The White City's female-led establishments
When Moscow natives Sonya Vasilyeva and Barbara (Varvara) Zabezhinskaya first moved to Tel Aviv in 2015, they had no idea what they wanted to do. However, they knew exactly what they did not want to do: Sonya did not want to pursue her career as an architect, while Barbara did not want to continue her studies in Psychology. After meeting in Ulpan, the two began to discuss a “dream place” where they could hold workshops & lectures, and host a social club at the same time. Their dream eventually came to fruition when they realized “Hour Space,” Tel Aviv’s first ever time club. What is a time club you might ask?
Promising coffee, tea, board games, snacks, workshops, lectures, wifi, and movie nights all for NIS 15 an hour, it’s almost easier to explain what Hour Space isn’t than what it is. Based off the popular Russian model (known as an “anticafe”), Hour Space is Tel Aviv’s inaugural time club, where you pay for nothing, except the time you spend there. Located just steps from Rothschild, this come-one-come-all space run by two independent women who had an innovative idea and the determination to see it through is open weekdays from 10:00-22:00.
In an up-an-coming side street leading from Neve Tzedek into the Florentine neighborhood's grittier artist's district is Artemisia. The independent gallery, run by all-star founder and curator Limor Zohar Shavit champions emerging female artists and has built an intimate community while hosting special events, openings, workshops, lectures, pop up sales and more. From large-scale murals to ceramics and sculpture, illustrated paintings and thought-provoking instillations, the exhibits rotate regularly at the whimsy of the proprietress and her tasteful eye for the new and next.
The women hand make vibrantly-colored crocheted baskets and rugs and the actual project was named by the women - Kuchinate means ‘crochet’ in Tigrinia. The African Refugee Women’s Collective has gone through a journey and the women currently work from a quaint studio in south Tel Aviv, which is open to the public for sales and workshops in learning the technique. They also host a series of pop-up shops in different locations throughout the year. There are a few shops in Tel Aviv that stock the baskets and rugs that are made by the women. They are beautiful, quality products that the women are proud of and have allowed them not only to learn a skill, but make money from their craft. The project also serves another significant aspect of empowerment: it became a place where women with shared hardship and experience could come together and find support from one another. The shop is a safe place to work, create, eat, laugh, dance, cry, and talk, and all visitors are welcome.
Housed in the Bayit Ba’Namal complex in Tel Aviv’s Port, it is a relaxing reprieve from the day-to-day grind, with a picturesque setting facing the Mediterranean Sea and a menu boasting a range of specialty treatments and packages according to your needs. If you have some time to while away before or after your treatment, head over to Comme-Il-Faut, the in-house boutique comprised of a stunningly curated compilation of European designers and burgeoning local fashion design combining artful displays, apparel, housewares, cutting edge jewellery and more. It is a top spot for moments of zen and retail therapy all in one place.