Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Shlomo & Shifra Klein, Founders of Fleishigs Magazine, located in Cedarhurst, NY, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
FLEISHIGS MAGAZINE is the only kosher food and travel magazine on the market on par with all the leading mainstream publications and is even called the "Kosher Bon Appétit" by the NY TIMES. The magazine offers subscriptions worldwide and is sold in all kosher supermarkets, Judaica stores, houseware stores, and mainstream markets, including Whole Foods and Barnes & Noble, as well as digitally on all mobile devices. As industry professionals, we influence the influencers, have set many trends, and successfully launched many products and companies in the Kosher market. Our customers are all people interested in food, travel, and, more specifically, Jewish or kosher food and travel.
Tell us about yourself
Shifra, my wife and editor-in-chief, and I have both always been very passionate about food. We were both working in different fields, Shifra in special education and myself as a religious scribe, when we saw a gap in the market. In 2010 there were no kosher cooking publications; we were subscribers of all the leading food publications and would make do with them and use the recipes and content we could, sub-ingredients when necessary, or just be inspired by them. We saw a need for a Kosher publication and created the first kosher food magazine called Bitayavon (Hebrew for bon appetit or hearty appetite.) within a few months; three other publications popped up as well, so we were definitely on the money. Two of them shut down within the year, and the 3rd needed help and approached us to join forces and publish their magazine. We did this for eight years until the company focused more on digital, and while we were busy running the digital side, we felt there was a need for a print publication in the Kosher market, especially the religious community who do not use the internet and media as much and also have Shabbat & holidays when people cannot use any electrical devices and do a lot of reading. We decided to get back into print on our own again. This time, with all the knowledge and relationships of the last few years, we created Fleishigs, which exploded. We love what we do; we love spreading the word that kosher isn't limiting and can be fun and elegant. We love looking for more areas to expand, such as the events we have been hosting and producing, including a full-blown kosher food show this summer, and consulting and helping new people get into the kosher market.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Recognition, in print like the article by the NY Times, with our clients when they keep coming back or send other people to us and when we are stopped on the streets or in stores or restaurants and given positive feedback sometimes internationally.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Delegating and letting go. We both like to do things our way and don't mind doing the work to get it done. In order to grow and take the next step, we have had to learn to let go and let others do things for us, even if it's not exactly how we would do it, so we can focus on the bigger things and grow.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- If you aren't sure about something or it isn't your field, admit it to yourself, and don't be shy to ask people for advice. We have had numerous occasions where we spoke to people in different fields for some guidance, and sometimes, a little tip an experienced businessman gives can be the difference between night and day.
- If you have an idea and you are passionate about it, go for it. Do your research and make a plan but don't get caught up in the what if's.
- Relationships are the most important thing you have; start and build them, it takes a long time, but that and your name are the most valuable tools you have.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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