Rus- andproposedtheideaofcreat- "We'retryingtogivebackas started to be easier. We par- community and distributors, weitryourfavoritesoccerteam sia, Ireland, Brazil and the ing art stickers for sneakers, much as we can," says Nir, 29. ticipated in trade shows there we decide which will go to logoonyourhatandscarfand United States. Though the When she got home, she She and former classmate and people saw the product in market. So it's always trendy shirt, why not put it on your product can be ordered online started researching the mar- Omer Faragi continue to run bigchainstores.Thenwewent and always changing, and a shoes, too? That's the next and shipped anywhere, Nir ket. And when she applied to the business from Israel. They to Taiwan, Korea and global great place "for designers to big thing." " explains, "we like that people IDC's Zell Entrepreneurship employ a sales and market- trade shows in Hong Kong. showcase their ¢vork." When FunkKitstarted, Nir can see the product and get Center for the 2008-2009 ing staff in Japan, where the Theproductwasintroducedin Some of the kits are made envisioned it as a product for involved in the design." . By Melissa Jacobs Jewish Exponent Tall, dark, handsome and a mensch, Sheldon Low is one of Jewish music's hottest stars. Low's constant touring of America's Jewish camps, schools and community cen- ters has won him legions of fans. From preschoolers to teenagers to baby boomers, throngs of Low's fans rock out to his original compositions and his contemporary inter- pretations of Jewish songs. The 30-year-old St. Louis na- tive is the artist-in-residence at Temple Israel of the City of New York and has four albums to his credit. He spoke with the Exponent by telephone from his home in Manhattan. Jewish Exponent: Let's start with the phrase "Jewish rock music." When I was a teen, all that we had was Jewish folk music and it wasn't exactly cool Sheldon Low to listen to it." Sheldon Low: I also grew up listening to Jewish folk music and while lots of people love it, it did emerge from the '60s and '70s and belonged to that gen- eration. Those of us who grew up in the '80s and '90s adapted Jewish music through what we listen to,whichis rockandpop, ined what it was like singing Another difference in today's that song just after the Hebrews Jewish music is the availability crossed the Red Sea, What of technology. Home studios would it feel like to stand there are now affordable and allow andrealizethat¥ouwerefinaily more people to record their free? Ithoughtabouttheparal- own music. That didn't exist lels between "Mi Chamocha" before the late '90s. Another and newer songs about free- big technology factor is that dom, particularly Bob Marley's the Internet and social media "Redemption Song" and "Get allow us to find audiences and Up, Stand Up." them to find us. Then I thought about my JE:What'syourcreativepro- own experience with freedom. cess for writing new melodies WeinAmericaareherebecause to repurpose traditional songs our ancestors, in my case my like "Mi Chamocha'? grandparents, crossedanocean SL: I like the word "repur- so that we could be free and pose" because that's exactly live better lives. That makes how I think of it. I want my "Mi Chamocha" very relevant melodies to breathe new life to my life. I wrote the melody into the lyrics, which are thou- to express that. sands of years old and don't JE: What's the inspiration automatically relate tomodern behind your versions of "Sha- life. But the messages really are lore Aleichem'? timeless, so first, I try to get to SL: For one of the versions the core of what the lyrics are of"ShalomAleichem,"Igotthe conveying, melody from a line of music For"Mi Chamocha," I imag- that I heard when I was at my favorite Indian restaurant. I and Jewishly. kept singing it over and over, JE: Right. But your image then incorporated it into"Sha- is appealing to Jewish people lom Aleichem." When we do it because you look like a rock live, I ask my drummer to give star, but you sing our music. me a hip-hop beat behind the SL: Yeah, I see your point. I song and it really pops. The do relate to that, because when point of that album ["Light Up I was in high school, I had two Shabbat"] was to provide new identities: one inside the syna- melodies for Shabbat services, gogue and one with my friends I wanted it to be fun, listenable on the football team. Part of and music that people would that is because so many of our rock out to. role models were WoodyAl- JE: So what's it like to be on len stereotype.There's nothing stage surrounded by throngs wrong with that, but it doesn't of teenaged girls? Those girls describe me. So, if I'm part of go bananas for you and so do creating a different image of a some of their morns. Jew and people relate to it, that's, SL: Well, let's not forget great. To me, it's about saying that I do a lot of performances that it's OK to be a proud, hip with preschool kids. Really, I Jew who loves the religion and consider myself an educator, the music. I'm trying to teach kids about This article originally ap- music and get them to relate to peared in Bridges, a Jewish their Judaism. No matter what Exponentsupplement.Melissa kind of concert I'm doing, I try Jacobs is the editor of Bridges. to create moments that will This article was reprinted by engage the audience musically permission. WE LISTEN... 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