Mirav Tzighon launched the MULU.D cosmetic company, thanks to a
loan from the New York Loan Fund for Israel.
February 16, 2010 / 2 Adar 5770
At the age of ten, Mirav Tzighon started a new life for herself in Israel, leaving behind her entire world on the farming village where she grew up outside Gondar. Today, she is the proud owner of her own cosmetics company, MULU.D, thanks to a loan from the New York Loan Fund for Israel.
"I always loved the world of beauty," the 34-year-old Tzighon of Ramla, who started MULU.D in May of 2009, told the JEWISH AGENCY.
Boasting her own cosmetics line, bearing the name of top Israeli make-up artist, Giora Shavit, MULU.D also offers the services of professional cosmetologists for brides, their parties, or any interested clients, as well as professional accredited courses for beauty school students. Her MULU-D. cosmetics can be purchased on her website and at select locations throughout Israel.
The UJA Federation of New York Loan Fund for Israel, in cooperation with the Jewish Agency, specifically supports small businesses run by women or new immigrants - with a special emphasis placed on new immigrants from the Kafkaz region and Ethiopia, according to Amir Sznajderman, Manager of Economic Development and the Loan Fund Unit for the Jewish Agency.
“The whole reason behind offering these loans is because banks have low interest in supporting small businesses because they are considered high risk loans," said Sznajderman. "By us guaranteeing the loan and facilitating businesses to receive these loans, we manage to create jobs for the specific populations who would otherwise not have a chance of opening a business.” The Loan Fund Unit for the Jewish Agency receives 300 to 400 applicants a year with 200 becoming loan recipients.
MULU is Tzighon's name in Amharic and is a link to her Ethiopian heritage. When she and her older brother, Shaul – her partner in MULU.D – moved to Israel, they left behind their parents and seven siblings. She lived in the "Hofim" Youth Village near Nahariya. Half a year later her parents moved to Israel and settled in an absorption center in Kiryat Gat. Eventually, many of her siblings moved to Israel, as well.
"Like all people who are new to a new country, it wasn't easy, and learning Hebrew wasn't easy," said Tzighon.
But master Hebrew she did, eventually graduating high school, passing her bagrut examinations, serving in Sheyrut Leumi (army service for religious girls) and receiving a Bachelor of Arts in communication from Haifa University.
But beauty was always in the back of her mind. As a teen she dabbled in the world of modeling, and the urge hadn't completely left her.
"The truth is even when I was studying in university, I wanted to open a beauty salon, something that offered everything: a spa, hair and makeup," said Tzighon.
So she enrolled in Giora Shavit's International School of Professional Make-up in Tel Aviv, graduating in 2005. She then took courses in business administration and "worked very, very hard" to build her own company. The loan gave her the jump start she needed to launch her own business. From there she approached her former teacher, Giora Shavit, who agreed to lend his name to her make-up line. Working closely with Shavit, she selected shades and developed with care the lipsticks, eye shadows, blushes, and more that make up MULU.D – a line that includes makeup for both light and dark skinned women.
The Giora Shavit make-up line, exclusively crafted for the MULU.D make-up company.
Another UJA Federation of New York Loan Fund for Israel recipient is Shwanesh Maniov, also an Ethiopian-Israeli, whose company S'AVA is the first Israeli makeup line for dark-skinned women.
As of now, Tzighon still has a day job and runs MULU.D on the side. But she dreams of being able to devote herself full-time to her business and to putting her brand on the map of who's who in the world of beauty.
"I love to see how much enjoyment people get from this," she said. "When people look good they feel good and then I feel good knowing I've made them happy."