u-boutiqueNachman Klieman is working to help Israeli artists and designers market themselves, particularly abroad, with his new start-up website recently launched called U-Boutique. He has especially taken an interest in helping Israeli designers and artists who live under qassam rocket fire in Southern Israel. Indeed, Klieman has been working for the State of Israel since he made Aliyah many years ago and U-Boutique is merely his latest pro-Israel project.

Klieman is a resident of Halamish in Judea and Samaria and has a long history of working to promote the State of Israel. For 25 years, he worked as the head of media for El Al, where he promoted overseas operations that brought new immigrants to Israel. Klieman was involved in arranging for Russian olim to come to Israel via Romania and Hungary, as well as Operation Solomon which brought members of the Ethiopian Jewish community to the Jewish state. He also promoted various programs for the Israeli Ministry of Tourism while working with El Al. Upon finishing his career at El Al, he traveled extensively within the United States, where he represented victims of terror and emergency programs at various Jewish Federations. Klieman also spent three years as a Keren Ha-Yesod Shaliach to South Africa.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAccording to Klieman, U-Boutique is a “virtual shop where we showcase only blue and white goods that are produced by Israeli designers and artists that aren’t very good at promoting themselves.” He claims that often young designers and artists who graduated from superb schools have extraordinary talent, yet lack the ability to market their art work and sales items, particularly abroad, since they produce their pieces of art in their homes or in small work shops. U-Boutique offers these talented artists and designers the opportunity to display their work with a larger audience, thus granting them the opportunity to advance.

U-Boutique specializes in Judaica items, such as women’s hair coverings, menorahs, tallits, jewelry, Jewish paintings, etc. However, unlike other Judaica online stores, who frequently produce their products within China, U-Boutique only sells products that are made in Israel and produced by Israeli designers and artists. Thus, any one who buys products from U-Boutique is not only supporting the economy of the Jewish state, but is particularly helping out young Israeli artists and designers who are fresh in the market and seek to start out their careers.

Jerusalem painting The idea to start up this business was initiated by Nachman Klieman’s son Gabriel, who tragically died of a heart attack at the age of 26. After losing his son, Klieman decided, alongside another one of his sons named Dov, to honor Gabriel’s memory by full-filling his dream of starting up U-Boutique, which Gabriel was working on developing when he was still alive. First, Klieman and his son Dov worked on the website, promoting the website within Google, and show-casing the work of the Israeli artists and designers that they sought to assist; yet within the last six months, U-Boutique has opened up two commercial websites, one in English and one in Hebrew. The Hebrew website is geared up for an Israeli audience, while the English one is set up for international customers. Presently, 200 artists and designers are signed up to work with U-Boutique.

Within the last six months, Klieman and his son Dov have managed to sell a lot of Judaica items. He claims that many Americans and Canadians, both Jewish and Christian, are yearning to buy Israeli made products. Jewish organizations frequently use Judaica items as part of their fundraising efforts and thus U-Boutique has reached out to Jewish NGOs in order to assist them. The Israeli artists and designers are very grateful as well for the opportunity to advance in their careers that U-Boutique has provided them with. U-Boutique is associated with Buy Israel Goods, Stand with Us, Buy Israel Week, I Travel Jerusalem, among others. U-Boutique will be celebrating Israel’s holidays with a special ‘blue & white’ offer. From Independence Day until May 9th,Yom Yerushalayim, any customer who spends $65 on the U-Boutique site will receive a specially designed U-Boutique hat, and with a $100 purchase, a special shirt .

To experience art, design, clothing, Judaica and much more, that is all made in the Land of Israel visit:
www.u-boutique.com

By Rachel Avraham