Founder and Chief Executive,
When did you arrive in the United States and why did you come?
In 1970 and I came to New York to study business administration. I first went into the record business, selling records wholesale. I sold my record business and started in the apparel business in 1976 at a women’s clothing company. And then I got married and moved from New York to Los Angeles. Two years later, I started manufacturing women’s clothing.
Did you intend to return to your native country at the time?
Yes, I was going to go back to Israel after one year. The idea was to start a business in Israel. I ended up staying here and starting an apparel company, Hot Kiss, which I’ve sold, and then a women’s apparel company, Velvet Heart.
Do you now?
No, I’m established here and this is where I have my roots.
Do you go back often to visit?
Yes, we try to go every year, sometimes twice a year.
Why did you start your business in the United States instead of your native country?
There were many more opportunities in the United States at that time.
What’s the worst the thing about starting and running a business in the United States?
Establishing credit and getting a business license.
What’s the best thing?
This is the land of opportunity and it’s open to anyone who is willing to work very hard.
What were the biggest surprises?
That my business took off so fast, and that I was able to be a success doing something I love.
Would you tell someone from your native country to start a business there or here?
Today the economy in Israel is very good, better than the United States. But there are good opportunities and you can do things on a bigger scale in the United States.
What advice would you give someone from there about starting a business here?
Be honest, work hard and get good financing to back you up before you start.
What was your view of the United States when you were growing up?
A far-off land where one could experience adventure and success.
Did reality match your expectations?
Yes, and beyond.
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