Business, professional & real estate | Israeli couples colorful activewear takes off

Neon stripes, splashy flowers and psychedelic tie-dye prints on your workout gear might not make you more fit, but might make your workout more fun. And that’s why women around the world — including celebrity customers such as Paris Hilton — have turned the small kibbutz-based Margarita Activewear into a success story.

“We use a lot of colors, not like classic Adidas or Nikes,” says Dorit Zimmerman, who founded Margarita in 2002 with her husband, fellow aerobics instructor Gerardo Clavijo. “It’s not for everybody. Not all girls and women like to wear strong colors and designs, but this is what makes us different.”

Margarita now employs 18 people and sells approximately 2,500 items a month — yoga pants, tights, capris, shorts, skirts, jackets and bra tops — online and through retailers in the United States, Canada, France, England, Asia and Lichtenstein.

The business started in Israel and spread globally through word of mouth, without any advertising, according to Zimmerman.

“During the second Lebanon war [in the summer of 2006], we were closed because our kibbutz is near the border, but a girl from Canada saw our stuff in a store in Tel Aviv and asked the owner to give her my number,” she says.

 

Reprinted with permission from Israel21c, www.israel21c.org

Abigail Klein Leichman

Abigail Klein Leichman is associate editor of ISRAEL21c.