International Women’s Day 2023
Women’s Day is an opportunity to remind us all of the meaningful. We are happy to share a conversation between the founders of iota, Shula Mozes and Tal Zur.
iota was established 8 years ago to provide work for women unconditionally. Our day to day is run like any other business, there are tasks that need to be attended, clients we want to meet and new products we want to design. With that, we always remember what stands behind our day to day, the ability to provide work for women who could not work conventionally. When we stop for a moment we remember how knitting, an international language like musical notes, takes on additional meanings.
Tal: iota, for me, is many things. To succeed in taking this craft that’s considered
grandma-ish, uncool, archaic even, and turning it into something desirable, contemporary, cool, relevant. That’s what makes me want to get up in the morning and to keep on working.
Hi, Shula.-Hi, Tal.
Shula: We’ve known each other for quite a few years. We met at a café and I had this idea of establishing a social business. Providing work, livelihood and dignity to the women who don’t have that possibility. It was important to me to use crocheting.
Tal: I remember when we met. I knew nothing about crocheting or social businesses and I said I have to think about it.
Shula: But I had already chosen you.
Tal: We realized that we’re creating a method. We’ll design products, they’ll be handmade,
and the people who will create them will be women we’ll teach how to crochet and provide them with employment.
We provide work for 20 women on a regular basis and at times even for 50 women. Most are Syrian refugees but there are also Turkish women from disadvantaged communities.
Shula: With small children.
Tal: Right. – They all have small children.
Shula: My idea to establish a social business with women came about because there are many women, more than there are men, who don’t work, who are not independent and sometimes can’t even leave the house for different reasons.
Tal: One woman told me that her son was attending University and I said, wow, it’s amazing that you saved up so much money and he can study at university.
She said, “it’s not only about money, “since I’ve been working I have a voice at home.”
Shula:That’s exactly it.
Tal: I can make decisions too.-She has a say.
Shula: Last year, in 2022, we provided 45,000 work hours for one community alone.
It was very gratifying, I smiled from ear to ear. -Awesome.
Shula: When I see how it’s possible to make furnishing from this soft material that usually grandmas use to crochet and now it’s something young, fine, that gets awards all over the world, it’s wonderful.
And for me, it’s the fulfillment of my aspiration to do good in the world.
Tal: It’s extremely satisfying seeing people buying and using our products.
Shula: What’s next?
Tal: We’ll establish many communities of women worldwide. But We’ll also have many markets in which iota sells its products.Then each community will serve its local market.
Shula: And the sky’s the limit.
It’s like, what can one expect from crocheting? Here you go. And it’s just a small part of what’s yet to come, right?
Tal: I really hope so. I’m sure.