This post is in honor of Global Entrepreneurship Week, and celebrates two women entrepreneurs who have taken the Jewish merchandising world by storm. They started separately, in two different cities, both answering their needs for more Judaica and Jewish-themed gifts.
Sara Schwimmer Marcus walked into a New York City department store one holiday season and found herself "inundated with red and green merchandise and Christmas carols over the loudspeakers. I felt as many Jews feel at that time of year - left out. With PopJudaica.com, I wanted to create a site that had the feel of a mainstream retailer but catered specifically to the Jewish demographic. I wanted the merchandise to embody the sense of fun and tradition that I had grown up with."
In Atlanta, Jennie Rivlin Roberts launched ModernTribe.com in fall 2007: originally created to sell the company’s flagship product, No Limit Texas Dreidel, it "quickly became the place for youthful Jews to buy modern design Judaica and design-forward Jewish gifts."
Last week, Schwimmer Marcus announced that PopJudaica had been acquired by ModernTribe.com. In a press release about the merger, the women explained why the sites are so well-suited to one another:
“With more novelty oriented items and an emphasis on funny Jewish gifts, Pop Judaica fills a merchandizing space we don’t already cover, “ explains Jennie Rivlin Roberts, founder of ModernTribe and inventor of No Limit Texas Dreidel. “Plus, Pop Judaica is a great brand! It was a pioneer in the online Jewish gifts space, one of the first to bring the world funny Jewish t-shirts and novelty Judaica.”
“The two sites have always made a great pair, “ says Sara Schwimmer Marcus, founder of Pop Judaica. “Jennie is the most qualified mamaleh to take on my baby and I know she's going to take Pop Judaica to the next level.”
Schwimmer Marcus isn't abandoning the online Jewish resource scene: after she got engaged, she found that none of the online wedding resources specifically addressed the needs of planning a Jewish wedding. Her new endeavor, JewishWeddingNetwork.com is a one-stop resource for Jewish wedding planning needs; from finding vendors, to researching traditions, to connecting with others who are sharing the same experience.
Now ModernTribe.com sells over 500 items for the modern Jewish home. Through the acquisition of Pop Judaica, ModernTribe continues its growth in the Jewish gifts and Judaica home goods market, working with Israeli and Jewish designers to supply style-conscious shoppers with design-forward Jewish ritual items. Rivlin Roberts notes her excitement "about the design momentum in Israel and can't wait for the economy to improve so we can continue bringing in designer non-Judaic items such as handbags and jewelry."
"Put ModernTribe and Pop Judaica together and you have the whole spectrum of Jewish items that is appealing to the youthful Jewish culture," says the new owner of both sites, "both with great merchandising and great shopping experiences".
ModernTribe and Pop Judaica will continue to maintain their basic look, feel, and function, with changes coming in early 2010.