Work… Making it Work!
Career Building Inspiration
A blog from the Nefesh B’Nefesh Employment Department
Marsea Modest Swimwear
Name: Marci Rapp
Originally from: Toronto, Ontario
Made Aliyah: 2008
Job: Founder and Owner of Marci Marsea Modest Swimwear
A special thank you to Marci Rapp and her husband, founders of Marsea Modest Swimwear, for participating in this interview about their business.
Please provide us with a brief description of your business.
MarSea Modest Swim & Stretch wear www.MarSeaModest.com
We manufacture modest sun-safe swimwear and cotton stretchwear for women.
How did you come up with the idea for Marsea Modest Swimwear?
After making Aliyah, with 9 months of beach weather – I had nothing to wear to the beach and I couldn’t find anything suitable. My husband suggested I started designing my own.
What was your business plan when you started Marsea Modest Swimwear?
The plan was to make modest swimwear for women and girls.
How did you determine the costs and expenses for your business?
We participated in a Mati course (The Israel Small and Medium Enterprises Authority) and also made use of their consulting services. They helped with a business plan and financing. We determined the costs and expenses of our business using accounting principles.
What are the advantages of starting your own business and being self employed?
Working for ourselves – we make our schedules, work from home, and there is no need to travel to a separate location except for manufacturing times and to deliver to vendors. We can right-off the expenses. There is a definite sense of pride for creating something that people enjoy.
What are the disadvantages?
There is not a guaranteed paycheque.
Did you have any difficulties with starting this business?
No, thankfully we had no difficulties.
What types of education and experience does an Oleh need, in order to start a business?
The experience in running a business is needed. Accounting or bookkeeping is useful. Banking, marketing and networking are also important skills to have. It all depends if it is a service business or a product based business and within that, if they one will need to import or manufacture the product. We did not have strong Hebrew when we began and were still able to move forward. One needs money to live on while the business in beginning.
What do you think were the most important elements, in helping your business become successful?
There was and is a need for our products.
Does the business location affect the business?
Yes and no, it depends on the business.
How important is Hebrew in this field?
We had limited Hebrew but my husband took Ulpan, and that enabled him to communicate with suppliers, banks and customers.
Do you have any tips or advice for Olim, who are looking to start their own successful business?
Yes. Olim should have sufficient financial backing to allow them to live for around 3 years while they start their business. The income doesn’t start right away unless it’s a service industry with no overhead.
How do you feel about working and living in Israel?
We love running our business and love living in Israel. The fact that we can put ‘Made In Israel’ on our products, is a plus!