DREAM CATCHER: RUTHY SHAFRIR
Ruthy Shafrir has always been crazy about art, design, and geometry. The Tel Aviv-based industrial designer believes that design is a way of life rather than a discipline. It’s understanding the way things are built to do what they need to do, and it’s knowing when to stick with what’s already working and when to innovate. Ultimately, it’s coming up with solutions that are functional but also put a little smile on people’s faces. Which is exactly how she came to invent her smart shelving unit, Ruche. Inspired by the shape of (and named after the French word for) a beehive, its distinctive hexagonal shape contributes to its stability and strength, and its myriad uses make it versatile for storage or organization or simply as an attention-getting piece of furniture. Ruche is available in two recycled materials (cardboard and aluminum) in multiple finishes and three sizes, and is delivered in a flat package to allow for low-cost and environmentally friendly shipping. Intrigued by the cool design but having Ikea flashbacks at the thought of assembling it? Worry not, because here’s the best part: Ruche it is simple to assemble in minutes without any tools or special skills. Nothing to get (bee) hivey about.
When did you know you wanted to pursue your business or venture? On my first day of university. I’m in love with my profession!
Did your former career in prepare you for running your own business? Yes, by working in the furniture industry I gained a lot of priceless practical knowledge about how to run a business, even though at the time I was feeling bored and unsatisfied.
What has been your biggest challenge to date? My biggest challenge was raising enough orders to have the capital for a first production run of my product.
How did you fund your dream? We are in the final days of our Kickstarter campaign, which has been a journey in itself.
How do you organize your day to best optimize your time? Describe a day in your life. Every morning starts with an email check. After that I create a daily to-do list and just start checking things off. The mornings are typically the most productive time of the day for me to get a lot of things done.
Tell us about a time when you thought you should throw in the towel. What kept you going?Every day has its own crisis, and I have had to remind myself many times of the advice I give to others, which is that I am doing something good and valuable and not to lose hope. Support from family and friends also cheers me up and keeps me going.
If you could have a one-on-one meeting with any woman, who would it be and why? What’s the first thing you would you ask her? Hilary Clinton is a woman whom I adore. She managed to step out of her husband’s shadow and overcome public humiliation, using her strength and intelligence to become a woman of great influence and power in her own right. I would ask her… “When are you going to become the first female president of the United States?”
If I weren’t doing what I do, I would be… A chef, a painter, a writer. Any creative job will do.
I wish someone had told me… To relax.
The key to balancing it all is… Taking time off with a good book and a glass of wine on the couch with my life partner. Or a yoga class.
LET’S GET PERSONAL:
The three words that best describe me are… Ambitious, Creative, Cheerful.
My favorite place to go on vacation is… Anywhere with a beautiful beach and tropical fruit.
While on vacation I always… Read.
My favorite nail polish and/or lipstick is… Armed and Ready by Essie.
My favorite scent is… Jo Malone’s Wild Bluebell.
My favorite TV show is… House of Cards.
My favorite food is… Anything and everything Asian.
On my playlist right now… Nicole Mercedes.
My favorite author is… Carl Hiaasen
My favorite type of workout is… Pilates and Yoga.
What is one talent you wish you had? The ability to sing.