Israeli Mothers Reflect on Hardships of Operating Small Businesses, Parenting During Pandemic

(Unsplash/Thiago Barletta)
While this past year has been challenging for mothers around the world, the founders of Artza—a unique quarterly subscription box featuring artisanal gifts from moms all across Israel—is excited to highlight some of the amazing female entrepreneurs who create beautiful treasures from the Holy Land. Ahead of Mother's Day, they've spoken with some mom shopkeepers and asked them what motherhood means to them.

Teresa Abu-Nazer, a Christian mother of 3 daughters from Nazareth, fulfilled one of her dreams a few years ago to open her own handmade soap and cosmetics studio. Her shop sells soap renown throughout all of Galilee. Reflecting on what motherhood means to her, Teresa told us, "Motherhood is a power that inspires me to give more and more."

Abu-Nazer also informed us, as she reflected on her strong relationship between her and her children: "This year for me has been a year filled with challenges, certainly as a business owner during the coronavirus, and also to try and balance being a mother as my kids are out of school." She also highlighted the similarities between her business and her children: "My products are like my children—they require so much care!"

Abu-Nazer also had words of encouragement for mothers worldwide: "I wish mothers around the world to stay strong. We can do it! Take time for yourself too, and reconnect with yourself."

Two other vendors that Artza works closely with, Anati Tehori and Sarit Safra, are longtime friends and now business partners. They opened up Hooga Games to make custom, inspiring and family-friendly games that are meant to bring people together on a deeper level. They live in the Judean Hills just outside Jerusalem.

Tehori, a mother of four, and Sarit, a mother of six, revealed that despite the importance of their business venture, "Motherhood is our first career."

"It's our life's mission to build families that are caring, loving and warm," they went on to explain. "In fact, it was from this desire to build deeper connections within our own homes that Hooga Games, our company, was born." The entire concept for their games are inspired by their families and their children's needs. "For example, one of our children had a hard time opening up and carving out space for himself—so we designed a game that encouraged him to do exactly that!"

We asked them what has been the hardest and also the most rewarding part of being a mom this year.

"The hardest part of this year has been the lack of separation: separation between family and work, between day and night, between children who are all in the same space, and between our own needs and our children's as we are all crammed together at home."

"In so many ways, though, this actually led to amazing and emotional family moments," they exclaimed.

Artza hopes that these reflections from mothers throughout Israel offer a helpful glimpse into what life has been like for them the past year. They are also offering an 18% discount for Mother's Day using the promo code: GRATEFUL18.

To learn more about any of the moms featured here, check out their website at artzabox.com where you can find artisan profiles and more.

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