We are super-excited to bring back the Olim Business of the Week Section, and even more excited to be speaking with my good friend Sharonna Karni Cohen from Dreame.
We are going to ask her about why she made Aliyah, where did she get the idea for Dreame, what are her favourite things about Tel Aviv, and what tips does she have for Olim wanting to start a business.
What made you make aliyah?
I made aliyah shortly after I graduated to write a book about the street names of Tel Aviv. During one lecture in University we learned about Nordau’s concept of physical Zionism and all I could think about was the innovative public gym in Metzizim beach and how proud Nordau would be. I started to connect with some of the descendants of street names from Chelocuhe to Shapira to Rabin and collected stories while exploring the history of the streets, the narrative of their names and the significance of the streets today in the context of Tel Aviv. 4 years later, I have a non-profit called Streets.City whereby anyone can submit a story from any street name. We are 20 entrepreneurs working on this project on the side and publishing the world’s first crowd sourced book next year with a collection of stories and some historical facts. Anyone is welcome to submit a story at www.streets.city or join the team by contacting me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Where did you get the idea for Dreame?
I started Dreame after organising Once I Was A House (OIWAH) . During OIWAH, we transformed a villa pre-demolition into over 100 art pieces with over 80 artists and raised 200,000 NIS for charity. 4,000 people attended over two weekends and 75% of the art was sold. I realised that art doesn’t only belong on the walls and after a diverse range of products, the concept of creating art everywhere cropped up.
“Today on Dreame, you can commission one of 60 artists and send in any memory, photo, dream, favorite quote or even favorite song to transform into your very own work of art to frame on your wall.”
We are a team of 4 working from We Work Tel Aviv. It is a great gift and definitely something nice to try out with your loved ones around the Chagim time while there is more time to imagine, reflect and dream up a beautiful concept for one of our artists.
The best things about Dreame is learning the value of momentum, reaching different milestones like our first 500 customers and exciting partnerships. Once a week something extremely exciting happens and I run down the corridors of We Work like a crazy person.
Favorite things about Tel Aviv?
How easy it is to make friends here and how easy it is to stay in touch with them. Tel Aviv is an inspiring place to work in as an entrepreneur. In its minuscule lifetime, it had mastered the perfect balance between spontaneity and rationality within its personalities. People here are very grounded and analytical yet you can approach complete strangers on a bench who then become your best friends. This at least happened to me 4 years a go. Linked is an article I wrote about bumping into people in Tel Aviv and some trends around it.
Tips to Olim looking to start a business:
- Find a partner – Don’t ever attempt something alone. I met Emily who has empowered me on a daily basis to go with my gut feeling when a spontaneous idea has arisen yet has kept me grounded. Matan has recently joined our partnership. The more talented and smart people you have working with you, the more impactful your idea becomes.
- Keep up momentum – whether it is an investor you meet, journalist or even potential partner. Always keep up momentum in conversation.
- Try to take one day off and explore our beautiful country.
- When you’re tired of networking or schmooze – don’t do it. If you’re not feeling it, it probably won’t make a difference.
Thanks Sharonna! Dreame have a special offer for Rosh Hashanah – Spend some time with your family and friends creating your wishes and dreams. Turn them into personalised art works as a surprise for yourselves, your loved ones or your walls using our 25% discount code which is filled out at the end of the commissioning form: mymindmydreame
Check out some of our previous Olim Businesses of the Week!